Date: 03/03/1943
Squadron Code: 'C'
Serial Number: Fortress IIA FL462
U-Boat details : U-441 type VIIC - attacked/minor damages/survived
:::: Flight - Mission Details ::::....

Base: Chivenor
Time Up: 07.57 - Time Down: 18.20 - Duration: 10hrs 23mins
Op: A/S patrol

Form 540
03 Mar’43 Chivenor 07.57-18.20 hrs F/O H.D. Kelvin and crew detailed for A/S patrol. When in position 46deg 55’ N., 19deg 05’ W., a fully surfaced U/boat was sighted and attacked with five D.C.s., which were seen to explode ahead of U/boat and dead on its track. U/boat lost all way and sank slowly stern first. CHI/08/3/3 AIR 27/555 p193

Form 541
Fortress Mark IIA C/FL462 03 Mar’43

Crew – Capt F/O H.D. Kelvin, Nav F/O G.W. Green, Sgt King J., P/O A. McEwen, P/O E.J. Manuel, Sgt Yale A.H., Sgt Williams H.

Duty – A/S Patrol Time Up 07.57 Down 18.20

Details: Patrol carried out at 2,000 ft., reaching 47deg 50’ N., 14 deg W. At 12.10 hrs, in position 45deg 55’ N., 19deg 05’ W., sighted and attacked U/boat. ‘C’ was flying at 2,000 ft. on track 270 degrees with 7/10 – 8/10 Cu cloud at 2,500 ft., visibility 1-3 miles, with sea rough, when look-out in nose sighted U/boat on surface 1 1⁄2 miles distant, 1 point on starboard bow on course 273 degrees T, speed 6-8 knots. Aircraft lost height immediately and attacked from 200 ft. while U/boat was still on surface. Attack was delivered up track 10 degrees from port to starboard . 5 D.C.s were dropped. As aircraft passed over, tail gunner fired about 40 rounds at conning tower and decks. D.C.s were seen to explode ahead of U/boat and dead on its track. During tight turn, tail and mid-upper gunners saw U/boat emerge from explosion plume. Mid-upper gunner opened fire at U/boat, several hits being observed. U/boat lost all way and a further attack was attempted, but aircraft was turning too steeply when it next passed over target. U/boat very slowly sunk below surface stern first, the last view of it being of the bows only showing above water. Load: 7 x 250 lb. Torpex D.C.s. S.E. used for 10 seconds every 5 minutes. CHI/08/3/3. PL/G9/3/3.
AIR 27/555 p200

:::: More U-boat Details ::::....

U-441 (first U-Boat to receive extra AA fire for fighting on surface - April 1943)


Ordered 5 Jan, 1940
Laid down 15 Oct, 1940 F. Schichau, Danzig (werk 1492)
Launched 13 Dec, 1941
Commissioned 21 Feb, 1942 Kptlt. Klaus Hartmann
21 Feb, 1942 - 15 May, 1943 Kptlt. Klaus Hartmann
16 May, 1943 - 5 Aug, 1943 Kptlt. Götz von Hartmann
6 Aug, 1943 - 8 Jun, 1944 Kptlt. Klaus Hartmann
Career 11 patrols 21 Feb, 1942 - 30 Sep, 1942 5. Flottille (training)
1 Oct, 1942 - 1 May, 1943 1. Flottille (front boat)
1 May, 1943 - 1 Nov, 1943 1. Flottille (front boat)
1 Nov, 1943 - 8 Jun, 1944 1. Flottille (front boat)
Successes 1 ship sunk for a total of 7.051 GRT

Sunk on 8 June, 1944 in the English Channel in approximate position 48.27N, 05.47W by depth charges from a British Liberator aircraft (Sqdn 224/G). 51 dead (all hands lost).

See the 1 ships hit by U-441 - View the 11 war patrols

Previously recorded fate (Last revised by FDS/NHB during August 1996). More on revised fates

The attack by a Polish Wellington aircraft (RAF 304/A) on 18 June, 1944 in position 49.03N, 04.48W was very probably against a nonsub target.
Wolfpack operations

U-441 operated with the following Wolfpacks during its career:
Panther (10 Oct, 1942 - 14 Oct, 1942)
Puma (16 Oct, 1942 - 30 Oct, 1942)
Falke (31 Dec, 1942 - 22 Jan, 1943)
Dranger (14 Mar, 1943 - 20 Mar, 1943)
Neuland (16 Mar, 1943 - 12 Mar, 1943)
Seewolf (25 Mar, 1943 - 30 Mar, 1943)

Attacks on this boat

20 Mar, 1943
The boat was attacked by a Sunderland aircraft west of Ireland and slightly damaged.

24 May, 1943
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down: British Sunderland EJ139 (228 Sqdn RAF/L, pilot F/O H.J. Debnam)

At 20.50 hours, the Flak boat was attacked by the Sunderland in the Bay of Biscay. The aircraft was hit heavily during the attack run, but managed to drop 5 depth charges before it crashed, killing all 11 crewmen. The explosions extensively damaged U-441 and a crewman had been wounded by strafing, so the boat had to return to base.This was the first success of the Flak boats.
(Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

12 Jul, 1943
The Flak boat was strafed by three British Beaufighter aircraft (248 Squadron RAF) in the Bay of Biscay. 10 men were killed and 13 more wounded, including all of the naval officers. Hartmann was wounded, so the doctor Paul Pfaffinger took over the command, recovered the wounded and brought the boat safely back to Brest. He recieved the Deutsche Kreuz in Gold for this feat.This action let to the abandonment of the Flak boats and all were reverted to their orginal configuration. (Sources: Franks/Zimmerman)

2 Mar, 1944
An unknown Allied aircraft attacked the boat and severely damaged her. The boat had to abort to France - reaching port on March 14. (Sources: Blair, vol 2, page 502)

7 Jun, 1944
Aircraft attack, aircraft shot down:Canadian Wellington (Sqdn 407/C)

Could also have been U-413, U-629 or U-740.

5 recorded attacks on this boat.

:::: Source - & 59 Sqn ORB ::::....

During WWII, the RAF used three-letter codes to identify their aircraft from a distance. Two large letters were painted before the roundel, which signified the squadron to which the aircraft belonged, and another letter was painted after the roundel which indicated the individual aircraft. Aditionally, there was the individual serial number for each aircraft, which was painted in a much smaller size, usually somewhere at the rear of the aircraft: (more)

Codes used by RAF 59 Squadron:

PJ Sep 1938 - Sep 1939
TR Sep 1939 - Oct 1942
1 Aug 1943 - Jul 1944
WE Jul 1944 - Oct 1945
BY Oct 1945 - Jun 1946, Dec 1947 - Oct 1950