German submarine U-508
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Ordered:||20 October 1939|
|Builder:||Deutsche Werft, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||24 September 1940|
|Launched:||30 July 1941|
|Commissioned:||20 January 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk, November 1943 in the Bay of Biscay by a US aircraft|
|Type:||Type IXC submarine|
|Displacement:||1,120 t (1,100 long tons) surfaced
1,232 t (1,213 long tons) submerged
|Length:||76.8 m (252 ft 0 in) overall
58.7 m (192 ft 7 in) pressure hull
|Beam:||6.8 m (22 ft 4 in) overall
4.4 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
|Height:||9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)|
|Draft:||4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × MAN M9V40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,000 hp (2,983 kW)
2 × SSW GU345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 hp (746 kW)
|Speed:||18.2 knots (33.7 km/h) surfaced
7.3 knots (13.5 km/h) submerged
|Range:||24,880 nmi (46,080 km; 28,630 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h) surfaced
117 nautical miles (217 km; 135 mi) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) submerged
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)|
|Complement:||48 to 56|
|Armament:||6 × torpedo tubes (four bow, two stern)
22 × 55 cm (22 in) torpedoes
1 × 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun (110 rounds)
|Part of:||4th U-boat Flotilla
(20 October 1941–30 June 1942)
10th U-boat Flotilla
(1 July 1942–12 November 1943)
|Commanders:||Oblt.z.S. Georg Staats
(20 October 1941–12 November 1943)
25 July–15 September 1942
17 October 1942–6 January 1943
22 February–15 March 1943
29–31 May 1943
7 June–14 September 1943
9–12 November 1943
|Victories:||14 ships sunk, total (74,087 GRT)|
She was laid down at the Deutsche Werft yard in Hamburg as yard number 304 on 24 September 1940, launched on 30 July 1941 and commissioned on 20 October with Oberleutnant zur See Georg Staats in command.
She carried out six patrols and sank 14 ships. She was sunk by an American aircraft in November 1943.
The boat departed Kiel on 30 July 1942, moved through the North Sea and negotiated the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. She sailed close to the west coast of Ireland in a southerly direction, then turned southwest toward Cuba.
She entered Lorient, on the French Atlantic coast, (which was to be her base for most of the rest of her career), on 15 September 1942.
U-508's second foray took her to the waters off South America. The pickings were rich. This sortie, while not the boat's longest, was her most successful. Some, but not all of her victims are shown below:
She sank the City of Corinth north of Trinidad on 17 November 1942.
Ten days later, she sank the Clan Mcfayden 95 nautical miles (176 km; 109 mi) east of Galeota Point, Trinidad.
She went on to sink the Solon II on 3 December northeast of Georgetown, British Guiana. The ship went down in twenty seconds.
The Nigerian, which was sunk on 9 December, had amongst her passengers, four British army officers. They were taken prisoner and landed at Lorient on the submarine's return.
3rd, 4th and 5th patrols
Her fourth sortie was relatively uneventful and short, lasting just three days.
Patrol number five, at 100 days the longest, saw the U-boat steam as far as the west African coast. In the Gulf of Guinea, she sank the Manchester Citizen on 9 July 1943. She then sank the Incomati on the 18th, 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi) south of Lagos in Nigeria. She returned to Lorient on 14 September.
6th patrol and loss
Having moved from Lorient to St. Nazaire, U-508 departed for her sixth and what turned out to be her final patrol on 9 November. On the 12th, while still on the outward leg, she was sunk by an American Liberator in the Bay of Biscay.
Summary of raiding history
|12 August 1942||Manzanillo||Cuba||1,025||Sunk|
|12 August 1942||Santiago de Cuba||Cuba||1,685||Sunk|
|7 November 1942||Lindenhall||United Kingdom||5,248||Sunk|
|7 November 1942||Nathaniel Hawthorn||United States||7,176||Sunk|
|17 November 1942||City of Corinth||United Kingdom||5,318||Sunk|
|27 November 1942||Clan Mcfadyen||United Kingdom||6,191||Sunk|
|28 November 1942||Empire Cromwell||United Kingdom||5,970||Sunk|
|1 December 1942||Trevalgan||United Kingdom||5,299||Sunk|
|2 December 1942||City of Bath||United Kingdom||5,079||Sunk|
|3 December 1942||Solon II||United Kingdom||4,561||Sunk|
|9 December 1942||Nigerian||United Kingdom||5,423||Sunk|
|9 July 1943||De La Salle||United Kingdom||8,400||Sunk|
|9 July 1943||Manchester Citizen||United Kingdom||5,343||Sunk|
|18 July 1943||Incomati||United Kingdom||7,369||Sunk|
- Kemp, Paul: U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars, 1997, Arms & Armour, ISBN 1-85409-515-3, p. 157
- Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 pp.248 and 249
- The Times Atlas of the World - Third edition, revised 1995, ISBN 0 7230 0809 4, p. 70
- Kemp, p. 157.
- Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). "Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945". Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German) IV (Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler). ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.
- Uboat.net: U-508