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. 

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