Otto Christian Ites (5 February 1918 – 2 February 1982) was a Kapitänleutnant with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and later a Konteradmiral with the Bundesmarine. He was also a 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.
Otto Ites, born on 5 February 1918 in Norden in the Province of Hanover a Free State of Prussia, joined the military service of the Kriegsmarine on 3 April 1936.
Ites served as second watch officer on nine war patrols on U-48, the first five patrols under the command of Herbert Schultze, two patrols under Hans-Rudolf Rösing and two patrols under Heinrich Bleichrodt. Promoted to Oberleutnant zur See on 1 October 1940 and he was made first watch officer on U-48. In this position he went on one more patrol (10 November 1940 – 13 March 1941), U-48 now again under the command of Herbert Schultze. He commanded U-146 and U-94, sinking fifteen ships on seven patrols, for a total of 76,882 gross register tons (GRT) tons of Allied shipping. In September 1941 the Pegasus was torpedoed and all the crew managed to scramble into 2 lifeboats. One of the lifeboats was rescued but the other was found empty and upside down. The Captain reported that the Pegasus was torpedoed twice, the first one caused quite a lot of damage and the crew left the ship, but then she was torpedoed again and she sank. On 28 August 1942 U-94 was sunk by depth charges in the Caribbean Sea, in position 17°40′N74°30′W / 17.667°N 74.500°W / 17.667; -74.500 (U-94 (submarine)) from a Catalina of VP-92 and by the Canadian corvette Oakville. Ites and 25 of his crew were taken prisoner of war. Ites remained in US captivity at Camp Crossville, Tennessee, until 1 May 1946.
After the war Otto Ites matriculated at the University of Bonn in the winter semester 1946/47. He submitted his dissertation on 20 October 1950 at the medical faculty. Dr. Ites joined the military service of the Bundesmarine and as Fregattenkapitän commanded the destroyer Zerstörer 2 (D171), formerly USS Ringgold (DD-500), from November 1960 until September 1962. His twin brother, Oberleutnant zur See Rudolf Ites, commander of U-709, was killed in action on 1 March 1944. U-709 was sunk by depth charges from the US destroyer escorts USS Thomas, Bostwick and Bronstein north of the Azores at 49°10′N26°00′W / 49.167°N 26.000°W / 49.167; -26.000 (U-709 (submarine)).
Summary of career
As commander of U-146 and U-94 Otto Ites is credited with the sinking of 15 merchant ships for a total of 76,882 gross register tons (GRT) and damaging one further ship of 8,022 GRT.