Steinhoff, Friedrich

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Steinhoff, Friedrich, born 14-07-1909 in Küllstadt, was a former merchant marine officer. After serving on minesweepers, Friedrich Steinhoff transferred to the U-boat force  in March 1941. With his first command, U-511, he undertook submerged rocket trials, his brother was a researcher at Peenemünde. After a year’s duty in the Staff of the 7th Flotilla, he commissioned the Type IX D2 boat U-873  in March 1944. His U boat torpedoed the following ships, the Esso Aruba, the Rotterdam and the San Fabian.

      On her first patrol in 1945 the war ended, and Steinhoff surrendered on 16-05-1945 near Portsmouth, USA. Steinhoff and his crew were taken, not to a POW camp, but to the Charles Street Jail in Boston,

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Death and burial ground of Steinhoff, Friedrich.

While awaiting disposition to proper camp, a city jail with all kinds of common criminals lodged there. Stories that some crew members were mistreated are often told. A broken man, Friedrich Steinhoff committed suicide on the morning of 19-05-1945, age 37, opening his arteries using broken pieces of his sunglasses. The doctor from U-873, Dr. Karl Reinke, tried to give first aid, but it was too late. Some documents regarding the surrender of U-873 and interrogations of its crew can be found at Steinhoff is buried on the Military Cemetery of Fort Devens in the USA.

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