Werner Hartenstein 


This site is dedicated to honouring the memory of Werner Hartenstein, commander of German submarine U-156, who undertook one of the most remarkable sea rescue missions of World War II, known as the Laconia Incident.

"I have nothing but reverence and fondness for the memory of Werner Hartenstein... He saved my life."
Dr. Tony Large

"Hartenstein was a man of honour and humanity…When he spoke it was in a very gentle manner…I liked the man. I liked his approach… As a captain myself, I would say Werner Hartenstein was my friend."
Captain David Cledlyn Jones

History of Military Verifications in the U.S.

If you are a lender, property owner or manager, business owner or anyone who does business with servicemembers, you must be aware of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and how it can affect you.

Congress enacted the SCRA in 1903 to provide protection to members of the military. The intent of the law was to relieve soldiers and sailors from the worries of paying bills back home while they were deployed serving their country. The law has undergone many additions and changes over the years, but its intent is the same — to protect members of the military from what may be considered unfair actions, legal or otherwise.

Who Gets SCRA Protections?

The act covers those on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and under certain circumstances, reservists, National Guardsmen, commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who are in active federal service.

Thus, if you want to bring a court action against one or more of your clients, tenants or customers — be it due to delinquent payments for rent, mortgage, car loan, credit card bills, student loans or another type of payment; repossession; foreclosure; or a court judgment regarding another matter — you must get a military status verification first.

What Is a Military Status Verification?

A military status verification is a document confirming or denying a person’s military status.

Because courts will not allow a case to proceed against a member of the military without a court order, it is necessary that you provide documentation regarding the defendant’s status. If your documentation shows the defendant is not in the military, your case can proceed. However, if the defendant is in the military, you must obtain a court order before moving forward.

The reasoning behind this is that not all members of the military are free to leave their jobs to attend court hearings, particularly if they are deployed overseas. Thus, courts consider it unfair to issue a default judgment against an active-duty servicemember.

Failure to correctly follow the steps of taking action against a servicemember is a violation of the SCRA and can result in steep fines, penalties and even jail time, in addition to being compelled to pay restitution.

centralized military verification at SCRA

How do You Get This Documentation?

There are several methods for obtaining the information you seek. One is to write to each individual branch of the service, requesting information on the military status of an individual on a certain date. This is impractical, as it would take months for each branch to reply if they ever did. (They are not required by law to do so.)

Some lenders and business owners turn to the Defense Manpower Data Center for military status verifications. However, you must have the defendant’s Social Security number to get an accurate status verification from the DMDC. Absent this, you get a document that says the information contained therein is unreliable.

Accuracy of Military Verification Data Crucial

Servicemembers are supposed to keep their DMDC records up to date. If there are changes to the servicemember’s military status, marital status or address, for instance, they should inform the authorities so that their official records reflect this new information.

Their motivation to keep their records up to date is the devastation that could result with regard to their benefits or the benefits of their dependents. Their status, deployment orders and more can affect their insurance benefits, housing allowance, tuition assistance benefits and more. In the tragic event, they are killed in action, erroneous records could tie up the death benefits process for months or longer.

Accurate status records are also critical insofar as dates are concerned. Dates of service are important because often servicemembers are entitled to SCRA protections and benefits for up to a year after they return from deployment or leave active duty. Some benefits, such as TRICARE, continue even after retirement, so knowing the servicemembers’ dates of service is important when filing a court action.

Trust SCRACVS for Your Military Status Verifications

The best, easiest, fastest way to obtain a military status verification is to order it through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service. Each verification is only $36.40, and we offer batch processing rates for those with high-volume status requests.

And you pay only for the searches you want done; there are no registration charges or ongoing monthly fees.

We provide accurate military status verifications, usually within 24 hours. And you don’t even need a Social Security number. You can provide us with the defendant’s name, address, previous addresses, phone numbers, names of family members and other helpful identifying data. We take it from there.

If for any reason, we cannot provide military status verification, you can either get a full refund or order an affidavit of due diligence. Affidavits are $20 and we provide overnight delivery.

Our site is secure, and we offer live support via phone or chat.

The SCRACVS gets 4.7 out of 5 stars in thousands of reviews left by our many satisfied customers. Users praise us for our quick, efficient, reliable service. Moreover, many users appreciate the scores of helpful articles we have posted on our site.

The SCRA is not simple to understand, and courts of law routinely interpret the law differently, meaning that going forward, case law can sometimes trump actual law. At servicememberscivilreliefact.com, you can find information on changes and updates to the law, news briefs about court actions taken regarding alleged violations of the act and other helpful advice and tips aimed at a diverse group of business people, including lawyers, property owners and managers, bankers and lenders, self-storage facility owners, new and used car dealerships and more.

Our customers love that our site is so intuitive and easy to use, making a tedious process much easier. They’re surprised that they can get what they need and be on their way more quickly than they expected.

Don’t take chances with SCRA violations and Department of Justice inquiries — rely on the SCRACVS for all your military status verifications.


Books on Werner Hartenstein and the Laconia Incident

U-156 Society founded in Hartenstein's home town, Plauen

Cunard postcards of the Laconia

L'affondamento del Laconia (Italiano)

Werner Hartenstein's Naval Career

U-boat and other World War 2 Links

Laconia survivors crowding the deck of Hartenstein's U-156

Diese Seite ist dem Gedächtnis und zu Ehren von Werner Hartenstein gewidmet, Kommandant des deutschen U-bootes U-156, das im Verlauf des Zweiten Weltkrieges bemerkenswerte Rettungsaktionen auf See durchführte.

"Ich habe nichts als Verehrung und Zuneigung für die Erinnerung an Werner Hartenstein..  Er rettete mein Leben."
Dr. Tony Large

"Hartenstein war ein Mann von Ehre und Menschlichkeit... Als er sprach, war es in einer sehr ruhigne Art... Ich mochte den Mann... Ich mochte seine Einstellung... Als ein Kapitän wie ich selbst, würde ich Werner Hartenstein sagen - er war mein Freund."
Captain David Cledlyn Jones




Most recent update: April 19, 2019