U-767 Lost and found
This Type V11c boat was laid down on the 5th. of April 1941, but it took until the 11th. of September 1943 for her to commission under the command of Ober Leutnant Zur See Walter Dankleff. She made but one patrol with very limited success, one ship of 1,370 tons sunk, the British Frigate Mourne, on the 15th. of June 1944.
Only three days later U-767 was detected by three ships from the British Support Group 14, HM ships Fame, Inconstant, and Havelock. Fame attacked with her Hedge Hog, reporting two or three hits at a depth of 95 feet, the Hedge Hog, an ahead throwing weapon, firing off 24 under water projectiles which only explode on achieving a hit on their submarine target.
Over the next hour, the three ships carried out three deliberate depth charge attacks which drove the U Boat to the sea floor at a depth of 250 feet, she was now doomed, one of 121 submarines and U-Boats to be sunk in the English Channel since the 18th. century.
From a crew of 50, but one survived, a stoker, Walter Schmietenknop escaped from a torpedo tube to surface in the midst of the depth charge explosions, and was picked up by Fame.
Forward to July 2002, and the Starfish Enterprise Wreck Diving
The wreck of U-767.
The single survivor picked up by Fame, had at that time, confirmed the identity of his submarine as U-767, it would seem beyond any doubt that the team had found, dived on, and explored U-767, sunk in position: 49 degrees 03 minutes North, 03 degrees 13 minutes West on the 18th. of June 1944.
Once again, the ocean had been forced to give up yet another of its secrets, modern diving techniques and equipment are allowing intrepid divers to locate and dive on more and more wrecks that have long been hidden in their secret lairs.
When one adds the wonders of under water photography to this mix, we are now able to enjoy visually the amazing shots of this newly found U-Boat, now the home of colourful marine life.
Pictures to come:
Open hatch of U767 at 250 feet
in English Channel.