Father sailed as 2nd Officer on SS Eastlea, sunk by U-48

(update 2012-11-19: Malcolm is wrong SS Eastlea was sunk by U-106 and not by U-48. You will see by my response to Joy Martin where I checked the U-Boat net to ascertain which boat did in fact sink Eastlea Can we please correct our URL? Replace  UB-48 with UB-106 and also delete the detail on the Captain of U-48?)


Don't know if you can help, but love your site.

My father sailed as 2nd Officer on SS Eastlea a few days after I was born in July 1939.  U-48> UB-106 sank my father's ship in March 1941. This was my first unnerving experience of the Internet - to search on 'Eastlea' and find a biography/CV (with pictures etc) of the man who sank my father's ship was a weird experience.  Herr Schultze was a good humane man, however, I understand.

What intrigues me particularly is that he is recorded as having died in London on 3 June 1987 and I would dearly love to know the circumstances. I may have sat next to him on the Underground railway at some time!

Can you suggest any archive source that would report his post-war career? I have tried a number of things without success.

Best wishes. Keep up the good work.

Malcolm Ritchie


Thank you for your kind words about AHOY. It results from the joint efforts of my friend, and Web Master Terry Kearns in Atlanta, Georgia, who turns all my research and scribblings into something cogent that presents itself as AHOY, to all who may stray onto our site around the world.Without Terry's wonderful efforts, the site would  
not exist. But, we both enjoy any praise that might come our way, such as your comments.

My note about Herbert Schultze dying in England came from a book I have about all the U-Boat Service Captains who were awarded the Knight's Cross, it intrigued me at the time, and I too, was interested in his post war life, but regretfully have not turned up any more detail to date, but I will keep at it, and who knows I may find something, which I will pass on to you Malcolm.

In a separate note, I will send you some detail about an award made to Herbert by Donitz, which I trust is of interest to you.

Best wishes, 
Mac. Gregory.


About an award to Herbert Schultze.
U-Boot-Kriegsabzeichen mit Brillanten



After this tragically inauspicious start, the Battle of the Atlantic was characterized in its initial phase by single U-boat operations against independent shipping, combined with a minelaying campaign that brought German submarines into major British estuaries. In the period up to June 1940 the U-boat Arm sank 215 merchant ships and 2 warships, with a loss of 23 U-boats. Of those sinkings 195 were independent ships

13. The number of U-boats lost represented almost half of the number available to Dönitz at the start of the conflict, although German shipyards were busy building more. Not all of the sinkings ran counter to the Submarine Protocol. Lemp himself stopped the SS Fanad Head according to form on 14 September, offering to tow the lifeboats clear before he sank the ship and apologising for the necessity of doing so

14. Two days after the sinking of the Athenia the British freighter, Royal Sceptre, was attacked by U 48, commanded by Herbert Schultze. Schultze not only waited until the crew abandoned ship before firing his torpedoes, but ordered one of the lifeboats to return to pick up the Wireless Operator. Chief Officer Norman Hartley later reported, ‘After looking at us for quite a while he asked if I had any food. I said “Yes, plenty thank you”. Then he said “Have you water?” I again replied “Yes, plenty thank you”. Then he went away from us again. He was away some time, and returned again and said “Have you any wounded?”. I said “We are all quite well here thank you”’

15. Schultze went on to hail the SS Browning and instructed the crew to rescue their compatriots. The fact that the Browning took the men to Brazil led to a belief that the crew of the Royal Sceptre had been abandoned to die by U 48, and allowed Churchill to publicize the sinking as ‘an odious act of bestial piracy on the high seas’

16. The exchange between Schultze and Hartley would suggest otherwise.


November 7, 2012


Through another inquiry about the loss of Eastlea, and by checking the German U Boat net It was not U-48 that sank her but U-106.   See "Was Eastlea sunk by U-48 or U-106?"

If you are still at this E-Mail address and respond to me, I will send you all the details about U-106, including the crew list of those lost in the sinking.

Best wishes,

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