That German U-Boat That Torpedoed Our Grandfathers Fishing Boat The Ben and Josephine? Here’s The Account of It’s Day Of Reckoning
Here’s the account of the sinking of our Grandfather Captain Joe Ciaramitaro’s Ben and Josephine-
David Teele forwards the link to the account of the last days of the German U-boat the 432 on the 11th of March 1943-
REPORT ON INTERROGATION OF SURVIVORS FROM "U 432," A 500-TON
U-BOAT SUNK AT ABOUT 1200 G.M.T. ON 11th MARCH, 1943
"U 432" (Kapitänleutnant Hermann Eckhardt) was sunk in approximate position 51° 35′ N., 28° 30′ W. at about 1300 G.M.T. on 11th March, 1943, by F.F.S. "Aconit" escorting Convoy H.X.228. "Aconit" had 12 hours previously assisted in the sinking of "U 444" (see C.B. 04051 (63) ), from which boat she had also taken prisoners.
At about 1100 the same day, "U 432" had torpedoed and sank H.M.S. "Harvester," who had on board one prisoner from "U 444." Survivors from H.M.S. "Harvester," "U 444" and "U 432" were then transported to Greenock by "Aconit," together with survivors from two ships of H.X.228, torpedoed in the night of 10/11th March, 1943.
III. EIGTH AND LAST PATROL OF "U 432"
(All times are German Summer Time.)
(i) Departure from La Pallice
At 1730 on 14th February, 1943, "U 432" cast off from her berth on the north side of the basin at La Pallice.
At 1750 she left the lock at the entrance to the basin. There were scenes of great enthusiasm as all present waved "goodbye." She rammed a harbour launch just after negotiating the lock. On passing the boom "U 432" was escorted by a "Sperrbrecher" and two patrol vessels. Also sailing with her was another U-Boat with a crocodile badge on her conning-tower. Survivors could not remember her captain’s name. At 2320 the escort parted company and "U 432" proceeded on her patrol alone and on the surface. Her course was 270°.
(ii) Passage southwards
"U 432" remained on the surface until shortly before 0700 on 15th February, 1943, when she dived for the first time on this patrol. She did not surface again until 1930 when it was found to be much rougher. Many of her ship’s company were sick. At 0800 on 16th February, she submerged again, surfacing once more just before dusk. At 0900 on 17th February, she dived, re-surfacing the same night. The whole of 18th February was also spent submerged. Survivors thought that by then they were out of the Bay of Biscay.
(iii) Receipt of Orders
About 0100 on 19th February, Eckhardt received a signal ordering him to proceed to join a patrol line named "Wildfang" in a position which he decyphered as a point in the neighbourhood of the Canary Islands. From this point onwards, "U 432" did not submerge again for some time.
At 1545 on 20th February hands went to action stations for exercise and that evening there was a party to celebrate the end of the first week at sea. There had been no events worthy of note since she left port.
(iv) "U 432" Alters Course
By the evening of 21st February, the First Lieutenant began to wonder why they had proceeded so far southwards. It was then that Eckhardt, seated in his cabin looking through his signal books realised that he had failed to insert a correction, issued prior to his sailing. Consequently, the signal received on 19th February giving him his orders, had been wrongly decyphered and he had steered south instead of west since that date. In its correct form the signal ordered him to a position off Newfoundland. He immediately gave orders to alter course to 300°and made for the patrol line indicated in the original signal.
For the rest of the account which is very interesting click here to read it in entirety on http://www.uboatarchive.net-