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Maine Coast Woman Who Spotted Nazi Spies in '44 Dies

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BANGOR, Maine -- A woman who had a key role in a little-known incident in World War II -- when she spotted two Nazi spies who arrived by U-boat along the Maine coast -- has died. Mary Forni, of Hancock, was 91.

Forni died Dec. 16, according to Hancock town officials.

Forni recalled the incident in a 2001 story in the Bangor Daily News. She reported that on Nov. 29, 1944, she saw the two men on the side of a rural road as she drove home from a card game in Hancock Point, near Bar Harbor on the central Maine coast.

The two men, German Erich Gimpel and American defector William Colepaugh, had slipped ashore from a German U-boat that had entered Maine waters.

"They just weren't like normal Mainers in November," Forni said in 2001. "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."
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