Ship ClassType IX-class Submarine
Yard Number1066
Ordered5 Jun 1941
Laid Down15 Jun 1942
Launched23 Mar 1943
Commissioned12 Aug 1943
Sunk15 Jun 1944
Displacement1,580 tons standard; 1,771 tons submerged
Length287 feet
Beam25 feet
Draft18 feet
MachineryTwo diesel engines (8,880bhp), two electric motors (990shp), two shafts
Speed20 knots
Range12,750nm at 10 knots surfaced; 57nm at 4 knots submerged
Armament4x53.3cm bow torpedo tubes, 2x53.3cm stern torpedo tubes, 24 torpedoes or 48 TMA or 72 TMB mines, 1x10.5cm SK C/32 gun, 1x3.7cm Flak M42 anti-aircraft gun, 2x2cm C/30 anti-aircraft gun
Submerged Speed6.9 knots


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Submarine U-860 Interactive Map

U-860 Operational Timeline

11 Apr 1944┬áU-860, a Type IX-D Type German submarine, under Fregattenkapit├Ąn Paul B├╝chel, set sail from Kiel, Germany. She carried, among others, 100 tons of mercury and 100 tons of lead for Japan as well as location devices, test equipment, tools and consumables for 4 submarines in East Asia. She was to make a stop at Kristiansand, Norway before heading into the Atlantic Ocean.
15 Jun 1944┬áIn the Atlantic Ocean at 1922 hours, U-860 (Fregattenkapit├Ąn Paul B├╝chel) was located by an Avenger aircraft from USS Solomons. Three waves of attacks were launched. The first wave was consisted of two Avenger aircraft (Lieutenant Commander H. M. Avery and Ensign M. J. Spear) and two Wildcat aircraft (Ensign T. J. Wadsworth and Ensign R. E. McMahon); Wadsworth had to return to the carrier due to flak damage to a drop tank; the first wave made one rocket hit. The second wave was consisted of one Avenger aircraft (Lieutenant (jg) D. E. Weigle) and one Wildcat aircraft (Ensign R. E. McMahon); the second wave made one rocket hit. The third wave was consisted of one Avenger aircraft (Lieutenant (jg) W. F. Chamberlain) and one Wildcat aircraft (Lieutenant Commander H. M. Avery); the Avenger was damaged and its pilot ditched in the water. Depth charge damage caused during the third attack caused U-860 to sink, leaving 30-40 survivors in the water. Went down with the submarine were 100 tons of mercury and 100 tons of lead for Japan, as well as a wide array of equipment for German submarines operating in the east. Cannon-class destroyers USS Straub and USS Herzog arrived during the night and picked up 20 German survivors, including B├╝chel, but no trace of the Avenger crew was found.

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