BONR /// 8 Oct 1907 / Güstrow, Mecklenburg, Germany
DIED /// 30 Jun 1942 / West Atlantic, west of Bermuda
U-BOAT 158 (crew 32)
From 25 Sep 1941 to 30 Jun 1942
2 patrols (111 days)
10 Oct 1939 / Iron Cross 2nd Class
21 Nov 1940 / Iron Cross 1st Class
3 Jan 1941 / Minesweeper War Badge
28 Jun 1942 / Knights Cross
1 Jul 1942 / U-boat War Badge 1939
SHIPS SUNK /// 17, total tonnage 101,321 GRT
SHIPS DAMAGED /// 1, total tonnage 15,264 GRT
LOSS U-158 /// Sunk on 30 June 1942 in the North Atlantic west of Bermuda; at position 32.50N, 67.28W, by depth charges from a US Mariner aircraft (VP-74 USN/P-1). 54 dead (all hands lost).
Two prisoners taken from the Latvian merchant Everalda were lost in the sinking of U-158.
The commander of U-boat 158 distinguished himself on his very first war patrol, when he sank five ships. The fourth ship that he sank — and the first U.S. vessel — was the Caribsea. His second patrol, in the Gulf of Mexico, was one of the most successful of WWII in terms of tonnage, with 12 ships totalling 62,536 tons sunk. In all, on just two patrols in less than four months, Kapitänleutnant Erwin Rostin’s U-boat sank 17 merchant ships and damaged two others.
Born in the northern German town of Güstrow on October 8, 1907, Erwin Rostin died in the North Atlantic, west of Bermuda, on June 30, 1942, aged 34. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, the greatest achievable honor for a German submariner, two days before he died.
"On the first command with a new boat, the escort attack, as well as the operation in shallow water off the American coast, shows the commander's courage and attacking spirit."
Admiral Karl Dönitz,
Commander of the German Navy