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Much of this information, the data, the photos etc. comes directly from the veterans, the veterans' organizations and is the most accurate available anywhere..............much of this information is not even known elsewhere.

A crewman's memories of his time aboard U-66 will be found below.  It is extremely graphic and riveting.

Did you know that the battle between U-66 and USS BUCKLEY was the basis for the movie "Enemy Below" which stared Robert Mitchum and Kurt Jürgens?  This was the first post-war film that depicted the U-Bootfahrer as normal sailors doing their duty as opposed to earlier films depicting them all as raving Nazis, which they were not.  This movie was filmed with two different endings.  We saw the ending that showed both Skippers being rescued and sharing a cigarette on the fantail of the American ship.  The other ending, which was not used, showed both Skippers killed when the U-Boat exploded.
 

TYPE BUILDER LAUNCHED
IX-C AG Weser (Bremen) 10 October 1940
     
COMMISSIONED FELDPOST Nr. SUNK
2 January 1941 M21181 6 May 1944
     
SUNK BY LOCATION SUNK POSITION SUNK
USN Aircraft of VC.55 flying off
USS BLOCK ISLAND (CVE-21)
and USS BUCKLEY (DE 51)
West of the Cape Verde Isles 17º 17'N x 32º 29'W
 
USS  BLOCK  ISLAND  (CVE-21)   USS  BUCKLEY  (DE 51)


             26 Men lost  (list is below)

Commanders of U-66 include:

LAST NAME FIRST NAME FROM TO OTHER BOATS COMMENTS
Zapp Richard   2 Jan 1941 27 May 1942 U-68  
Markworth Friederich 27 May 1942 ?? Aug 1943    
Frerks   (1)          
Seehausen Gerhard ?? August 1943   6 May 1944    
 
Richard Zapp   Friederich Markworth

NOTE - Sharkhunters Member's names appear in bold capital letters followed by their Membership Number.

U-66 was assigned to the famed 2nd U-Bootflottille and had several patrols in the North Atlantic; in the Caribbean in April 1942 and again in July and August 1942; in the Central Atlantic February and March 1943; off Cape Hatteras May and June 1943; they landed an intelligence agent in the area of the Mauritania - Rio De Oro (Spanish Sahara) border on January 20 1943.  This agent and two crewmen were reported captured.  One crewman died of illness on 13 September 1942; the Captain of the steamer ST. MARGARET was taken prisoner aboard U-66; three crewmen killed and eight wounded in an air attack on 3 August 1943.  U-66 was lost on her return from a patrol in the Gulf of Guinea.

                  SHIPS SUNK BY U-66 (Zapp commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
29 Jun 1941 GEORGE J. GOULANDRIS Greece Steamer  4,345
29 Jun 1941 KALYPSO  VERGOTTI Greece Steamer 5,686
30 Jun 1941 St.  ANSELM England Steamer 5,614
19 Jul 1941 HOLMSIDE England Steamer 3,433
26 Sep 1941 I. C. WHITE Panama Tanker 7,052
18 Jan 1942 ALLAN JACKSON   (2) United States Tanker 6,635
   
GEORGE J. GOULANDRIS   KALYPSO  VERGOTTI   HOLMSIDE
         
   
I.  C.  WHITE   ALLAN  JACKSON   USS ROE (DD 418)
to the rescue  (2)

 

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
19 Jan 1942 LADY  HAWKINS   (3) Canada Steamer   7,988
22 Jan 1942 NORVANA   (4) United States Steamer   2,677
24 Jan 1942 EMPIRE GUM England Tanker   8,139
24 Jan 1942 VENORE   (5) United States Steamer   8,017
14 Apr 1942 KORTHIAN Greece Steamer   2,116
16 Apr 1942 AMSTERDAM Netherlands Tanker   7,329
17 Apr 1942 HEINRICH von RIEDERMANN Panama Tanker 11,020
26 Apr 1942 ALCOA  PARTNER  (6) United States Steamer   5,513
29 Apr 1942 HARRY G. SEIDEL Panama Tanker 10,354
  2 May 1942 SANDAR Norway Tanker   7,624
LADY  HAWKINS NORVANA KORTHIAN
     
AMSTERDAM HEINRICH von RIEDERMANN ALCOA PARTNER

 

                  SHIPS DAMAGED BY U-66 (Zapp commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
  3 May 1942 GEORGE W. McKNIGHT England Tanker 12,502

   GEORGE W. McKNIGHT  


                  SHIPS SUNK BY U-66 (Markworth commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
26 Jul 1942 TAMANDARE Brazil Steamer   4,942
28 Jul 1942 WEIRBANK England Motorship   5,150
  6 Aug 1942 ROZEWIE Palestine Steamer      766
29 Aug 1942 TOPA  TOPA   (7) United States Steamer   5,356
30 Aug 1942 SIR  HUON Panama Motorship   6,049
30 Aug 1942 WEST LASHAWAY   (8) United States Steamer   5,637
31 Aug 1942 WINEMAC England Tanker   8,621
  9 Sep 1942 PEIPING Sweden Motorship   6,390
  1 Jan 1943 JOSEPH ELISE   (9) France Trawler      113
27 Feb 1943 St. MARGARET England Steamer   4,312
10 Jun 1943 ESSO GETTYSBURG   (10) United States Tanker 10,173
  2 Jul 1943 BLOODY MARSH   (11) United States Tanker 10,195
WEIRBANK TOPA  TOPA SIR  HUON
     
WEST LASHAWAY HMS VIMY (8) ESSO GETTYSBURG

Sharkhunters Members get all this information and a whole lot more including a monthly Magazine with facts, veteran's memories and stories you cannot get anywhere else - and when you join, you may select one of our hand-signed photos of veterans of the war as your free gift.  Send us an email at sharkhunters@earthlink.net with your name, and request a FREE sample of our KTB Magazine.  You will love it - and there is NO obligation!

                  SHIPS DAMAGED BY U-66 (Markworth commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
29 Jul 1942 unknown  (12) United States USCG cutter unknown
  2 Aug 1942 MTB 339   (12) England Motor torpedo boat       32
  2 Aug 1942 MTB 342   (12) England Motor torpedo boat       32
  4 Aug 1942 unknown unknown steamer 5,000 (est)
25 Feb 1943 unknown   (13) England Destroyer unknown
25 Feb 1943 unknown   (13) unknown unknown unknown
25 Feb 1943 unknown   (13) unknown unknown unknown
22 Jul 1943 CHERRY VALLEY  (14) United States Tanker 10,172

                  SHIPS SUNK BY U-66 (Seehausen commanding)

DATE NAME NATION TYPE GRTons
26 Feb 1944 SILVERMAPLE England Motorship 5,313
  1 Mar 1944 SAINT LOUIS France Steamer 5,202
  5 Mar 1944 JOHN HOLT England Steamer 4,964
21 Mar 1944 MATADIAN England Tanker 4,275
   
SILVERMAPLE   JOHN  HOLT   MATADIAN

On 19 February 1944, Seehausen fired a GNAT at a destroyer; heard the end of run detonation and assumed a hit with damage.  There was no confirmation.

On 26 February 1944, Seehausen fired at an unknown steamer, heard a detonation and assumed a hit with damage.  No Confirmation.

    Men lost aboard U-66

LAST NAME FIRST NAME RANK   LAST NAME FIRST NAME RANK
Dreyer Heinrich Mtr Ob Gfr   Ehrlichmann Helmut Masch Ob Gfr
Friederich Günther Bootsmannsmaat   Geisen Peter Bootsmannsmaat
Hansen Willi Masch Ob Gfr   Jahn Rudolf Mtr Ob Gfr
Jeuschede Karl Heinz Masch Ob Gft   Keller Horst Matrosen
Lindner Werner Mech Ob Gfr   Lorenz Erich Gefreiter
Mayer Herbert Masch Ob Gfr   Mildenberger August Mtr Ob Gfr
Nitsch Heinz Gefreiter   Reinfeld Werner Mtr Ob Gfr
Riesenbeck Reinhold Masch Mt   Ronge Alfred Masch Ob Gfr
Schönknecht Günter Oberbootsmann   Scholz Gerhard Masch Mt
Scholz Willibald Mech Gfr   Schubert Walter Ober Masch Mt
Schütze Kurt Oblt zur See   Seehausen Gerhard Oblt zur See
Steinhilber Rudolf Oblt zur See   Stotmeister Günter Ober Mech Mt
Stupp Albert Mtr Ob Gfr   Sündermann Heinz Mtr Gfr


FOOTNOTES:
1.  Oberleutnant zur See Frerks commanded U-66 for a short time when Markworth was wounded.

2.  The tanker ALLAN JACKSON was owned and operated by Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and was unarmed.  She was making 11 knots and drew 27’ 3” when she was attacked.  Her cargo was 72,870 barrels of crude oil.  She departed Cartegena, Columbia bound for New York without routing instructions and sailing independently.  She was about fifty miles off Cape Hatteras when Zapp fired two torpedoes - the first hitting forward of the bridge on the starboard side and the second hit just aft of the wheelhouse.  This second torpedo broke the ship in two and flaming oil spread so far out from the ship that men could not go over the side without going into the blazing inferno.  The ship sank in just five minutes and only the #3 lifeboat with eight men could be launched.  Other men jumped into the water and hung onto wreckage.  USS ROE (DD 418) picked up the survivors the following day and landed them at Norfolk, Virginia.  Five of the eight officers were lost, and seventeen of the twenty-seven crewmen died.  All the others were injured to one degree or another.

3.  LADY HAWKINS was one of the ‘LADY’ ships of the Canadian National Railway, one of which brought the exiled Duke and Duchess of Windsor into exile in the Bahamas where he was given the title 'Governor General'.

4.  NORVANA was owned by Merchants and Miners Transportation Company and operated by North Atlantic and Gulf SS Company.  She was unarmed, making 9 knots when attacked and drew 24’ 5” with her cargo of 3,980 tons of ore.  There seems to be some question whether this ship was sunk by U-66 under Zapp or U-123 under REINHARD HARDEGEN (122-1985).

5.  VENORE was an unarmed ship, owned and operated by Ore SS company.  She was making 10 knots, drew 34 feet and carried 8,000 tons of iron ore when she was attacked.  She departed Chile bound for Sparrows Point, Maryland.  When she was about 15 miles of fthe Diamond Shoals Buoy, Zapp spotted her dimmed running lights and turned in her direction.  At 1948 hours, lookouts saw U-66 only 150 yards off but too late as Zapp fired two torpedoes.  One struck port side amidships while the other missed entirely.  VENORE began to zig-zag while fire fighting parties tried to bring the resultant fire under control.  The ship was moving at high speed but some of the officers and men paniced and attempted to launch three lifeboats without orders from Captain Fritz Duurloo.  Two of the boats disintigrated upon hitting the water and more than a dozen men drowned.  Two men survived in the third boat.  More than half an hour later, U-66 fired another torpedo into the port side at the #9 hold.  the crew quickly abandoned ship, which rolled over and sank about an hour later.  SS TENNESSEE located the boat with twenty-one survivors at 1100 hours on 25 January and landed the men at Norfolk, Virginia.  Later the same day, the Texaco tanker AUSTRALIA found one more man and rescued him.  Two officers and fifteen men died.

6.  ALCOA PARTNER was unarmed; owned and operated by Alcoa SS Company.  She was making 10 and 1/2 knots when attacked.  She was carrying 8,500 tons of bauxite ore and drew a little over 26 feet on her way from Trinidad to Mobile, Alabama and Zapp saw the zig-zagging ship and fired one torpedo.  It hit portside at the #2 hatch and the deck gun crew also opened fire with the 10.5cm gun.  One shell hit the poop deck.  Because she was carrying heavy ore, the ship sank in less than three minutes after the torpedo hit.  The starboard lifeboat floated free with one man in it and twenty-four men got to it.  They looked in vain for the ten men who were missing, and the lifeboat finally reached Bonaire a day and a half after the sinking.  One officer, eight men & the lone workaway died.

7.  TOPA TOPA was armed with one 5 inch gun, one 3 inch gun, four .50 cal. and two .30 cal machine guns.  She was owned by the Waterman SS Company and operated by the Barber Line.  Carrying 6,500 tons of general cargo plus gasoline in drums, she was making 12 knots and drew 24’ 8” when attacked.  She departed Trinidad independantly bound for Takoradi, the Gold Coast.  A rain squall caused the ship to stop zig-zagging and she steered a straight course.  Markworth fired two torpedoes in rapid succession and they both hit the starboard side of the ship.  The first hit at the #2 hatch and the explosion completely blew off the side of the bridge.  The second hit started the drummed gasoline on fire which quickly engulfed the entire ship in flames.  The eight officers, thirty-four crewmen, three passengers and fifteen Armed Guards quickly abandoned the flaming ship in three lifeboats.  The chief engineer was taken aboard U-66 and questioned for a time, then he was returned to the lifeboat.  The British SS CLAN MacINNES rescued the survivors and landed them at Port of Spain, Trinidad.  Three officers, 15 crewmen and 7 Armed Guards died.

8.  WEST LASHAWAY was an old ship (built in 1918) was owned and operated by the American West African Line.  She carried 7,670 tons of tin, cooper, cocoa beans and palm oil.  She was making 7 knots and drew 27 feet when she was hit.  Her armament consisted of one four inch gun and two .30 cal. machine guns.  She sailed independantly from Takoradi, Gold Coast bound for New York with a planned stop in Trinidad.  Markworth fired at the zig-zagging ship but a lookout spotted the torpedo coming.  Captain Benjamin Bogdam sounded emergency and put the ship up to full speed and swung the ship hard to port.  Nevertheless, the torpedo hit amidships on the starboard side and a second torpedo hit near the same spot, blowing the #3 hatch completely off and causing extensive internal damage.  The ship rolled to starboard and sank within one minute!  No boats were launched but four rafts floated free and forty-two people reached them.  After three days, heavy weather separated the rafts and they drifted until 13 September when a plane spotted one raft with ninteen survivors aboard.  Next day the survivors spotted a destroyer but the lookouts on the ship did not see the raft and went onward.  On 18 September, three planes sighted the raft again and the destroyer HMS VIMY (I-33) was dispatched to rescue those aboard.  Lookouts aboard HMS VIMY saw the raft but thought it was the conning tower of a U-boat and began firing on it!  Fortunately, all 16 shots missed.  The survivors took down the sail and the British sailors realized what they had, and picked up the occupants of the raft of which were the lady missionary and four children.  HMS VIMY transferred these survivors to the Dutch SS PRINS WILLIAM VAN ORANGE which landed them at Barbados.  Two on the raft had died of exposure before being rescued.  Twenty-five days after the sinking, a West Indian fisherman picked up one raft with two survivors on board but one soon died of exposure.  The other rafts were never seen again.  Only one officer, one Armed Guard, eleven seamen and five passengers survived.

9.  JOSEPH ELISE was sunk by the deck gun.

10.  ESSO GETTYSBURG was a new ship (built in 1942) was owned and operated by the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and was carrying 120,120 barrels of crude oil when she was hit.  She was making 15 and 1/2 knots and drew 31 and 1/2 feet.  Her armament consisted of one 4 inch gun, one 3 inch gun and eight 20mm automatic guns.  She departed Port Arthur, Texas bound for Philadelphia.  While en route, she received a warning that a U-Boat was in the area and so she continued her zig-zag course.  Markworth fired two torpedoes and the first hit portsidfe between the #6 and #7 tanks, ripping up twenty-five feet of deck, blowing oil 100 feet into the air and knocking out the steering mechanism.  The second torpedo hit moments later at the engine room, immediately starting the oil on fire.  The ship began to quickly settle by the stern while listing to port.  The oil was spreading on the water and once ignited, spread about 100 feet to either side of the ship.  The smoke climbed more than 1,000 feet into the sky.  The entire compliment of eight officers, thirty-seven men and twenty-severn Armed Guards tried to launch the lifeboats but the flames prevented their success.  Fifteen of these men jumped overboard and swam quickly away from the inferno - and they were the only survivors.  These fifteen managed to reach a badly burning lifeboat and put out the fire.  The SS GEORGE WASHINGTON picked up these survivors and landed them in Charleston, South Carolina.

11.  BLOODY MARSH was a brand new tanker (built in 1943) was owned and operated by the Cities Service Oil Company and carried 102,500 barrels of crude oil when she was hit.  She was making 13 and 1/2 knots and drew 30 and 1/2 feet.  Her armament consisted of one 5 inch gun, one 3 inch gun and eight 20mm automatic guns.  She had departed Houston, Texas on 28 June on her maiden voyage.  Just after midnight, the ship’s torpedo detector sounded a short blast after locating the torpedo Markworth fired.  Captain Albert Barnes swung the helm hard left but to no avail.  Thirty seconds later, the torpedo struck the engine room, totally destroying and flooding that compartment.  The tanker began to settle by the stern and the Armed Guards spotted the conning tower of U-66 but they could not fire because the explosion had jammed the gun.  the forward gun could not be brought to bear on the target.  The ten officers, forty seamen and twenty-three of the twenty-seven Armed Guards left the ship in four lifeboats.  The Armed Guard commander and three men remained aboard.  Almost twenty minutes later, Markworth fired a second torpedo which hit amidships and broke the ship in half.  When the water rose to the after gun platform, the remaining four Armed Guards dived into the water and swam to the boats.  Early the next morning, a US Navy Blimp spotted the survivors and by 0900, the US Navy sub chaser SC-1048 picked them up.  One officer and two men who were standing watch below decks were killed when the torpedo first struck the ship.  All others survived.

12.  The US Coast Guard cutter and the two English motor torpedo boats struck mines laid by U-66 on 20 July in Port Castries.

13.  Markworth fired on one destroyer and two steamers in Convoy UC.1 and heard three detonations.  While there were claims of hits and possible damage, it seems highly unlikely since there were no Allied reports of ships being hit.

14.  CHERRY VALLEY was a new turbine tanker (built 1942) was owned by Kaymar Tankers Inc and operated by the WPA.  She was making 15 knots, carrying 6,000 tons of water ballast and 165 tons of US Army cargo when she was hit.  She drew 18’ 6” and had a compliment of one 5 inch gun, one 3 inch gun and eight 20mm automatic guns.  She was steering a zig-zag course while sailing independantly from New York to Aruba in the Caribbean.  Markworth fired two torpedoes which struck the starboard side in the #6 and #7 tanks.  The explosions ripped open the #5, #6, #7 and #8 starboard and center tanks but since the ship was in water ballast, there was no fire.  There was no damage to the engines or the steering mechanism, so the Master John Rose ordered the speed dropped to 13 knots while they tried to escape.  Markworth fired another spread of three torpedoes, all of which missed completely.  U-66 surfaced to attack with her single 10.5cm deck gun, but the Armed Guard fired every gun they could bring to bear on the U-boat while the Skipper maneuvered the tanker and trimmed ballast by pumping the #1 starboard tank empty, and they escaped.  She arrived at San Juan, PR under her own power and under escort from the Dutch corvette JAN VAN BRAKEL.  There were no deaths or injuries among the eleven officers, forty seamen and twenty-eight Armed Guards.


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Sharkhunters Members get all this information and a whole lot more including a monthly Magazine with facts, veteran's memories and stories you cannot get anywhere else - and when you join, you may select one of our hand-signed photos of veterans of the war as your free gift.  Send us an email at sharkhunters@earthlink.net with your name, and request a FREE sample of our KTB Magazine.  You will love it - and there is NO obligation!
 

 

     CLICK ON THE PHOTO

Click on this photo of USS BUCKLEY to read the battle history of U-66, including the wounding of the Skipper and watching U-117 being destroyed, all told by VINZENZ NOSCH (280-1987).

The photo depicts USS BUCKLEY in the shipyard to repair her damaged bow after she rammed U-66.

Much of this information stems from a visit between VINZ NOSCH, a veteran of USS BUCKLEY and Sharkhunters founder and President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) in a suburb of Chicago in 1987


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Many thanks to our friend and Sharkhunters Member since 1987 GEORG HÖGEL for all the conning tower emblems used in our monthly KTB Magazine and also here on the pages of our website.  GEORG was radioman aboard U-30, the first boat into combat, the first to sink a ship (the liner ATHENIA) and the first into an occupied French port.  When that Skipper (Lemp) took command of U-110, GEORG was one of the former crew to transfer to the new boat under Lemp.  After the war, he was Professor of Art at a major German university.