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Vet 114

SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans


Kriegsmarine, U-Bootwaffe

cremer2aPETER-ERICH CREMER was born 25 March 1911 9n Metz and after all the proper examinations, was accepted into the Naval Academy at Mürwik in the Class of 1932.  He was given the nickname ‘Ali‘ along the way.  CREMER lived with the saying “Alles kleine fische” literally translated “It is all little fish” or to the point, “It’s no big deal.”  That, along with his favorite American tune which was big in the early war years “Three itty bitty fishes in the itty bitty pool“, three fish were on his conning tower and U-333 was known as ‘the boat of the three little fishes‘.U-333a
printlOn the second Feindfahrt (war patrol), CREMER had U-333 off the American east coast when the tanker SS BRITISH PRESTIGE turned and rammed them. A destroyer quickly got into the fight and gave U-333 a severe beating with depth charges but the boat survived to make it back to her homeport at La Rochelle; the 5th U-Bootflottille. He was awarded his Knights Cross after this Feindfahrt.

On his third Feindfahrt, this time off the African coast, U-333 became engaged in a bitter surface battle with the corvette HMCS CROCUS which became a running, circling gun duel until CROCUS rammed U-333, causing severe damage. CREMER was able to disengage from the corvette and escape, but his casualties were great – his I.W.O. and six crewmen were dead, others wounded and CREMER himself was badly wounded.

In the print seen at the left, this battle is depicted and we see a badly wounded CREMER handing his wounded crewmen down the hatch so the boat could dive.

After these two incidents, it was said in the U-Bootwaffe that it was better to have “Ali” as your Skipper than to have life insurance …quite a compliment.

U-333 departing on her third Feindfahrt…U-333 returning fro her third…

Our second Sharkhunters “Patrol” was our first time ever in Europe. It was 1988 and it was a great time …there were dozens of U-Bootfahrer with us; eighteen Knights Cross winners, two who had won the Oak Leaf; and one who had the Swords.

Cremer3At the left are three of the Skippers who were with us:
Kapitänleutnant Günther Grau;
Fregettenkapitän GERD THÄTER (194-1986);
Korvettenkapitän CREMER (114-1985)