Long Island's Hidden Past: Nazis land on beach near Coast Guard Station in Amagansett

As fog rolled in, off the ocean in Amagansett on June 13, 1942, a German U-boat crept slowly toward the Long Island coast line into

Cullen ran from the beach to the Coast Guard Station and told his superiors what had happened.

Cullen ran from the beach to the Coast Guard Station and told his superiors what had happened. (6/1/16)

AMAGANSETT - As fog rolled in, off the ocean in Amagansett on June 13, 1942, a German U-boat crept slowly toward the Long Island coast line into a beach in Amagansett.

Onboard were four German spies with the mission to unleash a campaign of terror on the United States.

But as luck would have it, as they landed on the beach, 21-year-old Coast Guard Seaman John Cullen had just set out on his late night patrol. 

Historian Hugh King says Cullen asked the strangely dressed men who they are. They claimed that they were lost and they were fisherman. That's when George Dasch, the leader of the saboteurs, tried to bribe him with $300. 

Cullen ran from the beach to the Coast Guard Station and told his superiors what had happened - but no one believed him. 

Meanwhile, Dash and his co-conspirators buried the explosives that they had, changed into their American clothes and made their way to the Amagansett train station.

After Cullen convinced his commander that Nazis did indeed land on the beach, a massive manhunt got underway. Houses were searched, beaches were closed and locals were interviewed. 

Once the Nazi soldiers had landed in the United States, they were supposed to commit terrorist strikes against Penn Station, aluminum factories in Illinois and Tennessee, locks on the Ohio River, and hydroelectric plants at Niagara Falls.

In less than two weeks, the saboteurs' plans unraveled and they were rounded up by the FBI. The terror the nation felt knowing that Nazis had landed on U.S. shores came to an end. 

There is an effort underway to restore the historic Coast Guard Station in Amagansett. 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

According to police, a nearby resident found the 1 Police: Body of young man found in Massapequa Preserve
The LIRR said on its social media that 2 Evening rush difficult on LIRR after Amtrak derailment
Sayville-based political consultant Michael Dawidziak says the bill's 3 Failure of GOP health bill may take toll on Trump administration
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. leaves the 4 Trump, GOP leaders pull health care bill in humiliating loss
John Aniano was convicted in December of several 5 Man gets max sentence after killing Lynbrook couple in 2015 crash

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE