Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The U-505, or part of it at least


When the folks at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago turned the U-505 into an exhibit, they cut doorways at either end of the port side of the hull so visitors wouldn't have to clamber up and down ladders.

They made paperweights of varying shapes and sizes from the steel that was cut away and sold them at the museum gift shop.

I bought this one in the winter of 1957-58 while on a junior high school field trip. It measures 1"x1½"x1½" and weighs 9.3 ounces.

Hans Goebeler, who served on the U-505 from its first voyage to its capture, wrote a history of his experiences titled Steel Boat, Iron Hearts. After the war, Goebeler moved to the U.S. and settled in Chicago to be near "his" boat. He would occasionally give guided tours to lucky museum visitors and also organized several reunions of surviving crew members.

Goebeler died in 1999 of lung cancer.


Hans Goebeler on the deck of the U-505 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

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