U-204 under Rupprecht Stock Bermuda patrol October 1943

U-214          Stock 23-Oct-1943         2 days

Oberleutnant zur See Rupprecht Stock brought U-214 for a brief two-day incursion of the area far southeast of Bermuda in order to refuel from U-488. The sub simply skimmed the imaginary box around Bermuda on the 23rd and 24thof October 1943 heading northeast for its rendezvous with its comrades on the refueling tanker near the Azores early in November. The boat returned to Brest on the 39th of November, 1943.

U-214, on its second patrol to the Bahamas region under Rupprecht Stock, was another veteran which would put ten war patrols under its keel. A Type VIID out of Brest and the Ninth Flotilla, its patrol in the Bahamas region was limited to essentially two one-day transits of either the Anegada or the Guadeloupe passages. These transits occurred on the 26th of September 1943 and a return voyage on the 18th of October.

The boat sewed a field of mines of the Panama port of Colon which may have claimed the US submarine Dorado (SS 248) on the 14th of October though this is not confirmed. Dorado is widely believed to have been sunk by friendly fire by US Mariner aircraft piloted by Daniel T. Felix Jr. from Guantanamo Naval Air Station whilst the sub was in the Straits of Florida on the 12th of October 1943, though the subject is widely debated.

The patrol began on the 22nd of August and the sub was attacked by an Avenger aircraft from the USS Croatan when only 90 miles southwest of the Azores. U-214 badly damaged the aircraft and would probably have been sunk by the nine aircraft sent to destroy it, had not darkness intervened. On the 22nd of November Stock claimed to have struck a ship northeast of the Caribbean, however that claim has not been verified. On the way home the sub was refueled by U-488 near the Azores in end-November. The patrol ended in Brest on the 30th of November 1943 (Wynn, Vol. 1, p.158).

A member of the Crew of 37A, Oberleutnant zur SeeRupprecht Stock became Kapitänleutnantin mid-1944. Awarded the German Cross in Gold a month later, he sank one ship of 200 GRT, is credited with sinking the Dorado, and damaged another for 6,507 tons. Over a career he embarked on six patrols and accumulated an impressive 333 days of war patrols. He was to live until December 2002 and the age of 86. The boat was sunk by HMS Cooke with all 48 crew in the English Channel on 26 July 1944 – Stock was not on board.

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