U-530 patrolled New England April, May 1945 then surrendered in Argentina in July, was sunk off Cape Cod Nov. 1947

Patrol 76, U-530 5 days April/May 1945, surrendered Argentina,
sunk by USS Toro 28 Nov.  1947.
U-530 being torpedoed off Cape Cod by USS Toro on 28
November 1947. Photo courtesy Capt. Jerry Mason, http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-530A/U-530DestructionPhotos.htm
This U-boat is included in this
study not just because it was ultimately destroyed in New England waters, but
evidently it also patrolled New England waters between Halifax and New York in
the end of April and early May 1945. Rather than surrender, however, U-530
turned south for Latin America instead.
The final patrol of U-530 began
in Horten Norway on 3 March 1945 with orders to patrol off Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In fact, although the log was destroyed and no daily positions were given, we
know (Uboat.net) that “Finding little there [off Halifax], he [Wermuth] headed
south to New York waters. From May 4 to 7 U-530 fired 9 torpedoes at Allied
shipping off New York but they all missed or malfunctioned” (Uboat.net).
In order to access New York from
Canada U-530 would have had to transit New England. On that basis it is
believed to have rounded Cape Sable, Nova Scotia southbound on or about the 20th
of April, passed the Nantucket Lightship about the 23rd, then
exiting the region westbound for New York past Montauk New York in mid-May 1945.
U-530’s commander,
Oberleutnant Otto Wermuth disregarded Admiral Donitz’s 8 May surrender
order, and decided to proceed to Argentina. Because the boat was fitted with a
new Schnorchel device, it could go for weeks underwater and thus undetected. Some
of the ensigns on board did not like the idea, but most of the men agreed to
go. They sent five torpedoes overboard (UBoat.net). After 130 days (over four
months!) of voyaging the submarine arrived off Mar del Plata, Argentina on the
10th of July 1945. Wermuth surrendered at sea. Rumors abounded
because Wermuth destroyed the log, removed a deck gun, and had the sailor’s IDs
thrown overboard. The men were interned and U-530 was handed over to the US
U-540 (whiter hull, in background) and U-977 (darker, foreground) at the Rio de Janeiro Naval Base in Brazil in September, 1945 during their voyage to the US. Photo by kind courtesy Derek Waller. 
Otto Wermuth was born in 1920,
was a member of the Crew of X/1939, and is apparently still alive at the time of
this writing (late 2015). Twenty-four at the time of surrender, he served
aboard Z-3, U-37, U-103, and U-853 as commander of the latter, early in his
naval career.
U-530 was shifted to Buenos
Aires, Argentina on the 28th and 29th of July . After a
month and a half there, on the 11th of September U-530, U-977 and
USS Cherokee (ATF 66) departed Rio Santiago Naval Base, bound for New England.
Between the 16th and 20th of September the convoy pulled
into Rio de Janeiro, where the two subs were visited by officers of the
Brazilian Navy as well as representatives of the local press.
Another stop in Trinidad ensued,
but not before both subs had to repair their engines en route. Whilst in
Trinidad from 2-5 October an “Allied Tripartite Naval Board,” inspected the
submarines (Waller). The three vessels arrived in the New London submarine base
at Groton in Long Island Sound, Connecticut on the 12th of October,
The expert on the disposition of
U-boats after World War II is Derek Waller. He describes U-530’s career in the
US government’s service best thus:
“U-530 was allocated to the
US Navy as a war prize, and in November and December 1945 it took part in a
7-week tour to seven US ports in Texas. It travelled on the surface throughout,
and was escorted by the destroyer Thomas (DE-102). The U-Boat and its
escorting destroyer left New London on 5 November and, after calling at the Key
West Naval Base on 9/10 November, they visited Port Arthur (11 to 16 Nov),
Houston (16 to 22 Nov), Galveston (22 to 25 Nov), Corpus Christi (26 to 29
Nov), Brownsville (30 Nov to 2 Dec), Beaumont (3 to 8 Dec) and Orange (8 to 12

“On the return journey
north, U-530 had overnight stops at both the Key West Naval Base
(15/16 Dec) and the Norfolk Naval Base (19/20 Nov) before it arrived back in
New London on 22 December 1945, where it was declared out of service and to be
retained for explosive tests.” (Waller, Navsource,

A broken U-boat, the last of 10
to leave its bones along New England shores during World War II. This shows
U-530, its back broken, sinking to 850 feet of depth between Provincetown and
Gloucester Massachusetts on the 21st of November, 1947. Photo courtesy Capt.
Jerry Mason, http://www.uboatarchive.net/U-530A/U-530DestructionPhotos.htm
US Navy submarine USS Toro (SS 422 then AGSS 422) was only in commission for
about three years when it was assigned to be U-530’s executioner. Begun in May
1944 at Portsmouth’s Navy Yard in Kittery Maine she was commissioned in
December 1944. She was actually decommissioned and laid up in New London
Connecticut between February 1946 and May 1947. Half a year later, on the 21st
of November, 1947, USS Toro fired a torpedo which struck U-530 amidships,
breaking its back (see photos, Waller, some information submitted by Ron Reeves
& Yves Hubert).
final resting place of U-530 is Latitude 42°39’N, Longitude 69°32’W. This is
roughly 40 nautical miles northeast of Provincetown and 40 miles east of
Gloucester, Massachusetts. The depth is roughly 850 feet and to this author’s
knowledge none of the hulls of the following seven German U-boats have been
discovered since their demise seven decades ago: U-1228, U-805, U-977, U-530,
U-234, U-889, or U-858.
was the second-to-last German submarine sunk in New England waters after World
War II (U-530 was sunk by USS Toro at 1148 hours on 21 Nov, and U-858 was sunk
by USS Sirago at 1249 hours on 21 Nov.

Helgason, Gudmundur, UBoat.net
Mason, Jerry, www.uboatarchive.net
Mohl, Michael and Waller, Derek, www.navsource.org, http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08530.htm
Niestlé, Axel, “German U-Boat Losses During World War II –
Details of Destruction,” Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 1998

Waller, Derek, “The U-Boats that Survived – the Whole
Story,” http://www.uboat.net/articles/91.html
Waller, Derek, Personal correspondence, October 2015

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