Korvettenkapitan ( granted postumously ) Werner Henke. A top U-Boat Ace.
By February 1942, he at last was given the command of his own boat, U-515, his third patrol over the night of the 30th.April/1st of May in 1943 was an outstanding success. Henke attacked Convoy TS 37, some 90 miles south of the West African port of Freetown, sinking 8 ships to total 49,456 tons, therby earning himself the Oak Leaves to his already awarded Knights Cross. Over his career, this U-Boat commander accounted for 25 ships of 157,064 tons and damaged a further 2 more with a tonnage of 7,954 tons. (See the article, "SS Ceramic, a victim of U-515 on the 7th. of December 1942")
Come the 9th. of April 1944, his boat U-515 was sunk north of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean when it was found by the US escort carrier US Guadalcanal, and destroyers USS Pope, Pillsbury, Chatelain, and Flaherty. Aircraft from the carrier dropped bombs whilst the destroyers all used depth charges to sink the submarine. During this action, 16 of her crew died, but the rest of the ships company numbering 40, including her Captain were rescued.
On board U-515 Werner writes up his war diary
Henke was imprisoned in the interrogation centre at Fort Hunt Virginia as a POW, on the 15th.of June 1944, in broad daylight he just walked towards the fence, to slowly climb it. The guards shouted to him to stop, he ignored all warnings and continued his climb. He was now fatally shot. In fact, in chosing sucide this way, it is thought that Henke believed he faced extradition, and a showcase trial as a criminal.
This U-Boat Ace lies buried in the Soldiers Cemetery at Ft. George G. Meade in the state of Maryland.
On the 18th. of July 1944 Admiral Donitz issued the following day order for his U-Boat force:
Note the number of ships sunk and their tonnage as quoted by Donitz differ slightly to those listed on the U-Boat net.
Werner Henke's grave stone in the US