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ILikePortillos
10-13-2005, 02:12 PM
We left the port of Lorient on the 29th of October 1941. The weather was nice, but we knew from experience that was unlikely to hold.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y282/ILikePortillos/Friedrich%20Weiss/U-105FromLighthouse10-29-1941.jpg

We sailed for days without as much a chirp on the radio to remind us we hadn't sailed off the edge of the map. We were sailing to patrol sector DT-79, which lay along a shipping line that connects Natal in South America, with the Mediterranean.

The third radio intercept we received (the first two were British freighters off the Portuguese coast) was from U-552 to DKM Headquarters in St. Nazaire. Apparently they had just sunk an American Destroyer. Tensions with the Americans ran high. Many felt they should feel the full wrath of the Kriegsmarine for their obvious support of the British. Others felt it was a mistake to wake a sleeping giant.

The rest of the trip to the patrol sector was largely uneventful. Upon leaving on our homeward journey, we picked up a radio signal from a British ship, but it wasn't successfully intercepted. We ran submerged for a couple hours on two occasions to listen for contacts, but still we heard nothing, except for a message explaining that a port was now open for operations in Greece.

As usual, we found the waters of the Portuguese coast to be the busiest. On the morning of the 11th of November, we stumbled across the SS Charles Pete (Grid CG 46), a small merchant, and fired a salvo of torpedoes at it. This was the first salvo we had attempted under my command. . .and it had missed the mark. The ship then took evasive action, and we surfaced to engage it with our deck gun. It sank at 10:55. We saw two full lifeboats in the water, and picked up 16 other survivors clinging to debris. We left provisions with the lifeboats and kept the 16 prisoners under watch in the rear quarters.

In the early morning of the 12th, we came across the SS Francis Leonard (Grid BE 99), a C3 cargo ship, and fired another salvo of torpedoes at it with similar results as the last engagement. Being night, we surfaced, fired a lone torpedo, struck the ship and opened fire with our deck gun. The return fire was largely inaccurate, and we destroyed the ship in little time.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y282/ILikePortillos/Friedrich%20Weiss/SSFrancisLeonardFireBurning11-12-19.jpg
View from lifeboat of SS Francis Leonard

The next day we came across the SS Glinis Knightsbridge (Grid BE 99), another C3 cargo ship, and this time fired two lone torpedoes aft. Both torpedoes struck, and we surfaced to finish the ship off with our deck gun.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y282/ILikePortillos/Friedrich%20Weiss/SSCharlesPete11-12-1941.jpg
SS Glinis Knightsbridge sailing along

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y282/ILikePortillos/Friedrich%20Weiss/SSGlinisKnightsbridge11-12-1941.jpg
SS Glinis Knightsbridge sinking

On the way home we came across 3 more small merchants, but were out of deck gun shells, and hadn't reloaded our torpedoes from our external supply.

We returned home on the 14th of November. There were many medals to give to the crew, and we had one of our officers certified as a machinist.

The think that stuck out most about the patrol to me is that it all took place in calm weather! Never before had I been on such a long patrol under such pleasant conditions! Now, for a few mugs of beer to celebrate Oktoberfest!

joepie95
10-14-2005, 06:14 PM
I just experienced 12 days of calm weather (april 1941) myself, sailing to the same area as you (patrol grid DH86). It turned bad the 13th day.
Nice story and pics http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif