Historical

This page will have historical stuff.  Send me your tid bits!

Contents:
    Nazi Spies Come Ashore

To start things off - here is the text from a "Welcome to Hancock Point" brochure apparently last edited by Mary Omeara in June of 1987. [Ned Peirce May 11, 2013]

WELCOME to HANCOCK POINT

The Hancock Point Village Improvement Society welcomes you, whether old-timer or newcomer, and offers this leaflet to give you a bit of the background of the Society and to explain the services and facilities it provides.

 

What is Hancock Point?

In a recent Guide to the State of Maine, Hancock Point is described as a summer colony where one may enjoy spectacular views of the islands of Frenchman Bay and the Mount Desert mountains.  Most new arrivals soon discover that there is something beyond location that makes Hancock Point a special place, causing first-time visitors to return and accounting for the fact that many older residents have been returning since early childhood.

 

Beginnings

Hancock Point originated as a summer colony on Crabtree Neck during the 1870’s when the McFarland House, later named the Tarratine Hotel, was opened.  A steamboat wharf was built in 1876, a steamer that ran between Sullivan and Rockland made the Point accessible to people from farther south.  There were half a dozen cottages at the end of the Point by 1881, and that year Colby’s Almanac noted: “Crabtree Neck is attracting considerable attention as a pleasant and healthful resort.”

            In 1883, the Hancock Land Company registered a plan of cottage lots at Hancock Point, designating areas on the east and west shores as reservations for use in common and a lot off the main road as a church lot.  The first passenger train arrived at Mt. Desert Ferry in June, 1884; for many years thereafter Hancock Point was a regular stop for the ferryboats taking train passengers to resorts on Mt. Desert Island and along the Bay.

            Early in this century there were two tutoring camps at the Point: one sponsored by Princeton; the other by the Philips Academies at Andover and Exeter.  The parents and grandparents of some of today’s residents came here first as summer students or teachers.

 

Origin of the Hancock Point Village Improvement Society

            In 1904, when the community was about one-fourth its present size, a common and compelling need to arrange for the proper disposal of garbage and trash prompted the formation of the Hancock Point Village Improvement Society.  The cottagers joined the new Society with enthusiasm.  Soon there were requests for other services and suggestions for facilities to add to the pleasure of a summer vacation.

            Over the years, members have been generous in giving of their time, talents, and means to provide amenities and make life more pleasant for residents of the Pont and because of their efforts, past and present, the Society can offer a broad range of services and facilities today.

 

Current HPVIS Facilities and Services

TENNIS:  Tennis has always been a favored sport at Hancock Point.  Long before the present courts were built, the HPVIS was sponsoring an annual tennis tournament and providing cups for the winners.  Most matches were played on private courts, and the cost of trophies was defrayed by the Tennis Ball, a gala affair held at the Tarratine Hotel in late August.

            First the depression and then World War II caused the young population to dwindle and private courts to be abandoned.  Soon after the war, however, a new and growing generation of tennis players returned, and the Society raised funds to build two courts on the site of an old town court.  As the population increased and interest in tennis flourished, two more courts were built on donated land across the road.  Recently, more land has been donated for a parking space.

            Fees for use of the courts are charged by the day, week, month or season.  Payment should be made to the Treasurer of the HPVIS.  As these fees barely cover the cost of routine maintenance, contributions to meet the periodic expense of improvements and replacement of equipment are welcomed.

 

WATERFRONT FACILITIES:  When train ferry services came to an end in 1931 the sturdy old wharf and slip maintained by the Maine Central Railroad fell into disrepair; soon there were only hazardous heaps of ballast and decaying pilings to mark its past.  The HPVIS moved in, raised funds to purchase the land and boathouse and erected a pier and float to serve residents of the Point and Hancock.

            The Society employs a Harbormaster, maintains the wharf in safe condition, and provides two guest moorings for visitors.  The use of the wharf and floats for fishing, swimming and sunset-viewing is free.  Use of the floats for boating and mooring or storing dinghies is subject to a fee, which should be paid to the treasurer.

 

SAILING:  In 1967, the HPVIS initiated a sailing program, purchasing a small fleet of centerboard Seagulls and employing a Sailing Master to instruct beginners.  In 1970, the Hancock Point Yacht Club was established, under the sponsorship of the HPVIS, and the old boathouse was renovated to serve as a clubhouse and as a classroom for budding mariners on stormy days.

 

            In subsequent years, the sailing programs expanded from Seagulls to Day Sailers, and more recently to keel Mercuries.  Daily morning instruction for 10- to 16-year-olds is enjoyed by children from the Hancock Point and Hancock communities, and twice weekly there are afternoon sessions for adults.  Sailing Program students and HPVIS members enjoy weekly races among themselves and with neighboring yacht clubs.  Enrollment in the sailing program can be arranged by the week or month.

            A highlight of the Yacht Club season is the annual Blueberry Pancake Breakfast offered at the clubhouse the third Saturday in August.

 

REFUSE DISPOSAL:  At residents’ request (and payment) the HPVIS arranges for collection of their bagged garbage twice a week from mid-June to mid-September.  Property owners who rent their homs are asked to inform their tenants of this service, which may be paid for by the month or season.  Other methods of trash disposal are discouraged because of the dangers of fire and pollution.  Trash bags should be placed back from the road, and Hancock Pointers, young and old, are encouraged to keep the Point clean by picking up any litter by the roadside.

 

FIRE PROTECTION: The threat of fire has always been a serious concern at Hancock Point.  In 1954, the Society purchased an old fire engine and maintained it in a barn near the Post Office.  This led in turn to the establishment of the Town of Hancock Volunteer Fire Association a capable and dedicated force, which the HPVIS and its members help support through tax-deductible contributions.

            A fire permit is required for any open fire on the Point, and the HPVIS makes available a summary of fire regulations for guidance of residents and their guests and tenants.

 

POLICE PROTECTION:  In 1973, the Town of Hancock voted to establish a Special Volunteer Police Patrol, the activities of which have substantially improved security in Hancock and Hancock Point.  Dedicated volunteers patrol the roads year-round in a radio-equipped cruiser and may be reached by calling 422-3388.

            The Society and its members contribute to the Police Patrol, donations are tax deductible.

 

WINTER INSPECTION:  Homeowners find it useful to arrange for regular winter property inspections by a caretaker so they can be advised promptly of any damage caused by severe storms, falling trees or other accident.

 

CAREFUL DRIVING is essential on the Point.  There are no sidewalks, and walkers, bicyclists, children and their pets use the road rightfully.  Driving at an easy speed ca prevent catastrophe; it will also reduce wear and tear on the roads and keep down the dust in unpaved sections.

 

VILLAGE GREEN and PLAYING FIELD:  After the general store at Hancock Point went out of business in 1954, the HPVIS purchased the property, tore down he building and laid out the Village Green and private road around the Post Office.

            The Society maintains this property and keeps the Ned Bell Playing Field (on donated land east of the tennis courts) mowed and playable.

 

TOWN RELATIONS: Hancock Point is an integral part of the Town of Hancock.  The Town makes and annual contribution toward maintenance of the wharf, and we enjoy close and cooperative relations with the Town regarding fire, police, sailing program, Hancock Days celebrations and other matters.  Property owners pay taxes to the Town, the HPVIS is represented at Town Meetings, and year-round resident members serve on Committees that affect life at the Point.

 

Other Facilities at Hancock Point

THE LIBRARY:  In addition to the benefits provided by the HPVIS, the community maintains a well-stocked, open-shelf library and employs a librarian during the summer months.  Books may be withdrawn or perused in a comfortable reading room.  There are many excellent books for children and a separate children’s reading room.  The Library is supported by membership dues and contributions.

 

THE CHAPEL:  Services are held each Sunday in July and August.  Preachers summering at Hancock Point or nearby are invited to conduct services; many of these ministers serve prominent metropolitan parishes in the winter.  The Chapel is non-denominational and is maintained by service collections and donations.

 

THE POST OFFICE: A U.S. Post office was established at Hancock Pont in 1882 and for generations has been an informal focal point of community life here.  Today, as a substation of the Hancock Post Office, our Post Office is open from mid-June to mid-September.  As its continued existence depends on the size of its business, patrons are urged to mail letters, cards and packages from Hancock Pont and to buy their winter supply of stamps here before they leave.

 

Membership in the HPVIS

            You need not be a property owner or even a resident of Hancock Point to become a member of the Hancock Point Village Improvement Society.  Any person fifteen years of age or older is eligible for membership on payment of annual dues.  Al those who use any of the Society’s services or facilities are asked to pay the appropriate fees and are also cordially invited to join the Society.

            Membership in the HPVIS entitles you to a say and a vote at the Annual Meeting.  It may also entail some of the generosity and effort required to keep Hancock Point a special place.  Because fees charged for use of its services do not cover their actual cost, the Society depends on membership dues and donations to maintain, improve and add to its facilities.  It counts on an active membership to carry out the unpaid, often burdensome, and always time-consuming chores of Officers, Directors, and Committee Members.  The Society owes much to the talents of its members and their friends for fund raising benefits and gifts that enhance the facilities.

            We extend you a hearty welcome and best wishes for your summer here.

 

The Officers and Directors

Hancock Point Village Improvement Society

 

The names of this year’s Officers, Directors and Committee Members are posted on the bulletin boards at the Post Office and the Library.  If you have any questions not answered here, any of these people will be happy to help you.

 

The current schedule of dues and fees is also posted.  A bill is sent each June to members, and each is asked to assess himself and pay the appropriate sum promptly to the Treasurer.  If you are new to the community and would like to make use of one or more of the HPVIS facilities for the first time, we trust you will make yourself known.


Back to TOP 


Here is a gem regarding the fairly recent history of the HP Post Office - 

Just over a decade ago in 2002 the Ellsworth American printed a story about the HP Post Office and interviewed one of our beloved Post Mistresses [reprinted below].  link to original story (this link is not working as of August 2018):

A Post Office (sort of) for The Point

Near Hancock Point, along Post Office Road, sits a small booth of a building. It is sort of a postage-stamp-sized post office and, in fact, isn’t even a true post office.

For four hours a day, Daphne Crocker sits in the single room. She was hired by the Hancock Point Village Improvement Society four summers ago when the Hancock postmaster decided to reduce service at Hancock Point.

With classical music on the radio wafting out the screen doors, Crocker handles a few basic postal operations. She sells stamps and accepts letters and post cards. She sorts mail for the handful of Hancock Point residents who like the tradition of receiving mail in post office boxes. At day’s end (3:30 p.m., in her case), she drives her stack of letters up to the real Hancock post office on Route 1.

She also is the one Hancock Point residents turn to when they want to know what’s going on.

“I’m supposed to know everything about what goes on here,” Crocker says, slightly embarrassed at the thought. “That makes me the chief gossip-monger.

“I don’t particularly want to be known for that, but I suppose I am. Because I do know a lot.”

Crocker even knows the history of the small post office. As someone who has spent all her 54 summers at Hancock Point, she should be well-versed in that. She moved to Hancock Point year-round in 1994.

Once, the post office was connected with a general store, she said. “I remember getting ice cream there as a child,” she added.

Then she backed up to clarify her gossip-monger status, not sure of the lingering impression she may have left.

“I’d say the gossip is who’s here and who’s not here. Nothing juicy or anything.

“It’s actually things like knowing when the next memorial service is. We have had two, so far, this year. We have one next week, and another in August.

“We have lost five so far, unfortunately.”

Four years ago, Hancock Point nearly lost its post office services. When the Society took over the small building, Crocker was hired to handle the mail and …well…  greet and gossip.

“That’s why I got the job,” she said. “Because I know everyone.”

Back to TOP 


August 2018 Bill Janeway sent this for the website.  -- Ned

"This is the most detailed narrative of “The spies of Hancock Point” that I have ever seen. Perhaps you will post it, especially as I bet many of the younger generations do not know the story at all.  Of course, Mary Forni’s house is now where Mandy Schumacher and Ted O’Meara live in the summer."

Nazi Spies Come Ashore

A rubber raft splashed ashore in the dark at Bar Harbor, Maine, on the night of November 29, 1944. Clearly, the men in the raft were up to something…

By Richard Sassaman

with illustrations by Paul Whitman

It was 20 degrees and snowing late in November 1944 near the resort town of Bar Harbor, Maine, some 4,000 miles from Nazi Germany. Two men made their way along the beach, slipping through snow and tripping over exposed tree roots. Erich Gimpel and William Colepaugh would have looked like any other men but for the heavy suitcases they lugged and their light topcoats, which were no match for the northeastern winter. As they moved toward the cover of the thick coastal woods, two other men stood by, dressed in Nazi navy uniforms. These two were "possibly the first enemy dressed in a military uniform to set foot on continental U.S. soil since the Mexican War in the 1840s," writes former US intelligence officer Richard Gay, coauthor of the bookThey Came To Destroy America (2003).

The uniformed Nazis offered a parting "Heil Hitler" salute. With that, they climbed into a rubber raft and rowed back to a U-boat, where they may have boasted about having "invaded" the United States. The submarine that had brought the Nazis to the rugged coast of Maine had been at the entrance to Frenchman Bay for eight days. On the ocean floor, as fishing boats passed overhead, the 56 men aboard waited for the right opportunity for the two plainclothes spies to head for land. Operation Magpie, the final attempt by Nazi spies to infiltrate America, had begun. (See sidebar about a womanizing Nazi spy who had headed for the coast of Maine six weeks earlier.)

Erich Gimpel—the most accomplished German spy to make it into the United States, was a very unlikely agent. Born on March 25, 1910, Gimpel began his espionage career in the mid-1930s in Peru, where he was working as a radio engineer for mining companies. Like a character in a Graham Greene spy novel, he was told by the German government to track ship movements in the area and send his information to a contact in Chile. "In Lima I never missed a party," he later wrote, describing the whole thing as somewhat of a lark. "We were fighting our war in dinner jackets and with cocktail glasses in our hands."

When America entered World War II, Gimpel was deported from Peru with other Germans and sent to Texas where he spent seven weeks in an internment camp. On his arrival back in Germany, Gimpel was welcomed by a stranger who gave him money and identity and ration cards, and told him to report to an address in Berlin. "I knew this was the headquarters of the German Secret Service," he wrote. "The amateur was about to become an expert."

William Colepaugh was an even more unlikely Nazi spy. For starters, he was an American, born in Connecticut (exactly eight years after Gimpel) and educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After the war began, his pro-German attitudes got him into trouble with his Selective Service Board and the FBI. Colepaugh eventually took a kitchen job on a Swedish ship in early 1944 just to get across the Atlantic. He abandoned ship in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and presented himself to the German consul. Unable to speak German, he announced in English that he wanted to help Germany win the war. The fact that his mother was German did not keep the Nazi diplomat from wondering whether this American was really an Allied agent trying to get inside the Third Reich.

From Lisbon, Colepaugh traveled through France to Berlin, where German authorities watched him closely for three months. Finally, he was interviewed by SS Major Otto Skorzeny, Hitler’s favorite commando. In June 1944, Skorzeny sent him to an SS training school where he himself taught, in the German-occupied Netherlands. There, Colepaugh met Erich Gimpel, who considered the "young, well-fed, and contented" American not a problem, but a potential solution.

Gimpel had been asked to infiltrate America to uncover details about the United States’ program to develop an atom bomb—the Manhattan Project. He had ~reed on one condition. To survive as a spy in the United States, Gimpel had concluded, he would need to take along "a proper American. He must know the latest dance steps and the latest popular songs. He must know everything about baseball and have all the Hollywood gossip at his fingertips." That said, Gimpel had to wonder where he would find "an American who was prepared to work against his own country and who at the same time was courageous, sensible, and trustworthy."

Colepaugh appeared to be just what Gimpel needed. Late in September 1944, the two men boarded the 252-foot, IXC/40-class U-1230 in Kiel, Germany, bound for Maine. Ordinarily, the vessel carried a full crew of 56, but two of the regulars were left behind to make room for the spies. Their agents’ mission and identities were kept secret even from the young crewmen and their commander, with Gimpel posing as a chief engineer and Colepaugh as a war correspondent. The crew soon figured out that something was amiss, though: how could a man who didn’t speak German be a German reporter?

The sub entered the open ocean on October 6. It was a dangerous time for a U-boat to cross the Atlantic; in fact, the U-1230’s sister ship U-1229 was headed for Maine about six weeks earlier when she was sunk in the North Atlantic by Navy planes from the aircraft carrier USS Bogue.

To help make their way in the United States, Gimpel and Colepaugh carried $60,000 in small bills (the equivalent of $656,000 today). Colepaugh had convinced his superiors that a person could hardly get by in America on less than $15,000 a year—at a time when the average family income was about $2,250. The money was supposed to keep the two spies in the United States through 1946. Along with the cash, the men had also been given 99 small diamonds to sell if the US currency had changed by the time they arrived or if they eventually needed additional funds. Checking on the holdings one day as the submarine neared Maine, Gimpel was shocked to find the American money bundled in wrappers printed "Deutsche Reichsbank." He quickly disposed of that evidence.

U-1230 had been equipped for a six-month patrol, and ‘carried 14 torpedoes. Nevertheless, she was under orders not to attract attention until her primary mission of delivering Gimpel and Colepaugh to the United States had been accomplished. After five weeks of a largely uneventful voyage, the submarine reached the coast of Newfoundland and continued south from there down the Maine coast. Along the way, the sub’s transformer and depth-finding equipment was damaged by condensation caused by weeks of traveling underwater. The equipment had to be repaired on the surface, so the vessel was taken up under the cover of night. The repairs succeeded, and the surface activity went unnoticed.

Finally, on November 29, after almost two months at sea, the sub made its way a dozen miles up Frenchman Bay between the islands just off Bar Harbor. (About 31 feet high, the sub had a draft of just over 15 feet.) Shortly before 11 p.m., near Sunset Ledge on the western side of Hancock Point, it came to a stop a few hundred yards off shore, with only its conning tower showing above the water.

A rubber raft was brought up and inflated by a line connected to a silent air compressor. The original plan called for the two spies to row themselves ashore, at which point the raft would be pulled back to the sub on a light tether. The line broke, however, making it necessary for the two uniformed sailors to come along—and earn a moment of glory on the US mainland.

Even today, 60 years later, you’ll find this remote area of the Maine coast deserted at midnight. In 1944, "there probably were less than a dozen families" near where the spies landed, says Lois Johnson of the Hancock Historical Society. The Hancock Town Report for 1944 lists 13 births, 12 deaths, and two marriages. Census figures show that the population grew from 755 to only 770 between 1920 to 1950.

Hancock was a place with few people around to notice anything that might happen, but also a place where strangers stood out. Two people did happen to drive by as Gimpel and Colepaugh were walking along the road at that late hour. Both of them spotted the men, but neither stopped: Hancock was also a place where people minded their own business.

After the men reached US Route 1, a third car passed them, and it did stop. Miraculously, it was a taxicab from Ellsworth, the small town eight miles to the west. Colepaugh did all the talking, explaining that their car had slid into a ditch in the storm and they needed a ride to the train station in Bangor, 35 miles away. So followed a $6 cab ride and a 2 A.M. train to Portland. Stopping there for a bite to eat, Gimpel stammered when a short-order cook asked him what kind of bread he preferred with his ham and eggs. To him, bread was bread, and "the fact that in America people ate five different kinds" was surprising, he wrote.

The spies boarded a train to Boston at 7 a.m. That afternoon, Gimpel went into a store in town to buy a tie, and the salesman recognized the cloth and cut of his trench coat as not being American. "As a matter of fact," Gimpel managed to reply, "I bought it in Spain." He decided never to wear that coat again. Gimpel and Colepaugh spent the night in a hotel, sleeping in their American clothes to try and make them look less new. They left the next day, completing their journey with a train ride to Grand Central Station in New York City. In less than 40 hours the intruders had gone from the middle of nowhere in Maine to downtown Manhattan. It was a remarkably efficient journey.

The pair checked into a hotel on 33rd Street. They spent most of the next week looking for a place not constructed of steel, because steel hindered radio transmissions. They found an apartment on Beekman Place for $150 a month and paid two months’ rent in advance.

Things had gone well so far for the two Nazi spies on American soil, but over the next few weeks, their luck began to wear out. Two days after their arrival in New York, U-l230, still lingering about the coast, sank the 5,458-ton Canadian freighter Cornwallis, which was carrying sugar and molasses from Barbados to St. John, New Brunswick. Alarmed by the possibility that this U-boat could have dropped off enemy agents, the Boston FBI office sent men north to Maine. The agents soon located 29-year-old Mary Forni and her next-door neighbor, 17-year-old Harvard Hodgkins, the two Hancock residents who had driven past the spies walking in the snow. Forni, the wife of the Hancock tax collector, had been out late playing cards with friends; Hodgkins, son of the town’s deputy sheriff and a Boy Scout and assistant scout leader, had been at a dance. They both described to the agents what they had seen.

Much has been made of the Nazis getting away with walking through the Maine woods in a late November snowstorm dressed in light topcoats, advertising themselves as outsiders. But such hindsight misses the point, says Richard Gay. "The truth is," he told an interviewer, "their cover was perfect, and it worked without a hitch." As far as any witnesses knew, the spies "were visitors from the city whose car had broken down."

What really broke down on the spy mission was William Colepaugh. Deciding that espionage was not for him, he took off on December 21 with both suitcases, including all the cash. Gimpel returned to the apartment to find everything gone and figured out that his partner must have headed back to Grand Central Station. There, Gimpel found the suitcases in the baggage room and, after some anxious moments, managed to recover them, even though he did not have the claim checks.

Gimpel had proven resourceful in responding to every mishap so far, but he had no answer for what happened two days later: Colepaugh, meeting with an old school friend, confessed that he was a spy. The friend at first thought Colepaugh was joking, but after he realized the story was true, he called the FBI. A manhunt immediately centered on Manhattan, and Gimpel was captured on December 30.

In early February 1945, Gimpel and Colepaugh were tried by a military court at Fort Jay on Governors Island, New York. They were convicted and, on Valentine’s Day, sentenced to death by hanging. Before their sentence was carried out, however, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died, and all federal executions were suspended for four weeks. By the time that month was up, the war had ended in Europe, and on June 23, new president Harry S. Truman announced that he was commuting the two sentences to life in prison—Gimpel’s because the United States and Germany were no longer at war, and Colepaugh’s because he had given himself up and provided the FBI with the information needed to arrest Gimpel. A statement from the War Department, reported in The New York Times, ended with the confident conclusion "The mission of the spies in this country was a complete failure."

Colepaugh served 17 years in prison, then moved to the Philadelphia area. He reportedly lives in a rest home in Florida today. Gimpel served 10 years at Leavenworth, Alcatraz, and Atlanta before he was released and deported to Germany in 1955. He later moved to Brazil, where he celebrated his 94th birthday in 2004. In 1991 and again in 1993 he visited Chicago as the honored guest of the Sharkhunters, a group of some 7,000 U-boat enthusiasts from 70 countries.

Gimpel was not the only Nazi from this spy mission to return to America. Horst Haslau, the radioman aboard the U-1230 and one of the vessel’s youngest crewmen, got a job in the United States. In 1984, he was working for RCA in Indianapolis, Indiana, and visited the Hancock area. The local newspaper published photos of America’s one-time enemy wearing a John Deere cap and sitting in the Ellsworth Holiday Inn, holding a bottle of beer. The brand was Beck’s, the same German beer that was stocked on U-1230, Haslau said. Three weeks after the sub dropped off Gimpel and Colepaugh in Maine, he recalled, each crewmember received one bottle for Christmas.

Forni continued to live in the Hancock area and was one of the guests of honor at a June 2005 party to celebrate the 90th birthday of some local residents. Sixty years earlier, she had been honored at another local party; shortly after the spy incident, her friends organized an event to honor her for her role in providing information that helped capture Gimpel and Colepaugh and presented her with a $100 war bond.

Americans ate up the story of Hodgkins, the Hancock Boy Scout. The New York Journal-American sponsored the high school senior’s first ride in an airplane, bringing him and his family to New York for a week in January 1945, where he was given a key to the city. He saw the Statue of Liberty, Radio City Music Hall, and some Broadway shows, and met Governor Thomas Dewey, boxing champion Joe Louis, and Babe Ruth. After he graduated from Ellsworth High School, Hodgkins received a full scholarship to the Maine Maritime Academy for his anti-spy efforts. He died in May 1984.

Given what we know about Operation Magpie, Gimpel and Colepaugh were probably no great threat to America’s security. They had little skill and experience to aid them in circumventing the huge obstacles that remained in their path. In the end, the chief result of their mission was to turn a couple of ordinary Americans in Hancock, Maine, into heroes. Gimpel and Colepaugh were left with the claim to the fairly weightless title Last Nazi Spies in America.

Richard Sassaman, a resident of Bar Harbor, Maine, two miles from where the U-1230 passed, recommends the book Agent 146 by Erich Gimpel (St. Martin’s Press, 2003) for further reading. This article originally appeared in the October 2005 issue of America in WWII. Order a copy of this issue now.

Top illustration: After landing on the shore of Maine and hiking inland, Nazi spies Erich Gimpel and William Colepaugh stop a taxi to take them to the train so they could complete their journey to New York City.

Bottom illustration: During a layover in Boston,  Gimpel visited a clothier, where an alert salesman noticed his suit wasn’t made in the United States. Gimpel talked himself out of the jam.

Photos: Adolf Hitler’s favorite commando, SS Major Otto Skorzeny (left), personally selected Gimpel (right) to attend the SS training center in the Netherlands where he taught.

Copyright 310 Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

Back to TOP 
Comments