U-558 under Günther Krech Bermuda patrol August 1942

U-558          Krech 15-Aug-1942        5 days

Günther Krech returned to the region on the 15th of August 1942. From just southeast of Bermuda he and U-558 headed straight for the Caicos Passage, which it transited on the 24th. The five-day patrol line is steady and straight until the 19th of August when the sub left the Bermuda zone.

Krech exited the area on the 25th via the Windward Passage, having not sunk ships during his week in the area. However soon after entering the Windward Passage Krech encountered and sank the 1,987-ton British ship Amakurafrom convoy TAW 15 in the Windward Passage, but outside the area covered.

During the same patrol and roughly two weeks later Krech put himself in the thick of a convoy action on the 13th of September. He sank the 7,915-ton Surinamof Holland, the British Empire Lugard of similar tonnage, and damaged the Norwegian Vilja so that it would never sail again. All were sailing with the TAG 5 convoy from Trinidad to Aruba and Guantanamo.

Three days later U-558 also came across the American 2,606-ton Commercial Trader and sank her. All attacks occurred northwest of Trinidad and of the northeast coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea. Sailing for the First Flotilla, U-558 sailed both to and from Brest France, on its 8th of ten patrols. This highly successful mission lasted 80 days.

The patrol began on the 29th of July in Brest. In mid-August U-558 received fuel from U-462 west of the Azores. On the return leg the boat was also refueled, this time by U-461 northwest of the Azores in late September. The boat returned to Brest on the 16th of October 1942. Overall Krech was to spend 437 days on patrol and sink 115,841 tons in the course of earning his Knights Cross. This was Krech’s second patrol in the region, so his biography is covered above.
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