U-130 Ernst Kals Bermuda parol January 1942

U-130  Kals    29-Jan-1942        

Korvettenkapitän (later Kapitän zur See) Ernst Kals led the next patrol into the area, a veteran skipper of 34 years at the time. He brought U-130 north of Bermuda from west to east, starting on the 29th of January when the boat penetrated the region to the northwest. Kals headed east until the 22nd and a point several hundred miles north of Bermuda. Then he cruised southeast until the 4thof February and eastwards out of the area on the 6th at a point northeast of the island.

During this patrol U-130 joined U-66, U-109, U-123 and U-125 as part of Operation Drumbeat. The patrol begain in Lorient on the 27th of December 1941 and on the first of Janauary the boat was detected by an RAF plande but escaped two depth charges. Off Cape Breton in Canada U-130 sank the Norwegian ship Frisco of 1,582 tons and the Panamanian Friar Rock of 5,427 tons. During another attack the sub was chased off by a US destroyer. Off New York on 21 January Kals dispatched the Norwegian Alexandra Hoegh on the 21st (8,248 tons) and then the Panamanian ship Olympic of 5,335 tons off Hatteras the following day.

On the 25th U-130 sank the Norwegian Veranger of 9,305 tons, then the American Francis E. Powell of 7,096 and finally the US-flagged Halo of 6,986 tons. North of Bermuda on the way bac to France U-130 refuelled U-109 on the 4th of February, just northeast of the island. In the Bay of Biscay U-130 had another rendezvous, this time with U-587 on the 18th of February to bring home five ditched German aviators rescued by U-587. She arrived in Lorient on the 25thof February 1942.

Born in 1905 and a member of the Crew of 1924, Kals obtained the rank of Kapitän Zur See in 1944 and was already a Korvettenkapitän at the time of the patrol, following which he was awarded the Knights Cross. He began his career as a Sea Cadet and ending it with a tally of seventeen ships sunk for 11,249 GRT, three auxiliary warship sunk for roughly 35,000 tons, and another ship sunk for just shy of 7,000 GRT. Kals went on to command the Second Flotilla in Lorient from January 1943 to the end of the war – in retribution the French detained him for three years. He lived until age 74, dying in Emden Germany in 1979.


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