The next incursion into the region was led by Johannes Liebe in U-332, a Type VIIC boat out of the Third flotilla. He sailed to and from La Pallice, France, on the 24thof May, entering the area just southeast of Bermuda on the 27th of June 1942. The following day he dispatched the 6,027-ton Raphael Semmes, an American steamer named after the Civil War hero for the South who made his name on the famous raider CSS Alabama and which was sunk in a long battle off the coast of France.
The Semmes was bound from Bombay India to New York via Trinidad with manganese ore, licorice, wool, rugs and tobacco. Nineteen were lost, the balance being picked up the Explorer on 16 July and landed in New Jersey (photographs or the rafts and the survivors at the time of rescue are stark). Liebe assisted ten of the survivors, dressing their wounds and giving them water and food.
On this seventy-day patrol Liebe would sink two ships, including the Greek steamer Leonidas M. which he sank on 19 July on his way home from a patrol along the coasts of Cape Hatteras and Long Island, New York. Two officers from the Leonidas M. were taken prisoner aboard the submarine and taken to France – a fate marginally better than being cast adrift in an open boat. U-332 was refueled by U-461 in end July west of the Azores. She returned to La Pallice on the 1stof August 1942 (Wynn, Vol. 1, p.221).
Liebe’s total tonnage for the patrol was 10,600. His patrol in the area was short-lived, of six days’ duration. From near Bermuda he headed west for three days then northwest for Hatteras, exiting the region east of Savannah on the 2nd of July.
A member of the crew of 1933, KapitänleutnantJohannes Liebe began U-boat training after a stint at the Naval Airfield Headquarters. His first boat was U-48 under Schultze, sinking four ships on their first patrol. On his first patrol off Hatteras he sank four ships of 25,000 tons despite being low on fuel. He moved ashore in January 1943 and after a brief detention following the war was released in July 1945. His decorations included Iron Cross First Class based on total tonnage 46,729 tons from eight ships sunk. Liebe lived until the age of 69, dying in late 1982.
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