The first of the submarines to enter the Bahamas in 1944 was the Type IXC U-518 under Friedrich- Wilhelm Wissmann on its second foray there. The boat left Lorient on the 23rd of January on back-to-back patrols to the region. En route they sighted and attacked a seaplane tender without result on the 13th of February. The sub then rendezvoused with the Japanese submarine I-29, delivering equipment and sailing instructions. U-518 was one of the few schnorchel-equipped boats to reach the Caribbean before the end of the war.
Like Tillessen, Wissman was en route to the Panama Canal sector where it would sink the 3,401-ton Panamanian ship Valera on the 7th of March. As a consequence the boat was attacked by two USN Mariners on the 15thand 16th, but got away (Wynn, Vol. 2, p.10)
Unlike Tillesen and others who opted for the Anegada Passage, Wissman chose the Mona Passage, which meant the boat patrolled east of the Turks & Caicos and Bahamas and north of Puerto Rico. On the 28th of February, just north of Anegada, Wissman steamed due west for three days until the 3rd of March.
U-518 returned to the same passage on the 1st of April 1944 and zigzagged northeast for the next four days, finally exiting the area bound back to Lorient on the 4th of April roughly 250 miles north of Anegada. Actually overshooting the Mona Passage to a point off Cape Samana, Dominican Republic, the boat then turned southeast and transited out of the area on the 4th of April. The patrol ended in Lorient on the 7th of May 1944 after 106 days (Wynn erroneously stated the 7thof April, which would not have been possible, Wynn, Vol. 2, p.10).
We have already discussed U-518, its skipper and its fate. The boat would return one last time and was the final U-boat in the area of the war.
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