A sight to behold: Frank Micka cannot forget the U-505 on 57th Street Beach

2014-05-25T03:15:00Z 2014-05-28T12:11:11Z A sight to behold: Frank Micka cannot forget the U-505 on 57th Street Beach
May 25, 2014 3:15 am  • 

Frank Micka, who was born in 1941, remembers he was about 12 years old and his uncle was taking him and his cousins to Riverview---the amusement park on Belmont on the north side of Chicago---via the Outer Drive. As Frank, who grew up in Hammond, remembers, as the traffic slowed down, this massive boat appeared. “My uncle had four daughters and I was kind of like a son to him, so that’s why I got to go to Riverview with them.” The girls and his aunt didn’t care about it as much as he recalls. “But I was in awe. The boat was up out of the water and they were using what looked like giant railroad ties,” Micka said. As the traffic crawled by the extraordinary site at 57th St. Beach, his uncle asked if they were going to be able to get back to Hammond after the visit to Riverview. (The best route at the time before the Chicago Skyway and Indiana Tollway was to take Lake Shore Drive to Indianapolis Boulevard.) “They [people running the U-505 moving project] told him that they weren’t going to take it across the street that day, so we would be all right to go home.” Micka learned more about the sub in the 1960s when he visited the Museum as a young man. “I was impressed with the courage of the men on the ship and the code-breaking they were able to do because of capturing the sub,” he said. He has not yet been able to see the sub in the indoor space though. --- Frank Micka is retired and lives with his wife of 50 years in Griffith.

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