Kriegsmarine U-156, sunk by US Catalina aircraft
The U-156 was a German attack U-boat Type IXC, laid down by AG Wesser, Bremen, on October 11, 1940; and commissioned on September 4, 1941 with Kapitanleutnant Werner Hartenstein (Knight Cross) in command.
During her five war patrols she was credited with twenty ships sunk for a total of 97,205tons and damaging 4 more for a total of 20,001tons.
U-156 was sunk on March 8, 1943 east of Barbados in position 12.38N, 54.39W, by depth charges from a US Catalina aircraft. All hands lost-53 dead.
The attack on Aruba`s Lago oil refinery
As part of the 2ed flotilla U-156 was assigned to a patrol in the Caribbean, on February 16,1942 she began to shell the oil refinery at Aruba, but the gun crew forgot to remove the water plug from the barrel, causing an explosion that killed one man, Matrosengefreiter Heinrich Büssinger. The gunnery officer, Leutnant zur See Dietrich von dem Borne, lost his right leg in this incident, and so had to be put ashore into captivity at Martinique on February 21. The commander decided to saw off the ruined portion of the gun barrel, and using this shorter barrel, on February 27, U-156 sank a 2,498ton British steamer.
The 60c stamp commemorates the attack by the German U-156 submarine on the Lago Oil refinery, one of the main allied fuel suppliers in the world. The attack occurred on February 16, 1942, and is widely considered the first German attack on the Western Hemisphere. The German submarine crew fired cannon shots at oil tanks, and also torpedoed several ships outside the refinery harbor. Grumman Avenger War planes stationed on the island took off to defend the refinery, but could not find the submarine on the dark sea.

The 75c stamp commemorates the torpedoing of the first of several ships on February 16, 1942 outside the Lago Oil refinery harbor by U-156, the Pedernales exploded and burned fiercely all night, but did not sink. The next day she was pushed ashore by tug boats. Many other torpedoes were fired; some missing ships and one got stuck on the beach. The one depicted here at Eagle Beach exploded two days later, killing several marine technicians who were trying to dismantle it.

Image Country Year Description
Aruba 2002 The explosion of the "Pedernals", torpedo stuck on the beach
Aruba 2002 Attack on Lago oil refinery, German U-boat U-156
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