U-754 under Hans Oestermann Bermuda patrol July 1942

U-754          Oestermann 9-Jul-1942   3 days

Kapitänleutnant Hans Oestermann began his second and final patrol to the Bermuda area on the ninth of July 1942 to the northeast and departed heading northwest two days later, on the 11thof July. U-754 sailed for the 1st U-boat Flotilla in Brest on the 19thof June. It was refueled by U-459 west of the Azores early in July. On the 29thof June it had managed to intercept and sink the British motor ship Waiwera north-northwest of the Azores.

After refueling U-754 headed off Hatteras, where it was one of the last seven U-boats to do so. It found few targets and headed north to Canadian waters. On July 19th the submarine and three others (U-89, U-132 and U-458) were moved near Nova Scotia. ON the 28th U-754 sank the trawler Ebb off Halifax. Then on the 31stthe boat was caught on the surface a Royal Canadian Air Force Hudson aircraft and inexplicably failed to submerge. It was a fatal mistake, and the boat was bombed into submission and sank with all 43 hands, Oestermann, aged 29, among them.

Born in 1913, Oestermann was a member of the Crew of 1933 and turned 29 during this patrol. He would drown within the year, the victim of Allied anti-submarine efforts north-east of Boston. Early in his career Oestermann served aboard the destroyer Hermann Shoemann before joining U-boats in July 1940. His only boat before commissioning U-754 was U-151. Overall he accrued 135 patrol days in three war-going patrols and sank or damaged 14 ships of 56,149 tons. He received no decorations.


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