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German submarine U-550

German submarine U-550 was a Type IXC/40 German Navy U-boat built during World War II. She was laid down on 2 October 1942 by Deutsche Werft in Hamburg as yard number 371, launched on 12 May 1943 and commissioned on 28 July under the command of Kapitänleutnant Klaus Hänert. German Type IXC/40 submarines were larger than the original Type IXCs. U-550 had a displacement of 1,144 tonnes when at 1,257 tonnes while submerged; the U-boat had a total length of 76.76 m, a pressure hull length of 58.75 m, a beam of 6.86 m, a height of 9.60 m, a draught of 4.67 m. The submarine was powered by two MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged four-stroke, nine-cylinder diesel engines producing a total of 4,400 metric horsepower for use while surfaced, two Siemens-Schuckert 2 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors producing a total of 1,000 shaft horsepower for use while submerged, she had two 1.92 m propellers. The boat was capable of operating at depths of up to 230 metres; the submarine had a maximum submerged speed of 7.3 knots.

When submerged, the boat could operate for 63 nautical miles at 4 knots. U-550 was fitted with six 53.3 cm torpedo tubes, 22 torpedoes, one 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun, 180 rounds, a 3.7 cm SK C/30 as well as a 2 cm C/30 anti-aircraft gun. The boat had a complement of forty-eight. After training with the 4th U-boat Flotilla, she was assigned to the 10th U-boat Flotilla on 1 February 1944 in Lorient in occupied France, she sailed from Kiel on 6 February 1944, heading for the North Atlantic, via the gap between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and conducted weather reporting duties before sailing for Newfoundland and subsequently the northeast coast of the United States. On 22 February the boat was unsuccessfully attacked south of Iceland by a Canso flying boat of No. 162 Squadron RCAF. However, two members of the U-boat's crew were killed. On 16 April 1944, south of Nantucket Island, she located convoy CU 21, bound for Great Britain from New York City; the Pan Pennsylvania, one of the largest tankers in the world, was unwisely straggling behind the convoy.

The ship caught fire and began to sink. As the vessel settled, the submerged U-boat maneuvered underneath her hull in an effort to hide from the inevitable counterattack by the convoy's escorts. Convoy CU-21 was escorted by Escort Division 22, consisting of Coast Guard-crewed destroyer escorts reinforced by one Navy DE, USS Gandy, which took the place of USS Leopold, lost in action the previous month; the escort division's flagship, USS Joyce and USS Peterson rescued the tanker's surviving crew, while the Joyce detected the U-boat on sonar as the Germans attempted to escape after hiding beneath the sinking tanker. U-550's engineering officer said, "We waited for your ship to leave; the Joyce delivered a depth-charge pattern. The depth charges were so well placed, a German reported, that one bounced off the U-boat's deck before it exploded. According to eyewitness accounts cited in Randall Peffer's book Where Divers Dare: The Hunt for the Last U-boat, the attack damaged U-550 and forced it to the surface.

Joyce and Gandy circled around the submarine, firing at it. Gandy rammed U-550 abaft the conning tower and Peterson dropped two depth charges which exploded near the U-boat's hull. Two men in the U-boat's tower were killed. Meanwhile, the U-boat captain Klaus Hänert tried to reach the observation deck with a surrender flag, but he was wounded by the American shells and fell back down into the U-boat's control room. Someone aboard the submarine fired a white flare from the tower hatch; the captain of the USS Joyce, Robert Wilcox, took the flare as a sign of distress and surrender and called a cease fire. USS Gandy and USS Peterson ceased firing, too; the U-boat's crew scrambled on deck to abandon their sinking vessel. About 40 of the Germans entered the 44-degree water and tried to swim to USS Peterson, but the men were not picked up. Joyce rescued 13 of U-550's crew, including the captain Klaus Hänert, engineer Hugo Renzmann and doctor Friedrich Torge. One of German seamen died from wounds received during the fire-fight.

Joyce delivered the prisoners of war and Pan Pennsylvania survivors to the authorities in Ireland. There is a grisly postscript to the sinking of U-550. According to the Eastern Sea Frontier's War Diary account of the sinking. At 15:15 on 5 May 1944, the Coastal Picket Patrol CGR-3082 recovered a body from the sea at 39°51′N 71°58′W, about 93 nmi ESE of Ambrose; the body was clothed in a German-type life jacket. From the markings on his clothing it was possible that the man's name was "Zube". A German escape lung was found near his body as well. An autopsy performed on the body indicated that the individual died only five days before his remains were discovered – U-550 had been sunk on 16 April, the corpse was found 19 days later. Two other bodies were subsequently found; the first, picked up by another picket boat, CGR-1989, at 17:30 on 11 May, was clothed, had an escape lung and life jacket on. He was found in a rubber raft. Identification marks indicated the man was a German sailor named Wilhelm Flade, aged about 17.

The body was transferred from

1947 in Malaya

This article lists important figures and events in the public affairs of British Malaya during the year 1947, together with births and deaths of prominent Malayans. As the Malayan Union, Malaya was a British colony. Governor of Malaya Union: Edward Gent Perlis: Raja of Perlis: Syed Harun Putra Jamalullail Johore: Sultan of Johor: Sultan Ibrahim Al-Masyhur Kedah: Sultan of Kedah: Sultan Badlishah Kelantan: Sultan of Kelantan: Sultan Ibrahim Terengganu: Sultan of Terengganu: Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Selangor: Sultan of Selangor: Sultan Sir Hishamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj Penang: Monarchs: King George VI Residents-Commissioner: Sydney Noel King Malacca: Monarchs: King George VI Residents-Commissioner: Edward Victor Grace Day John Falconer Negri Sembilan: Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan: Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad Pahang: Sultan of Pahang: Sultan Abu Bakar Perak: British Adviser of Perak: Arthur Vincent Aston Sultan of Perak: Sultan Abdul Aziz Al-Mutasim Billah Shah Ibni Almarhum Raja Muda Musa I 1 May – Malaysia Airlines was established as Malayan Airways.

15 June – Hin Hua High School was founded. 9 October – A Indonesia farmer named Mat Taram bin Sa'al killed eleven people and wounded ten others on a Kuala Lumpur-bound train and a kongsi near Bangi. He was acquitted by reason of insanity. 1 September – Marine Operation Force was established as Marine Police Force. Unknown date – Tunku Kurshiah College was established as Malay Girls College. Unknown date – Malaysian Bar was founded. E. D. Shearn was appointed as first president. 3 February – Wan A. Rafar – Poet and essay writer 26 February – Zahari Hasib – Poet 15 May – Muhyiddin Yassin – Malaysian politician and former 10th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia 2 June – Md Hashim bin Hussein – 18th Commander of Malaysian Armed Forces 10 August – Anwar Ibrahim – Malaysian politician and former 7th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia 11 August – Yahaya Ahmad – Former Chairman of DRB-HICOM 24 August – Nor Mohamed Yakcop – Politician 27 August – Zeti Akhtar Aziz – Former Governor Central Bank of Malaysia 13 September – Abdul Ajib Ahmad – Politician and former Menteri Besar of Johor 16 October – Patrick Teoh – Actor and radio announcer 17 October – Zahari Affandi – Writer and journalist 21 December - Abdul Muluk Daud – Writer Unknown date – Abdul Kadir Jasin – Author Unknown date – Chandra Muzaffar – Political analyst Unknown date – Samsudin Osman – Former Secretary of State 1947 1946 in Malaya | 1948 in Malaya History of Malaysia