Erich Würdemann

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 33)

14 ships sunk, total tonnage 69,893 GRT
3 ships damaged, total tonnage 23,358 GRT
1 ship a total loss, total tonnage 6,821 GRT

Born  15 Jan 1914 Hamburg
Died  12 Jul 1943(29)North Atlantic near Spain

Kapitänleutnant Erich Würdemann


1 Apr 1933 Offiziersanwärter
23 Sep 1933 Seekadett
1 Jul 1934 Fähnrich zur See
1 Apr 1936 Oberfähnrich zur See
1 Oct 1936 Leutnant zur See
1 Jun 1938 Oberleutnant zur See
1 Nov 1940 Kapitänleutnant


24 Apr 1940 Iron Cross 2nd Class
26 Mar 1942 U-boat War Badge 1939
18 Jun 1942 Iron Cross 1st Class
14 Mar 1943 Knights Cross

U-boat Commands

U-506 15 Sep 1941 12 Jul 1943  (+)  5 patrols (344 days) 

Erich Würdemann began his naval career in April 1933. Later he served on the destroyer Paul Jacoby, where he made 11 patrols in the first year of the war. In November 1940 he transferred to the U-boat force. After the usual training he served for one patrol on U-43 under Kptlt. Wolfgang Lüth.

In September 1941 he commissioned the ocean-going U-boat U-506 and operated on his first patrol in the North Atlantic. On his second patrol he sank no less than nine ships. On the third patrol U-506 was involved in the famous Laconia incident. Later the boat operated as a Monsun boat in the Indian Ocean.

Six days after leaving base on her fifth patrol, U-506 was bombed in the Atlantic west of Vigo, Spain by a USAAF aircraft on 12 July 1943. Kptlt. Erich Würdemann and all but 6 of his crew perished (Niestlé, 1998).


Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Erich Würdemann

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-506 2 Mar 1942  Hamburg  3 Mar 1942  Helgoland   2 days
2. U-506 9 Mar 1942  Helgoland  25 Mar 1942  Lorient  Patrol 1,17 days
3. U-506 6 Apr 1942  Lorient  15 Jun 1942  Lorient  Patrol 2,71 days
4. U-506 28 Jul 1942  Lorient  7 Nov 1942  Lorient  Patrol 3,103 days
5. U-506 14 Dec 1942  Lorient  8 May 1943  Lorient  Patrol 4,146 days
6. U-506 6 Jul 1943  Lorient  12 Jul 1943  Sunk  Patrol 5,7 days
5 patrols, 344 days at sea

Ships hit by Erich Würdemann

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
3 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Sama567ni
10 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Aurora (d.)7,050am
13 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Gulfpenn8,862am
14 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann David McKelvy (t.)6,821am
16 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Sun (d.)9,002am
16 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann William C. McTarnahan (d.)7,306am
17 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Gulfoil5,189am
19 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Heredia4,732am
20 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Halo6,986am
28 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Yorkmoor4,457br
31 May 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Fred W. Green2,292br
21 Aug 1942U-506Erich Würdemann City of Wellington5,733br
23 Aug 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Hamla4,416br
5 Sep 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Myrmidon6,278br
13 Sep 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Lima3,764sw
30 Sep 1942U-506Erich Würdemann Siam II6,637br
7 Mar 1943U-506Erich Würdemann Sabor5,212br
9 Mar 1943U-506Erich Würdemann Tabor4,768nw

15 ships sunk (76,714 tons) and 3 ships damaged (23,358 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.
(t.) means the ship was a total loss (included in ships & tonnage lost).

About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.

Men who sank over 50,000 tons

Media links

The sinking of the laconia and the u-boat war

Duffy, James P.

One Common Enemy

McLoughlin, Jim

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

Listing of all U-boat commanders

As an Amazon Associate earns a commission from qualifying purchases.