Obermaschinist Fritz Reichle

Fritz Reichle was born on 23 August 1914.

According to the available data he joined the Kriegsmarine in 1934.

Initially he was assigned to the torpedo boats "Falke" and "Wolf" prior to switching to the U-Boat branch.

He was assigned to U-182 at its commissioning and served on board during the boat's training patrol, from 30 June 1942 to 30 November 1942.

Prior to U-182's war patrol he was reassigned to U-525 where he again served as Obermaschinist.  As such, he was not on board when the U-182 was sunk.

Unfortunately he was on board U-525 when it was attacked and sunk in the Atlantic with all hands on 18 August 1943, just prior to his 29th birthday.

 U-525 completed 2 war patrols.  
On their second patrol the boat was attacked by aircraft.  

On their third patrol U-525 was attacked by aircraft from the aircraft carrier USS Card and sunk in the North Atlantic will all 54 hands lost.    

In June 1943, while visiting home on Leave, Fritz knew he would not be returning from his third war patrol.  The fate of the U-boat crews was fairly obvious at the time.

According to Dr. Reichle:

"What I personally find most shocking about Fritz was that he KNEW in the summer of 43 he would never see his family again.  He told his parents and his brothers (my grandfather) that the U Boats could no longer hide and he literally told them he won't come back.  That's why they took the pictures of him.  If you look at his face you must realize that he knew that this was most likely the last time to see his family and those were his 'Good Bye' pictures."

Fritz Reichle's actual U-Boat Badge.  Photo "censored" per German law.

All photos are courtesy of Dr. F Reichle, who also owns the copyrights. I am grateful to Dr. Reichle for providing these photos and the story of his great uncle.

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