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Bud Visited Oswald Veblen in 1944

January 5, 2016

Carl Bonde’s high school graduation picture, 1941.


Carl after Army basic training.

Who was Oswald Veblen?  Carl Ralph Bonde, Jr.’s mother thought highly of him because he was a mathematics professor at Princeton.  Oswald specialized in geometric theorems.  Carl visited Oswald at his home while on his way to England in the late Fall, 1944.  Interested readers can check Oswald Veblen out at Wikipedia.

Carl died Christmas Eve when a U-boat torpedo sunk his ship, the SS Leopoldville.  The Leo was properly designated “SS” because it was a Belgian troopship that had been requisitioned to transport thousands of Americans to France across the English Channel.

Of possible interest:

*U-486, the German submarine that sunk the Leo, was just one of many that had sat on the bottom of the shallow English Channel waiting for Allied ships.

*Submarines, like U-486, were of type VIIC.  They spent only four hours a day, at most, below the surface.  Mostly they sailed like any other ship because, even though they had snorkels, they required air from the surface to run.

*The U-boats had to be continuously modified and upgraded in response to the allies’ ability to track and kill them.  Many of the upgrades were not satisfactory, such as conversion to electric engines.  The electric engines were slower than the allied ships.

Thorstein Veblen Thorstein Veblen was Oswald’s uncle.




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  1. Fascinating! Thorsten Veblen was a late 19th Century graduate of Carleton College, Norhfield, Minnesota, from which I graduated in 1955. He was one of that fine institution’s most well known alumni. He was born in a nearby community of Nerstrand. A campus contemporary of mine was Mimi Veblen, a much younger generation of Thorsten’s family. It is always interesting to encounter anyone who has a connection with Thorsten, Carleton College and Nerstrand, MN!
    Obert Undem

  2. Thanks, Obert. You are generous with your comments.

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