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
18 December 1942
24 February 1943
27 February 1943
20 April 1943
20 April 1943
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.