The year was 1942. Sinking more than one half of all shipping bound for the British Isles, Nazi Germany’s dreaded U-boats had all but severed England’s lifeline. Adolf Hitler’s plan was working: England was about to be brought to her knees.
The most deadly of all of those U-boats, was the extremely efficient U-911 with veteran Kapitan Ernst Donswitcz at the helm.
Donswitcz, nicknamed the “Deep-sea Fox," was the most feared and respected of all of U-boat captains. In the first six months of 1942, his sub U-911 was responsible for the sinking of over 722,000 tonnes of food and raw materials England needed to feed her people and to keep alive slim hopes of defeating Hitler’s war machine.
But one cold Atlantic day all that was about to change…
Operating near the now famous Bermuda Triangle, U-911 was raiding another convoy of ships, sending several to watery graves. Suddenly, out of no-where, several British destroyers showed up on the scene. How could they have gotten there so fast? Had a trap been set for Donswitcz and his men?
“Down periscope! Prepare to dive!” Donswitcz barked out his fevered commands.
“Yes! Herr Kapitan!”
Preparing U-911 for an emergency dive, Donswitcz’s sweat-drenched men snaked through the sub’s cramped quarters. Even so, British depth charges blasted all around the hull of the rapidly descending submarine. The deeper U-911 descended, the more horrifying were the groans of the ship’s body. At 200 feet, immense water-pressure was slowly crushing the German sub.
“Vee are done for Kapitan! Done for!” moaned the yeoman.
“Shut up! You fool! Shut up!”
Soon the yeoman was in a panic. He began screaming as several of his other ship-mates tried to silence him by wrestling him to the floor of the ship. A fight began. Just as a full-blown brawl was about to break out on the seemingly doomed ship, Donswitcz pulled his Lugar from his holster and calmly fired one shot at the panicking yeoman. The yeoman slumped over instantly with a bullet hole right between the eyes.
The men all froze, their dead ship-mate in their arms. They all slowly looked up towards Donswitcz.
“Heil Hitler!” He said as he took another puff on his cigarette.
“Heil Hitler!” replied the men. They all stood at attention.
“Schnell,” Donswitcz hissed, “get zis dog out of mine sight. Put him, barrels of oil and clothing into the torpedo tubes. Maintain complete zilence!”
As the U-boat touched the bottom of the ocean floor, the banging sounds of the British depth charges could still be heard. Donswitcz ordered, “Fire the oil and clothes from the torpedo tubes!”
Silence. Moments passed. The men in the U-boat all looked up. More silence. More moments passed. Still more silence… Still even more minutes passed.
Finally, after more zilence und even more moments had passed, the sounds of the enemy above were heard no more. Had Donswitcz eluded the British destroyers?
Yes! The men all cheered! Kapitan Donswitcz had saved the day! Herr Kapitan threw his cigarette down and was just about to yell orders to start the engines when a terrific explosion shook the ship, throwing men scrawling to the floor and setting off sirens of distress. Something big had exploded near the stern of the sub. Giant fingers of icy sea water pierced the walls of the ship and reached into the control room of the sub.
Bam! Another explosion! Water was now rushing into the U-boat…
Kapitan Donswitcz looked at his panic stricken men trapped with him in a doomed ship. His life flashed before his eyes: The sinking of the Lusitania, meeting with the Führer, the fall of France, “Triumph of the Will” at the Saturday matinee. What was it all about? Was this to be how his life ended?
For Kapitan Donswitcz and his men, time stopped. Each man resigned himself to his death in the submarine U-911… It was the end.
Or was it? Stranger things have happened in…. the Bermuda Triangle!
Meanwhile, somewhere near the Florida Keys it was a beautiful sunny day — a perfect day for fishing — at a private marina. A magnificent ship was about to set sail for a fishing trip on the high seas.
“Did you remember to get enough bait?” Pappy yelled.
“Oh, darn it! I knew I forgot something.” George replied. He handed a wad of money to one of his secret service agents and told him to get the best bait around. The agent took the money and headed back for the docks.
Just then, in swished Condi. She looked a treat in shocking pink capri pants and a flimsy t-shirt. And she had brought the brief with her: a huge Igloo cooler full of Lone Star beer and a few Olde English 800’s for herself.
“Well, that’s just about everything!” She said to George, a twinkle in her eye.
With bait in hand, the entire crew boarded the ship and they set sail. It was going to be an excellent fishing trip. But, as with all human endeavors, safety was a first priority. Pappy made sure the ship had life-vests for each member on board and that the radio was working.
Besides these everyday “smart-boater safety tips,” the crew made sure they had a state-of-the-art mine-sweeper to follow out of the port as well as a modest escort of two U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers to take them out to the islands where there were Bass a’plenty and the Tuna would be jumping out of the water and onto the boat.
“Did you get that ‘Fish-Finder’ installed that I wanted from that mail-order catalogue, George?” Pappy smiled.
“Nope. Not yet. Too busy. I was just figuring that we’d use the two AWACS planes we got watching out for us over-head to do the fish finding for us instead.”
“Great idea, son! Save money that way.” Pappy smiled. Barb stopped knitting for a moment to pat Pappy’s hand as she gazed her approval.
The yacht and destroyer escort headed out for the islands. The men on the navy destroyers were all in dress uniform and at attention on the decks of the war-ships when the U.S.S. Sport-Fishing President pulled up along side. George, Pappy, and Condi, all gave a hearty salute to the men on deck. Barb just smiled and nodded at the sailors.
“Damn! Makes you proud of our boys in the military, don’t it dad?” George grinned.
“Sure does, son. Sure does. Ain’t America great?”
Five F-16’s screamed over-head in a sonic-boom flight formation with long red, white, and blues plumes of smoke coming from their tails. The F-16’s heralded the arrival of the AWACS planes. As one of the AWACS flew overhead, two Navy Seal parachutists jumped from the planes and as they fell through the air, they held out a banner reading: “Fishin’ Accomplished!”
Exclaimed Pappy: “Wow, son! I’ve never seen anything like that!”
“Well, Dad,” George clucked, “to tell the truth, that banner was their idea. I just wanted the Navy Seals to come along to make sure we catch some fish.” They both laughed.
The big grin vanished from Pappy’s face: “By the way son, you did go and get a fishing license didn’t you?”
George could not tell a lie: “No, I didn’t dad.”
“What!! Son, how many times have I got to tell you, it’s against the law to fish without a gosh-darn license!” Pappy cried.
“Well, I’m the president. I don’t need a license. And besides, it’s my duty to save the American tax-payer some money.” George said as he cracked open another beer.
Condi had removed some of her garments. Stretched out on the sundeck, she was half asleep and half-naked listening to Barry White crooning. Barb just kept knitting.
As the hours passed, the fish were few. Not even a few dozen Lone Star beers could bring a smile to the men’s faces.
“Make sure you get the names of those Navy Seals, son.” Pappy grumbled, “They’re bad luck! I’m never going fishing with them again!”
Suddenly, the sky grew dark. A bolt of lightening contrasted the bruise colored clouds and a cannonade of thunder was heard. Thinking that it must have been the effects of shot-gunning six large cans of Olde English 800, Condi lowered her Dior sunglasses and sat up. She looked to the left and to the right.
“George! George!” She exclaimed, “Where’s those destroyer escorts?”
Leaning over the side of the boat and ‘screaming for O’Rourke,’ George wiped his now greenish face with his sleeve. “Who cares? Leave me alone!”
“Hey, son, ‘chumming’ is illegal in these parts.” Pappy said. Soon Pappy began to get worried. Sure enough the destroyer escorts were gone. Even worse, the AWACS planes had vanished.
“Well, now darn it!” Pappy complained, “Now how in the heck are we supposed to find any fish without our AWACS Fish Finders?”
The thunderstorm turned even nastier. Waves smacked the sides of the sport fishing boat.
Pappy decided to ask the crew what was going on. But when he looked for them, Pappy realized that all the crew were missing from the boat. He ran below deck, no bartender. Up to the captain’s deck, no captain, no first-mate. Suddenly it was déjà vu all over again.
“Damn! It’s the Japs!”
The seas continued to rumble and roar. Monster waves crashed across the prim deck of the U.S.S. Sport-Fishing President. The situation looked grim.
“May-day! May-day! We need a little help here!” Pappy shouted into the radio. “Now which is it?” He thought, “Do I press the button to talk or to listen?”
Below deck, in a shadowy room at the back of the ship, Condi was attending to George’s severe sea-sickness. Lordy, Lordy, he hadn’t felt that ill since he and his friends crashed that big Omega frat party in ’68 or was it ’69? Condi’s cool hands caressed his fevered brow. She smelt of C’est Soir Je t’aime: It is a truly unforgettable fragrance.
Ka-pow!! Lightening exploded into the water just star-board of the ship. The power went out. The radio fell silent. Not even a crackle. Barry White’s sweet vocals ceased. For George the world was reduced to darkness, the storm and Condi.
Once again, Pappy stumbled below deck. This time he saw both Condi and George stretched out on the floor, sicker than dogs.
“Don’t worry about me,” moaned George, “Just save yourself and send help for me while you’re at it.” Then he continued to heave even more than the flailing ship.
The storm shook the ship. Suddenly, the ships’ lights came back on. Pappy ran back to the captain’s deck and yelled into the radio again.
“May-day! May-day! Can anyone hear me?”
Pappy looked around at the angry swells of the ocean. Things looked strange, there was a glow about the water. Even the lights of their ship were a purple shade of blue. I guess you could say it was a sort of purple-haze.
The radio crackled:
“Ja-vohl, Kapitan. Vee hear you. You haf two minutes to abandon ship before vee destroy you. Do not attempt to use ze radio to make any plea for help…”
Pappy was astounded. “German, in these parts?”
Not forty feet away, a strange dark object emerged from the ocean. A thoroughly shaken Pappy squinted through the storm to try to see what it was. But with the bad visibility, it was impossible to make it out.
Meanwhile, as the water-logged German sub broke the surface, Kapitan Donswitcz scrambled to the periscope to examine the prize he had found… It was a US flagged ship with the presidential seal.
“Mine Gott in Führer! I haf stumbled upon President Roosevelt! Zis vill be mine final victory!… Full speed ahead. Prepare to ram enemy ship!”
Back on the yacht, Pappy grabbed the radio and blared back, “Alright, I don’t know what kind of games you kids are up to, but someone’s gonna have to pay for this.”
“Zot ist immaterial. I am Kapitan Donswitcz. You will surrender or U-911 vill smash your vessel!”
Pappy gasped: "Donswitcz, impossible! You’re dead. This must be some kind of crazy joke, you don’t know who you’re talking to!”
"Perfectly vell I know who it ist zat I am talking to… Mr. Roosevelt!”
“Mr. Roosevelt!?” Pappy cried. “He’s dead. You’re dead!"
“Dumkopf! Donswitcz is alive and vell! So mine fame preceeds me? Excellent. All za more zatisfying for me und der Fatherland und Führer to kill you, soon-to-be-ex-president Roosevelt.” Kapitan Donswitcz roared.
“Well, I am the ex-president. But what’s this ‘Roosevelt thingy’ all about?” Pappy wondered.
The wounded U-boat cranked up to about 14 knots.
As Pappy looked out the cabin window, he saw the U-boat heading straight for their ship.
“Abandon ship! Abandon ship!” Pappy cried as he put on a life jacket and leapt into the sea, crashing head-first into the railing at the side of the boat and becoming shark bait.
The rapidly advancing German sub began firing 60mm cannon at U.S.S. Sport-Fishing President.
The sailors firing the cannon cried: “Mine Kapitan! Permission to abandon ship!”
“Permission denied. You vill all die like good sailors for der Führerand Fatherland.” The crazed Donswitcz roared as he pointed his pistol at them.
As German shells hit the U.S.S. Sport-Fishing President, the yacht caught on fire. Then, just as the German sub was about to ram into the fiery ship, the four men manning the 60 mm cannon jumped overboard.
Kapitan Donswitcz began screaming like a mad-man, laughing, and yelling, “Heil Hitler! For der Führer und Fatherland!”
The U-boat sliced into the Sport-Fishing boat. The explosion was incredible. Plumes of smoke shot hundreds of yards into the air.
And then it was over.
The U.S.S. Sport-Fishing President became the final victim of Hitler’s war machine — but not the final victim of the Bermuda Triangle.
The next day, the weather cleared, and the destroyers and AWACS found the remains of the ship and some debris. Hopes that any survivors would be found were slim. But later that evening, President George W. was found floating on an empty wooden beer crate and rescued. His massive alcohol intake had protected him from life threatening shock and hypothermia.
Unfortunately, Pappy, Barb, and Condi were nowhere to be found.
In the recovery room at the hospital, George could not remember anything. Over and over, he kept senselessly repeating, “You 9/11, you 9/11.”
His attending physicians and the Joint Chiefs of Staff all understood, and nodded their heads in complete agreement: