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U 262

After a very long and eventful career as an Atlantic boat, U 262 ended her career with a Bristol Channel patrol as part of the 1944 inshore campaign. Somewhat unusually, she evaded Allied ASW patrols and ended her days in a German scrapyard.
U 262
Type VII C
Laid down 29 May 1941 Bremer Vulkan, Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack
Commissioned 15 April 1942 Kptlt. GŁnther Schiebusch
Commanders 04.42 - 10.42
10.42 - 01.44
01.44 - 11.44
11.44 - 04.45
Kptlt. GŁnther Schiebusch
Kptlt. Heinz Franke (Knights Cross)
Oblt. Helmut Wieduwilt
Kptlt. Karl-Heinz Laudahn

Career

April 1942 - September 1942 5 U-Flottille (Kiel) training
October 1942 - November 1944 3 U-Flottille (La Pallice) front boat
November 1944 - April 1945 33 U-Flottille (Flensburg)

Patrol 1   8 September 1942. Left Kiel and arrived at Bergen on 12 September 1942.

Patrol 2  24 September 1942. Left Bergen for operations in the North Atlantic. On the 26th U 262 was attacked and damaged by two Hudsons of 48 Squadron near the Faroes. She returned to Bergen on 28 September 1942.

Patrol 3  3 October 1942. Left Bergen for Northern Waters. Arrived at Narvik on 9 October 1942.

Patrol 4  5 November 1942. Left Narvik for operations in the North Atlantic. Outward-bound, U 262 was directed to ONS 144, which passed through the centre of the Kreuzotter patrol line on the 15th, 600 miles west of Ireland. In the morning of the 18th U 262 torpedoed and sank the Norwegian corvette Montbretia SSE of Cape Farewell.  On the 26th U 262 sank an independent, the SS Ocean Crusader (Br. 7178t), east of Newfoundland. The group sighted no convoys. U 262 put in to her new base at La Pallice on 9 December 1942.

Patrol 5  16 January 1943. Left La Pallice for the North Atlantic.  U 262 sank the SS Zagloba (Po. 2864t) on February 6. The boat was located soon afterwards and damaged in depth-charge attacks by the destroyers HMS Beverley and Vimy. She was further damaged in an attack by the French corvette Lobelia. On or about the 7th U 262 was refuelled for return to base by another boat, possibly U 465. She returned to La Pallice on 15 February 1943.

Patrol 6  27 March 1943. Left La Pallice for Canadian waters.   Outward-bound on 15 April, U 262 sighted eastbound convoy HX 233 400 miles north of the Azores. Seven other outward-bound boats were ordered to intercept. U 262 was attacked and driven off in the morning of the 16th and continued on her way.  She returned to La Pallice on 25 May 1943.

Patrol 7  24 July 1943. Left La Pallice for the Central Atlantic. On 28 July, U 262 and U 760 were found by two MAD-equipped Catalinas 150 miles north west of Cape Finisterre. The Magnetic Airborne Detector (MAD) used the magnetic field of the steel hull of the U-boat as a means of detection. The aircraft, based at Pembroke Dock, circled and awaited reinforcements. The boats dived and escaped. On 8 August, west of the Azores, U 262 and U 664 were spotted on the surface by a Wildcat/Avenger team from the escort-carrier USS Card. The fighter made a strafing attack on the nearer boat and the Avenger followed it in. The Avenger was heavily damaged by flak and the radioman was killed.but managed to drop his depth-charges close to the boat before ditching. Meanwhile, the Wildcat turned and made another strafing run and was shot down into the sea. The pilot was never found. Still trying for USS Card, U 262 made an unsuccessful attack on the 9th on the destroyer USS Borie, of Card’s escort. U 262 returned to La Pallice on 2 September 1943.

Patrol 8  14 October 1943. Left La Pallice, one of eight boats making up a mobile force, Schill group. The plan was to make a one-night attack on an MKS or KMS convoy off the north-west coast of Spain. She returned to La Pallice on 7 December 1943.

Patrol 9  3 February 1944. Left for operations in the North Atlantic. U 262 had no success and returned to La Pallice on 29 April 1944.

Patrol 10  6 June 1944. U 262 was one of nineteen non-schnorkel boats which sailed into the Bay of Biscay as part of Landwirt group. They were to lay in a double line at 200 metres depth between Brest and Bordeaux, keeping out of port in case an Allied invasion force arrived and trapped them there. They later moved closer in to 100 metres depth for a more rapid response to any invasion. The waiting boats were under constant attack from the air when they surfaced at night. When no invasion had come by the 12th the boats were recalled to port and placed on six hours notice. U 262 returned to La Pallice on 15 June 1944. On 18 June, whilst U 262 was docked, three of her crew were killed and another wounded in an air raid on La Pallice.

Patrol 11  23 August 1944. Left La Pallice for British coastal waters. Now schnorkel equipped, U 262 operated in the Bristol and St George’s Channels as part of the diversion plan to attract Allied anti-submarine forces from harrying the evacuation of the Biscay bases. However she patrolled without success. U-boat command suggested that her commander did not make an effort to come into contact with known convoy routes. From the end of September, she carried out weather-reporting duties in the Atlantic until mid-October. U 262 put in to Flensburg on 5 November 1944.

The boat was later moved to Gotenhafen. In December 1944 U 262 was damaged in an attack on the port and rendered unfit for operations. She was decommissioned at Kiel on 2 April 1945 and surrendered there in May 1945. U 262 was scrapped in 1947.

 

 

The View for Sunday 4 December 2000

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