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AXIS – spies and saboteurs

Nazi saboteur trial

Nazi saboteur trial

If the Allied powers had their spies lurking around behind the front lines, you can be sure the enemy was doing the same. Once again, you will find that I have certainly missed some of them and I am counting on you out there to fill in the blanks.

Takeo Yoshikawa

Takeo Yoshikawa

Takeo Yoshikawa began his career in intelligence in 1937 and became an expert on the U.S. Navy. He even received a thank you letter from Adolph Hitler after he informed the Germans of a 17 troop transport convoy that left Freetown and was en route to England; many of these ships were destroyed. On Hawaii, under the name Tadashi Morimura, he rented private planes and observed the U.S. installations on the islands. He would then transmit this data to Tokyo in PURPLE code; the U.S. did intercept these messages – but deemed them unimportant. When he heard the code, “East wind, rain,” he destroyed all evidence of his guilt since this meant Pearl Harbor would be attacked. August 1942, he returned to Japan. When he opened a business in 1955, he found the Japanese people blamed him for the war with the U.S. and his wife needed to support him the remainder of his life.

Velvalee Dickinson

Velvalee Dickinson

Velvalee Dickinson, from Sacramento, Calif., became associated with many Japanese organizations through her husbands brokerage business and remained sympathetic. Velvalee opened a doll shop and sent coded messages through a complex system that included Argentina and New York. She was eventually caught and tried in January 1944, sentenced to ten years. She was released in 1951 and somehow disappeared in 1954.

dickinson_store

No. 62 Squadron, Feb. 1941

No. 62 Squadron, Feb. 1941

Patrick Heenan was a captain in the British Indian Army that spied for Japan during the Malayan Campaign. He was stationed at Alor Star in Kedah, Malaya in June 1941 where most of the RAF, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force squadrons were based. When Japanese forces invaded on 8 December, their air raids were assisted by Heenan as he used a hidden radio and more codetransmitter. His treason cost No. 62 Squadron personnel and aircraft. He was arrested 10 December, court martialed and jailed in January 1942 in Singapore. When the enemy attacked that city, Heenan was shot in the back of his head and dumped in Keppel Harbour by his wardens.

The Black Dragons were a paramilitary group of Japan. Their agents operated during the Russo-Japanese war and then continued into WWII. They initially were directed to act against the Soviets, but were later expanded throughout Turkey, northern Africa, S.E. Asia and the U.S. Two American organizations influenced by the Dragons were the “Brotherhood of Liberty for the Black People of America” and “Nation of Islam.” On 27 March 1942, the FBI arrested a number of lack Dragons in San Joaquin, California.

FBI mug shots, March 1944, six of 33 in Duquesne spy ring

FBI mug shots, March 1944, six of 33 in Duquesne spy ring

The German U-boats that actually touched North American soil were setting agents on shore. The Duquesne spy ring is the largest espionage case in the U.S. to end up in convictions. The agents were sent to various sites to extract information and commit sabotage. One spy opened a restaurant, one worked at an airline and the others were at radio stations and messenger boys. The ring leader was Fritz Joubert Duquesne, a South African Boer who had worked for Germany in both wars. But, the U.S. had a double-agent within the group and on 29 June 1941, all 33 agents were arrested and sentenced to a total of 300 years in prison.

George Dasch spy ring, tean 1

George Dasch spy ring, tean 1

Operation Patorius was divided into 2 teams; one led by George John Dasch (aka – George Davis, a former resident of the U.S.) and landed 12 June 1942 off of U-boat 202 at East Hampton, Long Island. Their mission: to destroy power plants at Niagara Falls and 3 ALCOA factories. The second team landed at Ponte Vedra Beach, SE of Jacksonville, Florida. Their mission: to lay mines at the Pennsylvania Railroad at Newark, NJ and the water supply lines at St. Louis, Cincinnati and NYC. George Dasch turned himself into the FBI and the others were soon arrested due to his confession. Six of the agents were executed; 8 August, Dasch received a 30 year term, but was released and deported back to Germany in 1948. He did not receive a good welcome home and moved to Switzerland where he wrote the book, Eight Spies Against America.

Kerling, Team 2

Kerling, Team 2

Operation Elster landed at Hancock, Maine 30 November 1944 aboard U-boat 1230. Their mission: to learn what they could about the Manhattan Project and sabotage it, if possible. The FBI caught them in New York; one spent 10 years in prison and the other was released in 1960, operated a business in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and later retired to Florida.

14 May 1942, Marius Langbein landed near St. Martins, New Brunswick, Canada of U-boat 217 for Operation Grete (named for his wife). He never carried out his orders, but rather lived off of the funds given to him by the Germans and then surrendered in December 1944. Being that he never committed a crime – he was found not guilty.

Werner von Janowski

Werner von Janowski

U-518, in November 1942 sank two iron ore freighters and damaged another in Conception Bay, Newfoundland before setting agent, Werner von Janowski, ashore near New Carlisle, Quebec. Upon seeing the man act suspicious as he left a hotel, Earle Annett, followed the spy and 3 hours later, notified a constable. The officer continued the tail, struck up a conversation with the suspect and Janowski confessed his intentions.

German U-boat, U-537

German U-boat, U-537

22 October 1943, Professor Kurt Sommermeyer and his team debarked U-537 at Martin Bay, Labrador to set up an automatic weather station, “Weather Station Kurt” or as the enemy knew it – “Wetter-Funkgerät Land – 26.”

When U-867 attempted to replace the batteries 3 months later, it was sunk. Left undisturbed, it was discovered in the 1980’s and is now at the Canadian War Museum.

Click on photos to enlarge

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Farewell Salutes –

William Henry Kempner – Newark, DE; U.S. Navy submariner, Korean War

Robert Earl Boggs – Columbus, OH; Jupiter, FL; U.S. Navy Commander, retired carrier aviator

Gary Lee Tyler – Roxbury, NY & Palm Beach Gardens, FL; U.S. Army Fourth Army Band, Korea

Edward J.W. Stuart – Alton, ILL. & Lake Worth, FL; U.S. Navy in Korea, ships USS Palau-CVE722; USS Midway-CVB-41 and USS J.C. Owens-DD7756

Eve Metz – Worchester, Mass & Delray Beach, FL; U.S. Army, Second Lieutenant, nurse during WWII

John Reeves Oakman – Boca Raton, FL; U.S. Army WWII

Russell Link – Lake Worth, FL;USMC sergeant

Roosevelt Garner, Jr. – W. Palm Beach, FL; U.S. Navy WWII Pacific, electrician’s mate

Willoughby Ted Quin – Lake Worth, FL; U.S. Army WWII w/ a Silver Star; reenlisted U.S. Air Force for Korea and Vietnam

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Current News –

Born on the Fourth of July – WWII Veteran U.S. Navy, Frank Eaton, born on 4 July in Northville, Mich., received a plaque honoring his military service on his 90th birthday from the city of West Palm Beach, Florida.

Funny or Scary? – In Tampa, Fla., A homeless woman, Suzanne Jensen, not only sneaked into MacDill Air Force Base, by turning a garbage can upside down and scaling the fence, once and staying for days at a time, but four times!! She also stole a military I.D.

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Personal Note –

Next week, gpcox is due for jury duty. Depending on that schedule, next week’s posts might be delayed. I always attempt to respond to each comment, but that also might be affected. I’ll do my best.

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