Daily Event for May 10, 2012

10th May 1945. German Submarine U-1023 Surrenders.

The German submarine U-1023 was launched on 3rd May 1944 at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, she was a Type VIIC/41 boat. From her commissioning on the 15th June 1944 until 28th February she was attached to the 31st Training Flotilla (31.U-Flottille, Hamburg Ausbildungsboot (under training) Oblt. Wolfgang Strenger in command. From the 1st March 1945 U-1023 was attached to the 11th Flotilla (11.U-Flottille, Bergen, Frontboot (operational) Kptlt. Heinrich-Andreas Schroeteler (Knights Cross) in command. U-1023 departed from Bergen on her first and last war patrol on the 25th Mar 1945.

On the 23rd April U-1023 attacked convoy TBC-135 and damaged the 7,345 ton merchant ship Riverton (launched 1943 at Burntisland Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Burntisland). Three of her crew of 48 lost their lives in the attack which took place off St. Ives in the Bristol Channel.

Later, on the 7th May 1945 she attacked and sank the 335 ton Norwegian minesweeper HNoMS NYMS-382 (launched in 1943 at Greenport Basin and Construction Co. Greenport, Long Island, Ex USS YMS-382) off Lyme Bay in the English Channel. Of a crew of 32 officers and men only 10 survived the attack.

When hostilities ceased, boats still at sea were ordered to head for one of a number of designated ports and U-1023 was ordered to the Channel port of Weymouth, Dorset where her surrender was formally accepted on the 10th May 1945. During her operational life it is believed U-1023 suffered no fatal casualties. U-1023 was nominated for ‘Operation Deadlight’, the deliberate destruction and sinking of the majority of the German submarine fleet. However, being so new and in good condition it was decided that U-1023 would visit various ports around the British coast, manned by a Royal Navy crew (with possible German crew members to assist), in order to raise funds for the King George’s Fund for Sailors. After setting out from Portland, Dorset, on the 25th May 1945, U-1023 (now with a Royal Navy designation N-83) called at Plymouth, Bristol, Cardiff, the Liverpool area, Belfast, Glasgow, and the Isle of Mull. The tour ended at the Royal Naval base at Lisahally, in Lough Foyle near Londonderry in Northern Ireland on 14 August. Also touring the British Isles was U-776 (now N.65). On the 9th January 1946, Operation Deadlight caught up with U- 1023 and while under tow by the tug 'Saucy', she foundered northwest of Malin Head.

King George's Fund for Sailors was founded about 80 years ago by King George V to look after the interests and raise funds for all Nautical Charities. KGFS maintains a central fund and each year makes grants to the charities who respond to the needs of individual Seafarers past and present and their dependants from the Royal Navy, the Merchant Navy and the fishing fleets.

Ex- U-1023 seen at Millbay Docks, Plymouth during the post war tour. The identification letters ‘U-1023’ were applied after the vessel surrendered.

Ex- U-1023 seen at Millbay Docks, Plymouth during the post war tour.
© 2012 Philip J. Heydon, I.S.M.

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