Ss Yamhill And The U-851

23rd May 2013, 20:13
This actually is a mystery....and who doesn't like a good mystery? This particular mystery takes place in WW II in the Indian Ocean.
It's about a German U-boat hauling a very expensive cargo to Japan and she meets up with a T-2 tanker carrying airplane fuel...well the story unfolds from there.....but the mystery is: the U-boat is never heard from again...and nobody believes the tanker scored a hit on the U-boat....
If you'd care to give this one a read...just click HERE (

27th May 2013, 06:18
good day cshortridge73.24 yamhill and u851.i have watched your amazing story.a great battle by the tanker crew,but wy did u851 pull out?as it said a stray shell could have ripped a hole in the subs skin?but the other thought I had was,they made to japan,the japs took the u boat and its cargo,massacred the crew,it is not beyond reality.the japs were known for there murders of seaman.whats a few germans,against a cargo of does not look like anybody is telling,great story as usual,keep posting.have a good day.ben27

27th May 2013, 17:52
HI just checked the U-BOAT NET site are you sure it was U-851 according to there records this boat was sunk in the south atlantic never seen service in the INDIAN OCEAN and was never attached to monsun operation carrying special supplies to JAPAN all of which boats are accounted for none being mentioned in this type of action,but the captains name being about right.KYPROS

27th May 2013, 18:00
Oh you are so right......that is the mystery of the whole event....there are several 'different' variations of the "U-851"...I'm just informing all of "one" of those variations. To this day.......there has never been a "proven accounting" of it all. As I said," a darn good mystery"..

28th May 2013, 15:13
BUD a real strange one did the japs keep a detailed history of there boats and what happened to them,the U-BOAT net as a rule is very good at keeping and identifying what happened to there boats,I recall reading the monsun boats had orders to avoid any action while on passage to the far east.KYPROS

29th May 2013, 15:23
cshortridge73, this thread is of much interest to me as I have an interest in the U-boats of WW2 as my father was in the RN. He was involved in sinking two U-boats & one Italian + one Vichy French. We, my wife & I are serious WW2 wreck divers having dived some amazing wrecks including the Prinz Eugen. When I worked in the M/E back in the 80's with Bechtel Corp I was told of such U-boat that had been sunk en route to Japan with both a cargo of mercury as well as some specialist Japanese individuals. These I believe were related to jet aircraft production there after a visit to Germany?
I have never been able to get any definitive proof of where this U-boat was sunk, i.e. which sea Red, Indian Ocean etc, nor even any location therein, yet it was known about by quite a few locals. I have though found several references to such a U-boat in various WW2 history books as well as German naval records. I did a year or so years ago get onto U-boat web page they were unable to come up with anything either.
This was a fascinating story really makes you wonder if indeed it was the U-boat I have indeed been trying to locate? Sadly though seems we would never find her position now so she will just be one of those mysteries as you say. Imagine if indeed the Yamhill did cause her, U 851 destruction truly quite something.

29th May 2013, 15:39
Wow..........I'm impressed by your comment. This is the main reason I post my raise comments, to question, to generate "what if's", and to pose interesting questions for interesting conversation.

Thanks again for your comment

29th May 2013, 19:06
Leratty there was a few of these boats en route to Japan with various advanced equipment and supplies including mercury canisters,with the cracking of the German naval codes the RN had managed to intercept some of them later found to be carrying cargoes of mercury.One was in the news last year being sunk by a RN sub off the coast Norway or SWEDEN,in the only successful attack by one sub on another underwater in WW2.These Governments now have a major pollution problem,and the last I heard were discussing what to do about it mercury being highly toxic.The other u-boat was was sunk off the entrance to Penang harbour having just surfaced by torpedo attack by a RN submarine which was lying in wait,I believe this boat also had a mercury cargo and recall seeing underwater photographs of the cylinders of mercury,she was not lying in very deep water,not sure what happened after that.KYPROS

31st May 2013, 14:21
Thanks Kypros, yes concur there were indeed a No of these U-boats. Wonder what the one up in Norwegian-Swedish waters was doing there, surely not en route to the land of the rising sun? We have dived a No of WW2 subs, the most interesting being the Japanese one which brought the midgets to Sydney harbour. It was sunk off the Solomon's by a Kiwi corvette via ramming just forward of the con tower. She is lying in approx 160-80' upright slightly listing to starboard. The viz was easy 100'. She had had her bunker oil salvaged + her prop by a group back in the late 50-early 60's. We dived her with one of those guys in the very early 70's as fresh wreck divers. The periscope still moved too. Amazing as all the crews bones were still aboard our first experience of that but not last, quite eerie. We had to swim out from a beach after paying the village elder for the right to & around a reef maybe 3 + klm's each way with all our camera gear, a pretty tiring swim with weight belts, tanks et al but we were young. We have dived a U-boat off the east coast of the US, very cold dive bugger all to see could not penetrate as she was too damaged + a couple of other Japanese in the Pacific. One at Truk again will all hands aboard & one in Kwajalein Atoll where the Prinz Eugen is. There is a huge Japanese sub off the Californian coast (I believe the largest sub at that time in the world?) though a French one was close she disappeared mysteriously in the Caribbean some say sabotaged by RN? She, the Japanese one was scuppered by the Japanese at surface surrender to USN. There are photos out there of her on the surface when she surrendered to USN.

31st May 2013, 15:41
LERRATY the one off the coast of SWEDEN/NORWAY was indeed on her way to Japan,also had jap personel on board she had some mechanical problem and the captain decided to put into Norway for repairs before continuing her voyage to the far east.She had the misfortune of being detected by a RN sub whos name escapes me at the moment,she tracked the u-boat for about two hours the skipper realising she was doing a predictable zig-zag evasion course as she new she was being followed,she actually fired with her stern tubes at the RN boat to no avail.The captain of the RN boat was a bit of a mathematical genius he was able to predict by writing down on paper her speed course and distance when the target would commence her next zig-zag turn a remarkable equasion considering minutes to do this no computers in them days,she fired a spread of three torpedos when he predicted she would be ahead and beam on,when this sub was found she was in two parts hit dead centre sadly no survivors being about one hundred twenty feet down when struck.still dont know what the authorites intend doing,they were talking of bringing the two parts up with the mercury still intact.KYPROS

2nd June 2013, 09:40
Kypros; very interesting & not too deep though too cold there to dive a dry suit would be required I reckon even if one could. I am aware that a No of subs were indeed sunk by other subs (both sides) during WW2 in the European theatre as well as Pacific. As to mathematical genius of the RN sub commander who sank her, well don't know if you are aware it is not only humans that have that ability, salt water crocodiles too have it apparently. They can calculate if you (or prey) are running away from them on a beach-marsh especially in nesting season for instance in a straight line, or regular zig zag pattern work out exactly where to intercept you....Oh they can run at up to 15+ klm per hour in burst. Scary huh? Oh the mercury could be salvaged if they really wished to. Richard

2nd June 2013, 12:27
Lerratty watched a few of them monsters on TV wild life documentarys etc,not a good idea to be within a couple of miles of them in the water,watched one the other night a rare film of a shark and a salty having a go at each other over a turtle carcass the shark seemed to get the better of the fight mainly because of its speed.KYPROS

2nd June 2013, 12:33
Lerratty yes there was some success of boat on boat in ww2,but mainly one taking advantage of the other being surfaced.In this case it was a duel conducted while both were submerged,both being aware of the others presence remains the only action of its type which resulted in success for one of the subs.KYPROS

3rd June 2013, 09:54
Kypros, when we dived the Solomon's the first time we were diving off Honiara, the sea was like glass with all these what I thought were logs everywhere. I asked after a couple of days 'what all the logs were we kept seeing?' The dive guide said seriously, 'Salties' we were shocked then he said 'no worries they are well feed you are of no interest ' Still even now can see them & that was thirty five + years ago!