Army divisions. Such efforts would enhance the U.
One was killed by the Japanese and some of the others were captured by Thai police. But the remainder established bases in the northern and southern parts of the country to run intelligence networks and to arm and train Thai guerrillas. He had reported to OSS Detachment headquarters in Kandy, Ceylon, in and subsequently participated in combat operations along the Burma-Thailand border. In order to escape from them, we ran down the hill.
Elephants cannot go down hill very fast because they have to feel with their front feet. We escaped and returned to camp. We did not get the drop. They also helped rescue downed aviators. His squadron mates had seen him bail out and wave to them from a clearing it the jungle, but that was the last seen or heard of him. Put in charge was Wimon Wirayawit, a Thai national and M. Now, on the night of 9 September , the former M.
Working with local Thais and the camp commander, who willingly told the Japanese that McGarry had died, Wimon Wirayawit rescued the American aviator and escorted him to a safe house near Bangkok. One of the OSS men was feverish and frequently shouted deliriously in English as the boat moved down river that night. To prevent the Japanese from hearing him, whenever an enemy patrol boat would come near, the Free Thais would go on deck and exuberantly sing and dance traditional Thai songs. He attributed the success of the overall OSS mission in Thailand the ability of OSS personnel to operate diplomatically with an increasingly wider circle of influential people and to exhibit patience, tact, and respect in leading the Free Thais.
Any hint or small suggestion evident in his words or behavior that he considered himself superior, would have meant failure to his mission. Pridi did reopen negotiations, and with the support of the State Department, his successor, the former Free Thai envoy, obtained a treaty in that maintained complete Thai sovereignty. The OSS effort on behalf of an independent Thailand had been a success. But Britain and France wanted to re-establish control over their colonies in the Far East.
Official U. While the war continued, OSS operatives in the field focused on fighting the Japanese. That left primarily the Viet Minh, a nationalist, anti-colonialist organization, that since had been actively leading resistance to the Japanese in Vietnam and helping to rescue downed American aviators.
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Ho wanted American support against the French as well as the Japanese. His motivation in seeking U. It was an insurgency against both the French colonialists as well as against the Japanese occupiers, and seemed supportive of the official U. This was deemed necessary after the Japanese took control from the Vichy French in the spring of and previous sources of intelligence from Hanoi were cut off. Patti, a year-old Italian American, had attended training camps in Maryland and Virginia, and in January had landed at Anzio when the Allies thought the landing would lead directly to Rome.
Now in Kunming, the Army and the Air Corps wanted him to get information about Japanese military units and installations as well as to conduct sabotage missions against key railroad lines. Patti met with Ho Chi Minh, who with his Viet Minh agents and guerrillas already well established and in control in several provinces inside the country, seemed to offer the fastest way for OSS to set up operations there. Although composed mainly of Americans, they would include a few European Frenchmen as well.
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The teams were code-named Deer and Cat. The commander was Major Allison K. A native of Lansing, Michigan, who had lived in France for a while before the war and knew French well, had become a lawyer in Michigan. He joined the Army, became an officer, and because of his knowledge of France had been recruited from the Army by OSS.
He was then about 30 years old. His team had sneaked into the occupied city of Brest by hiding in empty wine barrels alongside full casks being delivered to the German garrison. Despite the dangers, Zielski radioed important intelligence information to London while moving around behind enemy lines during the following two months. Hoagland, the American medic, gave him quinine, sulfa drugs, and other medicines, and he soon recovered.
Thomas, like Patti,, concluded that the Viet Minh were the most effective force aiding the Americans in obtaining intelligence and in fighting the Japanese. Nevertheless, they continued to train the Viet Minh until 15 August when Tokyo accepted the Allied terms of surrender. Stoyka, the radio operator. There they met Ho, Giap and the other Viet Minh leaders. Moving out into the jungle and setting up their own camp to pursue their own mission, they were captured in mid-August by the Japanese.
Viet Minh villagers guided him to the Deer Team.
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Possibly because Stoyka had escaped with news that Holland and Burrowes were prisoners, the Japanese released the two Americans unharmed in Hanoi on 31 August, and Ho had welcomed them warmly as representatives of the United States. He had arrived in China in June , and been scheduled to lead a team into Laos in August to disrupt Japanese lines of communications, but it was cancelled at the last minute.
On 22 August , Patti and the Quail Mission were sent to Hanoi to rescue prisoners and assess the situation there. Patti was a controversial figure, later accused of overreaching his authority and he was eventually recalled. I could have shot the son-of-a-bitch. He was experimenting with our lives! Thomas had his unit accompany Viet Minh guerrillas parading through jungle villages behind a Viet Minh flag.click
OSS in Action The Pacific and the Far East
But times had changed. Conein, who had OSS training at Areas F and B, had spent much of the summer of providing similar guerrilla training to French troops along the Indochinese border and arrived in Hanoi shortly after Patti, but was entirely supportive of the French. Declaration of Independence and proclaiming the establishment of an independent, Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The Communists also started outlawing their rivals and eliminating, by imprisonment or execution, many of their opponents. The U. Government did not recognize Vietnamese independence, in fact it followed a neutral and then supportive stance toward French sovereignty.
Ho and the Viet Minh had sought to use the OSS support in the fight against the Japanese in to solidify their position in Vietnam as well as to obtain recognition from the United States. It was to accept the surrender of the Japanese and maintain order there until the future of Indochina was determined. Peter Dewey, 28, scion of a prominent Republican family. Dewey, New York governor and Presidential candidate, was a relative. As a youth, Dewey had been educated in Switzerland and studied French history at Yale.
He served as a secretary to the U. During the German invasion of France in, Dewey worked with an ambulance unit, then supported the Free French under Charles deGaulle. Charles Parkin, Jr. Army and subsequently served on intelligence missions in Africa and the Middle East. Dewey joined the OSS in Algiers in In August , he parachuted into southern France, heading a team that with the local maquis gathering intelligence and then during the invasion, captured Germans and destroyed three tanks.
Returning to Washington in October, he worked in OSS headquarters for several months, until he was chosen for deployment to Saigon after the Japanese surrender. Most of the American team was disgusted when the British allowed the French, whom they had rearmed, to take over Saigon and inflict brutal reprisals on the Vietnamese. In retaliation, the Vietnamese across the political spectrum joined in a general uprising and open guerrilla warfare throughout the city.
The next day, 26 September, the day Dewey was scheduled to leave, he was killed when guerrillas with machine guns opened fire on his jeep. The Vietnamese guerrillas had apparently mistaken him for a French officer. S commander, General Philip Gallagher, and expressed his deep sorrow.
But the situation in China was a tangled web of competing interests, among both the Chinese and the Americans. Viewing OSS as a threat, rivals managed to limit its operations for most of the war. Not until the final year of the war did OSS achieve a breakthrough in China and begin to contribute significantly to the defeat of Japan.
Despite numerous entreaties and emissaries, Donovan was unable to obtain an effective foothold in China for his organization until Chiang would not approve it without the recommendation of his intelligence chief, General Dai Li, who headed a combined intelligence and secret police organization with perhaps , agents, and who jealously sought to prevent any independent intelligence operations in China.
The idea was to give the Chinese as many SO men and materials as possible, in exchange for, what was to be kept secret: a foothold in China for future intelligence operations. Both the Americans and the Chinese provided instructors, but the bulk of the instruction was done by the U. Not many of the Americans spoke Chinese, or at least more than a few words or phrases, so interpreters, usually local Chinese but sometimes Chinese Americans, translated their instructions. The United States delivered all the weapons, munitions, and other materials. This was a dubious assertion.
The official number of graduates was 26,, and the number of Japanese casualties they inflicted may well have been fewer than their own numbers. But recruits from the occupied areas of eastern China had seen the suffering the Japanese had caused in their locales, and they were eager to strike back at the invaders. Because of Captain Miles, the commanding officer and most of the dozen American instructors were naval personnel, sailors or Marines. Parkin, Jr. The Chinese instructors were assigned for political indoctrination.
The headquarters, classrooms and accommodations were located in a small rural temple and pagoda, but because this was the first SACO training camp, it took six months to get it set up and start classes. The graduates did conduct several successful sabotage operations. One unit raided the Shanghai airport, destroying five fighter planes and a number of fuel tanks. Naval officers and chief petty officers made up the majority of the American staff, but later that year two OSS Army officers arrived.
They were assisted by 14 enlisted men. The aim, as in the SO camps in Maryland and Virginia, was to recruits in American and other weaponry and demolitions, field craft, sabotage, and guerrilla operations. Unit Two handled Chinese recruits at a time, and, even though Karwaski and Lazarsky later left for more hazardous duty, it had established a reputation as the most productive of the SACO training centers.
It produced 2, SO graduates between and We started from scratch.
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Anything we taught them was new to them. After I left [for Burma], Leo was teaching the Chinese about plastic explosives—looked like flour. You could eat a touch of it, but not much.