* 24.10.1913 Grunewald/Berlin
+ 05.08.2010 Hamburg
Awarded Knights Cross: 26.03.1941
as: Kapitänleutnant Kommandant U-106
Oesten commanded U-boats U-61 and U-106, and then served as a staff officer before returning to command U-861. He sank nineteen ships for a total of 101,744 gross register tons (GRT), and damaged four others for 51,668 GRT to become number 29 on the list of the highest scoring U-Boat aces of World War II.
On 12 August 1939 he commissioned the small Type IIC U-61. The first patrol, after two months of training, was during the last days of October 1939. One ship was sunk by a mine laid by U-61 in 1939, and over the next seven patrols Oesten torpedoed five more, to bring the total tonnage up to 20,754 GRT.
After his eighth patrol he left U-61, and one month later commissioned the much larger Type IXB U-106
On her maiden patrol from Germany to her new base at Lorient, U-106 sank two ships with a total of 13,640 tons. Kptlt.Oesten received his Knights Cross on her second patrol in African waters, where he sank eight ships totalling 44,820 tons. His attack on one vessel during the battle against convoy SL 68 was unintended but effective: he aimed at the shadow of a 'merchant ship' in bad light conditions and did not realise that the torpedo had hit and damaged the the British battleship HMS Malaya.
Kptlt. Oesten left U-106 in October 1941 to become commander of the 9th Flotilla at Brest.
In March 1942 Jürgen Oesten became U-Boot-Admiralstabsoffizier with FdU Nordmeer (Commander of U-boats Northern Waters). In July 1943 he left Norway and on 2 September, 1943 commissioned the
U-861 left Kiel on 20 April 1944 for the Far East as a Monsun boat, but she first operated in Brazilian waters, sinking two ships. The boat found her next victim south of Madagascar, and before she reached Penang on 23 September, 1944 she sank another ship off Somalia. The voyage took five months.
U-861 left Surabaya, Indonesia on 15 January 1945 with a load of vital goods and only two torpedoes for self-defence. On the return journey the boat struck an iceberg south of Greenland, but Oesten, through good luck and seamanship, reached Trondheim, Norway on 19 April, 1945 with only five barrels of fuel remaining in the tanks.
Signed postwar composite photo measuring 4” x 6”
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