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US Navy Capture of U-505 on the high seas


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Very nice thread . . . thanks for posting. I have visited U-505 on several occasions when in Chicago for work and/or family trips; the Museum of Science and Industry is a great visit for all ages.

 

I, too, encountered Hans Goebeler on the gun show circuit in the early 1990's . . . selling autographed books, mugs, reprint photographs, ect. I recall that at his table he had on display a piece of U-505's outer hull that was bent, split, etc. from being hit by a projectile fired from a surface ship. Apparently U-505 had gotten caught on the surface earlier in the war and was attacked by an Allied naval vessel, who almost destroyed U-505 with shell fire. Anyway, U-505 managed to get away and limp back to port (France, I believe). Goebeler indicated that one of the shipyard workers who was working to repair U-505 from the battle damage gave him the cut-away piece of damaged outer hull plate as a souvenir. Goebeler either mailed (or transported while on leave) the souvenir piece of hull plate back to his parents' home, where it remained for the duration of the war (and he retrieved it when repatriated home post-war). I wonder what ever happened to this sounvenir piece after Goebeler's passing? I recall that he had stamped some of the "battle damage" story into the souvenir piece using a metal-stamping alphabet set.

 

I'm a bit surprised to hear reports that Goebeler (who, post-war emigrated to the U.S. and became a Citizen) would in the later part of his life still retain any "regrets" about not having successfully scuttled U-505. After all, any "mistake" he might have made as a young man during combat ended up turning out pretty well for him . . . he and virtually all of his crew survived the war in the (relative) comfort of a U.S. POW camp; he had become a U.S. Citizen; and U-505 was well-preserved as a historic artifact for generations to come.

 

Again, great thread!

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Great post and excellent additions! I also toured the U-505 years ago (likely about 1973). I haven't been back to the museum for many, many years, sad to say. I was pleased to hear about the restoration many years ago insuring the preservation of the story for many years to come. I do hope political correctness stays away from this exhibit!

BKW

I do remember the wax figures you could purchase from the vending machine! I got a bust of Abraham Lincoln, yes, too hot to hold for a bit of time! Great Memories! I toured as a Jr-High student.

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On 9/18/2018 at 10:47 PM, Brian Keith said:

Great post and excellent additions! I also toured the U-505 years ago (likely about 1973). I haven't been back to the museum for many, many years, sad to say. I was pleased to hear about the restoration many years ago insuring the preservation of the story for many years to come. I do hope political correctness stays away from this exhibit!

BKW

I do remember the wax figures you could purchase from the vending machine! I got a bust of Abraham Lincoln, yes, too hot to hold for a bit of time! Great Memories! I toured as a Jr-High student.

I think we visited about the same time and I remember those wax figures. My impression at 10 or so years old were that the sub was small and the torpedo was huge!

FYI Capt. Gallery wrote some books about the Navy. Not history of autobiography... More like humor in uniform. Fun reads!

Wartime Collectables Military Antiques
Andrew H. Lipps
email wartime@wartimecollectables.com
On the web at http://www.wartimecollectables.com

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I've got a uniform from a USS Pillsbury vet that was on the ship when it helped capture the 505.

Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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On 8/24/2020 at 4:09 PM, wartimecollectables.com said:

I think we visited about the same time and I remember those wax figures. My impression at 10 or so years old were that the sub was small and the torpedo was huge!

FYI Capt. Gallery wrote some books about the Navy. Not history of autobiography... More like humor in uniform. Fun reads!

 

 I was also through it in the 70's and I took my family through in the 80's.

I also remember thinking it seemed small. But at that time the sub was outside and you could only look at the outter hull through

Upper story windows in the museum. The last time I was in it in the 80's, I remember one of the torpedo tube outter doors being open and you could

see there was a birds nest in the tube.

After they moved it inside, its a totally different experience.

Its not small at all when you are standing on the ground next to it looking up at it.

Its huge !! You just never could tell when it was outside.

Just a guess but its got to be 50 60 feet from the bottom of the hull up to the conning tower ?

The hulls maybe 20-30 feet ?

It just looks huge standing next to it. I had never realised.

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Gil,

Great thread -- thanks for taking the time to assemble it.  I saw the U-505 as a kid and have it on my "to do" list to revisit.  Looks like now is the time.

 

This is from memory since I no longer have the references but having studied the U-515  (not U-505) action extensively I think it is interesting to go back and look at Gallery's operations against the U-68 and U-515 before capturing the U-505.  As I recall (and this is memory only), he developed the tactics to take boat on the high seas and tried and modified them on the U-68 and U-515.  I think the U-515 ( Kapitänleutnant Werner Henke) action came first on April 8-9, 1944.  She was caught on the surface and nearly captured but sank with 16 killed and 44 crew members including Henke captured. The U-68 (Oblt.z.S. Albert Lauzemis) wwas sunk the next day (April 10) with all hands save one German sailor (Seaman 2nd Class Hans Kastrup).

 

My recollection is that these 2 actions convinced Gallery, an perhaps the Navy in general, that a boat could be taken on the high seas and resulted in TG 22.3 being sent to the Cape Verde area where the 505 was operating.

Dennis

Dennis (Bertmedals)

Collecting WWI AEF relics, artifacts, and memorabilia

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