Günther Reeder opted to utilize the Mona Passage as a means to return to Brest and the Ninth Flotilla in January of 1943 – the first U-boat to enter region that year. On the 19th he passed through Mona north-bound and by the 22nd had reached a point roughly midway Bermuda to Anegada. At that point he turned southeast again to continue U-214’s patrol.
The boat was a Type VIID – the first of its kind into the area and the patrol would only take it into the area for four days. U-214 entered the Caribbean Sea to patrol the Aruba area. On its way in, on the 30th of December, 1942 sank the Polish freighter Paderewski of 4,426 tons just northeast of Trinidad using both gunfire and torpedoes. It was the only ship sunk on an 87-day patrol into and out of Brest, France. U-214 refueled from U-118 while southeast of the Azores in mid-February. It returned to Brest on the 24th of February, 1943.
Kapitänleutnant Reeder was a member of the Crew of 1935 and would receive the German Cross in Gold for three ships sunk of 8,266 tons a few months after this patrol, including damaging the HMS Cheshire of 10,552 tons which he sank along with the Balingkar and Hatarana on the 18th of August, 1942. He made his final rank in June of 1942. Before commissioning U-214 – a mine-laying boat – in November 1941, Reeder served on U-58 under Kuppisch and U-7, a small boat. He led U-214 on five patrols of 181 days.
Reeder was severely wounded in an attack by a British Whitley bomber’s gunfire on May 6, 1943 in the Bay of Biscay. He was replaced by Rupprecht Stock, about whom later. Reeder went on to the staff of the Ninth Flotilla. Born on November Second 1915 and 27 at the time of the patrol, Günther Reeder is still alive today.
SOURCES: Gudmundur Helgason, Rainer Kolbicz, www.uboat.net, 2011, Kenneth Wynn, U-boat Operations of the Second World War, Volume 1 and Volume 2, 1997