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U 281

U 281
Type VII C
Laid down 7 May 1942 Bremer Vulkan, Vegesacker Werft, Bremen-Vegesack
Commissioned 27 Feb 1943 Oblt. Heinz von Davidson
Commander 02.43 - 05.45 Kptlt. Heinz von Davidson


February 1943 - July 1943 8 U-Flottille (Danzig)
August 1943 - November 1944 7 U-Flottille (St. Nazaire)
November 1944 - May 1945 33 U-Flottille (Flensburg)

Patrol 1   14 September 1943. Left Kiel and arrived at Hatvik on 17 September 1943.

Patrol 2  20 September 1943. Left Hatvik and arrived at Bergen on 20 September 1943.

Patrol 3  6 October 1943. Left Bergen for operations in the North Atlantic. U 281 was engaged in a harrowing series of actions agains convoy escorts in the North Atlantic. She reached her new base at St Nazaire on 26 November 1943.

Patrol 4  5 January 1944. Left for operations in the North Atlantic. U 281 joined Rügen group west of the British Isles, with boats disposed singly over a large area. After a long series of convoy chasing patrols, U 281 returned to St Nazaire on 5 March 1944.

Patrol 5 6 June 1944. U 281 was one of nineteen non-schnorkel boats which sailed into the Bay of Biscay as part of Landwirt group. They were to lay on the bottom at 200 metres depth between Brest and Bordeaux, keeping out of port in case an Allied invasion force arrived and trapped them there. The boats 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 281 returned to St Nazaire on 15 June 1944.

Patrol 6  9 August 1944. Left St Nazaire and arrived at La Pallice on 14 August 1944.

Patrol 7  4 September 1944. Now schnorkel-equipped, U 281 left for operations in British coastal waters. U 281 went to an area off the Bristol Channel. Later in the month she moved up to the North Channel and from the beginning of October she was north of the Minch. Suffering from defective hydrophones, the boat had no success and at the end of her patrol U 281 was ordered to Norway. She reached Kristiansand on 29 October 1944.

Patrol 8  2 November 1944. Left Kristiansand and arrived at Flensburg on 5 November 1944.

U 281 went to 33 U-Flottille and although still operational she carried out no more patrols. She surrendered at Kristiansand in early May 1945 and on the 29th sailed from there to Loch Ryan, Scotland under the command of her 1 Watch Officer. She was one of 116 boats disposed of by the Royal Navy in Operation Deadlight. In November U 281 was towed from Loch Ryan out through the North Channel by the Polish destroyer Blyskawica She sank under tow on 30 November 1945 north west of Malin Head.