Editorial: Good work! (6-29-42)

The Pittsburgh Press (June 29, 1942)

Good work!

The Federal Bureau of Investigation did a fine job in rounding up eight Nazi saboteurs who had been landed from U-boats on the Atlantic Coast.

Someday, we hope, the story can be told in full. It’s as challenging to the imagination as any secret-service thriller of fiction. How did J. Edgar Hoover’s men pick up the trails of the invaders? How were their buried caches of bombs located on the lonely Long Island and Florida beaches? How were they caught so quickly? How were their confessions obtained? We don’t know the answers.

But apparently, the FBI is very much on the alert. Indeed, there was already much negative evidence of that in the fact that nearly seven months of war have produced few if any instances of what could be considered large-scale, organized sabotage. Certainly, there are many Axis sympathizers here who would do dirty work for Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini if they could, just as it’s now proved that there were some who went to Germany to be specially trained for the desperate invasion from submarines. Their lack of success thus far is a tribute to the vigilance of those charged with protecting American war industries and defense installations against enemy agents and plotters.

If two U-boats could land parties of saboteurs, it’s only natural to wonder whether other groups haven’t landed and hidden themselves successfully. Mr. Hoover seems very sure that “we’ve got the whole crowd” – and we hope he’s right. But even the FBI might slip some time, and everything possible should be done to prevent and discourage such attempts in the future.

For one thing, increased Navy and Coast Guard activity to keep submarines away from our coasts seems to be needed. For another, the German agents now under arrest should be punished with all the promptness and severity that the law permits, as a warning that other stealthy enemies of the United States can expect no mercy.


Weren’t they executed in pretty short order?

Great article find.

Another question and I apologize if you covered this but in your search through archives, do you see much opposition to the internment orders? I suspect not but just curious.



Click here.

Six of the eight saboteurs were executed August 8, 1942, after a very important trial.

A few articles and letters here and there.


In Canada there was never a successful landing of German spies or saboteurs in Canada as almost all were captured within hours of landing. The most common reasons why they were captured in quick succession were they often wore European clothing instead of the more up to date clothing worn by Canadians. Also their dialects were crisp or heavily accented which drew unwanted attention in addition to their clothing got the police or military called.

I’m not sure if there were any successful landings in the US but I know many German Spies were caught.


Hey these spoilers are cool and that will teach them not to sabotage again :smiling_imp: :+1: (yes, I am partisan )


Does this count?