German submarine U-154 (1941)
U-505, a typical Type IXC boat
|Ordered:||25 September 1939|
|Builder:||DeSchiMAG AG Weser, Bremen|
|Laid down:||21 September 1940|
|Launched:||21 April 1941|
|Commissioned:||1 August 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk on 3 July 1944|
|Class and type:||Type IXC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.70 m (15 ft 5 in)|
|Test depth:||230 m (750 ft)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 44 enlisted|
German submarine U-154 was a Type IXC U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II. The keel for this boat was laid down on 21 September 1940 at the DeSchiMAG AG Weser yard in Bremen, Germany as yard number 996. She was launched on 21 April 1941 and commissioned on 2 August under the command of Korvettenkapitän Walther Kölle.
She was sunk by American destroyers in July 1944.
German Type IXC submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXBs. U-154 had a displacement of 1,120 tonnes (1,100 long tons) when at the surface and 1,232 tonnes (1,213 long tons) while submerged. The U-boat had a total length of 76.76 m (251 ft 10 in), a pressure hull length of 58.75 m (192 ft 9 in), a beam of 6.76 m (22 ft 2 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in). The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower (3,240 kW; 4,340 shp) for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 metric horsepower (740 kW; 990 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.92 m (6 ft) propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres (750 ft).
The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph). When submerged, the boat could operate for 63 nautical miles (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 13,450 nautical miles (24,910 km; 15,480 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-154 was fitted with six 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and two at the stern), 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, and a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) as well as a 2 cm (0.79 in) anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of forty-eight.
The boat's first patrol began with her departure from Kiel on 7 February 1942. She headed for the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland via the gap between the Faroe and Shetland Islands. She docked at Lorient in occupied France, on 1 March.
For her second sortie, she sailed to the Caribbean, sinking Como Rico on 4 April 1942, about 225 nmi (417 km; 259 mi) north of St. Juan, in Puerto Rico. Her success continued with the sinking of Catahoula, Delvalle, Empire Amethyst and Vineland, all near Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
3rd, 4th and 5th patrols
Her third patrol saw her cross the Atlantic once more. She sank Tillie Lykes on 28 June 1942, about 100 nmi (190 km; 120 mi) south of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and Lalita, using the deck gun, in the Yucatan Channel on 6 July.
One of the boat's victims on this, her fourth patrol, was Nurmahal. She was sunk on 9 November 1942 300 nmi (560 km; 350 mi) east of Martinique "in less than thirty seconds." Another was Tower Grange, sunk 250 nmi (460 km; 290 mi) off Cayenne in French Guiana.
Having made the short trip from Lorient to Brest, the submarine's fifth foray was her longest (109 days) and second most successful. Amongst many others, she attacked Florida. Although the ship had her back broken on 28 May 1943, she was eventually repaired.
6th, 7th and 8th patrols and loss
She departed on patrol number six on 2 October 1943. U-154 was attacked by an unidentified PBY Catalina flying boat on 3 November; she was also twice attacked on the 22nd. None caused any damage. The boat returned to Lorient on 20 December.
She was then attacked on 13 March 1944, possibly by the US Navy patrol boat PC 469 north of the Panama Canal; only minor damage was sustained. U-154 was also engaged on the 29th of the same month by the Colombian Navy destroyer Caldas. She returned to France, again to Lorient, on 28 April 1944.
U-154 took part in one wolfpack, namely.
- Südwärts (24–26 October 1942)
Oblt.z.S. Oskar-Heinz Kusch, who had commanded the boat in 1943 and the first month of 1944 and successfully attacked three ships, was court-martialled and shot in 1944, having been reported by his first officer, Ulrich Abel, for "Wehrkraftzersetzung" (sedition and defeatism). Ulrich Abel gained his own command U-193 but will killed when it was sunk in April 1944. It was not until the 1990s that Kusch's legal record was wiped clean and a memorial to his memory was erected.
Summary of raiding history
|4 April 1942||Comol Rico||United States||5,034||Sunk|
|5 April 1942||Catahoula||United States||5,030||Sunk|
|12 April 1942||Delvalle||United States||5,032||Sunk|
|13 April 1942||Empire Amethyst||United Kingdom||8,032||Sunk|
|20 April 1942||Vineland||Canada||5,587||Sunk|
|28 June 1942||Tillie Lykes||United States||2,572||Sunk|
|6 July 1942||Lalita||Panama||65||Sunk|
|8 November 1942||D'Entrecasteaux||United Kingdom||7,291||Sunk|
|9 November 1942||Nurmahal||United Kingdom||5,419||Sunk|
|18 November 1942||Tower Grange||United Kingdom||5,226||Sunk|
|28 May 1943||Cardinal Gibbons||United States||7,191||Damaged|
|28 May 1943||Florida||United States||8,580||Damaged|
|28 May 1943||John Worthington||United States||8,166||Total loss|
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