U-94 under Otto Ites Bermuda patrol August 1942

U-94  Ites    21-Aug-1942       

Uberleutnant zur See Otto Ites brought U-94 on its first patrol into the area which would also prove to be the boat and commander’s tenth and last. Beginning southeast of Bermuda on the 20th of August the boat spent five days in the area, first heading southewest, then deviating to the north and a position to the east-northeast of the island on the 22nd, about 250 miles away. Ites then resumed a southwesterly course, exiting the area on the 24eth of August, 1942.U-94 had left Saint Nazaire as part of the Seventh Flotilla on the 3rd of August and refueled on the 21st from U-462 west of the Azores. (Wynn, Vol. 1, p.74).

After transiting Bermuda sthe boat went around the south end of Turks & Caicos on the 25th and 26th, and entered the Windward Passage late on the 26th. Two days later it was caught on the surface and sunk by a coordinated Allied attack (an American Catalina and the HMCS Oakvillewhich went in to successfully ram the U-boat) off Point Gravois, the southwest tip of Haiti.

A number of the crew would be rescued by the Canadian destroyer HMCS Oakville, including Ites, who would go on to live until February 1982 (he was 24 at the time of the boat’s loss). Nineteen crew were killed in the sinking but twenty-six survived.

Ites had already earned the prestigious Knights Cross on the back of fifteen sinkings for 76,882 GRT and another Allied vessels of 8,022 tons damaged. The boat itself was credited with 27 ships over ten war patrols. A member of the Crew of 1936 – the so-called Olympia Crew because the Olympic Games were held in Germany that year – Ites began his naval career in torpedo boats. Joining U-boats in October 1938, he served aboard U-51 and U-41 before commanding U-146. He took over command of U-94 from Herbert Kuppisch in August 1941.

During and after the war Ites was held captive until May 1946, going on to first become a dentist than rejoin the Bundesmarine in 1956, where he commanded a destroyer for two years. On his retirement in 1977 Ites was a Konter, or vice, Admiral. Over seven patrols he underwent 235 sea days and became Kapitänleutnant in April of 1943. He was awarded his Knights Cross in March 1942 before this patrol.

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