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SM U-61 in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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SM U-61



2nd December 1916 U-Boat Index - WW1  SM U-61

Type U 57 Shipyard A.G. Weser, Bremen (Werk 216) Ordered 6 Oct 1914 Laid down 22 Jun 1915 Launched 22 Jul 1916 Commissioned 2 Dec 1916.

Commanders.
2 Dec 1916 - 26 Mar 1918 Victor Dieckmann.

Career 9 patrols.
15 Feb 1917 - 26 Mar 1918 II Flotilla

Successes 33 ships sunk with a total of 84,564 tons.
8 ships damaged with a total of 24,478 tons.
1 warship damaged with a total of 1,020 tons.

  • 2 Mar 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Edvard Grieg 989 nw
  • 3 Mar 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Rosborg 1,877 da
  • 9 Mar 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Spartan 2,287 nw
  • 10 Mar 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Angola 4,297 pt
  • 13 Mar 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Luciline (damaged) 3,765 br
  • 13 Mar 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Northwaite 3,626 br
  • 13 Mar 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Warner 1,273 br
  • 17 Apr 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Aburi 3,730 br
  • 18 Apr 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Castilian 1,923 br
  • 21 Apr 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Skjold 1,592 nw
  • 21 Apr 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Telena 4,778 br
  • 23 Apr 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Calluna 1,405 da
  • 23 Apr 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Lena 2,463 br
  • 24 Apr 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Metropolis 1,811 nw
  • 24 Apr 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Thirlby (damaged) 2,009 br
  • 30 Apr 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Jarstein 198 nw
  • 9 Jun 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Ada 2,370 sw
  • 9 Jun 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Dana 1,590 da
  • 10 Jun 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Betty 2,683 ru
  • 10 Jun 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Ribera 3,511 br
  • 14 Jun 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Widwud (damaged) 299 ru
  • 16 Jun 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Fallodon (damaged) 3,012 br
  • 17 Jun 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Raloo 1,012 br
  • 19 Jun 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Batoum 4,054 br
  • 20 Jun 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Nitonian (damaged) 6,381 br
  • 28 Jul 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Comanchee (damaged) 5,588 br
  • 2 Aug 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Libia 2,416 fr
  • 4 Aug 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Countess Of Mar 2,234 br
  • 5 Aug 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Sauternes 902 fr
  • 5 Aug 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Campo Libre 50 sp
  • 6 Aug 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Campana 3,675 am
  • 6 Aug 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Jeanne Et Genevieve (damaged) 695 fr
  • 7 Aug 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Trento 3,276 it
  • 29 Sep 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Elmsgarth 3,503 br
  • 11 Oct 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Rhodesia 4,313 br
  • 16 Oct 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Cassin (damaged) 1,020 am
  • 27 Dec 1917 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Santee (damaged) 2,729 am
  • 3 Jan 1918 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Birchwood 2,756 br
  • 5 Jan 1918 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Rose Marie 2,220 br
  • 6 Jan 1918 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Halberdier 1,049 br
  • 6 Jan 1918 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Spenser 4,186 br
  • 23 Mar 1918 U 61 Victor Dieckmann Etonian 6,515 br

Fate 26 Mar 1918 - Missing after March 23, 1918. 36 dead (all hands lost).
U 61 sailed on March 14, 1918 and was in contact with U 101 on March 17.
U 61 then sank the sank the Etonian on March 23, 1918. There was no known contact after that date.

Previously recorded fate.
Sunk in a D/C attack by PC51 at 51.48N 05.32W on March 26, 1918. This attack was actually against UC 56, which though shaken was able to continue on patrol. (Reattribution by Oliver Lörscher, December 2012.)

There was another U 61 in World War Two.
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 15 Jun 1939 and commissioned into the Kriegsmarine on 12 Aug 1939.

15th October 1917 Naval Action -15th October 1917  The Action of 15 October 1917 was a naval engagement of World War I between Imperial Germany and the United States off the coast of Mind Head, Ireland.

Action

The American destroyer USS Cassin, under Lieutenant Commander W. N. Vernon, was operating off the coast of Ireland in October 1917. It was on anti-submarine patrols and rescue missions, as well as convoy duty. Operating out of Queenstown, Ireland, she was armed with four 4 inch guns and eight 18 inch torpedo tubes. The German submarine U-61, on a typical unrestricted U-boat mission, was cruising in British waters, attacking Allied shipping. She was armed with a deck gun and torpedoes. On 15 October 1917, Cassin sighted U-61 at about 23 miles south of Mind Head at 1330 and 5 miles from the ship. The German submarine sighted Cassin as well, she immediately submerged and began to flee. The pursuit ensued for an hour and at about 14:30, U-61's commander, Victor Dieckmann, decided to engage the tailing American warship. The Germans then turned about and surfaced to line up for a shot and fired their last torpedo. Gunner's Mate First Class Osmond Ingram noticed the incoming projectile, he quickly ran over to the depth charge gunners and ordered them to shoot charges in U-61's direction. The torpedo struck the destroyer aft on the port side before the depth charge attack could be launched and Ingram was killed in the explosion. The torpedo hit Cassin's portside stern, nearly blowing off her rudder. The American destroyer began to steam in circles, but returned a barrage of 4 inch shells which forced the U-boat to dive. Four hits damaged U-61's conning tower which discouraged her commander from continuing to attack. Besides the American sailor killed, nine others were wounded in the action. The dead sailor, Osmond Ingram, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service on 15 October. Eventually, another American destroyer USS Porter and the British sloops HMS Jessamine and Tamarisk arrived on the scene and protected Cassin throughout the night. However, no further U-boat contacts were made. The next morning, Cassin was towed back to Queenstown by Captain Ronald Niel Stuart in HMS Snowdrop. The damaged USS Cassin was repaired and returned to active duty in July 1918. U-61 was sunk by the submarine chaser HMS PC-51 a few months later.

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SM U-61

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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