U-502 under Jürgen von Rosenstiel Bermuda patrol March 1942

U-502          von Rosenstiel       1-Mar-1942 2 days

         The Type IXC submarine U-502 under Kapitänleutnant Jürgen von Rosenstiel only entered the region long enough to transit the southeast corner of the box around Bermuda. Entering on the first of March heading northeast for base, U-502 nipped the area and left the following day, returning to Lorient for the 2ndU-boat Flotilla on the 16th of March.   

U-502 was part of Operation Neuland. During this patrol it attacked the waters off Aruba and off Venezuela managed to sink three tankers: Tia Juana, Monogas and San Nicolas. Then on the 16thof February it and U-67 bombarded the refineries of Aruba with only limited success. Other victims during this patrol were the Kongsgaard, Thalia, and Sun. U-502 was to return to the Caribbean on its next patrol during which it was sunk with all hands on the fifth of July.        

Later, on another patrol, U-502 had the dubious distinction of being the first U-boat to fall victim to two Allied anti-submarine warfare weapons the Wellington bomber (this one commanded by Pilot Officer Howell) and the Leigh Light, which was switched on as the plane barreled in at night, blinding the gun crews on the submarine. The attack took place near La Rochelle on the 6th of July 1942 and all 52 crew were killed (Wynn, Vol. 1, p.321).
A member of the Crew of 1933, von Rosenstiel was born on 23 November 1912 and was 29 at the time of these attacks. Though he probably would have received higher decorations had he survived this extraordinarily successful patrol, he perished with the U-boat War Badge of 1939. Initially serving on the training ship Schlesien, von Rosenstiel joined U-boats in 1940. His total of 179 sea days on four patrols and fourteen ships of 78,843 tons were all achieved aboard U-502. This was enough to earn him a listing as one of the “Top U-boat Aces” at Uboat.net.
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