Boarding party prepare to launch…

With those words in June of 1944, the US Navy for the first time since 1815 sent sailors in a whaleboat to attempt to capture a German U-Boat. If you ever get a chance to Google “U-505” you will read an amazing story of daring action that allowed us to capture a scuttled submarine sinking from intentionally sabotaged sea strainers opened by the fleeing German crew. Classified information including two Enigma code machines were obtained which may have shortened the war. The sub was towed to Bermuda, the crew imprisoned in Louisiana for over a year and no-one ever knew until the war was over. You could never get anyone to keep something like that quiet today and all the intelligence gains would be lost.

Now why am I telling you all this? Well one of my oldest lifelong friends, Charles Moore, sent us an email yesterday suggesting that we might want to see a U-Boat since we had toured an American sub recently. A quick search revealed it was a few miles away at the Museum of Science and Industry. It is the largest museum of science in the Western Hemisphere, 14.5 acres under one roof!

So this morning we rode our bikes to town, locked them to a rack near Loyola and hopped a bus to the museum. What a good choice it was. We were able to tour an amazing exhibit of a complete German sub, one of only five in existence, and also to learn so much that we had never known. I even found out what had happened to a very famous world speed breaking vehicle that had excited me a a kid and was immortalized by the Beach Boys in a song “Spirit of America”.

This locomotive was the first vehicle ever to break 100mph on the way from NY to Chicago.

Craig Breedlove’s Spirit of America broke the world’s land speed record at Bonneville Salt Flats at over 526mph. Later he would break the 600mph barrier in Sonic I. I have no idea where it ended up. 

The Burlington Zephyr set a record from Denver to Chicago in one day with a burro aboard. Interesting story on the burro. i will leave you to search for it on the web. But it became the world’s fastest burro and still holds that record today I believe. 

We even saw new life come into the world to be welcomed by other recent arrivals.

If you are ever in Chicago this place is a must see. Stay tuned for we have another day in the Windy City and the wind is beginning to pick up.