Home » Hobbies & Leisure » Water Activities » Boating » During WW2, Ernest Hemingway used his fishing boat named after his ex-wife (Pilar) to hunt German U-boats in the Caribbean armed only with Thomson machine guns and hand grenades. He was given unlimited gasoline by the US government.

During WW2, Ernest Hemingway used his fishing boat named after his ex-wife (Pilar) to hunt German U-boats in the Caribbean armed only with Thomson machine guns and hand grenades. He was given unlimited gasoline by the US government.

Pilar (boat)

Location of the dry docked actual boat (At the Hemingway Museum, Havana, Cuba)

Ernest Hemingway owned a 38-foot (12 m) fishing boat named Pilar. It was acquired in April 1934 from Wheeler Shipbuilding in Brooklyn, New York, for $7,495. “Pilar” was a nickname for Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline, and also the name of the woman leader of the partisan band in his 1940 novel of the Spanish Civil War, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Hemingway regularly fished off the boat in the waters of Key West, Florida, Marquesas Keys, and the Gulf Stream off the Cuban coast. He made three trips with the boat to the Bimini islands wherein his fishing, drinking, and fighting exploits drew much attention and remain part of the history of the islands. In addition … Continue Reading (6 minute read)

5 thoughts on “During WW2, Ernest Hemingway used his fishing boat named after his ex-wife (Pilar) to hunt German U-boats in the Caribbean armed only with Thomson machine guns and hand grenades. He was given unlimited gasoline by the US government.”

  1. Camusforyou

    He also saw first-hand the invasion at Normandy on D-Day, and took up arms with the allied forces against the Nazis in France at the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. He was later awarded a Bronze Star for his bravery, one of only a few private citizens to be given the medal.

  2. skoomski

    Other accounts of these patrols imply that they were a farce and that he did them in return for extra gas rations and immunity from Cuban police for driving drunk

  3. Uncamatt

    So you watched the Ken Burns Hemingway documentary on PBS I see. I watched all 6 hours, thoroughly enjoyed.

  4. RJPeaches

    Turns out all he found in that oasis were Cigarettes and Alcohol.

  5. LennyZakatek

    What was the plan if he found one, though? I would think a sub’s hull could withstand small-arms fire and they’d just dive and disappear.

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