|Posted by [email protected] on July 25, 2013 at 8:45 PM|
During WW II, German submarines were known to be patrolling along the US coast, mostly for getting shipping reports, etc.
An article in the Beaufort Gazette, then a weekly newspaper, posted an article in the 1940s that I remember and is paraphrased here.
It seems that the few residents on Hilton Head Island never dreamed that they would be a part of the war. Seasons changed and the farming and fishing continued as usual,except for the rationing and shortages of staples, but most lived off the land, so it was as if there were no war.
However, it seems that two strangers were seen walking along one of the dirt roads and stopped a local resident to ask how to get to Savannah. The strangers were pale, wore rumpled suits, even though it was a weekday and asked their questions in a strange accent. They were told that they would have to catch the ferryboat and take Highway 17 to Savannah.
The resident was immediately suspicious, since the few whites there were well tanned and no one wore a suit except maybe on Sunday. He contacted the local constable. The constable contacted a local volunteer group keeping watch along the beaches. They formed a posse and located the two strangers heading for the ferry. They asked them questions and immediately knew that they had to be German spies.
As it turned out they were arrested and placed in a camp near Savannah. They were cooperative, hoping for nice treatment and admitted that they were spies and were to get info about the shipping from Savannah.
Apparently the captain of the German U-boat mixed up his location and landed them on that sparsely populated barrier island with no bridge and populated mostly by black farmers called Hilton Head instead of Tybee Island.