U-1222 under Heinz Bielfeld, 3 days in New England, sunk on approach to France in July 1944

Patrol 61, U-1222 under
Hienz Bielfeld, 3 days 22-24 May 1944
Hienz Bielfeld brought
U-1222 into New England waters for three days – the sub would not make it back
to base. Photo courtesy of: http://uboat.net/men/commanders/81.html

Hienz Bielfeld brought his command, U-1222 into New England waters for just
three days in May 1944. The incursion began about 150 miles south of Cape Sable,
Nova Scotia heading southwest. The boat reached a day’s motoring to the
southwest before it back-tracked northeast and exited the region about 100
miles south of Cape Sable on the 24th of May.
arriving off New England U-1222 operated off Nova Scotia without success. The
sub attacked a tanker named Bulkoil on the 22nd of May south of
Halifax. The provoked counter-attacks by HMCS Agassiz and Norsyd. On 13 June
U-1222 was ordered back to France, however because of the uncertainty of
whether the bases would be captured by Allied land forces, Bielfeld was told to
keep Bergen Norway as an option (Wynn, Vol. 2, p.235).
The patrol began on the 16th
of April in Marviken, Norway and ended when the boat was sunk on the 11th
of July 1944. A British RAF Sunderland airplane (Squadron 201/P, pilot I. B.
F. Walters)  sank the boat with the loss
of all 56 hands south of Lorient,  Three depth
charges destroyed the U-boat after its schnorkel had been sighted and its stern
broke the surface. Heinz Bielfeld was born in Tientsin, China (then a German colonial
outpost) in August 1916. He perished in July 1944 in the Bay of Biscay on the
87th day of this patrol as it approached France.

Bielfeld was a member of the
Crew of 1934. After work in aircraft weapons and coastal flying groups, in
October 1940 he was a supernumerary watch officer aboard U-97 (Uboat.net). Then
he transferred to U-151 up to August 1941. He then took command of U-703 in
October 1942, aboard which he served for 150 days over 7 patrols and sank three
merchant ships of 18,315 tons and another warship of 1,870 tons. In December
1943 he received the German Cross in Gold. After commissioning U-1222 in
September 1943, this was his and the boat’s only patrol, and no ships were sunk
or damaged.


Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim, “German U-Boat
Commanders of World War II, A Biographical Dictionary,” Greenhill Books, London
and Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 1999
Helgasson, Guðmundur and Kolbicz, Rainer, www.uboat.net, 2015
Högel, Georg, “U-Boat Emblems of World War II 1939 – 1945,”
Schiffer Military History, Atglen, PA, US, 1999
Kurowski, Franz, Knights of the Wehrmacht, Knight’s Cross
Holders of the U-Boat Service,” Schiffer Military/Aviation History, Atglen, PA,
US, 1995
Mason, Jerry, www.uboatarchive.net
– for the KTB or war diary of this patrol, 2015
Niestlé, Axel, “German U-Boat Losses During World War II –
Details of Destruction,” Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 1998