U-106 under Hermann Rasch Bermuda patrol February 1942

U-106  Rasch 4-Feb-1942 3

Like U-107 and U-103, U-106 under Oberleutnant zur See (soon thereafter Kapitänleutnant) Hermann Rasch merely dipped into the area to the north of Bermuda while westbound back to Lorient between the fourth and sixth of February 1942. The patrol started off Newfoundland and Rasch moved south off the Chesapeake Bay area in late January.

On the way south U-106 sank the Empire Wildebeeste, a British ship of 5,631 tons which had left convoy ON 53. This attack occurred northeast of Bermuda. While leaving the Bermuda area U-107 dispatched the 10,354 British ship Opawa, also northeast of Bermuda, on the sixth of February. The patrol began on 3 January 1942 with the 2nd U-boat Flotilla and ended, also in Lorient, on the 22ndof February.

Rasch was a member of the Crew of 1934 and was 27 at the time of this patrol, having been born in Wilhelmshaven in 1914. He began his naval career on the sail training ship Albert Leo Schlageter in 1939 in the North Sea and moved to U-boats the following year, initially as a staff officer and then in minesweeping. As a member of the Naval High Command at the time of Germany’s surrender, he was imprisoned until July 1946. Hermann Rasch lived until the age of 59, dying in 1974.

Over his career Rasch accrued 308 patrol days between October 1941 and April 1943, all of them on U-106. During that time he managed to sink or damage 14 ships of 91,438 tons. For this he was awarded the Knight’s Cross in December of 1942. One of his later victims would be the Canadian passenger liner Lady Drake, sunk in the vicinity of and bound to Bermuda.


SOURCES: Gudmundur Helgason, Rainer Kolbicz, www.uboat.net, 2013, Kenneth Wynn, U-boat Operations of the Second World War, Volume 1 and Volume 2, 1997, R. Busch, and H.-J. Röll, German U-boat Commanders of World War II, 1988, Franz Kurowski, Knights Cross Holders of the U-boat Service