The article "My Friend and I" was written by retired Admiral Daniel V. Gallery and appeared in the Memorial Day weekend issue of Parade magazine in 1964. It is a wonderful example of the Admiral's wit and writing style and sums up the capture in a delightful way.  
     
   
 
Only submarine to be captured by the U.S. in either world war, the U-505, prepared for towing, has just been grappled and boarded by a U.S. Navy task group.
 
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MY FRIEND AND I
 
     
 
ON THE EVE OF THE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY, HERE IS THE
 
 
STORY OF THE MOST HEROIC CAPTURE IN THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC
 
 
 
 
by REAR ADM. DANIEL V. GALLERY, USN (RET.)
 
     
          This week I'm going to a party at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, where I'll meet an old friend. He tried to drown me 20 years ago. I shot his leg off, took his ship away from him and fished him out of the Atlantic Ocean on June 4, 1944, 150 miles off Cape Blanco, French West Africa.  
          My friend is Harold Lange, and he comes from Hamburg, Germany. He is a former first lieutenant in the German Navy and commanded the submarine U-505 during World War II. For the past 10 years this U-boat has rested on concrete cradles next to the Museum, a trophy of war dedicated to the memory of all American sailors who lost their lives defending their country at sea.  
          The U-505 is the only submarine captured by the U.S. in either world war. It is also the only enemy man-o-war boarded and captured in battle by the Navy since 1815. It was my great good fortune to command the task group that did the job.  
          Many sputniks have gone round the world since Lange and I tried to do each other in 20 years ago. The banquet this week highlights the fact that nations as well as men who were enemies then are now friends.  
          The capture of the U-505 was one of the most improbable events of the Battle of the Atlantic, in which 4,527 Allied ships and 781 German U-boats went to the bottom.  
          The boat was hunted down, boarded and captured by my hunter-killer group of the Atlantic Fleet. In the group were the jeep carrier USS Guadalcanal and the escorts destroyers Pillsbury, Chatelain, Flaherty, Pope and Jenks.  
          I spent most of the war chasing subs and had been in on several kills where U-boats, battered by depth charges, had surfaced and scuttled. This gave their crews a chance to escape overboard and save their lives as their boat plunged to the bottom. After our task group sank three ace U-boats in 1944, I made plans with my destroyer skippers to try for a capture the next time we flushed a sub from the depths. We figured that a beaten U-boat which had to surface might still be seaworthy as a surface ship. Maybe if we got aboard in time and closed the scuttling valves we might keep her afloat.  
          All ships got up boarding parties, kept whaleboats ready to lower and agreed that when the next U-boat popped up we would fire only small stuff at it. It wouldn't do much damage to the sturdy hull of a U-boat, but it would encourage the Germans to get off so our boys could get on. Meantime, we would call away boarders, lower boats and try to get aboard in time to close the scuttling valves.  
          This far-feched scheme came off according to script!  
          After stalking the U-505 for over a week, the group caught up with her one Sunday noon, running submerged 150 miles off Cape Blanco, French West Africa. Depth charges jarred huge flakes of paint off her bulkheads and jammed her rudder. Thinking he had had it, Lange gave the order to surface, abandon ship and scuttle.  
          As the last Germans went overboard, the Pillsbury's whaleboat boiled up alongside. Our men leaped aboard the heaving, slippery deck of the wounded sub, plunged down the hatch and closed the scuttling valves. It was touch-and-go. The U-boat was on the verge of upending and taking her final dive when our boys got aboard. But they kept her afloat. I took her in tow with the flagship Guadalcanal and, two weeks later, delivered her in Bermuda.  
      This capture was a windfall to the Office of Naval Intelligence. It told our experts all they wanted to know about the radar, sonar, radio, torpedoes and everything else in a U-boat. What's more, it gave us copies of all Adm. Doenitz's handbooks on U-boat tactics and the codes and ciphers in which he sent his orders out to them. This justified the risks taken in making the capture.  
     
 
781 U-BOATS SUNK
 
     
          For the last 10 months of the war our radio eavesdroppers in Washington listened in on Doenitz's party line to his wolfpacks at sea. When he told his wolves to converge on certain convoys, we arranged to have proper reception committees there to welcome them. In the 69 months that the war lasted, the Allies sank 781 U-boats. In the 10 months after U-505 was captured, we sank 290. Many things combined to boost the monthly sinking rate toward the end of the war. The code book from the U-505 was one of them.  
          One of the remarkable things about the capture was that we were able to keep it secret. That was vital. If the German's found out about the capture, they would have thrown the old code books away and replaced them with entirely new ones. All navies have new codes ready for issue if the one in use is captured. Even when the same code is used for many months, they reset the cipher machine every two weeks or so to keep enemy code breakers off balance. But the key to all these routine changes was in the U-505's books!

Capt. Daniel V. Gallery stands on bridge of the captured German U-boat, U-505.

 
          Returning to the U.S. with the U-boat in tow, I knew that the 3,000 young sailors in the task group were all bursting with the best story of their lives. En route to Bermuda we explained to them why they couldn't tell it - to anybody. I am very proud of the fact that my boys did keep their mouths shut. At the end of the war, the records of the German Navy carried the U-505 as "lost at sea," like hundreds of other U-boats.  
     
          The leader of the Pillsbury's boarding party was Lieut. (j.g.) Albert David, an ex-enlisted man from Maryville, Mo. He got the Congressional Medal of Honor, the only one awarded in the Battle of the Atlantic. Arthur W. Knispul of Newark, N.J., and Stanley E. Wdowiak, Maspeth, N.Y., got Navy Crosses, and the rest of the boarders, Silver Stars. The whole task group received the Presidential Unit Citation.  
     
 
IN MEMORIAM
 
     
          After the war, the U-505 lay rusting in the Portsmouth Navy Yard for nine years. Then a group of Navy Leaguers in Chicago got together to raise funds and bring the U-boat there. "There are memorials all over the world to various land battles - but there are no tombstones on the sea," they said. "Let's set one up here on the Lake Front in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry." The Museum, one of the world's finest, gladly agreed.  
          In 1954 the U-505 was towed up the old St. Lawrence waterway, beached at Jackson Park, hauled across the Outer Drive and parked alongside the Museum. The night the sub crossed the Drive, some wag put up a sign, "Drive Carefully - Submarine Crossing." Next morning, a newspaper ran a cartoon of a popeyed drunk gaping at the sub in the middle of the Drive, saying, "I'm off the stuff for life."  
          On Sept. 25, 1954, Fleet Adm. Halsey dedicated the U-505 as a Naval memorial. Cmdr. Arthur Godfrey, USNR, was master of ceremonies.  
          All of the German firms that had a hand in building the sub have helped to restore her to first class condition. When Maj. Lenox Lohr of the Museum wrote these firms in 1954 and asked them to replace missing parts, they all wrote nearly identical replies saying, "Were sorry you've got our U-boat, but since you will have it from now on, we want it to be a credit to German technology."  
     
 
5 MILLION VISITORS
 
     
          Since 1954 nearly 5,000,000 visitors from all over the world have gone through the submarine. After exploring the sub, they see a 20-minute combat film shot while the capture was being made.  
          There is a sad contrast between the end of this U-boat and the fate of my little flagship that hunted her down. The Guadalcanal made her last voyage in 1959. This time she was at the end of a towline. They towed her across the Pacific to a scrap yard in Japan.  
          Many things have happened in this world since June 4, 1944. Former enemy countries are now our friends, and vice versa. Atom bombs, missiles and Polaris submarines now help to keep an uneasy peace among nations.  
          Compared to a Polaris sub, the U-505 is like a bow and arrow. But only 20 years ago, primitive boats like this almost drove our shipping off the high seas. If Lange had commanded a Polaris sub that Sunday noon off the African coast, the party this week would be held in Berlin instead of Chicago.  
          I hope we will always remember the part that sea power has played in defending our freedoms. Even in the atomic age, it is still vital to our survival.  
     
  With thanks to Parade Magazine and Mr. Phillip Kornely, USS Pope, DE-134  
     
 

Dan Gallery's Article