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Born 11 December 1911 and in Naval Class 1931, he commissioned U-96, which was to later become famous as the "Boat of the Smiling Sawfish", on 14 September 1940.  

He departed Kiel on 5 December 1940 on his first war patrol and sank five ships and damaged the 10,746 ton PENDRECHT.

26 February 1941 he was decorated with the
Knights Cross.

During his second Feindfahrt, he sank two very large British steamers on 16 and 17 October 1941, the OROPESA and ALMEDA STAR, both in the 14,000 ton range.

31 December 1941, he was decorated with the
Oak Leaf to his Knights Cross.

By now, U-96 was a Frontboot based on the French coast and on 30 January 1942, he departed on a patrol that would see him sink seven more ships - one of which was a tanker.

The next few patrols brought marginal results, but in March of 1942, he was sent to operate off the east coast of the United States in the "American Shooting Gallery" where he had plenty of success - five ships sunk, but it nearly cost him his boat.  He had remained on station so long that his fuel supply was so low that, when they reached the safety of their homeport, the remaining fuel on board was measured in liters, not tons or even gallons.

He was given command of the 9th U-Bootflottille based at Brest, France and after the Allied ground troops surrounded the naval base at Brest, he escaped to Bergen, Norway where he was posted as Flotillenchef (Flotilla Commander) of the 11th U-Bootflottille.

He was an outstanding Skipper with many successes and was very helpful to Sharkhunters, but he will probably be best remembered for the "Smiling Sawfish" emblem on his conning tower.

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