Like U-154, the next boat in the area would only dabble in the southeast corner of the quadrant, however it would be a much more successful patrol led by Rolf Mützelburg, as three ships were sunk in three days. On the way to the patrol area, on the 24th of Jun, U-203 was refueled by U-459 west of the Azores (Wynn, Vol. 1, p.150).
U-203 arrived from Lorient just north of Anegada on the 25th of June 1942. The very next day the young commander (he was 29 and would die months later while diving off the conning tower), sank two ships relevant to this study: the Putney Hill, a British motor ship of 5,216 tons whose survivor Alan Shard corresponds with the author, and the Pedrinhas, a 3,666-ton Brazilian ship. Both were sunk with a combination of torpedoes and gunfire – a frightening experience for the ship’s survivors.
Two days later, on the 28th, U-203 sent the American freighter Sam Houston to the bottom in the deep Puerto Rico Trench. Mützelburg’s total bag for this patrol would rise to 32,985 when he sank the Cape Verdeof Britain on the 9th of July and the Stanvac Palembang on the 11th – she was a Panamanian ship of 10,013 tons and was lost north of Trinidad. U-203 performed a box route north of the Anegada Passage between 29 June and the 1st of July, exiting the region east and then southbound on the 2nd of July 1942 after eight days in the zone.
Kapitänleutnant Rolf Mützelburg was in the naval class of 1932 and joined U-boats in October 1939 after two years on minesweepers. He served on U-100 with Schepke before commissioning U-203. He received the Knights Cross in November 1941 and the Oak Leaves during this patrol, on 15 July 1942. The boat returned from this patrol on the 29thof July 1942.
Mützelburg was accidentally killed during a reckless recreational dive from the conning tower, when he hit the saddle tanks on the side of the U-boat and broke his vertebrae while in the North Atlantic near the Azores on 11 September 1942. The boat returned under the command of the First Watch Officer (1WO).
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