Hans-Joachim Förster was born 20 February, 1920 in Gross-Koeris, Teltrow. Joining the Kriegsmarine in October 1938 he served on the destroyer Z-29 in 1941 and 1942 for 7 patrols, before he was attached in July 1942 to the U-boat force.

After the usual training he was first watch officer on board U-380 operating in the Mediterranean. He left U-380 in May 1943 and commissioned 5 months later to the type VIIC U-boat U-480.

Komander Förster was awarded the Knights Cross for his heroism upon returning from his second patrol in where he sunk 4 enemy ships for a total of 14,646 tons including the Canadian corvette HMCS Alberni and the British minesweeper HMS Loyalty.

Being the youngest UBoot commander in the German forces, and a relative newcomer to submarines, Förster had just turned 25 when he and his crew perished in the service of their country when U-480 struck a mine.

Hans-Joachim Förster