U-575 under Günther Heydemann Bermuda patrol June 1942

U-575          Heydemann 28-Jun-1942         4 days

          On the same day and in roughly the same position as Loewe in U-505, U-575 under Kapitänleutnant Günther Heydemann in the Type VIIC boat U-575 entered the region on a similar course: from east and south of Bermuda south-southwest to the Mona Passage, which he entered and cleared into the Caribbean on the 5th of July. Overall Hedyemann spent just four days on an inbound transit heading southwest from a point east of Bermuda starting the 28th of June 1942. By the 1st of July the boat was out of the region and heading for the Caribbean.

Whilst off the northeast tip of the Dominican Republic the submarine encountered and sank the Norlandiaon the 4th of July. She was a US freighter of 2,689 tons en route Antigua – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Nuevitas, Cuba in ballast when struck at 3:38 in the morning near Cape Samana, where the two lifeboats landed.
The other ships hit by U-575 on this patrol included the Empire Explorer, Comrade and Glacier (both schooners), and San Gaspar(damaged) – all in the southern Caribbean in the vicinity of Trinidad & Tobago. The total tonnage his during this patrol was 21,088, all victims aside from the Norlandiabeing of British registry.

Like U-571 before it, on the way to the patrol area U-575 took part in a patrol line, called Endrass, initially against convoy HG 84 along with five other boats. U-575 was then refueled west of the Azores by U-459 (Wynn, Vol. 1, p.51). The patrol began in Saint Nazaire on the 10th of June and ended there on the 7th of August 1942.

A member of the Class of 1933, Kapitänleutnant Günther Heydemann achieved that rank in April of 1941 while serving in the Seventh Flotilla out of St. Nazaire France, from which the boat sailed on this patrol. He joined U-boats in April 1940 after serving in line-of-battle ships before commissioning U-575 in the spring of 1941. Altogether Heydemann spent eight patrols and 395 sea days on this boat before becoming an instructor based on shore. His total career catch of eight ships sunk for 36,010 and one ship damaged for 12,910 earned him the Knights Cross in July 1943. He was to live until 1986 and the age of 71, passing away in Hamburg.


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