U-309 6th War Patrol

Translation by Jerry Mason

Days at Sea
7 August 1944
La Pallice
12 August 1944


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Ships Attacked
Note:  The positions in the table above and in the Google Earth patrol summary are derived from the KTB and in many cases do not match those set forth in authoritative references such as Jürgen Rohwer, Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two or the Uboat.net website.  The goal here is to present the picture relative to the U-boat and not the absolute position that the ship was attacked or sank.

                                                                      8   Copies  
                                                                     1st  Copy.  
                                      K  r  i  e  g  s  t  a  g  e  b  u  c  h  
                            "U  309"                                    9. U-Flottille  
                              Kommandant:    Oberleutnant zur See    M  a  r  h  o  l  z  
                              Beginning      :          3. August 1944  
                              Ending          :        12. August 1944  
                        C  o  p  y 
                B. d. U.  for  O. K. M.
                                E  n  c  l  o  s  u  r  e  s  :  
1  Track char of the boat To Copy: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
1  K.T.B. Maschine To Copy: 3
        © U-boat Archive 2014  - all rights reserved  
Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB
- 1 -
    03.08. - 07.08.44 Brest Completion of capacity testing during brief lay time. During bombing attack on the U-boat bunker minor damage on the forecastle.  
    22.55   Cast off Brest.  
    23.50 W 3, Sea 2, cloudy, ground fog, Vis. moderate Taken in convoy.  
      While proceeding under escort aircraft alarm in Brest.  
        No aircraft detection.  
    01.10   Released from convoy at Point B 1.  
    01.16 BF 5221 Dived to proceed submerged.  
    04.00 BF 5213    
    08.00 BF 5213    
    11.15 BF 5215 Search group of 3 destroyers.  Brief listening and depth charge pursuit.  Badly placed depth charges.  No damage.  
    12.00 BF 5215 Day's run:  Surfaced 18 nm, Submerged 22.4 nm = 40.4 nm
    16.00 BF 5241 Sound bearing up to Volume 3.  Partly with Asdic (search group). Was not detected.  
    20.00 BF 5244    
    23.23 BF 5169 Began snorkeling.  
    00.00 BF 5169    
    03.35 BF 5195 Snorkeling ended.  
    04.00 BF 5195    
    08.00 BF 5199    
    12.00 BF 5511 Day's run:  Submerged 55.3 nm  
    16.00 BF 5518    
    20.00 BF 5543    
    23.02 BF 5554 Began snorkeling.  
    00.00 BF 5554    
    02.05   Snorkeling ended.  
        Incoming Radio Message 2300/9/60:  
        Boats going to La Pallice, will be taken at Point Paul 1, boats going to Bordeaux go to Garten.  The following escorts are arranged:  
        1.  On 10 August 04.00 hours Garten for Niemeyer.  
        2.  On 11 August 03.00 hours Paul 1 for Davidson, Mahrholz, Becker, Reiser, Keller.  
        3.  12 August 04.00 hours Garten for Lamby, Wilke.  
        4.  13 August 04.00 hours Paul 1 for U-763, U-853.  
        5.  15 August 04.00 Garten for Paust.  
        Report only if the boat cannot reach the named escort.  
                                                             - F.d.U. West -  
    04.00 BF 5559    
    04.14   Outgoing Radio Message ßß 0412/10/63:  
        Position 48 hours off convoy intake point.  
                                                            - U-309 -  
        The Short Signal was sent by blowing shortly, after previously transmitting over the rod antenna on the bearing direction finder at depth 10 meters, receiver was tuned to the gap.  
    08.00 BF 5592    
    12.00 BF 5596 Day's run:  Submerged 71.2 nm  
Sun and Moon Data 07.08.44
Sun and Moon Data 08.08.44
Sun and Moon Data 09.08.44
Sun and Moon Data 10.08.44
- 2 -
    16.00 BF 6477    
    20.00 BF 6713 Continuous sound bearings from 2 fast vessels (diesel) which came about every three hours and had course 160° or 340°.  
    22.20   Incoming Radio Message 1726/10/970:  
        For boats going to La Pallice that cannot reach Paul 1 on 11 August at 03.00 hours, there will be a new escort 24 hours later.  No report  if escort on 11 August cannot be reached.  
                                                             - F.d.U. West -  
    00.00 BF 6724    
    00.50 BF 6727 Began snorkeling.  
    01.15   In the periscope 2 flickering lights bearing 27°T.  
    03.27 BF 6753 Snorkeling ended due to nearby aircraft bombs.  
    04.00 BF 6753 Sound bearing with saw (apparently 3 destroyers) without Asdic, was overrun.  
    08.00 BF 6756    
    12.00 BF 6765 Day's run:  Submerged 68.2 nm  
    16.00 BF 6769    
    20.00 BF 6847    
    22.44 BF 6848 Began snorkeling.  
    00.00 BF 6849    
    00.17   Snorkeling interrupted.  Overrun by 2 fast running diesels - no Asdic.  
    01.07 BF 6857 Continued snorkeling.  
    01.36   Snorkeling ended.  Again overrun by 2 fast diesels, northerly course.  
    02.23 BF 6858 Surfaced.  In the Fliege only land detections.  Several Aphrodite deployed.  
    02.40   Was shot at by coastal artillery, impacts observed far from the boat, slowly coming closer.  
    02.50 BF 6855 Dived.  
    03.30 BF 6855 Surfaced.  
    03.40   Ahead 2 glaring searchlights scanning the horizon (own course 290°).  
    03.45   Met U-981 (Keller) after Recognition Signal exchange.  Headed to Point P 1 together with Keller.  
    04.15 BF 6853 Mine hit at U-Keller.  
        Sent a radio message because everything has failed on U-Keller.  
        Outgoing ßß 0503/12/09:  
        krkr Keller has hit a mine, not clear to dive, everything failed, request immediate escort, positioned at meeting point.  
                                                             - U-Mahrholz -  
        Escort not met up to now, am at P 1.  
    06.20   At Buoy 10 aircraft type "Halifax".  In the Fliege cricket detection.  In the Wanze high swings.  Lie stopped with Keller, because Keller is still not ready to proceed.  Was overflown by aircraft three times.  In this 3 flares.  Keller is again ready to proceed on one E-motor, at one E-motor LF course 90° shifted to the buoy line.  
    06.24   Bombing attack on U-Keller.  
Sun and Moon Data 10.08.44
Sun and Moon Data 11.08.44
Sun and Moon Data 12.08.44
- 3 -
        Outgoing ßß 0624/12/12:  
        Was attacked by aircraft.                     - U-309 -  
        Incoming Radio Message 0605/12/13:  
        krkr Escort will be at Point P 1 at about 08.00 hours.  Enter slowly along the route.                         - F.d.U. West -  
        At Keller 2 further bomb attacks from the Halifax.  The anti-aircraft fire from both boats lies well at the target.  At Keller a further mine detonation.  Renewed bombing attack at Keller by a two-engined fast aircraft.  U-Keller suddenly goes to GF with the diesels and shears from the route.  On the over deck rubber boats are prepared.  All at Buoy 13.  
    06.43   The sinking of U-Keller is observed.  The crew jump overboard.  I immediately turn towards the sinking location and take the survivors aboard.  While doing this a German aircraft type Ju 88 flies over on a southerly course.  40 men of the crew are rescued. After ending search and rescue action entered on the buoy route on E-motors LF.  
        Incoming Radio Message 0645/12/14:  
        krkr  Proceed within P 1 with rubber boats and free watch on deck.  Forward to Keller.               - F.d.U. West -  
    08.05   Convoy intake by 2 small anti-aircraft boats without ground mine gear.  
    09.20   Convoy intake by a Vorpostenboot.  
    10.30   Made fast in the bunker at La Pallice.  
        On board, 12 August 1944  
        Oberleutnant zur See and Kommandant  
Sun and Moon Data 12.08.44

                        Commentary of the Befehlshabers der Unterseeboote

on the K.T.B. "U 309" (Marholz) from 3.8. - 12.8.1944.
        Transfer of the boat from Brest to La Pallice with strong energentic surveillance.  Intrepid assistance in loss of "Keller" was especially noteworthy.

For the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote

     - The Chief of the Operations Department -  


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