Vet 39

SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans

AXEL-OLAF LOEWE (39-1984)

Kriegsmarine, Skipper of U-505

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Kapitänleutnant AXEL-OLAF LOEWE was the first Skipper of U-505, putting that boat into commission 26 August 1941 at the Deutsches Werft in Hamburg.  He was a good Skipper, well-liked by his crew and quite successful.  Under his command, U-505 sank seven of her eight victims.

She was attached by air off the mouth of the Orinoco River (South America) and received extensive damage, but she made it back to her homeport Lorient where she was attached to the 2nd U-Flot.

She was the most heavily damaged submarine in World War Two to make it back to her homeport and she transited thousands of miles of open ocean – a boat that could only submerge to 25 meters (about 84 feet).

 

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If you look closely at the photo, you will note that one of the bombs blew a torpedo in half.  It was stored beneath the wooden deck and fortunately for the crew, the bomb hit the after end of the torpedo where the propulsion mechanism was located.  If the bomb had hit a few feet forward, in the warhead, the torpedo would have detonated and the boat would have been destroyed.U-505 was captured by the USS GUADALCANAL Task Force and was the first enemy Man-O-War captured by the U.S. Navy since the War of 1812.  Photo left is an artists view of that famous event.  In real life, an aircraft carrier would be nowhere near an enemy submarine.