July 2013 Letters to the Editor
The Rest of the Story
I read with interest the story about the U-boats that surrendered in Portsmouth, NH [June 2013]. You say that one of them was not subject to the order to destroy them and ended up as a museum piece in Chicago. The real story of that one sub is much different than the ones that surrendered.
The U-boat was the U-505 and it was captured by Captain Daniel V. Gallery, USN on June 4, 1944, off the Western Sahara in Africa. Gallery became probably the first naval officer since the War of 1812 to give the command for “Away All Borders." On board, the Navy found two very important things — the vaunted Enigma codes and as important as that was they also got two of the subs acoustic homing torpedoes.
The crew was taken to Camp Ruston in Louisiana and kept incommunicado for the rest of the war so the German High Command wouldn’t realize that the Allies had the Enigma codes.
The U-505 was towed to and kept in Bermuda and studied by US Navy intelligence and engineering officers.
To maintain the illusion that she had been sunk rather than captured, she was temporarily renamed USS Nemo. After the war it was then taken to Portsmouth, NH, where it sat for many years a moored derelict that the Navy finally decided to use as a target for gunnery practice. In 1946, with the help of Gallery, it was finally offered to Chicago as a museum piece. From that point in its life is another very interesting story — for another time. So you see because it was a captured ship during the war it was not subject to the surrender rules.
Some Light Entertainment
The "Weekender" section of the May issue, which was devoted to Portsmouth, listing various attractions, could have included information about the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, which is open to the public every Sunday from 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend. The lighthouse is located on the US Coast Guard Station in New Castle.
Visitors can climb the lighthouse up to the lantern room for an outstanding view of Portsmouth Harbor and its surroundings, and hear presentations by members of The Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses about the history of the port, Wood Island Lifesaving Station, Fort Constitution and the Portsmouth Harbor lighthouse, including details of the operational Fresnel lens, the function of the watch room and the oil house, as well as Whaleback light.
The presentations also include details of some of the more notable keepers of the Portsmouth Harbor light, including the one who served the longest, Joshua Card (who may still be there!). The tours are fun and interesting for adults and children alike, and with only 44 steps and seven rungs to get all the way to the top, it is an easy climb, making it a great "first lighthouse" to tour.
In addition to the regular Sunday open houses, The Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses also offer tours to school groups. In addition to maintaining the Portsmouth Harbor lighthouse building, walkway and oil house, we own Whaleback light and are in the process of making extensive repairs, with the goal of opening it to tours in the future.
You can get even more details about the organization and how the lighthouse can be booked for special events at portsmouthharborlighthouse.org.
Member, Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses
We are delighted to be included among New Hampshire's Magazine's Best in 2013 as the Editor's Pick for Best Historic Inn. Thanks. Please extend our appreciation to your team for considering the Hancock Inn alongside the many, many other fine places, businesses and things to do in the state of New Hampshire.
Innkeeper, The Hancock Inn
Another Fun Month
Loved the "Delightful Detours" article [June 2013]. I'm sure my hubby and I will take to the roads this summer and explore some of these spots. We are also planning a trip to Hampton Beach to view the sand sculptures, although we may hold off until after the judging as I imagine the crowds will be pretty dense. Thanks for another fun month of New Hampshire Magazine.
Pulling Trucks and More
Re: NH Magazine's E-newsletter Summer Event List: This is fantastic; great list! Would love to see the 39th Annual Market Days Festival included in the mid-summer version — it's 7/18–7/20 in downtown Concord. There will be 36 hours of free entertainment at six venues this year. Will be sure to send more information as schedule line-up confirms; you definitely won't want to miss the return of Girls on Fire as they compete again in the 2nd Annual Fire Truck Pull — was thrilled to see them featured last year in New Hampshire Magazine.
Market Days Festival Director
Editor's note: Done! We look forward to this event every year.
Made Her Happy
I just want to thank you for putting together such a nice spot for my shoes and write-up [June 2013]. How happy it made me to see those boots in NH Magazine!
Send letters to Editor Rick Broussard, New Hampshire Magazine, 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.