Waldemar Mehl (7 September 1914 in Grävenwiesbach, Hesse – 29 March 1996 in Wiesbaden) was a German U-boat commander during World War II, and recipient of the (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Mehl joined the Kriegsmarine on 28 March 1933, and served a tour on SSS Gorch Fock, the light cruisers Karlsruhe, Köln and Nürnberg, and the battleship Schleswig-Holstein. From December 1939 he served as a naval intelligence officer in several positions on shore before transferring to the U-boat force in April 1941.
After the usual training, Mehl sailed on two patrols aboard U-371 between July and October 1941 as Kommandantenschüler ("Commander-in-training"), before taking command of U-62 and then U-72 as part of training unit 21st U-boat Flotilla.
In May 1942 he took command of U-371 and served in the Mediterranean, sailing on 12 successful patrols over the next two years, and sank nine ships (totalling 42,451 tons) and damaged four (28,072 tons). Among the ships sunk were the British minesweepers Jura and Hythe, and the American destroyer Bristol.
Mehl left U-371 in April 1944 and joined the staff of FdU Mittelmeer, joining the staff of the commander of U-boats in the Aegean in August. In October 1944 he was appointed to the Operationsabteilung ("Operations Section") for U-boats. After the war he served for three months in a minesweeper unit.
Summary of career
|7 January 1943||HMS Jura||Royal Navy||545||Sunk|
|7 January 1943||Ville de Strasbourg||United Kingdom||7,159||Damaged|
|23 February 1943||Fintra||United Kingdom||2,089||Sunk|
|28 February 1943||Daniel Carroll||United States||7,176||Damaged|
|27 April 1943||Merope||Netherlands||1,162||Sunk|
|10 July 1943||Gulfprince||United States||6,561||Damaged|
|10 July 1943||Matthew Maury||United States||7,176||Damaged|
|7 August 1943||Contractor||United Kingdom||6,004||Sunk|
|11 October 1943||HMS Hythe||Royal Navy||656||Sunk|
|13 October 1943||USS Bristol||United States Navy||1,630||Sunk|
|15 October 1943||James Russell Lowel||United States||7,176||Total loss|
|17 March 1944||Dempo||Netherlands||17,024||Sunk|
|17 March 1944||Maiden Creek||United States||6,165||Total loss|
- Wehrmacht Long Service Award 4th Class (31 March 1937)
- Spanish Cross in Bronze (6 June 1939)
- Iron Cross (1939)
- 2nd Class (30 April 1940)
- 1st Class (26 October 1940)
- U-boat War Badge (1939) (22 September 1942)
- U-boat Front Clasp in Silver (10 March 1945)
- German Cross in Gold on 19 November 1943 as Kapitänleutnant on U-371/29. Unterseeboots-Flottille
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 28 March 1944 as Kapitänleutnant and commander of U-371