Did a U-Boat Capt. Sneak into Key West to drink during WWII?

When I lived in Key West some years ago there was a legend about how during WWII a U-Boat was off the coast of Southern Florida and a Captain and some of his crew would sneak into town and drink at the Green Parrot bar, a bar that still stands after nearly 100 years. I’ve looked into it a bit but I cant find anything about it from legit sources (not drunk shrimp boat dogs) Is this true or more Conch folklore.


I think this one needs to be moved to General Questions.

Dozens of stinky German sailors drinking without being noticed? The Green Parrot is basically across the street from the old Navy base.

I guess it’s possible but I doubt it.

Don’t forget that America and Germany weren’t at war for much of WW2. America only joined in after Pearl Harbour. The fight against the Axis powers started in 1939.

One wonders how they paid for their drinks ? Deutsche Marks ? :slight_smile: If the US wasnt at war… why sneak in then ?

Moderator’s Note: Moving to General Questions.

Other (as yet unsubstantiated, and perhaps more credible) scuttlebutt had it that a group of Germans were offloaded from a U-Boat in small boats, which they rowed ashore around Miami Beach and buried, and then procured jobs as waiters in an effort to establish cover for espionage activities – but they were caught fairly early on by the FBI. I’ll see if I can find cites.

This one strikes me as more plausible than the reasonably-disciplined U-boat crews partying it up in Key West to no visible benefit for their war effort.

Something like this did indeed happen. however, I don’t think it was FL.

Spies and saboteurs were landed from U-boats, once in Maine, once on Long Island, once in Florida but in Ponte Vedra. If any were successful, we don’t know about them, of course.

There were extensive U-boat operations in US coastal waters, of course, and a number of wrecked ones are still at the bottom, but I couldn’t find any links to a story like the one in the OP.

Try Long Island, New York and near Jacksonville, Florida in 1942.

i guess it was FL

I sounds like the Conch legend referred to in the OP is the sort of story that is best taken with a dash of salt… and a wedge of lime. (Key lime, of course.)


Er, “It sounds like…”