Wilhelm Franken (11 September 1914 in Bielefeld-Schildesche – 13 January 1945 in Kiel) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Franken was killed in a fire on board the accommodation ship Daresalam.
Summary of career
As the commander of U-565 Franken is credited with the sinking of three ships with a total of 11,347 gross register tons (GRT), damaging two ships of 17,565 GRT and sinking one warship, the British destroyer HMS Partridge, of 1,540 long tons (1,560 tonnes).
|23 April 1942||Kirkland||United Kingdom||1,361||Sunk|
|18 December 1942||HMS Partridge||Royal Navy||1,540||Sunk|
|24 February 1943||Nathanael Greene||United States||7,176||Damaged|
|27 February 1943||Seminole||United Kingdom||10,389||Damaged|
|20 April 1943||Michigan||United States||5,594||Sunk|
|20 April 1943||Sidi-Bel-Abbès||Free France||4,392||Sunk|
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class (4 April 1939)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class (14 April 1940)
- 1st Class (28 January 1942)
- Sudetenland Medal (31 May 1940)
- U-boat War Badge (1939) (15 October 1941)
- High Seas Fleet Badge (28 January 1942)
- Croce di Guerra with Swords (30 March 1942)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 30 April 1943 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-565
- Medaglia di bronzo al Valore Militare (29 May 1943)
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-565". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Busch & Röll 2003, p. 357.
- ^ Busch & Röll 2003, p. 358.
- Scherzer 2007, p. 316.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 185.