Date: 16/10/1943
Squadron Code: 'C'
Serial Number: Liberator Mk.V ?
U-Boat details : U-470 type VIIC- attacked/sunk
:::: Flight - Mission Details ::::....

Base: Reykjavik
Take off time: ?
Op: Convoy Escort


Sunk 16 Oct, 1943 south-west of Iceland, in position 58.20N, 29.20W, by depth charges from two British Liberator aircraft (Sqdn. 59/C & 120/Z). 46 dead and 2 survivors. Earlier in the day U-470 had been attacked by a Liberator from 86 Sqdn.

U-470 was sunk after a protracted battle with three of the aircraft protecting convoys ON-206 and ONS-20, which were transiting south of Iceland. RAAF Pilot Officer W.G. Loney was flying one of the RAF aircraft which shared credit for the sinking, Liberator 59/C. Two survivors from the U-470 crew were later picked up.

Extract from 120 Squadron ORB:

16 October 1943

Liberator III Z/120 - F/L. B E. Peck and crew.

Op: Escort to convoy ON206.

The Liberator was airborne Reykjavik at 0908 hrs of the 16th and set course for the convoy which was met at 1153 hrs. The escort was commenced and at 1215 hrs the aircraft was over a small oil patch. At 1900 hrs the SNO requested the Liberator to carry out a Reptile Patrol and at 1918 hrs a U-boat was sighted in position 5820N-2920W. Depth-charges were seen exploding near the U-boat from an attack made by another aircraft. At 1922 hrs Z/120 attacked the U-boat with 6x250lb depth-charges and machine-gun fire. During this attack Z/120 received return fire from the U-boat. The depth-charges were seen to straddle the U-boat which was seen to be down by the stern. At 1926 hrs Z/120 attacked again, this time with 2x250lb depth-charges which straddled the U-boat which was seen to sink stern first. 15 survivors were seen in the water. Z/120 then set course for the convoy and at 2150 hrs left ON206 and set course for base, landing back at Reykjavik at 0058 hrs of the 17th.

Extract from the 120 Squadron Operations Record Book.


During this action U 470 a type VIIC submarine commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Gunter Grave was sunk.

The destruction of U 470 was officially shared by No.120 Squadron and No.59 Squadron

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Ordered 20 Jan, 1941
Laid down 11 Oct, 1941 Deutsche Werke, Kiel (werk 301)
Launched 8 Aug, 1942
Commissioned 7 Jan, 1943 Oblt. Günther-Paul Grave
7 Jan, 1943 - 16 Oct, 1943 Oblt. Günther-Paul Grave
Career 1 patrol 7 Jan, 1943 - 30 Jun, 1943 5. Flottille (training)
1 Jul, 1943 - 16 Oct, 1943 11. Flottille (front boat)
Successes No ships sunk or damaged



This U-boat belonged to the 11th Flotilla (a spanish word meaning a small group or formation of warships or submarines) The 11th emblem is shown below...

The Polar Bear - 11th Flotilla

This emblem was a fitting one for the 11th Flotilla located in Bergen, Norway. This flotilla fought in the Arctic Sea against the convoys to Russia amongst other things.

image © Guðmundur Helgason 1998-200

:::: Source - & 120 Sqn ORB - Endurance - Alwyn Jay ::::....

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