OSS in the C.B.I. – 1945

In the book, “A COVERT AFFAIR”, Jennet Conant follows the OSS detachments that operated in the CBI Theater.  These members of the forerunner of the CIA included Elizabeth (Betty) MacDonald, her future husband Frederick MacIntosh, Julia McWilliams and her future husband Paul Child, and many others.

From time to time, the OSS teams would report armed clashes in the area (China) as local factions jockeyed for position, “The warlords were always shooting at each other,” recalled Betty, “But we never really felt scared.  We had pretty good protection, and the Flying Tigers kept the Japanese at bay.”

Betty MacDonald w/ colleagues in the doorway of the flooded MO print shop during the 1945 flood in Kumming. The fortified walls around the outpost made the OSS compound a lagoon.

Betty also reported, “the Chinese never followed the rules.  Smuggling was a way of life.  They brazenly peddle state secrets and are equally overt about trading everything from information to arms with  the Japanese.  Everything is for sale.”

Chiang’s people had to approve any proposed OSS operation.  Paul Child said, “The warp and woof of war in China is complex beyond belief.  The inner workings, the who-influences-who, the deals, the sleights of hand, the incredible chicaneries, the artistic venalities, the machinations and the briberies.

Julia Child & others of the OSS

“Some facts are so incredibly romantic and sinister that only hearing hundreds of verbal reports from the mouths of horses themselves finally convinces me of the dreadful reality of the under-the-sea war – the war of back alleys, back rooms, big parties, magnificent whores and equally magnificent blackmails.  It almost becomes the “real” war of which the news-war is only the surface expression.”

American officers of OSS Detachment 101

The chances for honest-to-God peace in China seemed almost impossible.  Even with the European part of the war officially over, the action in the CBI seemed to be amplifying.  Paul Child wrote home to his twin brother Charles in dismay, “Building up, plans for months ahead, materials and personnel being striven for and allocated, and anticipated dangers faced.  Perhaps you will never know what it is to feel profoundly lonely.  Well, you become empty, unbased and bereft.”

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

Roundup’s staff cartoonist, Sgt. Ralph J. Somerville, was so overjoyed on V-E Day that he sat right down and drew up this cartoon of the situation in which Mussolini, Hitler, and Hirohito find themselves. Of course, as nay fool can plainly see, there isn’t but one title for this: Two off their War Horses and One on His Ass.

Bulletin Board: “There will be absolutely no more experiments in jet propulsion with company vehicles!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Elmer Brown – Orlando, FL; US Navy, WWII, Lt.Commander (Ret. 30 y.)

Arthur Kelm-Gelien (Tab Hunter) – San Francisco, CA; US Coast Guard, (actor)

Saman Kunan – Roi Et, THAI; Thai Navy SEAL, Cave rescue

Cidon Long – Anson, TX; US Army, WWII, homefront German POW guard

Joseph Maciel – South Gate, CA; US Army, Afghanistan, Cpl., 1/28/3rd Infantry Division, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, KIA

Helen Miller – St. Paul, MN; US Army WAC, WWII, ETO

George Ritter – Toledo, OH; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Robert Sutcliffe – Lynbrook, NY; US Navy, WWII

Deisel Tykeson – Ross, ND; US Army, WWII, PTO

Harrison Ward – Lenoir, NC; US Army, WWII, Bronze Star

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PERSONAL NOTE:  My internet was cut-off this morning, hence the late post and lack of visits to your sites.  I will make every attempt this afternoon to correct this.  I thank you in advance for your patience.

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on July 12, 2018, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 110 Comments.

  1. Never saw that photo of Julia Child before. A very unique moment in history.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sheafferhistorian

    Reblogged this on Practically Historical.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pragmatic people, the Chinese … in the Burma theatre Chinese soldiers would pin some dollars under their lapels before going into the field. The idea was that if wounded the stretcher bearers would feel under collars/lapels and first carry back those who’d paid the fare in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a chaotic and slippery life for the OSS, who would you trust?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A very interesting book by the sounds of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent article, I am going to reblog this article for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know absolutely nothing about China. When did Chairman Mao come into all this?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for bringing this book to our attention! I’m on a history read binge of late – bios of Jefferson and Jackson; a book on Berlin from the perspective of a Dutch writer living in East Berlin during, at the moment of the Wall’s fall, and after the Wall – and this title will slot in nicely with the next book on the reading list, one about the relationship of Churchill and Roosevelt before and during WWII. It’s on order now! (Amazon has it in various forms.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The ‘undercover war’ led to the creation of the CIA and the development of MI6 after 1945. Those experienced agents must have been able to offer so much good training for the later operatives, and the fact that many never revealed their pasts publicly says much for their integrity.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Looks like an interesting book…to think Julia Child was once a OSS operative!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Unless we know a person very well, we seldom realize all the trials and triumphs they have had in their lives. This certainly was a surprise with Julia Child.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Looks like a book for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I never watched her cooking show, but I’ve been interested in Julia Child since I saw the film “Julie and Julia.” I’d heard that she had engaged in some wartime “work,” but never have been clear on the details. This is a book I’d love to read — will read.

    Is OSS the Office of Strategic Services? I think it must be. That kind of life is fascinating. I had a friend who was a Naval cryptographer — sailed around on an old tub disguised as a merchant ship, with the electronics and such hidden away in its guts. I’ve heard a couple of funny stories of shipboard life (e.g., frozen crabs coming unfrozen and running all over the deck while the U.S. Navy tried to corral them) but that’s it. Those guys knew how to keep their mouths shut.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I understand about internet. The books sounds interesting. It seems the whole world learned from China.

    Like

  15. I wonder how it must have felt being there, gearing up to be there even longer, knowing that the war in Europe was over.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Good to see Saman Kunan saluted and remembered here after his sad loss in a heroic enterprise that ultimately succeeded because of courage like his.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Digging into the history of the CIA and OSS has always been a topic of interest for me. I might have to check this out! 🙂 (Also, that jet propulsion cartoon got a nice belly laugh out of me)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Denk dat het een fascinerend boek is.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Somehow we are still at odds with China so many years later—different issues, of course, but nevertheless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just watched a TV program (for the second time) about the terracotta army in China. Their history and culture I think has ingrained this sort of behavior in them. Sad, but they haven’t changed much.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. This sounds fascinating- thanks for sharing. (Gasp! Our library has it too! It’s going on my list 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  21. When the book was released, I could not believe that it was the same Julia Child who was creating a big mess on her cooking show. You just never know what people did or could do.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Good old Julia. I can imagine her operating in China.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. it sounds like a great book –

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Excellent Post! Please do more articles on OSS and SOE!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Love your toons🤣👍You are right in that the Chinese do not follow rules…not if they can help it. Graft is rampant though these recent years it is not too blatant.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Absolutely fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. This looks good. I’m always amazed that there is still so much to learn about this time period. There was so much going on in a relatively short period of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean. And still, no matter how long I take on reporting a month – I am merely scanning over the actions, so many operations still going on and taking place on mini-islands , etc! It’s incredible.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Julia Child of cooking fame?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Great post ! I hope everything is back in order GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Nice to see brave Saman Kunan in the list. The books sounds incredibly interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Oh great! Another book I will now have to read. 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Excellent post on a group that few Americans know….well done….chuq

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Thank you very much, Ian.

    Like

  1. Pingback: OSS in the C.B.I. – 1945 by //Pacific Paratrooper | ' Ace Worldwide History '

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