Group Star - 16 boats - between 28 April and 1 May
U-boat
Type
Commanding Officer
CO's Patrol #
Boat's Patrol #
CO's Prior Tons*
Departed
Arrived
Remarks
U-192 IXC/40 OBLT Werner Happe
1
1
0
13-Apr-43
Kiel
6-May-43
Sunk
Sunk by HMS Loosestrife
U-209 VIIC KPTLT Heinrich Brodda
7
7
1356
6-Apr-43
Kiel
-
Missing
Last reported 6-May after attack by Catalina 5/W on 4-May
U-231 VIIC KPTLT Wolfgang Wenzel
1
1
0
13-Apr-43
Kiel
31-May-43
La Pallice
 
U-258 VIIC OBLT Wilhelm von Mässenhausen
3
4
0
1-Mar-43
La Pallice
20-May-43
Sunk
Sank McKeesport (6198 tons) from ONS-5/Sunk by Liberator 120/P
U-378 VIIC KPTLT Erich Mäder
5
7
0
12-Apr-43
Trondheim
4-Jun-43
La Pallice
 
U-381 VIIC OBLT Wilhelm-Heinrich Graf von Pückler und Limburg
3
3
0
31-Mar-43
St. Nazaire
-
Missing
Last reported completion of refuelling 10-May - no explaination for loss
U-386 VIIC OBLT Hans-Albrecht Kandler
1
1
1977
15-Apr-43
Kiel
11-May-43
St. Nazaire
 
U-413 VIIC OBLT Gustav Poel
3
3
34525
29-Mar-43
Brest
13-Jun-43
Brest
Sank Wanstead (5486 tons) from ONS-3 on 21-Apr-43
U-528 IXC/40 KPTLT Georg von Rabenau
1
1
0
15-Apr-43
Kiel
11-May-43
Sunk
Sunk by Halifax 58/D and HMS Fleetwood
U-531 IXC/40 OBLT Herbert Neckel
1
1
0
13-Apr-43
Kiel
6-May-43
Sunk
Sunk by HMS Vidette
U-532 IXC/40 KPTLT Ottohienrich Junker
1
1
0
25-Mar-43
Kiel
15-May-43
Lorient
KPTLT Junker went on to sink 60023 tons after the April/May 1943 patrol
U-533 IXC/40 OBLT Helmut Henning
1
1
0
15-Apr-43
Kiel
24-May-43
Lorient
 
U-552 VIIC KPTLT Klaus Popp
2
12
3677
4-Apr-43
St. Nazaire
13-Jun-43
St. Nazaire
 
U-648 VIIC OBLT Peter-Arthur Stahl
1
1
0
3-Apr-43
Kiel
19-May-43
Brest
 
U-650 VIIC OBLT Ernst von Witzendorff
1
1
0
18-Apr-43
Bergen
28-Jun-43
St. Nazaire
 
U-954 VIIC KPTLT Odo Loewe
3
1
17335
8-Apr-43
Kiel
19-May-43
Sunk
Sunk by HMS Jed and HMS Sennen - Peter Dönitz, the younger son of Admiral Dönitz perished aboard
     
 
Group Amsel I - 6 boats - between 4 and 6 May
U-107 IXB KPTLT Harald Gelhaus
11
10
110441
24-Apr-43
Lorient
26-May-43
Lorient
Sank Port Victor (12411 tons) from ONS-5 on 1-May
U-402 VIIC KPTLT Freiherr Siegfried von Foster
7
7
92091
21-Apr-43
La Pallice
26-May-43
La Pallice
Sank Antigone (4545 tons) and Grado (3082 tons) on 11-May from SC-129
U-504 IXC KPTLT Wilhelm Luis
2
6
85229
21-Apr-43
Lorient
29-May-43
Bordeaux
 
U-575 VIIC KPTLT Günther Heydemann
8
8
48920
22-Apr-43
St. Nazaire
11-Jun-43
St. Nazaire
 
U-621 VIIC KPTLT Max Kruschka
3
4
14046
22-Apr-43
Brest
3-Jun-43
Brest
 
U-638 VIIC Oskar Staudinger
1
2
0
20-Apr-43
La Pallice
5-May-43
Sunk
Sank Dolius (5507 tons) from ONS-5/Sunk by HMS Sunflower
     
 
Group Amsel II - 7 boats - between 4 and 6 May
U-223 VIIC OBLT Karl-Jürgen Wächter
2
2
12556
15-Apr-43
St. Nazaire
24-May-43
St. Nazaire
 
U-266 VIIC OBLT Ralf von Jessen
2
2
4077
14-Apr-43
St. Nazaire
15-May-43
Sunk
Sank Bonde (1570 tons), Gharinda (5306 tons), Selvistan (5136 tons) from ONS 5/Sunk by Halifax 58/M
U-377 VIIC KPTLT Otto Köhler
9
9
0
15-Apr-43
Brest
7-Jun-43
Brest
 
U-383 VIIC OBLT Horst Kremser
3
3
423
17-Apr-43
Brest
25-May-43
Brest
 
U-634 VIIC OBLT Eberhard Dahlhaus
2
2
7176
15-Apr-43
Lorient
23-May-43
Brest
 
Plus 2 homebound boats
     
 
Group Fink - 28 boats - between 4 and 6 May
    Previously a member of Group Star
    Previously a member of Group Amsel I
     
 
U-125 IXC KPTLT Ulrich Folkers
5
7
78136
13-Apr-43
Lorient
6-May-43
Sunk
Sank Lorient (4737 tons) a straggler from ONS-5 on 4-May/Sunk by HMS Oribi and HMS Snowflake
U-168 IXC/40 KPTLT Helmuth Pich
1
1
0
9-Mar-43
Kiel
18-May-43
Lorient
KPTLT Pich went on to sink 17812 tons after the April/May 1943 patrol
U-192 IXC/40 OBLT Werner Happe
1
1
0
13-Apr-43
Kiel
6-May-43
Sunk
Sunk by HMS Loosestrife
U-209 VIIC KPTLT Heinrich Brodda
7
7
1356
6-Apr-43
Kiel
-
Missing
Last reported 6-May after attack by Catalina 5/W on 4-May
U-226 VIIC OBLT Ralf von Jessen
2
2
4077
14-Apr-43
St. Nazaire
15-May-43
Sunk
Sank Bonde (1570 tons), Gharinda (5306 tons), Selvistan (5136 tons) from ONS 5/Sunk by Halifax 58/M
U-231 VIIC KPTLT Wolfgang Wenzel
1
1
0
13-Apr-43
Kiel
31-May-43
La Pallice
 
U-260 VIIC OBLT Hubertus Purkhold
3
3
4893
12-Mar-43
St. Nazaire
22-May-43
St. Nazaire
 
U-264 VIIC KPTLT Hartwig Looks
3
3
6696
8-Apr-43
St. Nazaire
1-Jun-43
Lorient
Sank Harperley (4586 tons) and West Maximus (5561 tons) on 5-May from ONS-5
U-270 VIIC OBLT Paul-Friedrich Otto
1
1
0
23-Mar-43
Kiel
15-May-43
St. Nazaire
 
U-358 VIIC OBLT Rolf Manke
2
2
9677
11-Apr-43
St. Nazaire
15-May-43
St. Nazaire
Sank Bristol City (2864 tons) and Wentworth (5212 tons) on 5-May from ONS-5
U-378 VIIC KPTLT Erich Mäder
5
7
0
12-Apr-43
Trondheim
4-Jun-43
La Pallice
 
U-381 VIIC OBLT Wilhelm-Heinrich Graf von Pückler und Limburg
3
3
0
31-Mar-43
St. Nazaire
-
Missing
Last reported completion of refuelling 10-May - no explaination for loss
U-413 VIIC OBLT Gustav Poel
3
3
34525
29-Mar-43
Brest
13-Jun-43
Brest
Sank Wanstead (5486 tons) from ONS-3 on 21-Apr
U-438 VIIC KRVTKPT Heinrich Heinsohn
5
4
5289
31-Mar-43
Brest
6-Mar-43
Sunk
Sunk by HMS Pelican
U-514 IXC KPTLT Hans Jürgen Auffermann
3
3
38082
15-Apr-43
Lorient
22-May-43
Lorient
 
U-531 IXC/40 OBLT Herbert Neckel
1
1
0
13-Apr-43
Kiel
6-May-43
Sunk
Sunk by HMS Vidette
U-533 IXC/40 OBLT Helmut Henning
1
1
0
15-Apr-43
Kiel
24-May-43
Lorient
 
U-552 VIIC KPTLT Klaus Popp
2
12
3677
4-Apr-43
St. Nazaire
13-Jun-43
St. Nazaire
 
U-584 VIIC KPTLT Joachim Deecke
5
5
13119
5-May-43
Kiel
16-May-43
Brest
Sank West Madaket (5565 tons) from ONS-5 on 5-May
U-614 VIIC OBLT Wolfgang Sträter
2
2
5730
12-Apr-43
St. Nazaire
24-May-43
St. Nazaire
 
U-628 VIIC OBLT Heinrich Hasenschar
3
3
37134
8-Apr-43
Brest
19-May-43
Brest
Sank Harbury (5081 tons) from ONS-5 on 5-May
U-630 VIIC OBLT Werner Winkler
1
1
14894
18-Mar-43
Kiel
6-May-43
Sunk
Sank Shillong (5529 tons)  and Waroonga (9365 tons) from HX-231 on 5-Apr/Sunk by HMS Vidette
U-648 VIIC OBLT Peter-Arthur Stahl
1
1
0
3-Apr-43
Kiel
19-May-43
Brest
 
U-650 VIIC OBLT Ernst von Witzendorff
1
1
0
18-Apr-43
Bergen
28-Jun-43
St. Nazaire
 
U-662 VIIC KPTLT Heinz-Eberhard Müller
2
3
20185
23-Mar-43
St. Nazaire
19-May-43
St. Nazaire
Sank Empire Whale (6159 tons), Ocean Victory (7174 tons) and Umaria (6852 tons) from SL-126 on 29-Mar
U-707 VIIC OBLT Günther Gretschel
2
2
7176
12-Apr-43
St. Nazaire
31-May-43
Bordeaux
Sank North Britian (4635 tons) from ONS-5 on 5-May
U-732 VIIC OBLT Claus-Peter Carlsen
1
1
0
8-Apr-43
Kiel
15-May-43
Brest
 
U-954 VIIC KPTLT Odo Loewe
3
1
17335
8-Apr-43
Kiel
19-May-43
Sunk
Sunk by HMS Jed and HMS Sennen - Peter Dönitz, the younger son of Admiral Dönitz perished aboard the boat
* Includes tonnage sunk during the April/May 1943 patrol prior to interaction with ONS 5
 

 

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Excerpts from BdU's KTB concerning ONS 5
 
Date
Para.
   
 
27-Apr-43
IV b)
For quite a time it has been possible to dispose a patrol channel with boats from home waters and Western France, between Iceland and Greenland.  The object of this is the interception of the next ONS convoy at present proceeding in the N.    
 
The following boats form the new Group "Star": U 710 - 650 - 533 - 386 - 528 - 231 - 532 - 378 - 381 - 192 - 258 - 552 - 954 - 648 - 209 - 413.  They are to take up position in patrol channels from AD 8731 via AK 3523 to AK 0329 at 0900 on 28.4.    
 
A slower S.W. bound convoy is expected here from 28.4.   
 
   
 
28-Apr-43
IV a)
Convoy No. 33:  
 
U 650 reported a westbound convoy in AD 8739 at 0942 on the morning of the 28th.  According to a later message this consisted of 6 steamers.  It is therefore probably not the ONS 6 convoy itself, but only a section of it.    
 
As the weather was variable during the day, visibility sometimes as much as 2000 meters, no boats with the exception of U 650 were able to approach the convoy.  The boats messages were also very inaccurate and they had overestimated the convoy speed.  The boat was requested to send D/F signals about 2 - 3 hours before darkness.  2 other boats then came up shortly before dusk on the D/F signal, U 386 and 378.  Both reported the enemy's position:  U 378 at 0232 in AD 7941, and U 386 at 0155 in AD 7864.  As these positions are so far apart from one another, the boats were requested to examine the grid given.  However, no other messages have been received since 0300 on the morning of the 29th.    
 
 As there was still no messages at 1000, not even the requested weather report, it must be presumed that interference is preventing the messages from coming through.    
 
There is no information as to the strength of the escort.  U 650 only reported twice that there was a Sunderland aircraft over the convoy.    
 
The operation on the convoy continues.  The entire Group "Star" (15 boats) is engaged.  U 650 - 533 - 386 - 528 - 231 - 532 - 378 - 381 - 192 - 258 - 552 - 954 - 648 - 209 and 413.    
 
   
 
29-Apr-43
IV a)
Convoy No. 33:    
 
The weather conditions showed no improvement on the 29th.  Wind S.S.W. 6, seaway 4, snow squalls and poor visibility were reported owing to W/T interference, boats were unable to communicate with the Command on the night of 28/29 and it was not until midday on the 30th, that messages were again received from the boats.  According to these, the last convoy contact message originated at 1150, in AK 1236 on a course of 240°.  U 650 attempted to attack the convoy in this position, but was picked up by a destroyer using radar before the attack.  The same boat reported having fired a triple miss on a destroyer at 0410.  Contact with the convoy was not reestablished.  U 386 reported difficulty in submerging after depth charge attack, and withdrew for repairs.    
 
U 258 reported having scored 3 hits on 2 ships of 4 and 6,000 GRT in a convoy of at least 30 steamers sailing in loose, wide formation at 0720 according to morning position in AD 7852.  In a later message the boat reported the sinking of a 7,000 GRT ship with 2 finishing shots, probably one of the ships torpedoed earlier.    
 
The operation on the convoy continues.  As there has been no contact since 1200, the boat is to continue the search assuming the enemy's course to be from 205 - 250° and enemy speed to be 4 - 7 knots according to the weather.    
 
   
         
  30-Apr-43 IV a) Convoy No. 33:  
      The weather conditions in the convoy area were also unfavorable on the 30th.  Wind S.W. 7, visibility 4 seamiles high, steep waves running against the boat.    
      U 381 reported the convoy in AD 9853, speed 5 knots, course 220° at 1600 according to hydrophone and depth charges.  It was able to maintain contact until 1700, but then lost it owing to bad visibility.  
      There have been no further reports of the convoy.  
      U 386 and 528 began return passage owing to considerable damage to boats caused by aerial bombs and depth charges. The operation continues.  
         
  1-May-43 IV a)1) Convoy No. 33:  Final Remarks:  
      The continuing bad weather also prevented contact being reestablished on 1st May.  As there was little prospect of picking the convoy up again while weather remained hazy, the boats were ordered to break off the operation at dusk on 1st May.  
      To sum up:  
      The operations against the convoy with 16 boats in all suffered from first to last from very hazy weather and strong S.W. wind, against which the boats had to struggle during their pursuit of the enemy.  Lookout, finding and shadowing of the convoy were much hampered thereby.  In all, only 5 boats contacted the convoy.  After 29th April contact could not be reestablished.  
      The only success was scored by U 258, who probably sank 2 ships and torpedoed a third.  Naval defences were not reported as very strong.  No reports were received about them.  There was some air activity on the first day, but only seaplanes.  During the last night a boat reported continuous air patrol, probably based on Greenland.  The same boat observed what was probably a new type of location gear.  The Commander repeatedly noticed planes approaching at great height and carrying a light like a planet that went on and off.  No location was heard at the time.  
      Two boats had to give up the chase because of enemy counter-measures.  They were bombed and depth-charged and badly damaged.  No boats were lost while attacking the convoy.  
      The whole operation was hampered by heavy atmospherics, so that Operational Control had no definite information on the course of the operation from midnight until noon the next day.  It can therefore be said that this attack failed only because of the bad weather, not because of the enemy's defences.  
         
  2-May-43 IV a)1) Convoy No. 33:  
      U 532 made a later report stating that she had fired a fan of 4 and of 2 at 0514 on 29.4. in AK 7856 and heard two definite detonations.  She was then hunted with depth charges for 15 hours.  Because of loud noises in the submarine itself, she began her homeward journey.  
      U 192 fired a spread of 3 at a freighter of 5-6,000 GRT at 0230 on 1.5. in AJ 3797.  Detonation was heard, but success could not be observed because of enemy defences and high seas.  A double miss from stern tube fired at a 4,000 tonner was probably set too deep.  
         
  3-May-43 IV a)1) Convoy No. 34:  
      At midday on 3rd weather was reported from the convoy area as wind S.W. 9, sea force 7, visibility 2-6 miles.  At nightfall visibility improved to 10 miles.  
      No further reports came in about the convoy, so a reconnaissance line was detailed for 1800 with 29 boats from AJ 5333 via AJ 6348 to AK 4449 ahead of the supposed enemy course.  The reconnaissance line proceeded at 1800 on a course of 2050 over ground speed 4 knots, to meet the convoy, and at 000 was to remain stationary in the position line reached.  
      U 614 had to move away to make repairs because of a cracked cylinder cover.  
      If the convoy is not picked up by the patrol line, it is intended to break off the attack on the convoy, as most of the boats are short of fuel, and it is pointless for them to run about after the convoy.  
         
  3-May-43 IV b)1) Group "Amsel" has been divided into several sub-groups and ordered to proceed to the new patrol strip at economical cruising speed.  
      Following dispositions have been made:  
              Sub-division 1 consisting of U 638, 621, 402, 575 and 504 to man strip from AJ 7933 to AJ 8837.  
              Sub-division 2 consisting of U 634, 223, 266, 377 and 383 to man strip from AJ 9761 to BC 3274.  
              Sub-division 3 consisting of U 709, 569, 525, 468 and 448 to man strip from BC 3765 to BC 6541.  
              Sub-division 4 consisting of U 466, 454, 359, 186 and 403 to man strip from BC 6949 to BC 9646.  
      This new type of disposition should avoid the drawbacks that arise when a patrol remains in one place for a long time so that it is D/F'd, sighted, located etc. by the enemy, who thus finds out its entire extent.  The outer boats have orders to create the impression of a complete patrol searching right around the Newfoundland Banks, but when the enemy uses his D/F or location gear he will find the gaps left by the  
         
  4-May-43 IV a)2) Convoy No. 36:  
      As the search for Convoy No. 35 was unsuccessful, Groups "Specht" and "Star" were instructed to man a patrol strip from AJ 2758 to AK 4944 by 1000 on 5.5 as a new Group "Fink".  
      Order of station:  U 438, 630, 662, 584, 168, 514, 270, 260, 732, 628, 707, 358, 264, 226, 125, 378, 192, 648, 533, 531, 954, 413, 381, 231, 552, 209 and 650.  
      But before this new order could be carried out U 628 sighted at 2020 in AJ 6271, S.W.-bound convoy ("ON 180") that was expected by dead reckoning.  
      During the afternoon several single destroyers with varying courses were reported by the boats, but they suggested rather stationary patrol.  
      At 2040 U 628 reported "ON 180" in AJ 6271 with course 200 and speed 7 knots.  All Group "Fink", Groups "Amsel 1" and "Amsel 2" were ordered to attack the convoy, in addition U 614 and 258 were given a free hand.  In all 41 boats were stalking the convoy, but owing to lack of fuel it had to be assumed that several boats would not be able to operate for long.  
      Shadower reports came in regularly and after a new fix U 628 reported the enemy's position.  During the day 5 more boats contacted the convoy and another 6 during the night.  At 0700 the convoy was reported in AJ 6465.  
      Weather during the night wa reported as S.S.W. 3, sea force 3, visibility good.  
      Operation against the convoy was continued.  4 boats had to give up the pursuit, amongst them, U 270 because of heavy damage from depth charges.  This left 37 boats to hunt the convoy.  During the night the following successes were scored:  
     
       
Assumed
 
Boat
Time
Report
Sunk
Torpedoed
U 125   AJ 6298 Single freighter 4,000 GRT sunk.   
1/4,000
U 264 0320/5 AJ 6514 1 6,000 tonner & 1 5,000 tonner twice torpedoed, 1 4,500 tonner torpedoed.
2/11,000
1/4,500
U 358 0424 - 0428/5 AJ 6517 1 8,000 tonner and 1 6,000 tonner sunk.
2/14,000
 
U 732 0251/5 AJ 6432 1 5-6,000 tonner hit with MZ torpedo.  Presumed sunk.
1/5,000
 
U 264 0659/5 AJ 6465 2 hits on 5,000 GRT ship, sunk.
1/5,000
 
U 707 night/5 AJ following convoy 1 7,500 GRT freighter (passenger) sunk
1/7,500
 
     
        Total:        8/46,500
1/4,500
     
              sunk        
torpedoed.
 
         
  5-May-43 IV a Convoy No. 36:  
      On 5th at midday the weather in the convoy area was reported as southwest 2, visibility 15 miles.  About 2-3 hours before dark visibility decreased to 1-2 miles.  At 0400 on 6th a boat reported thick fog.  
      At 0800 on 5th the convoy was reported in AJ 6485, course 2000.  Contact was reported all day long by several boats.  Towards evening several smaller formations were reported, such as part of a convoy or once 4 destroyers, etc.  It was therefore assumed that after making a leg during the night of 4th-5th May, the convoy had split up and was sailing in several groups.  About 2300 U 650 reported that the convoy definitely consisted of 20 vessels.  She was ordered to send beacon signals until dark.  
      According to reports from 2 boats an extra formation of 4 destroyers appeared to have joined the convoy during the 5th May.  Above all, the spell of hazy weather put the boats at great disadvantage with the convoy's naval escort, as sudden encounters kept cropping up in the fog.  No air patrolling was reported on the 5th.  
      6 submarines reported considerable damage from depth charges, 4 of them had to break off the chase and turn back.  U 125 reported that she had been rammed, was moving away to the east on a course of 900 and requested assistance from other boats.  4 boats were ordered to help her - U 381, 260, 413 and 552.  25 boats are still operating against the convoy.  The others have had to turn back because of lack of fuel or damage from depth charges.  
      The convoy was reported for the last time at 0425 in AJ 8562  
      Successes:  
     
       
Assumed
 
Boat
Time
Report
Sunk
Torpedoed
U 628 0244/5 AJ 6436 1 large freighter sunk, 1 medium sized freighter probably sunk, 1 freighter left burning, 1 hit heard  
3/17,000
  1 hit
      1 corvette sunk
 
      1 vessel that had probably ben previously damaged by U 628 was sunk "Harburg" (5,081)
1/5,081
 
U 584 1634/5 AJ 5965 1 7,000 tonner and 1 5,00 tonner sunk
2/12,000
 
U 266 2150/5 AJ 8395 1 5,000 tonner sunk, 1 5,000 tonner probably sunk, 2 other hits.
2/10,000
  2 hits
     
        Total:        8/44,081
  3 hits
 
      The operation is being continued.  It is intended to break off during 6th May, as the fog is causing more and more dangerous situations and even after the operation boats may be lost in this way.  
         
  6-May-43 IV a)3) Convoy No. 36:  
      The operation against the convoy was broken off at 0600 for the following reasons:  From 0400 in AJ 8562 there was no further contact with the convoy.  The thick fog made it extremely unlikely that the convoy would be found again.  In places visibility was only 200 meters and the danger kept increasing of the boats being surprised by locating destroyers, in fact several boats reported this.  U 125 reported that she had been rammed in the stern by a destroyer, and almost all the boats were depth charged, as the convoy escort were easily able to find the boats by location.  There was no prospect of the weather improving, as the convoy was approaching the Newfoundland Bank.  
      Final remarks on convoy No. 36:  
      The attack on "ON 180" lasted from the evening of the fourth to the morning of the 6th over a distance of 210 miles.  In all, 41 boats were detailed to a track, of these, all the boats belonging to Group "Fink" were in an especially favorable position when contact was established at 2020 on the 4th.  During the first night 8 boats were able to sink 13 ships straight away, probably mainly because of the suddenness of the attack.  Between picking up the convoy and darkness there were only 5 hours, these circumstances are always favorable, as the anti-submarine defences are not usually reinforced for action for about a day.  During the day two more successful underwater attacks were made and 4 vessels sunk.  
      Total successes:  16 ships sunk totaling 90,500 GRT, 1 corvette and 3 ships torpedoed.  
      After the first attack the convoy probably dispersed to a certain extent, as small convoy formations were reported several times during the 5th.  But about 2300 a boat reported the main body of 20 vessels.  The convoys speed of advance was 7 knots, course 2000.  It was obvious during the afternoon of the 5th that the escort  
 
   
 


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