January 1943 events of the Battle of the Atlantic  
  Overview  
  1 Allied warship was sunk by a mine.  
  1 Allied warship was went missing and was never found.  
  1 Allied warship was damaged by a mine.  
  1 Allied warship was damaged by grounding.  
   
  1 German warship was sunk by an Allied warship.  
   
  2 U-boats were sunk by Allied aircraft.  
  3 U-boats went missing by causes unknown.  
   
  34 Allied merchant ships were sunk by U-boats totaling 200,523 tons.  
  1 Allied merchant ship was damaged by a U-boat totaling 7,159 tons.  
   
  1 neutral Swedish merchant ship was sunk by Allied aircraft.  
   
  1 German blockade runner was sunk by an Allied warship.  
   
  Naval Action in the Atlantic Ocean  
  Monday, January 4, 1943  
  While on her 2nd war patrol out of Roseneath, Scotland, the submarine USS Shad (S 235), commanded by Lt. Commander E. J. MacGregor, III, sank the German auxiliary minesweeper M 4242 and a barge with gunfire in the Bay of Biscay about 55 nautical miles west-northwest of Biarritz, France in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Monday, January 11, 1943  
  The minesweeper HMCS Fort William (J 311), commanded by T/Lt. Hugh Campbell, was damaged in a collision with the merchant Lisgar in Halifax harbor. The Fort William was under repair for about a month.  
   
  Tuesday, January 12, 1943  
  The ASW trawler HMS Kingston Jacinth (4.45) struck a mine and sank off Portsmouth, England.  
   
  Thursday, January 21, 1943  
  The wooden sub chaser USS SC-709 (SC 709) ran aground and was severely damaged in a blizzard off Louisbourgh, Nova Scotia.  
   
  Saturday, January 23, 1943  
  The cutter USCG Natsek (W 170) was overdue in the North Atlantic for several weeks and presumed lost in Belle Isle Strait or the Gulf of St Lawrence sometime between January 11 and January 23, 1943. The weather during this period was extremely bad with heavy ice. All 24 of the crew were lost.  
   
  U-Boat Losses  
  Sunday, January 3, 1943  
  The U-337, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Ruwiedel, made its last report when the boat was about 150 nautical miles west-northwest of the Faeroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. The U-Boat was later listed as missing and no explanation was given for the loss. All of the ship’s complement of 47 died. During its career under Oberleutnant zur See Ruwiedel the U-337 sank or damaged no ships.  
   
  Wednesday, January 6, 1943  
  The U-164, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Otto Fechner, was sunk was sunk by depth charges from a U.S. Catalina aircraft north-west of Pernambuco, Brazil in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 54 died and 2 survived. During its career under Korvettenkapitän Fechner the U-164 sank 3 merchant ships for a total of 8,133 tons.  
   
  Wednesday, January 13, 1943  
  The U-507, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Harro Schacht, was sunk by depth charges from a U.S. Catalina aircraft in the South Atlantic northwest of Natal, Brazil. All of the ship’s complement of 54 died. During its career under Korvettenkapitän Schacht the U-507 sank 19 merchant ships for a total of 77,143 tons and damaged 1 merchant ship for a total of 6,561 tons. Korvettenkapitän Schacht was considered one of Germany’s top U-boat aces.  
   
  Wednesday, January 20, 1943  
  The U-553, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Karl Thurmann, sent its last radio-message when it reported - "Sehrohr unklar" (Periscope not clear.) She was never heard from again. The ship was presumed sunk in the mid North Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 47 died. During its career under Korvettenkapitän Thurmann the U-553 sank 1 warship, 12 merchant ships for a total of 61,390 tons, and damaged 2 merchant ships for a total of 15,273 tons. Korvettenkapitän Thurmann was considered one of Germany’s top U-boat aces.  
   
  Wednesday, January 27, 1943  
  The U-376, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Friedrich-Karl Marks, had to break off her patrol in the northern Atlantic Ocean when some crewmembers were wounded in an air attack.  
   
  Sunday, January 31, 1943  
  The U-519, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Günther Eppen was reported missing in the Bay of Biscay. There was no explanation for its loss. All of the ship’s complement of 50 died. During its career under Oberleutnant zur See Eppen the U-519 sank or damaged no ships.  
   
  Attacks on Allied and Neutral Merchant Ships  
  Friday, January 1, 1943  
  The neutral Swedish motor merchant Brageland stopped by the U-164, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Otto Fechner, off the Brazilian coast in the western Atlantic Ocean and searched by a boarding party of three men. According to the prize rules, the Germans ordered the crew to abandon ship in 30 minutes and then fired a torpedo, which caused the ship to sink by the bow after 6 minutes. The 2,608 ton Brageland was carrying coffee, wool, cheese and mail and was headed for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  
   
  Sunday, January 3, 1943  
  The British steam merchant Baron Dechmont was torpedoed and sunk by the U-507 commanded by Korvettenkapitän Ludwig Mathes northwest of Cape San Roque, Brazil in the western Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 7 died and there were 37 survivors. The 3,675 ton Baron Dechmont was carrying coal and coke and was headed for Pernambuco, Brazil.  
   
  The British motor tanker British Vigilance was torpedoed by the U-514, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Hans-Jürgen Auffermann, about 900 miles northeast of Barbados in the western Atlantic Ocean and abandoned. Of the ship’s complement, 27 died and 27 survivors were picked up by the corvette HMS Saxifrage (K 04) and landed at Gibraltar. The 8,093 ton British Vigilance was carrying clean petroleum products and was headed for Gibraltar. The abandoned burning tanker drifted for three weeks until January 24, 1943 when the wreck was sunk by the U-105, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Nissen, with two torpedoes.  
   
  Friday, January 8, 1943  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Yorkwood was torpedoed and sunk by the U-507, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Harro Schacht, northwest of Ascension Island in the south Atlantic Ocean. One crew member was lost. The master, Frank Herbert Fenn, was taken prisoner by the Germans and lost when the U-boat was sunk five days later. 38 crew members and eight gunners landed at Macau, Brazil. The 5,401 ton Yorkwood was carrying general cargo and was headed for England.  
   
  Saturday, January 9, 1943  
  The unescorted British motor merchant William Wilberforce was torpedoed and sunk by the U-511, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Fritz Schneewind, west of the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 3 died and 60 survivors were picked up by the Spanish motor merchant Monte Arnabal. The 5,004 ton William Wilberforce was carrying West African produce, including palm kernels, palm oil, and rubber and was headed for Liverpool, England.  
   
  Monday, January 11, 1943  
  A straggler from convoy SC-115, the British steam merchant Ocean Vagabond was torpedoed and sunk by the U-186, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Siegfried Hesemann, south of Iceland in the north Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 1 died and 46 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Wanderer (D 74). The 7,174 ton Ocean Vagabond was carrying wheat, lumber and sulfite pulp and was headed for Hull, England.  
   
  Tuesday, January 12, 1943  
  The British sailing ship C.S. Flight was sunk by the U-105, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Nissen, north of Venezuela in the western Atlantic Ocean. The U-105 fired its 2cm AA gun into the rigging of the C.S. Flight to force the crew to abandon ship in two lifeboats and a raft. There were too many people on board and many jumped overboard and drowned. The U-105 used hand grenades to sink the vessel and questioned the survivors in the boats before leaving the area. 49 people died and there were 23 survivors.  
   
  Friday, January 15, 1943  
  The British steam merchant Ocean Courage was torpedoed and sunk by the U-182, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Asmus Nicolai Clausen, about 200 miles south of the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 46 died and 7 survivors were picked up by the British merchant Silverwalnut. The 7,173 ton Ocean Courage was carrying iron ore and mail and was headed for the United Kingdom.  
   
  Sunday, January 17, 1943  
  Traveling with Convoy HX-222, the Panamanian whale factory ship Vestfold was torpedoed and sunk by the U-268, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Ernst Heydemann, west of Brest, northwest France. Before the ship sank she ran uncontrolled in circles and almost collided with the British rescue ship Rathlin, which picked up the survivors. Of the ship’s complement, 19 died and 56 survivors were picked up. The 14,547 ton Vestfold was carrying fuel oil and 3 landing craft (the British HMS LCT-2239, HMS LCT-2267 and HMS LCT-2344 (each 291 tons) and was headed for Clyde, United Kingdom.  
   
  Monday, January 18, 1943  
  The Swedish steam merchant Algeria was bombed by a British aircraft, while in a German convoy off Den Helder, The Netherlands. She was taken in tow, but had to be abandoned after five hours, because she broke in two and sank 11 miles southwest of Terschelling. Two of the 21 crew members died. The survivors were rescued, brought to Den Helder and returned later via Sassnitz to Sweden.  
   
  Friday, January 22, 1943  
  Sailing with Convoy UR-59, the Swedish steam merchant Neva was torpedoed and sunk by the U-358, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Rolf Manke, about 500 miles west of the Shetland Islands in the north Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 19 died and 2 survived. The 1,456 ton Neva was carrying coal and was headed for Reykjavik, Iceland.  
   
  A straggler from Convoy SC-117, the Greek steam merchant Mount Mycale was torpedoed and sunk by the U-413, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Gustav Poel, northeast of Newfoundland in the western Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  Saturday, January 23, 1943  
  The abandoned burning British motor tanker British Vigilance was torpedoed and sunk by the U-105, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Nissen, near Barbados in the western Atlantic Ocean. The British Vigilance had been torpedoed by the U-514, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Hans-Jürgen Auffermann, on January 3, 1943.  
   
  Sunday, January 24, 1943  
  Sailing with Convoy HX-223, the Norwegian motor tanker Kollbjørg broke in two when an enormous breaker swept across the foredeck during a storm of hurricane force southeast of Greenland in the North Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 11 died and 25 survivors were rescued the next day by the American tanker Pan Maryland, but one man was badly injured during the transfer and died that night. The 8,259 ton Kollbjørg was carrying oil and was headed for Stanlow, England.  
   
  Monday, January 25, 1943  
  A straggler from convoy SC-117, the British steam merchant Lackenby was torpedoed and sunk by the U-624, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Graf Ulrich von Soden-Fraunhofen, south of Cape Farewell, Greenland in the north Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 44 died. The 5,112 ton Lackenby was carrying phosphate and was headed for London, England.  
   
  Tuesday, January 26, 1943  
  The forepart of the Norwegian motor tanker Kollbjørg, which had broke in two when an enormous breaker swept across the foredeck during a storm of hurricane force on January 24 was sunk by gunfire by the U-594, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Friedrich Mumm, southeast of Greenland in the North Atlantic Ocean.  
   
  A straggler from convoy HX-223, the Norwegian motor tanker Nortind was torpedoed and sunk by the U-358, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Rolf Manke, southeast of Greenland in the North Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 43 died. The 8,221 ton Nortind was carrying oil and was headed for River Mersey, England. The Nortind had stayed together with the American steam tanker Pan Maryland behind the convoy to rescue survivors from the Kollbjørg, which broke in two during a storm on January 24.  
   
  The U-255, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Reinhart Reche, sank an iced up steamer with two torpedoes west of the Bear Island, northern Norway. The ship had just escaped the U-625 when it was torpedoed. Two Soviet freighters went missing in the Barents Sea in January 1943 and both were apparently sunk by the U-255. The first sunk was probably Krasnyj Partizan that had left the Kola Inlet bound for the United States on January 24. The last radio message was received on January 26, reporting an air attack near Bear Island.  
   
  Friday, January 29, 1943  
  The Soviet steam merchant Ufa was reportedly torpedoed and sunk by the U-255, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Reinhart Reche, south of the Bear Islands, northern Norway in the Arctic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 14 died. The 1,892 ton Ufa was carrying timber and was headed for the United States.  
   
  Axis Merchant Shipping Losses  
  Friday, January 1, 1943  
  The light cruiser HMS Scylla (98), commanded by Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, sank the German blockade runner Rhakotis 140 miles from the French coast. An RAF Coastal Command Sunderland flying boat spotted the Rhakotis in the Bay of Biscay the day before attempting to smuggle in war cargo from Japan. The HMS Scylla was diverted to intercept, and ran at full speed through a gale for some 20 hours, with the Sunderland guiding her towards the target by dropping flares along the course. For more information on this vessel visit the HMS Scylla page on www.uboat.net.  
   
  Saturday, January 2, 1943  
  The U-410, commanded by Fregattenkapitän Kurt Sturm, picked up 80 survivors from the German blockade-runner Rhakotis that had been sunk on January 1, 1943 and proceeded to St. Nazaire, France. For more information on this vessel visit the U-410 page on www.uboat.net.  
   
  Other Battle of the Atlantic Events  
  xx.  
     
   
     
   
 

The objective of WW2Timelines.com is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

 
   
  Copyright 2011
WW2timelines.com
Contact us using our email page