Patrol 42, U-373 Paul-Karl Loeser, 3 days June 8-10, 1942.
Paul-Karl Loeser who patrolled New England for 3 days in June 1942 – his second visit. He was en route to mine the Delaware River. Photo courtesy of http://uboat.net/men/commanders/744.html
Oberleutnant zur See (later Kapitänleutnant) Paul-Karl Loeser brought his command U-373 on its second incursion into New England waters for three days beginning the 8th of June south of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia and ending on the 10th of June 1942 south of Montauk.
The patrol began in La Pallice on the 18th of May and ended there on the 8th of July 52 days later. The only vessel sunk was the tug John R. Williams, 396 tons, which struck a mine at the entrance to Delaware Bay. U-373 laid 15 TMB mines on the 11th of June there (Wynn, Vol. 1, p. 246). The U-boat struck a ship with a dud torpedo on the 14th of June and on the 15th, stopping it but only temporarily. There were 14 killed when the John R. Williams sank.
A member of the Crew of 1935, Loeser was born in April 1915 in Berlin and survived the war until 1987 and age 71. His first U-Boat was U-33 in 1938 (2nd Watch Officer), then U-40 (same rank), and 1st Watch Officer of U-43 in 1939-1940. Then he joined U-108 as 1st Watch Officer and was acting commander of U-30 in which he did not patrol (Busch and Röll, p.149).
Loeser received no decorations during his career. The other ships Loeser sank were the Thursobank (off New England March 22nd 1942) and the Mount Lycabettus on the 17thof March 1942. His total was 10,263 tons. At the end of the war he was in the Guard Battalion Donitz, was captured, detained and released in August of 1945 (Ibid.).
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