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Ship ClassType IX-class Submarine
Yard Number705
Ordered25 Sep 1939
Laid Down6 Dec 1940
Launched1 Nov 1941
Commissioned23 Mar 1942
Sunk30 Jul 1942


ww2dbaseSubmarine U-166 was commissioned in May 1942 under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Günther Kuhlmann. She operated in the Gulf of Mexico in Jun and Jul 1942 and was credited with sinking four American ships. On 30 Jul 1942, she came upon the 5,184 ton fourth victim, passenger ship Robert E. Lee, and sank her with a torpedo. The escorting patrol craft PC-566 found the periscope of U-166 and attacked with depth charges in that direction. The crew of PC-566 reported an oil slick, and reported that they had damaged the submarine. On 1 Aug 1942, United States Coast Guard V212, piloted by Chief Aviation Pilot Henry Clark White with crewman RM1c George Henderson Boggs Jr. discovered a German submarine in the area, attacked with a single depth charge, and noted an oil slick. After the war, the review of German Navy records indicated U-166 had gone missing in the area, and the two USCG airmen were credited with the kill.

ww2dbaseIn 2001, 45 miles south of the Mississippi River delta at the depth of 5,000 feet, the wreckage of U-166 was discovered along with the wreck of the passenger ship Robert E. Lee. It was realized that the location of the wreck was too far from the two USCG airmen's attack, thus the credit for sinking the German submarine went to PC-566 instead. The submarine V212 reported in attacking was likely U-171, which survived the attack and remained in operation until Oct 1942.

ww2dbaseU-166's wreckage is a designated war grave and the crew will remain on eternal patrol where the submarine stands today.

ww2dbaseSource: United States Coast Guard.

Last Major Revision: Dec 2006

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