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Nazi Spies in America in 1942: Operation Pastorius

Nazi Spies in America in 1942: Operation Pastorius - U-boat landings and the capture.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: WW2 Intelligence, America during WW2, WWII Militaria.

John Cullen, Coast Guardsman who detected Nazi spies, dies at 90
In 1942, Seaman John Cullen was assigned to one of the Coast Guard`s less glamorous tasks. Cullen was a "sand pounder," the term for Coast Guardsmen who patrolled beaches looking for signs of German submarines. On Friday the 13th of June 1942, Seaman Cullen was on patrol about a half-hour past midnight when it was "so foggy that I couldn`t see my shoes." He spotted a figure in the mist and the outlines of three others. "Who are you?" he called out, shining his flashlight at the group, his Coast Guard insignia visible. The man closest to him said that they were fishermen who had run aground. He spoke English well enough, but one of the others, dragging a bag, shouted something in German.
(nytimes.com)

MI5 files on Nazi Saboteurs in America available for download (article includes link to a 16MB PDF file)
PaperlessArchives.com has published of recently declassified Second World War era British Intelligence MI5 files which cover the infiltration of America by Nazi saboteurs. On Operation Pastorius - set up by Abwehr (German military intelligence) - two groups of German sabotage agents landed on Long Island and Florida On June 13, and June 17, 1942.

A direct link to the PDF.

(paperlessarchives.com)

MI5 archives opened: 3 WWII stories emerge: Fourth Reich sleepers cells, poisoned food, Operation Pastorius
Nazis planned Fourth Reich by planting sleeper cells in post-war Europe to destabilise governments. A French collaborator revealed he had attended a conference near Munich in April 1945, presided over by an SS officer in full uniform in which the postwar actions were discussed. (link to article #1)

Nazis planned to poison chocolate, sugar and Nescafé coffee to keep the embers of the Third Reich burning after Germany`s surrender in 1945. In April 1945, four U.S. army soldiers were hospitalized, one of whom died, as a result of drinking poisoned alcohol obtained in Germany. (link to article #2)

MI5 criticized the Americans` failure to capture the Operation Pastorius sabotage team after a coastguard officer interrupted the Nazi agents as they buried supplies on the beach. The leader of the spies, George Dasch, tried to bribe the coastguard with $300 and although the man informed his superiors, MI5 reported that only "trivial and amateurish enquiries were started by the coastguards." (link to article #3)

(telegraph.co.uk)

German documentary film: Attack on America - Hitler`s 9/11
Nazi Germany used U-boats to land 8 Nazi spies - who had previously lived in the U.S. - in America on a mission to destroy economic targets. The first group of 4 men (carrying weapons, explosives and primers) came ashore near Manhattan on June 13, 1942. Four days later, another 4 men landed off Ponte Verda, Beach in Florida. "It has surprising parallels with 9/11 because the Nazis` goals were the same: to kill as many people as possible while crippling economic installations," said Spiegel TV. Codenamed Operation Pastorius, the man behind the idea was Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the Abwehr.
(dailymail.co.uk)

U-boats and Nazi spies plagued Maine coast during World War II
German submarines crowded American waters after the United States declared war on the Third Reich on Dec. 11, 1941. By the June 1942, 171 American vessels had been torpedoed off the east coast. At 10pm Nov. 29, 1944, the U-1230 surfaced on Frenchman`s Bay off Crabtree Neck. Two men in American street-clothes emerged, carrying satchels filled with handguns, diamonds, and $65,000 in cash to finance their espionage mission. William Curtis Colepaugh was an American who decided to become a spy after his career in the U.S. armed forces did`t move forward, while Erich Gimpel was a professional German spy.
(seacoastonline.com)

German U-boat attack off Jacksonville Beach coast
Jacksonville Beach tourists witness explosions out at sea. A German U-boat steams south to avoid capture by the U.S. Navy. After rowing ashore, 4 Nazi agents sneak along a beach and bury boxes in the sand. History buffs packed the Beaches Museum and History Center to hear history professor Michael Gannon tell tales of World War II actions at the Beaches. He described the destruction of the Gulfamerica, which was one of hundreds of tankers and freighters to be put down by German U-boats. Connie Heffern said that in spite of living in Jacksonville for 60 years, she`d never heard of the April 10, 1942, Nazi U-boat attack on the Gulf Oil tanker S.S. Gulfamerica.
(jacksonville)

A Witness to History: He supervised captured nazi spies in U.S.   (Article no longer available from the original source)
It was 10 o`clock on a snowy November night In 1944 when the Nazi U-boat surfaced in bay along the coast of Maine. Crew members rowed two Nazi spies ashore. The agents, Erich Gimpel, a German, and William Colepaugh, an American defector, were on a mission to sabotage strategic American facilities. "They were dressed in civilian clothes and they were nervous," said military police sergeant Charles Linkler. Report described Gimpel as a "very difficult subject. He was a professional German espionage agent, thoroughly indoctrinated in security. He was untruthful on several occasions... and told them only what he believed they already knew."
(newstimeslive)

Woman who spotted Nazi spies in U.S. in 1944 dies
Mary Forni had a key role in a little-known incident in World War II -she spotted two Nazi spies who arrived by U-boat along the Maine coast. The two men, German Erich Gimpel and American defector William Colepaugh, had slipped ashore from a German U-boat that had entered Maine waters. They had left the U-boat with loaded revolvers and more than $100,000 in cash and diamonds. Captured they were tried in secret military tribunals and sentenced to hanging. They were spared by President Truman after Roosevelt`s sudden death in April 1945 as the war with Nazi Germany was nearing its end.
(usatoday)

8 Nazi spies in the US during the summer of 1942   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Transported by submarine, eight Nazi spies swept across the United States in the summer of 1942, targeting a series of rail lines, water channels and factories. The nearly successful guerilla attacks of 1942 have become a modern day obsession for Richard Cylinder. The FBI said the grandiose plans nearly succeeded, but a turncoat German agent George John Dasch sold his countrymen in exchange for a reprieve from execution. On the morning of June 17, 1942, Nazi spy Dasch placed a call from his Washington, D.C., hotel room to FBI headquarters, relealing the plot.
(phillyburbs)


See also:
WW2 Intelligence
America during WW2
WWII Militaria.