German submarine U-654
|Ordered:||9 October 1939|
|Laid down:||1 June 1940|
|Launched:||3 May 1941|
|Commissioned:||5 July 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk 22 August 1942 in the Caribbean Sea in position Coordinates: , by depth charges from a USAAF Douglas Digby aircraft.|
|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|
|Identification codes:||M 46 564|
German submarine U-654 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 1 June 1940 by Howaldtswerke, Hamburg as yard number 803, launched on 3 May 1941 and commissioned on 5 July 1941 under Korvettenkapitän Hans-Joachim Hesse.
German Type VIIC submarines were preceded by the shorter Type VIIB submarines. U-654 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 Siemens-Schuckert GU 343/38-8 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-654 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.
The boat's career began with training at 5th U-boat Flotilla on 5 July 1941, followed by active service on 1 November 1941 as part of the 1st Flotilla for the remainder of her service. In four patrols she sank three merchant ships, for a total of 17,755 gross register tons (GRT) and one warship.
U-654 took part in one wolfpack, namely
- Ziethen (6 – 22 January 1942)
U-654 was sunk on 22 August 1942 in the Caribbean in position , by the depth charges from a United States Army Air Forces Douglas B-18 Bolo aircraft. All hands were lost. This was the first German U-Boat sunk by American aircraft.
Summary of raiding history
|9 February 1942||FFL Alysse||Free French Naval Forces||900||Sunk|
|10 April 1942||Empire Prairie||United Kingdom||7,010||Sunk|
|20 April 1942||Steel Maker||United States||6,176||Sunk|
|20 April 1942||Agra||Sweden||4,569||Sunk|
- 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.
- Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.
- Sharpe, Peter (1998). U-Boat Fact File. Great Britain: Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-072-9.