German submarine U-626
|Ordered:||15 August 1940|
|Builder:||Blohm & Voss, Hamburg|
|Laid down:||28 July 1941|
|Launched:||15 April 1942|
|Commissioned:||9 May 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk by USCGC Ingham, 15 December 1942|
|Class and type:||Type VIIC submarine|
|Height:||9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.74 m (15 ft 7 in)|
|Complement:||4 officers, 40–56 enlisted|
|Operations:||1 war patrol|
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-626 had a displacement of 769 tonnes (757 long tons) when at the surface and 871 tonnes (857 long tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 67.10 m (220 ft 2 in), a pressure hull length of 50.50 m (165 ft 8 in), a beam of 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.74 m (15 ft 7 in). The submarine was powered by two Germaniawerft F46 four-stroke, six-cylinder supercharged diesel engines producing a total of 2,800 to 3,200 metric horsepower (2,060 to 2,350 kW; 2,760 to 3,160 shp) for use while surfaced, two Brown, Boveri & Cie GG UB 720/8 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 750 metric horsepower (550 kW; 740 shp) for use while submerged. She had two shafts and two 1.23 m (4 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 17.7 knots (32.8 km/h; 20.4 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph). When submerged, the boat could operate for 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-626 was fitted with five 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes (four fitted at the bow and one at the stern), fourteen torpedoes, one 8.8 cm (3.46 in) SK C/35 naval gun, 220 rounds, and an anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of between forty-four and sixty.
She was assigned to the 5th U-boat Flotilla for basic training, and upon completion was permanently assigned to the 6th U-boat Flotilla. On 8 December 1942, U-626, under the direction of Leutnant zur See (acting sub-lieutenant/ensign) Hans-Botho Bade left Bergen, Norway for her maiden patrol. The USCGC Ingham along with USS Babbitt and USS Leary were in the middle of escort duties near Iceland, while U-626 was on its first patrol. On 15 December the USCGC Ingham scouted ahead of the other escorts in search of a larger convoy. The cutter made sonar contact with a "doubtful" object and dropped one 600 pound depth charge at U-626 sinking the ship and killing the crew of 47. The cutter continued on without incident, without even knowing that it sunk U-626. U-626 was the last U-boat of 1942 to be sunk by an American agency, and it was not known until after the war that Ingham had sunk U-626.
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