Korvettenkapitän (Crew 33)
5 ships sunk, total tonnage 21,412 GRT
1 warship sunk, total tonnage 11,000 tons
1 ship damaged, total tonnage 8,096 GRT
|Born||26 Nov 1908||Berlin-Niederschönhausen|
|Died||17 Jul 1942||(33)||North Atlantic|
|U-14||2 Jun 1940||Aug, 1940||No war patrols|
|U-751||31 Jan 1941||17 Jul 1942 (+)||7 patrols (218 days)|
Gerhard Bigalk on the conning tower.
Gerhard Bigalk began his naval career in April 1934. Like Günther Prien and some other U-boat commanders he spent some years in the merchant navy before joining the U-boat arm. In October 1935 he began reconnaissance training in the naval air force, and in 1937 made 21 combat flights in the Spanish Civil War. In November 1939 he transferred to the U-boat force and after the usual training and a short time as commander of the school boat U-14, he commissioned the larger Atlantic boat U-751 in January 1941.
During his very successful fourth patrol, he sank the British escort carrier HMS Audacity (11,000 tons) on 21 December, 1941. Five days later he received the Knights Cross.
Kapitänleutant Gerhard Bigalk died on 17 July, 1942 when a British aircraft sank U-751 with all hands in the North Atlantic northwest of Cape Ortegal, Spain (Niestlé, 1998).
Patrol info for Gerhard Bigalk
|1.||U-751||3 Jun 1941||Kiel||5 Jul 1941||St. Nazaire||Patrol 1,||33 days|
|2.||U-751||2 Aug 1941||St. Nazaire||8 Sep 1941||St. Nazaire||Patrol 2,||38 days|
|3.||U-751||11 Oct 1941||St. Nazaire||8 Nov 1941||St. Nazaire||Patrol 3,||29 days|
|4.||U-751||16 Dec 1941||St. Nazaire||26 Dec 1941||St. Nazaire||Patrol 4,||11 days|
|5.||U-751||14 Jan 1942||St. Nazaire||23 Feb 1942||St. Nazaire||Patrol 5,||41 days|
|6.||U-751||15 Apr 1942||St. Nazaire||15 Jun 1942||St. Nazaire||Patrol 6,||62 days|
|7.||U-751||14 Jul 1942||St. Nazaire||17 Jul 1942||Patrol 7,||4 days|
|7 patrols, 218 days at sea|
Ships hit by Gerhard Bigalk
|Date||U-boat||Commander||Name of ship||Tons||Nat.||Convoy|
|14 Jun 1941||U-751||Gerhard Bigalk||St. Lindsay||5,370||br||OG-64|
|21 Dec 1941||U-751||Gerhard Bigalk||HMS Audacity (D 10)||11,000||br||HG-76|
|2 Feb 1942||U-751||Gerhard Bigalk||Corilla (d.)||8,096||nl||HX-173|
|4 Feb 1942||U-751||Gerhard Bigalk||Silveray||4,535||br||ON-55|
|7 Feb 1942||U-751||Gerhard Bigalk||Empire Sun||6,952||br|
|16 May 1942||U-751||Gerhard Bigalk||Nicarao||1,445||am|
|19 May 1942||U-751||Gerhard Bigalk||Isabela||3,110||am|
6 ships sunk (32,412 tons) and 1 ship damaged (8,096 tons).
About ranks and decorations
Ranks shown in italics are our database inserts based on the rank dates of his crew comrades. The officers of each crew would normally have progressed through the lower ranks at the same rate.