Vet 194

SHARKHUNTERS Salutes Veterans

GERHARD THÄTER (194-1986)

Kriegsmarine, U-Bootwaffe

U-466EmblemAx thater7
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 PatrolGERD is seated between Kapitänleutnant Günther Grau and PETER-ERICH (ALI) CREMER (114-1985).
thater4ep 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.

thater3ep 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.
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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.
thater1ep 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     SCENE 1   SCENE 2   SCENE 3

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

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

Ready_for_Sea     PrintAK1
   “Ready for Sea”             “Thäter und Hess”

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

At the 1987 “Patrol in Paradise

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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. kl872