SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans

Kriegsmarine, U-Bootwaffe


This emblem, depicting the sunburst, was on the conning tower of GERD's boat, U-466 and it was also on the conning tower of his father's boat in World War One.

  At our 1988 "North Germany Patrol" GERD is seated between Kapitänleutnant
Günther Grau and PETER-ERICH (ALI) CREMER (114-1985)

GERD THÄTER was one of a handful to make the dangerous passage through the "Gates of Hell".....the Straits of Gibraltar not once but twice.  The first time, he was I.W.O. on U-568 under Kapitänleutnant Günther Preuß that reached Toulon.  After some operations in the Mediterranean, GERD was ordered home to get his own boat.  He put U-466 into commission on 17 June 1942 and commanded her for some operations in the North Atlantic until he was ordered to transit the Straits, which he did successfully and was then based out of Toulon until bombers of the USAAF destroyed his boat and others dockside.

A young man who worked his way up through the ranks to become I.W.O. of U-466 was Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve HANS-GEORG HESS (125-1985) who later took over his own boat, U-995.  The two men formed a friendship that lasted until THÄTER began his "Eternal Patrol" early in the 21st Century.


This composite photograph (left) depicts the safe return of U-466 to her homeport in Toulon with the Skipper and the Sunburst superimposed over the boat.
The photo above was taken during the 1994 Sharkhunters "Patrol in Chicago" and GERD is with his wife Gila, a very sweet lady.  Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983) was a frequent visitor in their home in North Germany.  Gila made wonderful tea and it was here in Friesia that HARRY learned to put the teaspoon in the empty cup when you want no more tea.........otherwise, Gila would continue to refill the cup.

GERD was a fine man, like everyone's favorite uncle, spoke flawless English and had a ready wit and a quick sense of humor.


Formal Bundsmarine photo when GERD was promoted to Fregettenkapitän.  He always joked that he was the black sheep of the family.  He was promoted a bit more slowly from the Cadet Corps for some minor infractions - his brother retired the Bundsmarine at the rank of Konteradmiral (two stars), his father retired at the rank of Vizeadmiral (three stars) but GERD retired at the rank of Fregettenkapitän which is more or less a junior Captain.

You may listen to GERD THÄTER by clicking these clips:
from our DVD-54, our 1994 interview with GERD    

from our DVD-72, our 2000 interview with GERD    
SCENE #1     SCENE #2    SCENE #3

To see all DVDs available, return to the main page then click DVDs to see nearly 200 selections.

GERHARD THÄTER hand signed some of our very rare fine art prints.  Click on the prints to see their descriptions.
"ALMOST HOME"                                        "CONVOY IN SIGHT"

   "Ready for Sea"             "Thäter und Hess"

GERHARD THÄTER served ten years on our Sharkhunters Advisory Board.
Click here to view the entire Board.    

At the 1987 "Patrol in Paradise"

At the first ever (1987) Sharkhunters "Patrol", THÄTER is
at the far right (by SLATE in red shirt) at Atlantis
Dive Shop owned by Captain SPENCER SLATE (1657-1990).
  During our time on the water with SLATE, H-G HESS
took command of the dive boat as THÄTER supervises.
In a quiet moment aboard one of the boats from Atlantis Dive Shop, THÄTER chats with GEORG HÖGEL (240-1987).....perhaps remembering days at sea long ago.  

Enjoy your morning coffee with GERD THÄTER.  Click on the
image of the Sharkhunters Historic Coffee Mug here for more information.