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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.
|IX-C||AG Weser (Bremen)||10 October 1940|
|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|
|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
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)
|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)
|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|
|AMSTERDAM||HEINRICH von RIEDERMANN||ALCOA PARTNER|
SHIPS DAMAGED BY U-66 (Zapp commanding)
|3 May 1942||GEORGE W. McKNIGHT||England||Tanker||12,502|
SHIPS SUNK BY U-66 (Markworth commanding)
|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
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SHIPS DAMAGED BY U-66 (Markworth commanding)
|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)
|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|
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|
|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|
|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|
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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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.