U-373 under Paul-Karl Loeser Bermuda patrol June 1942

U-373          Loeser         6-Jun-1942 8 days

Oberleutnant zur See (later Kapitänleutnant) Paul-Karl Loeser brought U-373 westward north of Bermuda in a straight line from the sixth of June 1942 to the ninth. Returning from the US eastern seaboard, he proceeded in another straight line, this one west to east between the 16th and 19th of June. One of the reasons that the courses were so straight and the sinkings so few is that the submarine was on a mission to lay 15 TMB-type mines off the Delaware Bay, which it accomplished on the 11th of June.

Loeser claimed hits on the 14thoff the US coast but the torpedo did not explode. The following day he claimed to have hit a steamer, but it apparently caused no damage. The submarine’s only confirmed victim was the US tug John R. Williams, of 396 tons, which struck one of U-373’s mines and sank, taking 14 of her crew with it.

U-373 was a member of the 3rdU-boat Flotilla out of La Pallice, France, from which it sailed on the 18thof May 1942 and to which it returned from this patrol on the 8th of July. Born in Berlin in 1915, Loeser was a member of the Crew of 1935. In 1938 he was Second Watch Officer of U-33 and then U-40, followed by First Watch Officer of U-43 in 1939. He commissioned U-373 in May of 1941 and went on nine patrols of 367 days aboard her until August, 1943.

In 1943 Loeser became a training officer in the 20th U-boat Flotilla, followed by an anti-aircraft officer, and finally a member of the Donitz Guard Battalion until the capitulation. He was captured in the spring of 1945 and released in August of that year. Loeser’s total tally was 3 ships sunk for 10,263 tons. He received no decorations and lived until 1987 and the age of 71.


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