The Surrender of U-889
May 10, 1945 U-889 hoisted the black flag of
surrender to the RCAF Liberator Aircraft. It took two low passes by
the Liberator before the flag went up. They were arming depth
charges & setting the bombsight when she made the hoist. The
Liberator stood by until the ships appeared.
IXC/40 type U-boat, had sailed from
Germany by way of Norway in early April. After an uneventful weather
ship patrol & at the end of hostilities (8-May-1945) in
accordance with instructions U-889 surfaced & was spotted by an
RCAF Liberator some 250 miles SE of Flemish Cap on 10 May 45.
Subsequently HMCS Oshawa, Rockcliffe, Saskatoon
& Dunvegan intercepted U-889 that day 175 miles SSE of Cape Race
(extreme south east point of Newfoundland). Rockcliffe &
Dunvegan were instructed to escort U-889 into Shelburne NS. However,
24hrs after the interception, the 2 ships passed their charge to the
frigates HMCS Buckingham & Inch Arran of EG-28 some 140 miles
SSE of Sable Island.
During WWII, All major Canadian harbours had a
vessel stationed in the harbour entrance. Their purpose was to board
each and every ship that approached the harbour entrance and verify
Bill Crawford was on board the Harbor Defense
Patrol Craft (HDPC#3 of Shelburne). Before U-889 and ití s escorts
(HMCS Buckingham & Inch Arran) were allowed entry through the
anti-submarine gates of Shelburne Harbour (at the north east corner
of McNutts Island), Bill Crawford and his mate (name ?), boarded
U-889 armed with machine guns to inspect the ship. Bill said that he
had never been trained on how to use a machine gun. However, it didnít
matter much, the German Sailors had been drinking and offered no
resistance. Bill said he was surprised at the young age of the
Captain (Friedrich Braeucker). The German Captain was only age 26.
Bill was only age 19.
His time on board U-889 was only about 10
minutes. Bill and his mate were the first allied forces to board
U-889. Later that day uniformed officers would board the submarine
during the formal surrender.
Bill and his mate, returned to their own vessel
and continued their daily patrol outside of the harbour. The U-889
was then allowed entry through the anti-submarine gates of Shelburne
Harbour. It was then that an "official" surrender of U-889
took place 13 May 45 off the Shelburne Whistle Buoy, 7 miles from
the antisubmarine boom gate. Uniformed RCN officers would board the
submarine during the formal surrender and official Navy photo's were
taken (shown here on this site)
Most of the U-889 crew was put on board
121 (Q117) then escorted U-889 into Shelburne. Later it was taken to