U-217 Reichenbach-Klinke 8-Aug-1942 6 days
U-217 under Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Reichenbach-Klinke was the next to enter the region on the 8th of August 1942. His tracke was basically identical to that of U-164 before him. On the 8thof August the sub passed east-northeast of Bermuda heading southwest for six days until the 13th, when it exited toewards the Caribbean. Like its predecessor the submarine also refueled from U-463 to the south-southeast of Bermuda.
As mentioned, U-217 took the most-traveled route, from south of Bermuda and north of Anegada southwest. Instead of opting for the Windward Passage Reichenbach-Klinke entered the Caribbean through the Mona Passage three days later, on the 16th of August.
U-217’s patrol in the Caribbean was unsuccessful insomuch as its only contact with the enemy was to be attacked by Allied aircraft. The U-boat was in the midst of attacking the schooner Sea Gull D. off Venezuela at the time. Two more aircraft succeeding in dropping more depth-charges on the 19th of August which damaged the boat. She was able to carry out repairs and continued an unsuccessful patrol back to Brest.
This long patrol began in Kiel on the 14th of July and would include not one but two re-fuelings. In order to chase convoy ON 115 south of Greenland U-217 formed a patrol line with other boats which was named Pirat, for pirate. The submarine entered the Caribbean region in league with U-164, U-511, and U-553, and obtained fuel from U-463 west of the Azores in early August (Wynn, Vol.1, p.159).
After transiting into the Caribbean U-217 entered the harbor at Willemstad Curacao on a daring but unsuccessful attack on the tanker Esso Concord. On her way back from a patrol off Trinidad the boat received fuel from U-461 northwest of the Azores. She arrived at her new base in Brest for the first time on the 16th of October, 1942.
Oberleutnant zur See Reichenbach-Klinke was a member of the Crew of 1935 and was aged 25 at the time of this patrol. Later in the year he would achieve the rank of Kapitänleutnant. His total bag of enemy ships was three sunk for 10,651 over 235 patrol days. He received no decorations. U-217 was sunk in the mid-Atlantic on 5th June 1943 after being depth-charged by an American Avenger aircraft from the USS Card. All 50 hands including Reichenbach-Klinke were killed.
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