U-509 under Karl-Heinz Wolff Bermuda patrol July 1942

U-509          Wolff  20-Jul-1942 1

Fregattenkapitän Karl-Heinz Wolff only dipped off the southeast corner of the Bermuda box for a day, on the 20th of July 1942. Overall on this patrol no ships were sighted or sunk by Type IXC U-509. Like Beucke he too was replaced on arrival, in his case by Werner Witte, about whom we will see more later. It was the boat’’s first patrol of four – in the other patrols she would accumulate 56,234 tons of Allied shipping before her demise after 276 patrol days in July 1943.

Wolff’s patrol to the area began roughly halfway between Bermuda and Anegada and was a straight course to the Mona Passage lasting only five days, from the 21st to the 25th of July. Once inside the Caribbean the boat made for the Yucatan, patrolled north of Havana, and then swung east to patrol off the northeastern Caribbean near Guadeloupe before returning to Lorient for the Tenth Flotilla after a patrol of 80 days. 

Leaving Kiel on the 25th of June, U-509 refueled from U-460 north of the Azores in early July. On the 2nd of August the boat was attacked by a Catalina from Guantanamo and damaged by depth charges. She returned to base on the 12th of September having not struck any ships (Wynn, Vol. 1, p.327).
Fregattenkapitän Karl-Heinz Wolff (he was promoted in April 1944) led only one patrol in U-boats. A member of the Crew of 1928 he received no decorations. He lived until age 60, passing away in June 1970.

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