Gengelbach, Dietrich “Dieter”, born 07-10-1914 in Salzwedel, Saxony-Anhalt, joined the German Kriegsmarine on 08-04-1934 as Offiziersanwärter. Became a Fähnrich zur See on 01-07-1935, Oberfähnrich zur See on 01-01-1937 and a Leutnant zur See on 01-04-1937. On 01-04-1939, Dietrich Gengelbach was promoted to Oberleutnant-zur-See. After the usual U-boat training, he received the command on the U-574 on 12-06-1941. On 08-11-1941, he left for his first actual war patrol from Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
On December 19th, the U-574 attacked the HG-76 convoy that has been fired by the “wolfpack” of U-boats since December 14th. Commander Gengelbach succeeded in catching up with British torpedo hunter HMS Stanley with his torpedo and sinking him and there where 139 people on board. With a loss of eleven officers and 125 ratings. The U-574 was sunk on December 19, 1941 by HMS Stork. Twenty eight dead, sixteen survivors. The commander of the HMS Stanley was Lieutenant David Byam Shaw OBE, RN.
Death and burial ground of Gengelbach, Dietrich.
But in the North Atlantic, at Ponta Delgada at 38 ° 12 ‘N and 17 ° 2’3 W., the fate allowed for the 34 men German crew. A sloop of Captain-on-Sea HMS Stork Frederic Johnnie Walker
, found the U-574 and bombed them with depth bombs. The sloop was more useful than the slower underwater u-boat, and thus the swamp overcame the submarine time after time. Commander Gengelbach decided to bring the leaked U-boat to the surface. Once upon a time, the bucket gave him no more than a quarter and hit the submarine. Dietrich Gengelbach and 28 of his sailors came over. Fortunately, another 16 men could save themselves by jumping into the sea. They were then picked up by HMS Stork while the U-574 went down forever. Commander Dietrich (Dieter) Gengelbach was just 27 years old when he fell … He posthumously was promoted to Kapitänleutnant zur See on 01-01-1942. There is a grave of honor for Gengelbach on the cemetery of Weimar.
Captain Frederic Johnnie Walker, suffered a cerebral thrombosis on 07-07-1944, and he died two days later at the Naval Hospital at Seafort, Merseyside, at the age of 48. His death was attributed to overwork and exhaustion. He got a burial at sea from the destroyer Hesperus,