U-508 Staats 21-Jul-1942 8 days
KapitänleutnantGeorg Staats brought U-508 to the Bermuda region for eight days between the 21stof July 1942 and the 28th, gradually making his way southwest from northeast. For the first four days the sub back-tracked roughly 300 miles northeast of the island, going west, east and back again. Then it headed southweast to exit the region south-southwest of the island on the 28thof July.
This patrol was a first for U-508 and its commander George Staats, only with slightly more positive outcome: two ships were sunk on the patrol and the commander was able to keep the submarine for the ensuring five patrols until both of their demise at the hand of the Allies. U-508, a Type IXC out of the Tenth Flotilla in Lorient arrived in the region south of Bermuda on the 26th of July and took the familiar route to the Crooked Island Passage by heading southwest for the next five days.
On the 31st the sub rounded Acklins Island between there and Mayaguana, leaving the Plana Cays also to starboard. Then, leaving Inagua well off to port, it rounded the Ragged Island chain and proceeded up the Old Bahama Channel on the 1st of August. After heading up that narrow funnel of water for three days Staats encountered the Special Convoy SC 12 off Key West Florida, between there, the Cay Sal Bank and Cuba. It sank two Cuban vessels from the convoy, the Santiago de Cuba of 1,685 tons and the Manzanilloof 1,025 tons before escaping off to the US Gulf to the west.
Tweaking the nose of the nearby American Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) forces in Key West, U-508 continue to patrol the area roughly between Havana and Key West for the next two weeks, from the 4rth to 18th of August, before returning to the zone around the Bahamas on the 19th. Again it proceeded along the length of the Old Bahama Channel, this time southbound from the Saint Nicholas Channel.
When the sub reached Inagua again on the 23rd it did not transit the Crooked Island Passage as it had at the outset – rather Staats opted to sail along the north coast of Haiti and Hispaniola and egress the region east of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Between the 24th and 27th the sub headed northeast out of the area and back to Lorient. Like U-509 on a maiden voyage before it, the patrol had originated in Kiel Germany.
Having left Kiel on the 25th of June (the same day as U-509), U-508 also received fuel from U-460 north of the Azores in early July. She attacked a ship without damaging it north of Cuba on the 6th of August. She returned to her new base in Lorient on the 15th of September 1942 (Wynn, Vol. 1, p.326).
KapitänleutnantGeorg Staats had attained that rank only in April of the same year, three months before beginning the patrol. He would go on to command U-508 exclusively for six patrols of 294 days, sinking fourteen ships for 74,087 GRT. In July of 1943 Staats was awarded the Knights Cross. As alluded to, they both went to the bottom of the Bay of Biscay on the 12th of November 1943 with all crew, victim of bombs from an American Liberator aircraft north of Cape Ortegal Spain.