U Boat 505 – Museum of Science and Industry

There it is This is neat Alright, so I thank you once again for coming inside. Right now we’re in the petty officer’s quarters. So you can all see this is a very small space. But imagine yourself living on this submarine for 90 to 100 days at a time Now you would be one of 59 men on board. So you see there are bunks on this side of the room. Now there used to have bunks on the other side as well, but we had to take those out of here to create more space. Now notice the floor you’re standing on is actually lower The original height of the floor of this room is what I’m currently standing on. So when these men were here from the west-coast to Africa, it was around 90 degrees in this room But believe it or not, this was actually the coolest room on board. Now if you were around the diesel engines it was around 110 degrees Now they also had a limited supply of fresh water. So they only used it for drinks, cooking and maintaining these electric batteries which are right below my feet down there. Now notice how that I mentioned they’re not taking a bath or shower with that water. For 90 to 100 days these men could not take a bath or shower. They did not even have a bath tub on board this submarine. They also only had two small bathrooms known as the “head”. One all the way in the back of the sub, the other one behind you in the forward torpedo room Now the bathroom is so small, you might notice it, you might not, but there is a bathroom somewhere back there. They also had 12 tons of food on board. That’s a lot of food people They kept food next to their bunks, under their bunks and they even had to put food on top of the pipes. They even had to use one of the bathrooms as a storage area for six weeks. And guess what everyone, it gets worse. Now if you were enlisted, eventually you had to sleep back there with the torpedos 59 men, they only had 35 bunks. So you can guess, they had to share those. Now one man would be asleep, 6 hours later, the next man comes along, gets them out of that bunk and rotate in and out of the same sweaty, dirty bunk, day after day. Now this process was called hot-racking. But if you were a petty officer, you slept in these bunks and didn’t have to share. Now you also had these privacy curtains, they were like VIP. It was always noisy, 24/7, with someone walking, talking , playing cards. Sometimes a man would have to come open up these valves, and that would wake up the person that was sleeping in this bunk. So no-one had it comfortable. Now you

also had very few things for entertainment The one thing they did have, was music. So what you’re hearing in the background is actually a sample from a record that was found on-board Everyone was huge fans of French dance music So it wasn’t until about March 5th, 1942 that they were finally about to do what they were set out to do. Now they always kept at least 5 men on top of the deck. Now they would be on lookout for any merchant ships that might be passing by. So if they noticed something, they would come down from the conning tower and they would alert the Captain. Now at that point, they would shout out for a dive-bell Now the dive-bell tells everyman to report to his station around the sub. If they spotted a target, they will fill the ballast tanks Now once those ballast tanks are full, they will be dense enough to submerge, down into the water. So once again ladies and gentlemen, it’s March 5th 1942, they sank down to about 30 feet. Which is known as periscope depth Now the periscope, that is their navigational and attack system. So it’s not an easy task It requires many men working in unison to dive down this U Boat. So if they miss any order, make any wrong move, they could easily be heading down into the deep depths of the ocean. So what you’re hearing right now are those Germen men preparing to shoot off their torpedos. You guys can take a minute to listen to this (Shouting) (Torpedo firing) So they just shot off that torpedo, now that ticking that you’re hearing now that’s their stopwatch. They’re counting off every second it takes before this torpedo hits its target So if you don’t hear anything for a long period of time, it more than likely was a miss! But if you did hear something now its when they took down the British Benmohr. So the sound you’re hearing is the hull of that ship crushing in, heading down into the depths of the water Now just 2 days later, they take down a Norwegian Sydhav. The following hull is the American West Irmo. Now this submarine took down 8 different ships, 7 by torpedo and one by gunfire Now next up everyone, we’re heading into the control room. Now along the way you’ll see the galley as known as the kitchen. Now this is where 1 man cooked for everone on board with 3 hot plates and an oven the size of a shoebox. Then you’ll see where the General Officers sleep. We’ll see the sound and radio room. You’ll also see where their Captain slept. His name was Harold Lange. We have about 60 seconds to make it over to the control room, so please follow up this ramp Gather on in for a second. Slide on in for a second Alright so this is the galley, or the kitchen One man cooking for all. Also notice you’re under original height of the floor through here The sound room The Captain’s bunk And this is the radio room Phonograph Alright slide over here. Get comfortable with your neighbor Young lady. My man right here. Alright slide on in, folks. Come on in, shift over. Get My man right here Alright slide on in folks. Come on in. Get comfortable with your neighbors Alright folks, make sure you hold your flash

Alright so right now we’re in the control room which is the central nervous system of this submarine. Where these young sailors are sitting next to as the diving station. Now this aids in the submerging and surfacing. So everyone it’s a few days before June 4th 1944. These men would be sailing off the west coast of Africa. Off the port, they called for a Crash dive The crash dive. This tells every officer to run toward the front of the boat to then carry that energy. This creates weight. They submerge in the water within 37 seconds. A few days before June 4th 1944, now this submarine had been spotted. So after all this time it had been taking down ships, finally someone has come to take them down. Now this is the Hunter Killer Task Group 22.3. These are dangerous men, they work with the Navy. So, the Germans decided to dive down to 300 feet and they didn’t want to make any noise. If one of these men even dropped a wrench of the floor, it could be heard for miles and miles away, because sound travels further in the under water than it does in the air and the pinging sound that you’re hearing, now that is the sonar of those American men, trying to track this submarine down. So Captain Lange, he told all 3 officers to go to sleep in their bunks. Now under water, they can’t recreate their own oxygen, so sleeping men would take up less oxygen and this case, more than likely, create less noise. But everyone can still hear that pinging sound, roaming, getting louder and louder. Now this chase goes on for 2 days. So the only time these men would come up to surface was to recharge their electric batteries. Now at this point Captain Lange has got no choice but to tell the men to dive down to 500 feet. Take it down Now if these men keep going further they will be reaching that crushing depth where there will be so much pressure per square foot surrounding this submarine, that they could be crushed in and might not make it out alive But this is the only option they feel they have. Now the next thing you know, you hear these pings Now these means depth charges. So these are 600 pound explosives heading down into the water. So they send 12 depth charges into the water. Last call. The shell hits and jammed the rudder, so they no longer had any control. They had no choicen to live but to throw the ballast tanks and head towards the surface Now Captain Lange and other radiomen decide to head up the ladder near the tower to see what’s going on up above. So they get all the way up to the top, open up the hatch and they step out on the deck to take a look around So there’s a planeflying overhead, and there is ships surrounding them. Now the American men, they shoot off around 6 minutes of gunfire. The Captain Lange is shot and wounded in the leg, and the other sailor get shot down and killed. So only 1 man was killed during this mission. Now to protect their secrets, the Germans ordered to scuttle the submarine. This means to sink the sub on purpose. So they placed 14 demolition charges around the sub. Then one man opens the sea strainer, which is the main valve to the ocean. So water is flooding inside Now next they all climb up, jump off and abandon the sub. Eventually, 9 men of the task group come down. They find 900 pounds of documents, 2 Enigma machines with all the German codes Now luckily enough everyone, one of those men had seen inside of this submarine, they were able to re-cap the sea strainer and stop the flooding, because the person who opened it up, left the cap inside the sub and not throw it overboard. They locate 13 out of the 14 demolition charges and they head towards the manual steering, which is in the electric

motor room. That is where we’re going to continue the story. So as you exit out of this room, on the floor of the back left hand corner you will notice the sea strainer. So please follow the right side of the room That is awesome. Oh. Alright folks, so right now we are in the electric motor room. What you just passed by was the diesel engine room, which was the hottest area onboard the sub when it was operational. Now the sound that just occurred is what those engines would sound at idle, but if they were to turn on at full blast, the sound would be almost deafening to the ears. So you see these above the surface Now this moves the sub at 21 miles per hour, but when they dived into the water they switched to these electric motors. Located right down toward the floor. One on the left and right Now these would move the sub at around 8 miles per hour, but they create less noise and they do not take up your oxygen. Because you already know, the 9 men in the task group come down and found 900 pounds worth of documents, 2 Enigma machines, located 13 out of those 14 demolitions. They walked down here, they noticed this hatch here. So on the other end of this hatch, is the manual steering and that’s their ticket to taking back control of the submarine Now remember, the rudder is jammed, but this would be the perfect place to plant that final demolition charge. So they call for their commanding Officer Daniel Gallery, now he comes down into this room, scopes out the situation, he tells all those men to head back toward the forward compartments because it was so dangerous. Then we walks up and feels around this hatch. The door’s shut, it can’t open. So he has no choice but to crank it, pop it back, but luckily for him the German men were in such a rush to get off this sub, they didn’t set that final demolition charge. So no explosion. What he noticed toward the back was glow in the dark paint. Now this is what the Germans were using under stealth mode. They also would have had paint water across their main pipeline. They would be able to see around in the dark and keep themselves operational under low power. Now you also notice a black steering wheel toward the back That is the manual steering. That is how they took control of the sub and spinned it. So they captured this sub on June 4th 1944, they didn’t want to tell anyone about this. Usually they destroy these submarines, but they did not follow that protocol. So they took the sub, towed it all the way to Bermuda, painted it black and they hid it there. And then all 58 German men to an isolated prisoner of war camp in Rustin, Louisiana. Now they actually went against the Geneva code, because they did not tell the red cross the whereabouts of those men. So they were assumed to be lost at sea. So once after the war was over, and all those men released, they went back home When the Navy was done studying from the submarine, they were going to use it as target practice and blow it up! But because of Daniel Gallery happened to be a native of this city, and his brother knew the president of this museum

at the time, now they made a negotiation between the Navy and it was donated here September 1954. Now they came up with $250,000 to tow it through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence seaway. They built a railway across Lakeshore Drive, and put rotor wheels on top that track that pulled the sub to the east side. Until they created this building in 2004, when they lowered it down inside 5 stories underground, and they put the ceiling on last. Now in a moment, I’ll welcome anyone who’d like a better look of the torpedo room, welcome to poke your head inside and take a better look. But I do ask you not to actually step inside the hatch, because some of the floor pops up and we don’t want to take a chance that someone might fall down below. So I’ll step outside to answer any questions. So Other than that, you’re all great! You’re all beautiful! Thank you all for coming on board. Thank you. All right