U 549

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U 549
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Type : IX C / 40
Shipyard: German shipyard , Hamburg
Keel laying: September 28, 1942
Launch: April 28, 1943
Commissioning: July 14, 1943

July 14, 1943 - May 29, 1944
Kptlt. Detlev Krankenhagen

Calls: 2 activities

1 warship (9393 GRT )

Whereabouts: Sunk by US destroyers southwest of Madeira on May 29, 1944

U 549 was a submarine of the German Navy during World War II .


The type IX C / 40 boat was built in 1942 by Deutsche Werft AG in Hamburg- Finkenwerder with the shipyard number 370. In the course of its entire service life, it was commanded by Lieutenant Detlev Krankenhagen.

U 549 was assigned to the 4th U-Flotilla for training from July to December 1943 . From January 1944, the submarine was part of the 10th U-Flotilla .

The boat only completed two trips. In the spring of 1944 it patrolled the North Atlantic and the sea area off Ireland . In the summer of the same year it operated in the Central Atlantic, southwest of Madeira .

First venture

U 549 left Kiel on January 11, 1944 and entered Lorient ( France ) on March 26, 1944 . No ships were sunk or damaged on this 76 day voyage. U 549 was involved in the following submarine groups during its mission :

  • Hedgehog 1 (February 3, 1944 - February 17, 1944)
  • Hai 1 (February 17, 1944 - February 22, 1944)
  • Prussia (February 22, 1944 - March 22, 1944)

Second venture

U 549 left Lorient on May 14, 1944. On this 16-day voyage, the submarine sank the US escort aircraft carrier USS Block Island ( location ) and severely damaged the US destroyer Barr .

The USS Block Island was the only United States escort aircraft carrier to be sunk in the Atlantic.


On May 28, 1944, U 549 survived air raids by the US escort carrier Block Island without damage. On the morning of May 29th, it was discovered by one of the porter's Avengers and escaped this attack. While the destroyer escorts Barr , Eugene E. Elmore , Ahrens and Robert I. Paine tried in vain to locate the submarine, despite the threat from the air, on the evening of May 29, 1944, the submarine was able to break through the carrier's escort and shot closer Track down three torpedoes on the carrier. The torpedoes hit Block Island and caused serious leaks. The ship later had to be abandoned after unsuccessful attempts to seal it.

The destroyer Eugen E. Elmore now sighted the periscope of the submerged submarine. However, an attack by the destroyer with depth charges was unsuccessful. Instead, U 549 was able to shoot an acoustically controlled wren torpedo at the destroyer Barr , which destroyed its stern. Despite the severe damage, the Barr did not sink . Another wren missed the Eugen E. Elmore .

The destroyer Ahrens , who was busy rescuing the carrier's crew, had sonar contact shortly afterwards . Henry Mullins, commander of the escort on the Ahrens , gave the order to Eugen E. Elmore to attack again. This immediately got in contact with the submarine. After the third attack with Hedgehog shells, the destroyer's crew heard an unusually powerful underwater detonation . All 57 crew members who were on board U 549 at the time of the sinking were killed ( location ).


  • Paul Kemp: The German and Austrian submarine losses in both world wars. Urbes Verlag, Graefelfing vor München 1998, ISBN 3-924896-43-7 , p. 202.
  • Rainer Busch, Hans-Joachim Röll: The submarine war 1939-1945. Volume 4: German submarine losses from September 1939 to May 1945. ES Mittler und Sohn, Hamburg et al. 1999, ISBN 3-8132-0514-2 .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b Rainer Busch, Hans-Joachim Röll: The U-Boat War 1939-1945. Volume 2: U-boat construction in German shipyards. ES Mittler und Sohn, Hamburg et al. 1997, ISBN 3-8132-0512-6 , p. 499.
  2. Rainer Busch, Hans-Joachim Röll: The U-Boat War 1939-1945. Volume 3: German submarine successes from September 1939 to May 1945. ES Mittler und Sohn, Hamburg et al. 2001, ISBN 3-8132-0513-4 , p. 232.
  3. U-549 attack on aircraft carrier Block Island , La Palma y El Mar, naufragios.