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This is the place to discuss general issues related to the U-boat war or the war at sea in WWII. 
U-505 progress
Posted by: Keith Gill ()
Date: December 11, 2004 09:02PM

Someone asked me for an update on the U-505's progress towards re-opening.

There is a lot to say but I can summarize.

The Boat is as you may know now underground in its new building in front of the museum. THe roof is completed and covered with dirt awaiting landscaping in the spring.

The boat has been covered in tarps and scaffolding since May for roof completion work and by early Janurary this will be removed. At that time the boat will get its final coats of paint in its wartime finish.

The interior of the boat has been repainted as well in its original wartime colors as opposed to the colors painted by the US Navy and perpetuated by the musuem until 1983.This latest repaint benefitted from a careful microscopic examination of original paint colors on each surface of the boat including walls, hatches, pipes, valves, equipment, etc. There is a marked difference -IMPROVEMENT- in the appearance of the boat and I am sure anyone who sees it again will notice. Where we had no conclusive evidence on color I resorted to photos of interiors of several other type IX boats for guidelines. One thing is clear is that there is no exact scheme and yet there is a pattern.

The exhibitry is being built as I write this and is due to be installed in the Spring.

I estimate at this point that there will be approximately 160 artifacts on display, many of which have never been seen before. Most of them are small items kept by US Navy sailors as souvenirs contrary to orders to turn them in. The bulk of these types of items will be in two display cases. I have even been corresponding with Joe Brandt about Tauchretters and hope to have an interesting display of two of them in the exhibit.

I discovered in our collection one of the 4 or 5 flags found on board the U-505 and taken by Dan gallery as a souvenir. Gallery donated the flag to us in the 1950s but it had not been put on display. (The flag used at sea by the U-505 had been presented to Admiral Ingrahm in 1944 and it now resides in Memorial Hall at Annapolis). It will be in the new exhibit alongside two US flags that had been flying from the USS Pillsbury and the USS Jenks on the day of the capture of U-505. While the German flag is essentially new and was a spare flag stuffed into the overhead pipes, the US Flags are very tattered and torn and grungy showing their use at sea. They will be dramitc parts of the display and bring emotional responses from the US Vets. All three flags are currently undergoing conservation.

I have been researching our radar and radar detection gear for some time and have also inventoried everything in our radio and sound rooms with the hope of restoring these compartments to their true configuration howver this is a challenge to find missing components.

We ARE however restoring countertops and document safes in the radio room and will hopefully have this half completed next week. Some evidence survives on U-505 to do this work but not enough to complete the task but I did aquire details from the U534 from a recent trip there and will combine some of those findings with other details from 2-3 other boats via photographic evidence. No two boats seem to be the same making this a choice of common sense and dimensional restrictions. It has been a challenge. What will be presented are faithful recreations combining details from several boats until we learn more about what was in U-505. The safes are important for our story as the boarding party broke into three of them on board for publications and they were removed in the 1940s before the museum of science and industry got the boat. We are re-creating them and restoring them to the boat.

The Navigation periscope has just completed conservation work and the T5 torpedo and cutaway display of a G7e torpedo will be going out for conservation soon.

The busiest part of the project is upon us as we complete design on exhibits and begin construction. This will take us to the final days before opening some time this summer.

As to opening date all I can say officially is to watch our website for updates and if there is anything definate to say I will try to post it here.

That's all for now.

Keith Gill
Curator U-505
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Options: ReplyQuote

Subject Written By Posted
U-505 progress Keith Gill 12/11/2004 09:02PM
Re: U-505 progress ROBERT M. 12/12/2004 12:43AM
Re: U-505 progress 2Lt Frank Blazich, Jr. 12/12/2004 04:51AM
Re: U-505 progress MPC 12/16/2004 08:56PM
Re: U-505 progress Bill Forsythe 12/13/2004 03:40PM
Re: U-505 progress Eric 12/13/2004 05:05PM
Re: U-505 progress jeff Taylor 12/14/2004 02:34AM
Re: U-505 progress Dan Odenweller 12/14/2004 04:17AM
Re: U-505 progress Rainer Bruns 12/14/2004 05:29PM
Re: U-505 progress Keith Gill 12/15/2004 01:52AM
Re: U-505 progress ray schwartz 12/15/2004 03:36AM
Re: U-505 progress Dan Odenweller 12/15/2004 03:46AM
Re: U-505 progress J.T. McDaniel 12/15/2004 11:47PM
Re: U-505 progress ROBERT M. 12/22/2004 04:41AM

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