German submarine U-804

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Nazi Germany
Ordered7 December 1940
BuilderDeutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG Seebeckwerft, Bremerhaven
Yard number362
Laid down1 December 1942
Launched1 April 1943
Commissioned4 December 1943
FateSunk on 9 April 1945 in the Skagerrak west of Gothenburg, Sweden by rockets from RAF Mosquito aircraft (Sqdn 143 & 235). 55 dead (all hands lost).[1]
General characteristics
Class and typeType IXC/40 submarine
  • 1,144 t (1,126 long tons) surfaced
  • 1,257 t (1,237 long tons) submerged
  • 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in) o/a
  • 4.44 m (14 ft 7 in) pressure hull
Height9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught4.67 m (15 ft 4 in)
Installed power
  • 4,400 PS (3,200 kW; 4,300 bhp) (diesels)
  • 1,000 PS (740 kW; 990 shp) (electric)
  • 18.3 knots (33.9 km/h; 21.1 mph) surfaced
  • 7.3 knots (13.5 km/h; 8.4 mph) submerged
  • 13,850 nmi (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 63 nmi (117 km; 72 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged
Test depth230 m (750 ft)
Complement4 officers, 44 enlisted
Service record
Part of:
  • 2 patrols:
  • 1st patrol:
  • a. 19 June - 12 October 1944
  • b. 17 October 1944
  • 2nd patrol:
  • 4 – 9 April 1945
Victories: 1 warship sunk
(1,300 tons)

German submarine U-804 was a Type IXC/40 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. U-804 was ordered on 7 December 1940, and was laid down on 1 December 1942 at Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG Seebeckwerft, Bremerhaven as yard number 362. She was launched on 1 April 1943 and commissioned under the command of Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve Herbert Meyer (Crew III/37) on 4 December of that year.[1]


German Type IXC/40 submarines were slightly larger than the original Type IXCs. U-804 had a displacement of 1,144 tonnes (1,126 long tons) when at the surface and 1,257 tonnes (1,237 long tons) while submerged.[2] 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 6.86 m (22 ft 6 in), a height of 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in), and a draught of 4.67 m (15 ft 4 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 shaft horsepower (1,010 PS; 750 kW) 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).[2]

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).[2] 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 13,850 nautical miles (25,650 km; 15,940 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). U-804 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) Flak M42 as well as two twin 2 cm (0.79 in) C/30 anti-aircraft guns. The boat had a complement of forty-eight.[2]

Service history[edit]


U-804 began training exercises with the 4th U-boat Flotilla on 4 December 1943, and finished her sea trials on 30 June 1944. On 16 June 1944, U-804 was attacked by a Norwegian Mosquito aircraft from No. 333 Squadron RAF, but succeeded in shooting down its attacker at the cost of eight crew members wounded; only minor damage was inflicted on the submarine. The two-man crew of the Mosquito was picked up by U-1000 on 18 June, and taken to occupied Norway.[1]

First patrol[edit]

U-804 began her first war patrol on 19 June 1944 (while still undergoing training) with the 10th U-boat Flotilla. She left Bergen and headed into the North Sea, passing north of the British Isles into the North Atlantic, where she remained for 116 days. On 2 August, during a special hunt for several submarines known to be transmitting weather information from stations in the central and north Atlantic (of which effort U-804 was a part), two American destroyer escorts, USS Fiske and USS Douglas L. Howard, were detached from the task group to investigate the whereabouts of U-804, which both had made contact with. Upon sighting the destroyers, the U-boat quickly dived, but the two escorts detected her on their sonar and began their attack approach. Suddenly, USS Fiske was torpedoed on her starboard side by U-804, and within 10 minutes, she broke in two. Thirty-three of her men were killed and 50 were wounded, but all the survivors were rescued by USS Farquhar. Amidst the confusion following the sinking of USS Fiske, U-804 slipped away and returned to her patrol.[3][4]

Second patrol & loss[edit]

On 12 October 1944, U-804 returned to the port of Flensburg after 116 days at sea. Five days later she left Flensburg for Kiel, where she remained until 4 April 1945 before leaving for occupied Norway. While en route in company with another of the flotilla's boats, U-1065, the two submarines were detected and attacked in the Skagerrak strait on 9 April 1945 by over 30 Mosquito aircraft from three Royal Air Force squadrons based at Banff. U-1065 succeeded in shooting down one of the attacking aircraft before being hit by several rockets fired by 10 Mosquitos from 143 and 235 Squadrons; she exploded and sank with the loss of her crew of 45 men.

U-804 suffered the same fate - after being hit by rockets from the attacking Mosquitos she also exploded and sank at 57°58′N 11°15′E / 57.967°N 11.250°E / 57.967; 11.250Coordinates: 57°58′N 11°15′E / 57.967°N 11.250°E / 57.967; 11.250, with no survivors from her crew of 55 men.[1][3][5]

Summary of raiding history[edit]

Date Ship Name Nationality Tonnage[Note 1] Fate[6]
2 August 1944 USS Fiske  United States Navy 1,300 Sunk



  1. ^ Merchant ship tonnages are in gross register tons. Military vessels are listed by tons displacement.


  1. ^ a b c d Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type IXC/40 boat U-804". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 3 March 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Gröner 1991, p. 68.
  3. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "Patrol info for U-804 (first patrol)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  4. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "USS Fiske (DE 143)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  5. ^ Busch & Röll 1999, p. 336.
  6. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-804". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 12 February 2014.


  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II: a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). Vol. 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. Vol. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.

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