“Jochen” Mohr at sea, Photo source: U-Boat Museum, Cuxhaven, from U-Boot-Krieg in der Karibik, by Gaylord Kelshall, translated by Hans Steffen
On 22 March Johann “Jochen” Mohr in U-124 dipped a figurative toe into the region from the Carolinas to the coast off Georgia, USA for one day only, making it the shortest visit of any submarine during the war. He was patrolling on a highly successful tour which amounted to seven ships sunk for 42,048 tons and three damaged for 26,167. His victims included the British Resource, Ceiba, Acme, Kassandra Louloudis, E. M. Clark, Papoose, W. E. Hutton, all sunk, and damage to the Esso Nashville, Atlantic Sun (11,355 tons damaged) and Naeco, which he sank the day following leaving the Bahamas area.
This patrol began on the 21st of February 1942 in Lorient and ended in the same port. Mohr returned to base on the 10th of April and so was on the outward extent of the voyage on 22 March. Aged 25 at the time, he was awarded the Knights Cross during the patrol, less than a week later, on 27 March. Eight or so months later the Oak Leaves would be added. His career total included 27 ships sunk for 129,976 GRT, two warships sunk for 5,775 tons and the three aforementioned ships damaged on this patrol. The Atlantic Sun was ultimately sunk by U-607 in the central North Atlantic on the 15th of February 1943 – nearly a full year later (Wynn, Vol. 1, p.101).
At the time Mohr was Kapitänleutnant sailing out of Lorient. In April 1943 he was promoted to Kovettenkapitän and the following day he was killed in the central Atlantic when the British corvette HSM Stonecrop and sloop HMS Black Swan attacked west of Oporto Portugal, destroying the sub with all hands.
His other great success was against a convoy, ONS 92, Mohr began and ended his career on a single boat, U-124, on which he served under Georg-Wilhelm Schulz. During his return voyage he reported his success to Admiral Dönitz in verse, expressing the giddy sentiment of the “second happy time” which U-boat skippers found to their disbelief on attacking the largely undefended US east coast in early 1942.
SOURCES: Gudmundur Helgason, Rainer Kolbicz, www.uboat.net, 2011, Kenneth Wynn, U-boat Operations of the Second World War, Volume 1 and Volume 2, 1997