U-94 under Otto Ites Bermuda patrol March 1942

U-94  Ites    16-Mar-1942       

U-94 under Oberleutnant zur See (later Kapitänleutnant) Otto Ites only crossed north of Bermuda from west to east for three days between the 16th and 18th of March 1942. The sub came down from waters of Canada and transited Bermuda between the US east coast and Canada. It was sailing with the 7th U-boat Flotilla and left Saint Nazaire on the 12th of February. En route to Canada it encountered convoy ON 67, and was directed to the location with several other boats. On the way U-94 sank the Empire Hail, a British ship.

After patrolling off Nova Scotia Ites moved to the US east coast, sinking the trawler HMS Northern Princess, on loan to the Americans, off New Jersey on the 7th of February. On the 9thshe sank the Cayru of Brazil and two days later the Norwegian Hvosleff east of New York and Chesapeake respectively.

After passing north of Bermuda homebound U-94 was vectored by U-203 towards convoy ON 77 east of Newfoundland. U-94 damaged the Imperial Transport, a British tanker, which was towed to Saint John’s. The sub returned to Saint Nazaire on the second of April 1942.

During this patrol Otto Ites was awarded the Knights Cross. Born in 1918, he was in the Crew of 1936 and was turned 24 a week before the patrol began. Initially he served aboard torpedo boats Kondor and Albatross, joining U-boats in October, 1938. He went on to command U-146 as well as U-94, from which he was captured in the Windward Passage off Haiti on 28 August 1942 when the HMCS Oakville rammed her. He was released in May 1946.

Over seven patrols Ites served for 235 patrol days and managed to attack or sink 16 ships of 84,904 tons. Ites became a dentist after the war, then returned to the navy where he led the destroyer Z-2. When he retired in 1977 his rank was Konteradmiral. He passed away where he was born, in Norden, Ostfriesland in 1982 at the age of 63.

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