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Franke, Rudolf Heinz (3. Unterseebootsflottille)

    Date of birth:
    November 30th, 1915 (Berlin-Steglitz/Brandenburg, Germany)
    Date of death:
    April 5th, 2003 (Sasbach-Achern/Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
    German (1933-1945, Third Reich)


    Rudolf Heinz Franke entered the Kriegsmarine in April 1936 and served on the Battleship Gneisenau when war broke out. He transferred to the U-Boot service in October 1940 and there served as Wachoffizier, Kommandant, Stab Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote, with a unit of midget-submarines and ended war service as U-Boot Kommandant. As a U-Boot Commander, Heinz Franke undertook five operationals sorties (222 days at see), in which he sunk four ships with a total tonnage of 13.935BRT.

    After six months as POW he served with a minesweeper unit and entered the Bundesmarine in 1957. He retired as a Fregattenkapitän in March 1972. Heinz Franke died on April 5th, 2003 of the consequences of Alzheimer decease.

    April 1936: Offiziersanwärter;
    September 10th, 1936: Seekadett;
    May 1st, 1937: Fähnrich zur See;
    July 1st, 1938: Oberfähnrich zur See;
    October 1st, 1938: Leutnant zur See;
    October 1st, 1940: Oberleutnant zur See;
    April 1st, 1943: Kapitänleutnant;
    ?: Fregattenkapitän (Bundesmarine).

    April 1st, 1936: Kriegsmarine;
    ?: Schulschiff Georg Fock;
    ?: Kreuzer Emden;
    1938: Schlachtschiff Gneisenau;
    October 1940: U-Boot Waffe;
    ?: I. Wachoffizier U 84;
    January 16th, 1942 - October 19th, 1942: Kommandant U 148;
    October 26th, 1942 - January 25th, 1944: Kommandant U 262;
    January 1944: Stab Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote (B.d.U.);
    ?: Marinegruppe West, Paris;
    March 15th, 1945 - April 9th, 1945: Kommandant U 3509;
    April 12th, 1945 - May 9th, 1945: Kommandant U 2502;
    May 9th, 1945 - November 1945: Krijgsgevangene;
    ?: Minensucheinheit;
    1957: Bundesmarine
    ? - March 1972: Amt für Militärkunde, Bundesmarine.

    Ships sunk:
    November 18th, 1942: Corvette Monbretia (Convoy ONS-144, Noors);
    November 26th, 1942: s.s. Ocean Crusader (Convoy HX-216, Brits);
    February 6th, 1943: s.s. Zagloba (Convoy SC-118, Pools);
    October 31st, 1943: s.s. Hallfried (Convoy SL-138, Noors).

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    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    February 23rd, 1940
    Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    November 21st, 1941
    U-boot Kriegsabzeichen (ohne Brillianten)
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Oberleutnant zur See
    Schlachtschiff Gneisenau, Befehlshaber der Schlachtschiffe, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    May 16th, 1942
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Oberleutnant zur See
    Awarded on:
    December 12th, 1942
    Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Käpitanleutnant (Lieutenant)
    Kommandant, U 262, 3. Unterseebootsflottille, Kriegsmarine
    Awarded on:
    November 30th, 1943
    "Francke has repeatedly been the only one of those participating in operations who has forced his way into the convoy against the strongest air and sea defences. In the present situation the possibilities of sinkings are slight. In awarding distinctions I shall evaluate toughness and tenacity so much the more, even when it is not crowned with success."
    Vorläufiges Besitzzeugnis was presented on January 5th, 1944.
    Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    January 24th, 1945
    U-Boots-Frontspange in Bronze