U-402 under Freiherr Sigfried von Forstner Bermuda patrol July 1942

U-402          von Forstner          9-Jul-1942   10 days

       Kapitänleutnant Freiherr Sigfried von Forstner entered the region on the Type VIIC boat U-402 on the 9thof July for what would be a ten-day incursion in three portions. First he entered northeast of Bermuda and motored weast until the 12th when he exited for Hatteras. Then on the 16th of July he returned briefly west of the island, headed north and then exited again on the 18th. Finally, while homebound, U-402 reappeared northwest of the island and moroted east for three days, from the 22nd to the 24th of July 1942 back to France.

On the way to the Bermuda region U-402 received fuel from U-460 in the central Atlantic. The boat had no success against more organized Allied defences, including convoys. In fact on 14 July U-402 escaped destruction by a US Coast Guard aircraft which damaged the U-boat. According to Wynn U-402 was the last wave of seven U-boats ordered to patrol the Hatteras area – thereafter they were pulled back to other more profitable zones such as South America and the Caribbean.

Sailing from Saint Nazaire with the Third Flotilla, U-402’s only commander was von Forstner, who took her on eight patrol of 349 days, right up to her demise on 13 October 1943. She was destroyed with all hands by aircraft from the escort carrier USS Card in the Central Atlantic.

Von Forstner was promoted to Korvettenkapitän a year after his incursion into Bermuda and earned the Knights Cross in February of that year. He was a member of the Crew of 1930 before serving on the Nürnberg during the first year of the war. He joined U-boats in April 1940 and served under the ace Kretschmer on U-99 before commissioning his own boat, U-402. Thirty one years of age when he patrolled the area, he was 33 when killed, having been born in Hannover on 19 September 1910. 

 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