U-188 sailed from Penang on 1st. January 1944. She sailed between the Maldive Islands and at dawn on 20th Jan. sighted the top masts S.S.Fort Buckingham. After a failed submerged attack with three torpedoes she pursued the freighter throughout the day. At midnight with a surface attack firing two torpedoes she sank the Fort Buckingham; the first of seven ships during the voyage back to Bordeaux.