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"U-107 was a long-range type IXB submarine built by AG Weser at Bremen.  She was commissioned on 8 October 1940 and became the sixth most successful U-boat of the war.  In 14 patrols, U-107 sank 38 ships for 217,751 tons and damaged four others for another 27,256 tons.  U-107, LtzS Karl-Heinz Fritz, CO, was sunk on 18 August 1944 in the Bay of Biscay west of La Rochelle, in position 46.46N, 003.49W, by depth charges from a British 'Sunderland' patrol aircraft from FAA 201 Squadron.  There were no survivors from her 58 crewmembers.

Gunther Hessler was born in 1909 at Frankfort an der Oder.  He joined the navy in 1927 and married Karl Donitz's daughter, Ursula, in November 1937.  His first operational service was as the CO of the torpedo boat
Falke.  Hessler transferred to the U-boat force in April 1940 and, after conversion training, was immediately selected for command.  He took his U-boat Commander's course in Aug-Sep 1940 and was assigned to command U-107 on 8 October 1940, at the age of 31.  On his next patrol, after sinking the Maplecourt, Kptlt Hessler put out from Lorient, France, on 29 March 1941, for what would become the most successful patrol of the entire war.  U-107 sailed in company with U-94, commanded by Kptlt Kuppisch, who later detached and proceeded further southwards.  U-107's operational area was between the Canary Islands and Freetown, where she sank 14 ships for a total of 86,699 tons.  He started with the British merchantman Eskdene (3,829 GRT), which required two torpedoes and 104 rounds from the 105-mm deck gun before she sank.  The largest ship sunk was the British Calchas (10,305 GRT).

On 1 June 1941, U-107 sank the British U-boat decoy or Q-ship,
Alfred Jones (5,013 GRT).  On 3 and 4 May, U-107 refueled from the German support ship Nordmark, together with U-105.  Five days later they took on board 14 torpedoes, some food, fuel, and water from the support ship Egerland.

Because Hessler was his son-in-law, Admiral Donitz would not award his deserved Knight's Cross.  Eventually, Grand Admiral Raeder signed the papers and, on 24 June 1941, he was awarded with the 34th Knight's Cross presented in the U-boat force.  U-107 returned to Lorient from her long patrol on 2 July 1941.  Hessler left U-107 in November 1941 and served the rest of the war as a staff operations officer at U-boat Headquarters.  He was promoted to FKpt on 1 December 1944.  After the capitulation, Hessler was detained until 15 October 1945 but was then taken immediately to Nuremberg Prison and held there for six months as a material witness for the trial of his father-in-law.  Afterwards, he was shuttled around between various prisons for another five months and was finally set free on 17 September 1946.  Gunther Hessler died on 4 April 1968 in Bochum-Laer.  Hessler's final score was 21 ships sunk for a total of 118,822 tons making him the 24th highest scoring U-boat ace of the war."

(for more information on U-107, please goto the
Links section)
- Earl & Albert O'Hanley -

Merchant Mariners from
Prince Edward Island in WWII

Earl's Story    Maplecourt    Roster    U-107    Convoy SC-20    Albert's Story
(around 1938)
(around 1940)