The Capture of U-505 by USS Guadalcanal. 4th. of June 1944
24th. of June 1944.
US Task Group 22.3.
Captain Daniel V. Gallery Commanding Officer of Task Group. 22.3
A salvo of Hedgehog projectiles in the water with three about to arrive on the right
The U-Boat had fired one torpedo at Guadalcanal, it had fortunately missed its mark, Chalelain also fired one torpedo at the U-Boat trying to avert any further attack on her carrier, it too missed.
Boarding party on board U-505.
Nine men from Pillbury quickly boarded the German submarine, and soon had it under their control, it became the first enemy warship to be captured by the US Navy since 1815. Guadalcanal soon reinforced the initial boarding party, and they plugged up all the leaks, during this salvage operation, it became necessary to enter the after torpedo room to manipulate the steering gear in order to be able to move the U-Boat forward.
U-505 with Old glory flying
Captain Gallery was onboard U-505, and personally opened what was a suspected booby trap on the hatch leading to the torpedo room. Pillbury now went alongside the submarine to use her pumps to empty the incoming water which was threatening to sink U-505, one of the ropes securing the destroyer alongside parted with the strain, and the submarine's bow hydroplanes slashed through her plates, just like opening up a sardine can, two compartments were flooded, and the destroyer had to withdraw to make repairs. To keep the German boat afloat, she had to be taken in tow by Guadalcanal, as the tow slowly tightened, the submarine came to the surface, now saved, amid cheers from all the watching sailors.
The Task Group now shaped a course for Dakar on the west coast of Africa, but as it was reportedly full of German spies, and the capture of this U-boat needed to be kept secret, the force was directed to Port Royal Bay, Bermuda.
During the towing saga, the submarine's batteries were recharged and the boat's own pumps started, and used to remove all the excess water that resulted from the action. U-505 was once more brought to full surface trim. After three days of towing, the fleet tug Abuaki arrived to take over towing duties.
On the 19th. of June, U-505 arrived at Port Royal Bay, Bermuda, and Naval Intelligence combed the boat for useful technical and operational data, and equipment. The German radio code came to light, and a new type of torpedo found.
New home for U-505 being prepared in Chicago
It is fortunate that this submarine will not be lost to history, and for many years to come, it will attract people to swarm over its deck, and then probe its internal mysteries.
Hedgehog Ahead Throwing Weapon