Rudolf Heinz Franke
Kapitänleutnant (Crew 36)
3 ships sunk, total tonnage 13,010 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 925 tons
|Born||30 Nov 1915||Berlin-Steglitz|
|Died||5 Apr 2003||(87)|
|U-148||16 Jan 1942||19 Oct 1942||No war patrols|
|U-262||26 Oct 1942||25 Jan 1944||5 patrols (222 days)|
|U-3509||15 Mar 1945||9 Apr 1945||No war patrols|
|U-2502||12 Apr 1945||9 May 1945||No war patrols|
Kapitänleutnant Heinz Franke
Rudolf Heinz Franke joined the Kriegsmarine in April 1936, and was part of the Olympia Crew. He served for more than two years on the battle cruiser Gneisenau and was onboard during her two combat sorties in 1939 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
He transferred to the U-boat force in October 1940 and after attending Baubelehrung (U-boat Construction Familiarization) for the type VIIB U-boat U-84, he served as her First Watch Officer (IWO), before taking over his first command, the school boat U-148, at the start of 1942 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
In October 1942 he took command of U-262, and on his first patrol sank the Norwegian corvette Montbretia (Rohwer, 1998). In May 1943 Franke was sent on a mission to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to collect escaped POW U-boat men, but the planned breakout didn't succeed and U-262 returned home without them.
After Kptlt Franke left U-262 at the start of 1944 he was attached to the BdU org staff. After serving in several other senior staff positions, including Chief of training for a midget submarine unit, he took command of the type XXI Elektro U-boat U-3509 in March 1945. When that U-boat was damaged on 4 April 1945 he transferred to U-2502, another type XXI, which he commanded until she was surrendered at Horten, Norway on 9 May 1945 (Busch & Röll, 1999).
After the war he spent six months in Krageroe POW camp, Norway, and then served in a minesweeper unit (Busch & Röll, 1999).
In 1957 he joined the Bundesmarine (Federal German Navy) and served in the Armed Forces Amt für Militärkunde (Department of Military Science). He retired in March 1972 with the rank of Fregattenkapitän.
Heinz Franke died on 5 April 2003 suffering from advanced Alzheimers disease.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.
Patrol info for Rudolf Heinz Franke
|1.||U-262||5 Nov 1942||Narvik||9 Dec 1942||La Pallice||Patrol 1,||35 days|
|2.||U-262||16 Jan 1943||La Pallice||15 Feb 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 2,||31 days|
|3.||U-262||27 Mar 1943||La Pallice||25 May 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 3,||60 days|
|4.||U-262||24 Jul 1943||La Pallice||2 Sep 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 4,||41 days|
|5.||U-262||14 Oct 1943||La Pallice||7 Dec 1943||La Pallice||Patrol 5,||55 days|
|5 patrols, 222 days at sea|
Ships hit by Rudolf Heinz Franke
|Date||U-boat||Commander||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|18 Nov 1942||U-262||Rudolf Heinz Franke||HNoMS Montbretia (K 208)||925||nw||ONS-144|
|26 Nov 1942||U-262||Rudolf Heinz Franke||Ocean Crusader||7,178||br||HX-216|
|6 Feb 1943||U-262||Rudolf Heinz Franke||Zagloba||2,864||po||SC-118|
|31 Oct 1943||U-262||Rudolf Heinz Franke||Hallfried||2,968||nw||SL-138|
4 ships sunk (13,935 tons).
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.