Tuesday, May 17, 2011

There are two Chicago spectacles that have been on my "must see list" for some time.

1. Go to Wrigley Field and see a Cubs game.
2. Go to the Museum of Science and Industry for the U505 exhibit.

I have accomplished one of these and it did not disappoint.

The Cubs were out of town when I was in Chicago for Brigham's birthday bash, but the Uboat was in port. Because.... well.... it's 5 stories underground in the museum's basement and it isn't going anywhere.

This is what you need to know. The Uboat, U505, is one of the coolest things I have ever seen with my eyeballs and one of the greatest things I have walked through with my feet. The U.S. Navy Captured U505 off the coast of Africa on the 4th of June 1944. On board the Navy found a mighty bounty of intelligence in the form of code books and an enigma machine. Also the Navy captured torpedoes. Which was a treat because the Allies up to that point did not know the technology that enabled German torpedoes to track their targets.

I could go on and on with stories about U505, but I will tell you only one. Then let you get to the good stuff... the pictures. The Navy had possession of U505 for about ten years before it was donated to the Museum. In that time parts and pieces of the boat were taken as souvenirs. When the museum prepared the boat for exhibit they contacted the original manufactures to see the possibility of having replacement parts made. The manufactures realized that the boat would be on display, wanting to show the excellence of German engineering, they agreed to make replacement parts and they did it for free.

Here Brigham is preparing for the exhibit by reading up on the headlines of the early 1940's.

Here is a code book that is edged with lead. This way, instead of getting into the hands of the enemy, the book would sink to the ocean floor. I am currently converting all my note books to do likewise.
Here is Brigham putting his knowledge that he learned earlier by demonstrating what it would be like to be a cook on U505.
This is the rudder of U505. It's wood covered in sheet metal. This reduced the weight, making it easy to swivel back and forth.
Here is a weather beaten US flag. This is a WWII flag which means 6 rows of 8 stars. Do the math and what do you get?... 48. Stars for Hawaii and Alaska where not added until 1959 when they were made states.

You do not want to be where this torpedo is going.
Brigham finds out what made these torpedoes so great.

The boat sat outside of the Museum from 1954-2004. It was then moved and placed in it's new exhibit as it sits today. As you might have guessed. It takes a lot to move a Uboat.

for further reading of this trip click here


Post a Comment