U-203 under Rolf Mützelburg Bermuda patrol April 1942

U-203          Mützelburg   15-Apr-1942         4 days

Kapitänleutnant Rolf Mützelburg brought U-203 across the northern portion of Bermuda homeward bound between the 15thand 18th of April 1942. It was a straight line from southwest to northeast. The boat sailed for the 1st U-boat Flotilla in Brest on the 12th of March and returned there on the 30th of April. It was in the fourth wave of Drumbeat boats. Along the way to the Cape Hatteras area U-203 was refueled by the u-boat tanker U-A on about the 23rdof March in the vicinity of the Azores.

Along the US seaboard U-203 had four successes: the San Delfino on the 10th of April, the harry F. Sinclair Jr. the following day (it was repaired), then the Stanvac Melbourne the day after that and finally the Empire Thrush off Cape Hatteras on the 14th, the day before it returned via northern Bermuda.

Mützelburg was born in 1913 in Kiel and was 28 at the time of this patrol. He served on minesweepers for two years and joined u-boats in October 1939. Early experience was obtained on U-10 and U-100 under Schepke before he commissioned U-203 in February 1941. In July 1942 he earned the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves.

Aboard U-203 he served 242 days on eight patrols and managed to sink or damage 22 ships worth 99,013 tons. His life was cut short on 11 September 1942 when he took a recreational dive from the conning tower west of the Azores and hit either the deck or the saddle tanks, fatally striking his head on the hull.


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