Events on this day

21 May

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This is a run-down from several databases on our site. It's meant to give a clear picture of events on this date, all year round.

U-boat Shipyard report

Ordered (0) Laid down (4) Launched (4) Commissioned (4)
No U-boat orders on this date1940: U-569, U-570
1941: U-170
1942: U-844
1941: U-156, U-208
1942: U-197
1943: U-347
1941: U-129U-402
1942: U-623
1943: U-851
These are commissioned boats. For more see our Shipyard pages.

Allied Ships hit on this date

 U-boatCommanderName of shipTonsCountryConvoy
 U-69MetzlerRobin Moor 4,999   am
 U-69MetzlerTewkesbury 4,601   br
 U-93KorthElusa 6,235   nlHX-126
 U-98GysaeMarconi 7,402   brOB-322
 U-103WinterClare 3,372   am
 U-103WinterElizabeth 4,727   am
 U-106RaschFaja de Oro 6,067   me
 U-156HartensteinPresidente Trujillo 1,668   do
 U-159WitteMontenol 2,646   brOS-28
 U-159WitteNew Brunswick 6,529   brOS-28
 U-558KrechTroisdoc 1,925   ca
 U-69GräfTorondoc 1,927   ca
* Unless otherwise noted the ships listed here were sunk. (d) = damaged

See all Allied ships hit by U-boats during WWII.

Attacks on this day


U-74. The boat was fired on by HMS Verbena astern of convoy HX 126 and forced to dive, and over the next four hours subjected to a barrage of some 125 depth charges from HMS Verbena and HMS Burnham until the corvette ran out of depth charges and the sonar contact was lost. Severe damage forced U-74 to return to base.


U-755. The British submarine HMS Sickle fired five torpedoes at U-755, but they all missed.

U-231. Late evening, mid Atlantic in the vicinity of convoy ON 184: a bomb from an American Avenger aircraft (VC-9 USN, pilot Lt Cdr Drane) from escort carrier USS Bogue (CVE 9) left the boat with a leak in the stern trimming tank. Chlorine gas from the aft battery compartment forced U-231 to return to base. Because both radio transmitters were also damaged, the boat did not respond to calls from BdU, and was supposed lost for a few days until U-305 reported her situation.


U-995. An attack by a Canadian Sunderland flying boat (4 OTU RCAF/S) wounded five men.

U-boats lost

1943: U-303
1944: U-453

21 men died when those 2 U-boats were lost on this date. 79 men survived.

Survivors from U-boats almost always landed in allied captivity.

- For more information on U-boat losses check out our Fates section.

U-boat Men Lost or Wounded


During refueling by U-459 two men from the boat were washed overboard by a big wave. One of them was soon recovered, but the other remained missing. [Matrosengefreiter Hans Rüchel]

- For more information on Men lost from U-boats check out this page.

Personnel Information

The following men were born on this day:
Johannes Clemens (1911), Ludwig-Ferdinand von Friedeburg (1924), Gottfried Holtorf (1912), Wolfgang Sträter (1916).

The following men died on this day:
Wolf-Dietrich Damerow (1944).

See the entire U-boat commander listing showing all U-boat commanders.
We might include more officers (Allied and Axis) at a later date.

U-boat departures and arrivals on 21 May

This section shows the U-boat departures and arrivals from bases on this day of the year. Current country names shown with harbour names. Boats entering port display days at sea during that patrol.


From Kiel, Germany: U-56, U-101
From Trondheim, Norway: U-122


From Kiel, Germany: U-408
From Kristiansand: U-134, U-153, U-214
From La Spezia, Italy: U-568 (lost 8 days later)

U-boats entering base:
To Brest, France: U-201 (59 days)
To Messina, Italy: U-331 (13 days)
To St. Nazaire, France: U-752 (55 days)


From Toulon, France: U-303 (lost 1 days later)

U-boats entering base:
To Brest, France: U-409 (4 days)
To Hammerfest, Norway: U-622 (5 days)
To St. Nazaire, France: U-267 (60 days), U-405 (20 days)
To Trondheim, Norway: U-703 (3 days)


From Kiel, Germany: U-242, U-243, U-294, U-363, U-971, U-1001
From Marviken: U-987

U-boats entering base:
To Bergen, Norway: U-365 (21 days), U-980 (2 days)
To La Spezia, Italy: U-230 (41 days)
To Narvik, Norway: U-673 (3 days)


U-boats entering base:
To Kiel, Germany U-3008 (19 days)

U-boats at sea on 21 May

Boats entering port on this day are not counted, but boats departing for patrol are. (+) indicates the boat was lost during this patrol.


U-8, U-9, U-28, U-37, U-43, U-56, U-60, U-62, U-101, U-122.
10 boats at sea.


U-38, U-43, U-46, U-66, U-69, U-73, U-74, U-93, U-94, U-96, U-97, U-98, U-103, U-105, U-106, U-107, U-109, U-111, U-138, U-556, U-557, UA.
22 boats at sea.


U-66, U-67, U-68, U-69, U-81, U-83, U-86, U-87, U-89, U-94, U-96, U-98, U-103, U-106, U-107, U-108, U-109, U-116, U-124, U-125, U-126, U-128, U-129, U-130, U-134, U-135, U-153, U-155, U-156, U-157 (+), U-158 (+), U-159, U-161, U-162, U-172, U-205, U-209, U-213, U-214, U-333, U-373, U-404, U-406, U-431, U-432, U-436, U-455, U-502 (+), U-504, U-506, U-507, U-553, U-558, U-559, U-564, U-565, U-566, U-568 (+), U-569, U-578, U-582, U-586, U-588, U-590, U-591, U-593, U-594, U-653, U-701 (+), U-703, U-751, U-753.
72 boats at sea.


U-9, U-66, U-67 (+), U-91, U-92, U-103, U-105 (+), U-107, U-119 (+), U-123, U-126 (+), U-129, U-154, U-161, U-177, U-178, U-180, U-181, U-190, U-195, U-196, U-197 (+), U-198, U-199 (+), U-202 (+), U-211, U-214, U-217 (+), U-218, U-221, U-223, U-228, U-229, U-230, U-231, U-232 (+), U-251, U-260, U-262, U-264, U-304 (+), U-305, U-336, U-340, U-354, U-377, U-378, U-383, U-402, U-403, U-407, U-413, U-414 (+), U-418 (+), U-431, U-435 (+), U-436 (+), U-448, U-454, U-459, U-460, U-461, U-466, U-467 (+), U-468, U-488, U-504, U-511, U-513 (+), U-514, U-515, U-521 (+), U-525, U-527 (+), U-533, U-552, U-558 (+), U-561, U-569 (+), U-575, U-584, U-603, U-607, U-608, U-614, U-621, U-625, U-634, U-636, U-639, U-641, U-642, U-645, U-650, U-664, U-666, U-667, U-707, U-709, U-731, U-752 (+), U-755 (+), U-760, U-951 (+), U-952, U-953.
106 boats at sea.


U-9, U-23, U-24, U-107, U-129, U-155, U-170, U-178, U-181, U-183, U-188, U-190, U-196, U-198 (+), U-275, U-289 (+), U-344, U-347, U-348, U-362, U-385, U-387, U-425, U-441, U-471, U-476 (+), U-477 (+), U-490 (+), U-505, U-516, U-534, U-537, U-539, U-541, U-543 (+), U-547, U-548, U-549 (+), U-586, U-675 (+), U-719 (+), U-736, U-737, U-742, U-764, U-843, U-853, U-857, U-859 (+), U-860 (+), U-861, U-952, U-955 (+), U-957, U-995, U-1222 (+).
56 boats at sea.


U-530, U-977, U-979 (+), U-1277 (+).
4 boats at sea.

General Events on 21 May


U-8 encountered an enemy submarine in the North Sea, but neither boat attacked.


U-69 gave provisions to the survivors after stopping and sinking the neutral US merchant ship Robin Moor.


The former U-2518 was sold to SPA Lotti at La Spezia, Italy and was broken up later that summer.


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