All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Saturday, December 23, 2006

German Spies in Maine

The Hancock woman who spotted two German spies in 1944 has died. Mary Forni saw the two suspicious characters shortly after they rowed ashore from a U-boat.
"They just weren’t like normal Mainers in November," Forni told the BDN. "You just never saw anybody walking without boots when it was snowy like that. It’s a wonder I didn’t stop and offer them a ride."

But Forni didn’t offer them a ride. Instead, she called a friend, the wife of Deputy Sheriff Dana Hodgkins. Forni later was questioned by investigators about the incident as was Hodgkins’ 17-year-old son, Harvard, who also reported seeing the spies.

On Jan. 2, 1945, then-FBI director J. Edgar Hoover announced the capture of the two spies in New York City. [Link] has a good piece from 2003 about the events.
In Maine, the small, sandy beach on which the two men landed is one of only two locations in the United States where German spies gained entry into the country during the war, according to Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

The site's listing on the National Register recognizes its importance as a historical site worth preserving, Shettleworth said. [Link]
The Nazi Spy Landing Site is located on the west shore of Crabtree Neck at Sunset Ledge Cove, Hancock Point.


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