U-71 under Walter Flaschenberg, Bermuda patrol, April 1942

U-71  Flaschenberg         2-Apr-1942

U-71 under Kapitänleutnant Walter Flachsenberg (soon to be promoted to Korvettenkapitän) entered the area northwest of Bermuda heading east on the 2nd of April. The day before the sub had sunk the Eastmoor, a British ship of 5,812 tons. While patrolling the east coast of the US from Hatteras to New York U-71 sank the Ranjaon 17 March followed by the Oakmar on the 20th. Dixie Arrowfollowed but the sub was chased off by the USS Tarbell, resulting in a depth charge attack.

On the 31st Flachsenberg found and sank the British ship San Gerardo between New York and Bermuda. U-71 sailed with the 7thU-boat Flotilla from Saint Nazaire on the 23rd of February and returned to La Pallice France on the 20th of April 1942.

Walter Flachsenberg was born in 1908 and a member of the Crew of 1929, making him 33 years of age at the time of the patrol. He served with naval artillery from 1939 to 1940, when he joined the U-boat arm. After six patrols of 191 days in U-71, in late 1942 he moved to torpedo testing command until the surrender. Between March and April 1942 he sank 5 ships of 38,894 tons – all on this patrol, and he received no decorations. Flachsenberg lived until 1994 and age 86.


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