Five days earlier, three hundred meters off Frenchman’s Bay, Maine.
Upon reaching their initial destination point, Kapitanleutnant Von Bulow had taken him aside and over a dimly lit chart, opened the wax sealed final mission orders. He read it twice, nodded and then shared it. Speaking softly in English to which the crew neither understood nor could overhear, together they digested the orders. ‘From the highest levels of command, Kapitanleutnant Von Bulow was to deliver the agent to the Western banks of Frenchman’s Bay where he would then rendezvous with an elderly local caretaker named Reinardt, who would then ferry him further west across a shallow inlet to a farmhouse in Brooklin Maine. There, on property acquired during the latter years of the Vorläufige Reichsmarine before the Wehrmacht(1935), he would remain for a few days before continuing on to Portland; Boston and New York City’.
However, the seas turned out to be too rough off Frenchman’s Bay and the Kapitanleutnant, given full discretion, discussed selecting another landing spot. They quietly examined four alternates: 1) south of Eastport Maine; 2) areas near Plymouth, Massachusetts; 3) the north side of Newport, Rhode Island or 4) further west: Quonochontaug or Weekapaug Rhode Island. The quiet man in civilian clothes remembered being delighted when Kapitanleutnant Von Bulow placed his affirmative finger on the chart just off the coast of where he now sat by a warm fire. Less overland travel time meant less chances of suspicion late in the evening from the local town folks. Besides, the north side of Newport was likely mined by now and convoy traffic near Plymouth would complicate a landing in even the best weather conditions. A barren beach further West, while tactically more dangerous given its proximity to the choke point of Long Island sound and Block Island sound, could be achieved and in Von Bulow’s words, ‘would likely lift the crews moral’. As the man lit his second and last cigarette while poking the fire, he could hear Von Bulow’s energetic words speaking with pride of a fellow ‘Kapitanleutnant Hardegen (U-123)’, with an animated envy: ‘he sunk the Cyclops in ‘42 off Cape Cod, then the Norness off Newport, before sailing far west down L.I. sound and sinking a British tanker in New York harbor! He met no response from the Americans. . . no planes, no coast guard cutter, nothing. He then sailed away without even submerging with the New York skyline all lit up!’
Von Bulow, the man now thought as he gazed at the waning fire, would get his tonnage on his return trip, of this he was certain. The only question was, would he wait until reaching the shelf before attacking the convoys and exposing himself. He did trust that Von Bulow would follow orders and keep his word. Sinking a vessel in proximity to these shores would surely complicate his mission in America, for it was 1944. With the rain now lashing at the windows and the surf clearly up, he would sleep well now. Tomorrow he would assess his surroundings and plan out his next important steps.