U-571 - U-505 at the MUSEUM of SCIENCE and INDUSTRY
An American boarding crew, from the USS Pillsbury, captured a German u-boat known as U-505. After the war, the people of Chicago paid to have the vessel restored. Its "dry dock" home, today, is Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. This image, by Jeremy Atherton, depicts U-505 in 2005. Image license: CC BY-SA 2.5
Keeping his mission objective in mind, Captain Gallery ordered a boarding crew from the USS Pillsbury to make ready to board the 505.
Germans were still aboard. Using "tommy guns" and hand grenades, the Americans cleared the ship of German sailors.
Descending through the conning tower, the boarding party learned the worst: Departing Germans had tried to scuttle their ship by opening one of the sea valves. The u-boat was taking-on water. If the boarding crew did not quickly locate which valve was open, 505 would sink with her valuable Enigma-code materials.
Ignoring the danger of booby traps, the crew had to work quickly. Reinforced with more men from the Guadalcanal, they repaired all leaks before they found their prize in 505's radio and sound room: an Enigma encoding machine plus a new, experimental machine.
The Allies had what they needed to maintain naval supremacy. Surviving members of 505's crew were transferred to the Guadalcanal.
Like U-110, U-505 gave-up what the Allies needed most—and their secrets remained hidden until well after the war. As late as 1980, Admiral Doenitz (chief commander of the German fleet and President after Hitler's death) did not believe Enigma had been compromised.
Today, U-505 is at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. The citizens of Chicago contributed $250,000 to save the vessel from destruction.
She remains a permanent monument to the bravery of the Americans who captured, raided and towed her 2,500 miles.
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