Heinrich Spohler, board engineer „Maschinist“ Merchant Navy and Kriegsmarine mine sweepers
1) Soldbuch, 15.1.43. With nice uniform pass photo wearing his EK1. Second issue „Zweitschrift“ issued at (field post number 01416A) 59.Vorposten-Flottille. Including a leather protection cover.
2) Promotion/assignment certificate, 27.11.40. For his assignment on 1.10.40 as a „Maschinist“ board engineer. Signed by the CO of the 17.Minensuch-Flottille, Kapitänleutnant Hellmut Stimming.
3) ID card for entering the shipyard at Wesermünde, 19.5.44. Schiffbau-Gesellschaft Unterweser AG.
4) Zeugnis über die Befähigung zum Seemaschinisten II. Official Germa Reich ID card certifying he is a proofed board engineer, 27.11.31. Also certified with an US-Army stamp in 1945.
5) Canvass civil drivers license, 23.9.31. With civil pass photo.
6) Document from hospital in Hammerfest, 15.1.43. Stating he was hospitalized there for frostbite.
7) Seaman's registration book „Deutsches Reich Seefahrtsbuch“, 24.4.26. Without pass photo.
8) Seaman's registration book „Deutsches Reich Seefahrtsbuch“, 26.9.31. With pass photo.
9) Seaman's registration book „Deutsches Reich Seefahrtsbuch“, 4.2.35. With pass photo.
10) Seaman's registration book „Deutsches Reich Seefahrtsbuch“, 12.5.38. With pass photo. Entries till 1949.
11) Statement from 6.mine sweeping division „Marine-Bereichskommandant Weser“, 4.12.46. Stating he served with the Kriegsmarine 1.9.39 till 13.9.45.
12) 7 documents regarding insurance payments, WW2 and after.
Entitled to: Kriegsmarine mine sweepers badge (15.10.40), Iron Cross 2nd Class (25.4.40) and Iron Cross 1st Class (1.4.43).
Born 1908 in Nordenham living in Wesermünde. 1926-1939 he worked with the merchant navy as board engineer on several steamboat fishing trawlers home based in Nordenham and Wesermünde, for example the „Würzburg“, „Halle“, „Linz“, „Altona“, „München“ and „Nürnberg“. Sep.1939 he joined the Kriegsmarine where he also served as a board engineer. 1940 he served with the 17.Minensuch-Flottille active in Norway. His Iron Cross 2nd Class was awarded Apr.40 so must be for his actions during the invasion of Norway. Dec.42 he got frostbite at both feet and was Jan.43 hospitalized in Hammerfest Norway. 1943 he served with the (field post number 01416A) 59.Vorposten-Flottille active in Norway home based in Sandnessjöen. Nov.43-Jan.44 at the NCO school 1.Marine-Unteroffiziers-Lehrabteilung in Eckernförde; Jan.-May 44 Marineschule Wesermünde; May-Aug.44 part of 4.Marine-Lehrabteilung in Wesermünde. Aug.44 he started serving with the 17.U-Bootsjagdflottille also active in the Norway area home based in Stavanger. Sep.44 he was on board of the mine sweeper (field post number 60725) Minenraumschiff 26. After WW2 he worked again as board engineer on several steamboat fishing trawlers: the „Ostpreussen“ and „Oldenburg“ in Wesermunde and from 1949 onwards on the „Henry Everling“ home based in Bremerhaven.
Deutche Kriegsmarines Minenraumschiff 26(MRS-26) had a short but fierce and active history. The ship was built in Moss at the same time as the sister ship MRS 25, planned as cargo ships. During production, the plans changed and MRS-26 was finalized as mother ship for minesweepers instead. Because of the many delays during production, the ship was first in active service late July 1944 after a short training period in Germany. At this time the Germans were hard pressed on all fronts and parts of Finnmark was already taken by the Russians. The Germans withdrew to the South of Finnmark, and had a great demand for sea transport in this area. MRS 26 is now being put into service as a troop transport. MRS 26 is heavily equipped with anti-aircraft guns, and must be considered as a floating fortre ss. The 26. October Russian aircraft attack the ship while it is located in the Hopsfjord, but MRS 26 shot down two planes without being damaged. The next day the Russians successfully attack the ship again with Douglas A20 Havoc aircraft. The ship is now heavily damaged and the captain decides to put the ship on land. But the leaks turned out to be too big and shortly after MRS-26 capsized and sank in shallow water.