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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: April 6, 1921
Date of death: July 26, 1944
Age: 23

Lucky Bag

1944 Gerdes LB.jpg

From the 1944 Lucky Bag:

Herman John Gerdes

Florence, South Carolina

Few people get more tun our oi life than the "Dirty Gurds." Three years at the Citadel, plus being born in the Old Xorth State, plus his better halt from back in Florence, S. C, made him one of the foremost exponents of the Confederacy, even unto speaking an Anglo-African dialect not unlike Gullah. That he made himself understood, however, his excellent job on our Ring Dance will testify. His one big worry was whether officers have to live in quarters at sub school, but you may be certain that some submarine is to be infested with aromas of the Deep South and graced by pictures of Billie.

The Class of 1944 was graduated in June 1943 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.


Herman was lost when USS Robalo (SS 273) sank on July 26, 1944, possibly by a mine. Only four men survived the initial sinking, but they were captured and did not survive to tell what they knew of the loss.

He was a member of the Citadel class of 1941 and has a memory marker in North Carolina. Herman was survived by his wife, Mrs. Willie Fae Gerdes of South Carolina.

Related Articles

Charles Fell '34 and Reginald Proseus, Jr. '40 were also lost when USS Robalo (SS 273) was sunk.

Class Navigation

Class of 1944
Herman is one of 66 members of the Class of 1944 in Memorial Hall.
<< Robert Madsen '44 William Turner '44 >>