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Vet 225

SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans


Kriegsmarine, U-Bootwaffe



SIEGFRIED KOITSCHKA was born 6 August 1917 in Bautzen and was in the Naval Academy Class 1937a.

It is not well known that it was KOITSCHKA who sank the U.S. Navy destroyer USS REUBEN JAMES five weeks before the US was in the war.

Okay, it was U-552 under command of ERICH TOPP (118-1985) that sank the old “RUBE” but KOITSCHKA was the I.W.O. aboard U-552 and TOPP had KOITSCHKA make the attack on what they both thought was one of the 50 old destroyers the USN had given to England. He was one of only 145 U-Bootfahrer to be decorated with the Knights Cross.

Headed for home aboard U-616 under command of KOITSCHKA.
KOITSCHKA was a man with a great sense of humor.  When he was I.W.O. aboard U-552, the emblem of that boat was the famed ‘Red Devil‘ seen here. When he took command of U-616, he designed this emblem for his new boat.  This was the “Little Bastard” and according to KOITSCHKA, the father was the ‘Red Devil‘ of TOPP‘s boat and the mother was a prostitute in Toulon. After the war, he became a veterinarian in a tiny village in the middle of Germany and was well liked by everyone there. The first time that Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) went to visit, he stopped at a little gas station to ask directions and he gave the address. “Oh, you want Dr. Koitschka!” the fellow said.  He left his gas station and drove to the house with COOPER following.
Finally home safely with the girlfriends in Toulon.

SIEGFRIED KOITSCHKA was a strong, supportive Member of Sharkhunters and a good friend. He hand signed some of our very rare fine art prints. Click here for Art Prints
PrintAI  PrintAJ
“ALMOST HOME”                                                                  “CONVOY IN SIGHT”

kbsb15At the Sharkhunters 2000 “Patrol in ParadiseSIEGFRIED KOITSCHKA is on the right end.