U-462 under Bruno Vowe Bermuda patrol August 1942

U-462          Vowe 15-Aug-1942        6 days

Kapitänleutnant Bruno Vowe brought U-462 into the Bermuda area for six days starting the 15th of August 1942. Arriving from the east-northeast the boat motored southwest for a day, headed due east from Bermuda on the 17th, then returned westwards before heading south then southeast out of the area on the 20th.

U-462 was a refueling sub, or milk cow, operating as part of the 10th U-boat Flotilla out of St. Nazaire. The sub left Kiel on its first war patrol o the 23rd of July. Between mid August and early September the boat zig-zagged west of the Azores as far as the eastern fringe of Bermuda. During that time U-462 supplied 14 U-boats, nine of them for outward operations and five for the return to base.

The outbound boats were U-94, U-135, U-176, U-373, U-512, U-516, U-558, U-569, and U-755 and the inbound ones were U-66, U-98, U-163, U-173, and U-600. Not all of these submarines were resupplied in the Bermuda area. U-462 itself repositioned itself to Saint Nazaire France on the 21st of September, 1942.

Bruno Vowe was born in 1904 – like Wolfbauer, another U-tanker skipper, he was one of the older commanders. Vowe was a member of the Crew of 1923 and by May 1940 was involved in the U-boat arm. By December of that year he was Watch Officer of U-107 until March 1941. He commissioned U-462 in March of 1942 after a year of work-up.

Overall Vowe was to invest 180 patrol days over eight patrols in the boat before they were captured on the 30thof July 1943. On that day in the Bay of Biscay the boat was attacked from many angles: a Halifax bomber aircraft and HMS Wren, HMS Kite, HMS Woodpecker, HMS Wild Goose, and HMS Woodcok. He received no decorations and sank no ships. Vowe was held prisoner until July 1943 and lived until 1978 and the age of 74.

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