Heinrich Petersen

Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve

Born 3 November, 1902 Hamburg
Died 6 June, 1963 Kiel

Obersteuermann Heinrich Petersen


19/11/1939 Iron Cross 2nd class (EK II)
          1939 Ubootskriegsabzeichen
25/02/1940 Iron Cross 1st class (EK I)
05/11/1940 Knights Cross (-21-)


01/10/1922 Obermatrose
01/10/1923 Matrosengefreiter
01/01/1926 Obermatrosengefreiter
01/04/1926 Steuermannsmaat
01/04/1928 Obersteuermannsmaat
01/01/1936 Obersteuermann
01/10/1939 Stabsobersteuermann
01/07/1941 Leutnant zur See der Reserve (-6-)
01/01/1942 Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve

U-boat Career

U-23 IIB 8 patrols, 94 days * 10.37 - 03.40
U-99 VIIB 8 patrols, 119 days * 04.40 - 03.41
* Not a commander of the boat

After serving three years in a Navy ground unit (Küstenwehr) Heinrich Petersen started his naval career in October 1923 on board of the cruiser Berlin. Later he served in the Reichsmarine on the minesweeper M-75 and on several torpedo boats. After the usual 12 years duty he left in September 1931 the Reichsmarine.

In 1935 he joined the navy (then named Kriegsmarine) once more and served for 18 months on the torpedo boat T-156, before he became in October 1937 Obersteuermann (Quartermaster) on the type II U-boat U-23. In the same month Oblt. zur See Kretschmer took over the command for the U-boat, and the next 3 and a half year these two seamen served with great successes together on U-boats.

After 8 patrols in 1939/1940 Petersen left U-23 along with the commander to take over the newly commissioned U-boat U-99. He participated in the great successes of U-99. Together with the greatest majority of the crew he was taken prisoner on 17 March, 1941 by the British.

He spent more than 6 years in captivity, before he returned in June 1947.

Obersteuermann Heinrich Petersen


Dörr, Manfred
Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Bootwaffe
Band 2. K - Z
Biblio-Verlag, Osnabrück, 1989
ISBN 3-7648-1759-3