The Type XIV boat U-459 left Bordeaux on 22 July 1943, commanded by Korvettenkapitan Georg von Wilamowitz-Mollendorf, for its sixth refuelling operation. Two days later, while in the bay of Biscay, it was caught on the surface by a Wellington of No.172 Sqd. flown by Pilot Officer W.H.T. Jennings, from Chivenor, north Devon. The U-boat stayed on the surface to fight the Wellington. This was hit during its attack and crashed into the U-boat, killing all the men in the crew except the rear gunner, Sergeant A.A. Turner, who managed to get into an inflated dinghy. The U-boat was also damaged and was circling, down by the stern and out of control, when a Wellington of No.547 Sqd flown by Flying Officer J, Whyte, arrived from Davidstow Moor, Cornwall, and took this photo. Whyte made another attack with depth charges on the stricken U-boat and the crew began to abandon ship. Nineteen of the crew lost their lives but thirty-seven were rescued by the Polish destroyer Orkan, as well as Sergeant Turner. ref: ADM 199/1419

Bigbird, Oct 17, 2011
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