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Given the way things are developing in the South China Sea, and the Navy's fading ability to keep the ships it has running - much less properly bulk-up for new geopolitical challenges - they might think about refurbishing some of these old boats, not scrapping or making museums out of them. :rolleyes: :(

Vehicle Line Aircraft Engineering Helicopter

Maybe not ones that old.
 

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Did those guys standing on the bow of U-505 think that was a safe place to be? Lol
I think there were other guys telling them to stand there, presumably backed by 20mms and .50 cals on the DD parked alongside, so that seemed the safest thing to do. ;-)

Seriously, the order had been given to "abandon ship" on the surrounded and sinking U-boat about to go down any moment, and the bow was the only place they could go while waiting for the U.S. whaleboats to pick them up.

Meanwhile, a team of crazy Americans had scrambled down the hatch and into the sloshing bowels seeking to locate the water cock they suspected the Germans had opened - and grab the Enigma machine and code books.

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The painting is even better; I couldn't find it last night:

Water Boat Watercraft Vehicle Painting

(gorgeous)

June 4, 1944, 150 miles out from west Africa.
The escort carrier in background was named the Guadalcanal. Coincidentally, 80 years ago right this minute, the fearful Pacific battle that ship was named for still roared, six weeks after the Aug. 7, 1942 Marine landings.
 

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ETA on the U-505 adventure: Task force commander Daniel Gallery was quite a man and apparently quite a character; post-war he wrote some entertaining navy-based humor books ("Captain Fatso" is one I read and remember, about a colorful Chief).

In June 1944 his task force set out on their most famous Atlantic sub-hunting cruise with the explicit goal of capturing one.

In looking up that painting I tripped across two articles of Gallery's in the Naval Institute publication, one on grabbing the U-boat and the other on his pioneering work with night-time escort-carrier flight operations, in the cruises just before the capture. I have not read the U-505 piece yet, but Gallery hints these night ops were a factor in locating that sub (new to me).
Water Sky Boat Watercraft Vehicle


Water Boat Watercraft Vehicle Naval architecture


No surprise, but by 1944 U-boats in the Atlantic were highly allergic to surfacing during the day, and did all their battery charges etc. after dark, so flying at night was critical to finding them.


One dirty little secret: To bring their babies in safe on moonless nights, Gallery's team was not averse to lighting up the flat-top like Times Square at New Years. He describes the crew as more than willing to accept the risk of a midnight torpedo as the price of bringing their precious flight crews home safe - and of having a chance a bagging a U-boat. (Something like: Planes locate the sub on the surface at night, and a destroyer rushes over to drive and hold it under while the task force maneuvers into range and position.)

Also in those early night ops, sometimes the carrier's radio controller would notice a plane (mainly Avengers I think) that was no longer responding on the radio, and the ship would beam a giant spotlight straight up into the sky to guide them home, visible over hundreds of square miles of sea. (I've read of similar episodes in the Pacific.)

Gallery was doing all this in the spring of 1944, soon before the war's most famous "light 'em up" incident, on the other side of the world, which he refers to in this passage:

'A bench mark on the state of the art in 1944 (carrier ops at night) is that wild night in June, right after the Marianas Turkey Shoot, when Admiral Marc Mitscher gave the order to, “Turn on the lights.” Two hundred planes got caught out after dark that night. Nearly half of them wound up in the water. In 1944, flying off even the big Essex-class carriers was still very much a daytime job.'

ETA: Nighttime flight ops were not a factor in the U-505 capture.
 

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If you look closer, you will see that the American flag was already flying from the conning tower, and the men on the bow are actually handling a line from the US ship the photo was taken from... they were getting her ready to be towed.
Right. I think there are photos of both groups out on the bow, first the Germans awaiting rescue/capture, then the yanks preparing to take a tow (the scene in the painting).

In one of the items I looked at to check details, maybe Admiral Gallery's words but I'm not sure, it was noted that the task force's DEs (destroyer-escorts, not fast DDs) lacked the power to tow the semi-submerged sub, which was why the 9,000 ton escort carrier was given the job.
(It had two "unaflow" engines, but I can't tell if they were 9,000 HP each or combined; I think "each.")

(By semi-coincidence, I currently have out a library book, "Hunter-Killers: U.S. Escort Carriers In The Battle Of The Atlantic," which opens with the development and details of the various CVE classes. The Guadalcanal was of the most numerous class, built by Henry Kaiser using the same "assembly line" merchant ship construction he pioneered, who successfully lobbied FDR to approve assembling 50 mass-produced CVEs. Admiral Gallery said, "They were barely good enough, but they were good enough." <quote corrected> They were the first CVEs to be retired post-war. :) )

Lucky U-boat crewman:
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Tints and shades


Interesting duty for USN members:
Water Boat Watercraft Vehicle Ship




*Highly recommended, Freedom's Forge by Arthur Herman, which tells the real story of how the US cranked-out all those weapons and materiel in WW2, including a lot about Kaiser's pre-fab merchant ship construction. At it's peak, kind of as a stunt but not by much, they built one in one week.
 

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Cool.

Something I just learned for first time: When the crew scrambled onto the deck, the sub's diesels were still running and "in gear," moving the vessel forward at just a few knots to help keep it from sinking. U-505 was still moving under her own power as the yanks were rigging the tow line.
 
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