Patrol 47, U-754 under Hans Oestermann, 4 days July 25–28 1942.
The emblem of U-754/Oestermann, from http://www.uboataces.com/ref-insignia58.shtml
Kapitänleutnant Hans Oestermann brought his command U-754 into New England waters briefly between the 25th and 28th of July 1942. The submarine was sunk with all hands three days after exiting the region south of Cape Sable, in Nova Scotian waters. The day he left New England waters he sank the 260-ton American trawler Ebb.
The U-boat left Brest France on the 19th of June for its final patrol. Oestermann sank the Waiwera north of the Azores on the 29th of June then refueled from U-469 in the same general vicinity. According to Wynn (Vol. 2, p.151), “U-754 was one of the lasts seven U-boats operating off the US east coast.” On or about the 21st of July Erich Schiller was (fatefully) transferred off the doomed U-754 to another U-boat because he dislocated his shoulder.
On the 19th of July U-754 joined U-89, U-132 and U-458 off the coast of Nova Scotia. On the 31stU-754 was surprised on the surface by a Hudson aircraft from RCAF Squadron 113 piloted by N. E. Small. Utilizing his advantage, Small dropped depth charges and then banked sharply to strafe the conning tower with machine guns. Roughly an hour later an explosion indicated that the submarine was destroyed – oil and debris came to the surface. Forty-three submariners perished (Wynn, Vol. 2, p.151).
Hans Oestermann was born in May 1913 and lived until age 29. He was a member of the Crew of 1933 and served as 1st Watch Officer of the Z-7 destroyer Hermann Schoemann up to June 1940. Then he joined U-boats, starting with U-151 which he commissioned before assuming command of U-754. A highly rated commander, he sank 13 ships worth over 55,000 tons (Uboat.net, Busch and Röll), though he was not decorated.
Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim, “German U-Boat Commanders of World War II, A Biographical Dictionary,” Greenhill Books, London and Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 1999
Helgasson, Guðmundur and Kolbicz, Rainer, www.uboat.net, 2015
Högel, Georg, “U-Boat Emblems of World War II 1939 – 1945,” Schiffer Military History, Atglen, PA, US, 1999
Kurowski, Franz, Knights of the Wehrmacht, Knight’s Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service,” Schiffer Military/Aviation History, Atglen, PA, US, 1995
Mason, Jerry, www.uboatarchive.net – for the KTB or war diary of this patrol, 2015
Niestlé,Axel, “German U-Boat Losses During World War II – Details of Destruction,” Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 1998