Gerhard Meyer

Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve

2 ships sunk, total tonnage 17,651 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 1,085 tons
1 warship a total loss, total tonnage 1,085 tons

Born  15 Apr 1915 Kiel
Died  12 Apr 1945(29)Norwegian Sea

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1 Jul 1943 Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve


  Iron Cross 2nd Class
  Iron Cross 1st Class
7 Feb 1945 German Cross in Gold

U-boat Commands

U-486 22 Mar 1944 12 Apr 1945  (+)  2 patrols (55 days) 

Gerhard Meyer joined the Kriegsmarine in 1935. He served as a Watch Officer (WO) on the destroyer Z 15 Erich Steinbrinck from March 1942 to May 1943. He joined the U-boat force and went through U-boat training, including Commander courses, from May 1943 to Jan 1944 (Busch & Röll, 1999).

To prepare for his own U-boat Command he began his U-boat familiarization (Baubelehrung) in Jan 1944. On 22 March 1944 he commissioned the brand new type VIIC boat U-486 at Kiel and started his work-up training in the Baltic (Busch & Röll, 1999).

On 26 Nov 1944 he sailed from Egersund, Norway for his first war patrol (Busch & Röll, 1997). His destination was the English Channel. This was to be one of the mos successful war patrols in the last year of the war. He sank or destroyed 4 ships; including the 11,506 BRT troopship Leopoldville on 24 Dec and the British frigates HMS Affleck (K-462) and HMS Capel (K 470) on 26 Dec (Rohwer, 1998). He returned to Bergen, norway on 15 Jan 1945 after 51 days at sea (Busch & Röll, 1997).

The Belgian troopship Leopoldville sunk by U-486 (Meyer) on 24 Dec 1944.
Photo courtesy of the Allen Collection.

This performance, under constant Allied sub-hunting, should have ensured a Knight's Cross for him but the Allies spread disinformation that the Leopoldville was a hospital ship and also BdU seemed oddly unaware of his exploits.

On 9 April 1945 U-486 left Bergen for its second patrol. The boat was sunk with all hands (48 men) 3 days later on 12 April by torpedoes from the British submarine HMS Tapir (Niestlé, 1998).


Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II.
Busch, R. and Röll, H-J. (1997). Der U-Bootkrieg 1939-1945 (Band 2).
Niestlé, A. (1998). German U-boat losses during World War II.
Rohwer, J. (1998). Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two.

Patrol info for Gerhard Meyer

 U-boat Departure Arrival  
1. U-486 6 Nov 1944  Kiel  9 Nov 1944  Horten   4 days
2. U-486 17 Nov 1944  Horten  20 Nov 1944  Egersund   4 days
3. U-486 26 Nov 1944  Egersund  15 Jan 1945  Bergen  Patrol 1,51 days
4. U-486 9 Apr 1945  Bergen  12 Apr 1945  Sunk  Patrol 2,4 days
2 patrols, 55 days at sea

Ships hit by Gerhard Meyer

Date U-boat Name of ship Tons Nat. Convoy
18 Dec 1944U-486 Silverlaurel6,142brBTC-10
24 Dec 1944U-486 Leopoldville11,509beWEP-3
26 Dec 1944U-486 HMS Affleck (K 462) (t.)1,085br
26 Dec 1944U-486 HMS Capel (K 470)1,085br

4 ships sunk (19,821 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.
(t.) means the ship was a total loss (included in ships & tonnage lost).

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

S.S. Leopoldville Disaster

Andrade, Allan

German U-boat Commanders of World War II

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

A Night before Christmas

Sanders, Jacquin

Listing of all U-boat commanders

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