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Vet 213

SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans

WILHELM GRAP (213-1986)

Kriegsmarine, U-Bootwaffe

Grap1Did any German U-Boats come up the Mississippi River? Many wartime romance stories say that they did.  We were contacted in January 2012 by a movie producer who wanted to make a movie about the phantom German U-Boat that sank in the Mississippi mud by Memphis. Wartime romance stories – nothing more… EXCEPT, U-506 did indeed go up the Mississippi River… just a little bit!  WILLI was a crewman aboard this boat when they came about 60 miles up from the entrance at the Mississippi Delta which put them about 40 miles south of New Orleans.  WILLI tells us that their mission was to shell the bridges that spanned the river in New Orleans but when there was only about one meter of water beneath the keel, the Skipper decided to abort the mission and head back to sea.

A submarine in such shallow water is nothing more than a target.  The Skipper made the right decision.

Who doesn’t know of the “LACONIA Incident“?  When U-156 sank the liner LACONIA and put a major rescue operation in motion, U-156 was one of the submarines that rushed to assist. These photos were shot by WILLI and given to Sharkhunters of that historic event.

U-506 assisting boatsFortunate survivors, thanks to the chivalry of the U-Bootwaffe
How could anyone see this and not knowa rescue was underway.  The USAAF pilot saw it and went away but upon landing at his base,
he was ordered to return to sink the U-Boat no matter what they were doing.
Sorry – not enough toilets on board.The youngsters look on this as an adventure.


WILLI was a huge help during our early “Patrols” to North Germany and was a great guy.  After he began his ‘Eternal Patrol‘, his wife Marianne moved into their vacation home in Louisiana only to be confronted by American Immigration authorities and told that she was not welcome in the USA and she had to return to Germany!