U-643 left Bergen on 14 September 1943 for its first war cruise, under the command of Kapitanleutnant Hans-Harald Spiedel, heading for the North Atlantic. Some 450 miles south of Iceland on 8 October it came under machine-gun fire from Liberator G.R.Mk.III (FL930) of No.86 Sqd flown by Flight Lieutenant J. Wright from Ballykelly, NI, which had already dropped all its depth charges on another U-boat. Then two more aircraft arrived, both from Reykjavik. These were Liberator G.R.Mk.V (FL954) of No.86 Sqd flown by Flying Officer C.W. Burcher, and Liberator G.R.Mk.III (FK233) of No.120 Sqd flown by Flying Officer D.C.L. Webber. The combined attack with depth charges caused an explosion in the U-boat and it started sinking. The crew began to stream out of the conning tower, as shown in the photo. Thirty of the men were lost but twenty-one were rescued by the destroyer Orwell, including Spiedel. Ref: AIR 15/471

Bigbird, Oct 7, 2011
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