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I had read that Lucien Conein, John Singlaub and L.Robert Castorr were all in the Merrill's Marauders.

I thought that was kind of interesting, so I started looking around. While I haven't found that Conein and Singlaub were in Merrill's Marauders, I did find some information about the Jedburghs.

This is what  I've come across so far:

Lucien Conein

wikipedia:

In 1944 he was sent to Vichy France with orders to help the French Resistance attack the German Army during the Allied landings in Normandy. He worked with the Jedburghs, a multinational band directed by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)

 

John Singlaub

wikipedia:

"As a member of Operation Jedburgh (Singlaub was part of the three man team codenamed "JAMES"), Singlaub parachuted behind German lines in August 1944 to work with the French Resistance fighters"

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Jedburgh

In Burma, Jedburgh teams were used in operations "Billet" and "Character". "Billet" was a plan to raise resistance to the Japanese among the majority Burman population, primarily through the largely communist Anti-Fascist Organisation (AFO). "Character" was a scheme to raise the minority Karen people in the Karen Hills between the Sittang and Salween Rivers. The first Jeds to go on Character operations were flown into Burma in February 1945 with Lieutenant Colonel Peacock's Special Groups.

 

Many of the surviving American "Jeds" later held various positions of great responsibility in the US Army or the CIA. Examples include William Colby, who became director of the CIA, Lucien Conein, who was a key CIA officer in Vietnam, General John Singlaub and Colonel Aaron Bank (first commander of United States Army Special Forces).

Among French Jedburghs were Paul Aussaresses, later founder of the SDECE's 11e RPC, and counter-insurgency expert in French Algeria; Jean Sassi, another who later served in the 11e RPC, who pioneered conventional guerrilla commandos GCMA with Roger Trinquier during the First Indochina War; Guy Le Borgne, commander of the 8e Choc Parachute Battalion in Indochina, the 3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment in Algeria and 11th Parachute Division."


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11e_r%C3%A9giment_parachutiste_de_choc

"The 11e régiment parachutiste de choc ("11th shock parachute regiment), often called 11e choc, was an elite parachute regiment of the French Army. It used to serve as the armed branch of the SDECE

In July 1947, as the complement of the 11e choc grew, Morlane nominated Paul Aussaresses to replace Mautaint. Aussaresses described his mission as "perform what was by then called 'psychological warfare', wherever it was necessary, notably in Indochina (...) I trained my men for clandestine operations, airborne or otherwise, that could range from building demolition to sabotage or elimination of enemies".[3] From 1952, elements of the 11e choc were sent to Indochina to lead and train the Groupement de commandos mixtes aéroportés (GCMA), though the 11e Choc did not take part in the conflict as a unit.

Back from Indochina in 1952, Aussaresses was tasked to assassinate supporters of the FLN. Morlane "was convinced that a Soviet invasion was imminent, and had been busy constituting secret weapon caches all over the territory so that, when time would come, a resistance could be organised".[4]

4. Paul Aussaresses, Pour la France: Services spéciaux 1942-1954, Editions du Rocher, 2001, p.257

Commanding officers

11e bataillon parachutiste de choc

  • 1946-1947 : CNE Mautaint

  • 1947 : CNE Rivière

  • 1947-1948 : CNE Paul Aussaresses

  • 1948-1953 : CBN Yves Godard

  • 1953-1955 : CES Pierre Decorse

  • 1955-1957 : CNE Bauer

  • 1958-1960 : CNE Erouart

  • 1960-1961 : CBN Crousillac

  • 1961-1962 : CBN Mouton

  • 1962-1963 : CBN Dabezies

  • 1963 : CBN Barthes"


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yves_Godard
 

"He was part of the occupation force in Austria, then a general staff officer of the French Army before taking command of the 11e Bataillon Parachutiste de Choc in 1948. He led the battalion during the First Indochina War, taking part during the war in a failed attempted to relieve the French Union garrison at Dien Bien Phu from Laos. In 1955 Godard became chief of staff of the Parachute Intervention Group, soon to become the 10th Parachute Division, in Algeria commanded by General Jacques Massu. He took part in the Anglo-French operation during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Godard became one of the primary figures of the Battle of Algiers, especially during the later part when he commanded the Algiers sector, supervising links between the Army and the Police, and serving as the chief of staff to Massu. At the suggestion of Paul-Alain Léger, he authorised the bleus de chauffe system, by which paratroopers disguised as young workers roamed the Cashbah and arrested FLN militants


During the Barricade Week, in January 1960, Godard sent Captain Yves de La Bourdonnaye to negotiate Pierre Lagaillarde's surrender. La Bourdonnaye later implied that he was sympathetic to the rebels and had done little to hasten their surrender.[4]

In February, Pierre Messmer had Godard transferred to France, but he returned to take part in the Algiers putsch of 1961. When the putsch failed, he joined the Organisation armée secrète, helping modeling it after the structure of the FLN,[5] but left Algeria in the summer of 1962 and stayed underground until 1967. Godard was sentenced to death for his part in the putsch and OAS. He settled in Belgium, and unlike his OAS colleagues, he did not return to France after the 1968 amnesty. Godard died in 1975 at Lessines, Belgium, at 63."


Interesting group of people.

 

Steve Thomas

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Great interesting, informative thread Steve.  I'd seen Lucien Conien's name before and thought he was French/Corsican or Italian. I. E. maybe brought in by Harvey if involved.  No idea he was US/OSS/CIA.

I have to admit I'd never heard of the Jedburghs.  My first thought regarding the thread title was is that what the neighbors started calling the area when Uncle Jed, Grannie, Jethro and Ellie Mae moved in?  I've always wanted a cement pond, less the critters. She was hot and innocent back in the day, I fell for Ellie Mae in a swim suit.  

Edited by Ron Bulman

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As a WWII history buff I feel compelled to chime in that the Jedburgh operation was largely a British SOE affair, initiated by the British and with the majority of the clandestine air drops were done by British aircraft and the contacts were with French and other resistance fighters in the occupied territories. The OSS did participate but were relative late comers and learned the ropes from the Brits, they were not running the show. In fact OSS officers had to go though Jed/SOE military training to qualify for inclusion.

Operation Jedburgh was a clandestine operation during World War II, in which personnel of the British Special Operations Executive, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, the Free French Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action ("Intelligence and operations central bureau") and the Dutch and Belgian Armies were dropped by parachute into occupied France, the Netherlands and Belgium to conduct sabotage and guerrilla warfare, and to lead the local resistance forces in actions against the Germans.

The British were fighting the clandestine battle on the continent before the U.S. entered the war.

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6 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

As a WWII history buff I feel compelled to chime in that the Jedburgh operation was largely a British SOE affair, initiated by the British and with the majority of the clandestine air drops were done by British aircraft and the contacts were with French and other resistance fighters in the occupied territories. The OSS did participate but were relative late comers and learned the ropes from the Brits, they were not running the show. In fact OSS officers had to go though Jed/SOE military training to qualify for inclusion.

Operation Jedburgh was a clandestine operation during World War II, in which personnel of the British Special Operations Executive, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, the Free French Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action ("Intelligence and operations central bureau") and the Dutch and Belgian Armies were dropped by parachute into occupied France, the Netherlands and Belgium to conduct sabotage and guerrilla warfare, and to lead the local resistance forces in actions against the Germans.

The British were fighting the clandestine battle on the continent before the U.S. entered the war.

Larry,

 

From what I can tell, the Jedburghs were some of the most fearless and courageous men our country and any other country ever produced.

There are some who claim that the CIA was behind the Generals Putsch in April, 1961. Didn't Charles DeGaulle even believe that, and JFK had to personally call him to reassure him it wasn't true?

That's why I included the info about Yves Godard - he weaves in and out of the life of Jean-Rene Souetre as well.

What do you think of them parachuting behind the lines in uniform? That's pretty ballsy.

 

Steve Thomas

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It was amazingly ballsy, especially since the jumps were at night, during the dark of the moon and coordinated strictly with local resistance folks who could easily have been compromised by the occupation forces.  It largely succeeded due the the strong personal bonds between the British and French, involving Brits who were quite fluent in French and personally familiar with the territory and French personnel who had gone to Britain and moved back and forth as infiltrators.

The only sad point is that while it worked in France and to a lesser extent in the low countries, certain of the senior OSS officers who became involved with it used it as a model for infiltration into occupied Europe after the war and later into North Vietnam - both efforts for total disasters (largely because unlike in France there were no comparable resistance networks).  Hundreds of volunteers were sacrificed in the effort, I discuss it in Shadow Warfare.

If you really want to get a personal feel I would recommend what is actually a humor book but one written an Army officer who volunteered for the OSS, went through OSS training and then did jump with the Jeds into occupied France.  While being told humorously it gives the real inside story of the field officers, from a participants perspective.  The title is "You're Stepping on my Cloak and Dagger" by Roger Hall.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Youre-Stepping-on-My-Cloak-and-Dagger-Bluejacket-Books-Hall-Roger-Paperback/382597883963?epid=30425006&hash=item59149c683b:g:NH8AAOSwKkhZsdHS:rk:7:pf:0

I highly recommend it.

 

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1 hour ago, Larry Hancock said:

It was amazingly ballsy, especially since the jumps were at night, during the dark of the moon and coordinated strictly with local resistance folks who could easily have been compromised by the occupation forces.  It largely succeeded due the the strong personal bonds between the British and French, involving Brits who were quite fluent in French and personally familiar with the territory and French personnel who had gone to Britain and moved back and forth as infiltrators.

The only sad point is that while it worked in France and to a lesser extent in the low countries, certain of the senior OSS officers who became involved with it used it as a model for infiltration into occupied Europe after the war and later into North Vietnam - both efforts for total disasters (largely because unlike in France there were no comparable resistance networks).  Hundreds of volunteers were sacrificed in the effort, I discuss it in Shadow Warfare.

 

Larry,

Because my initial inquiry led me to the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, I wound up reading about OSS Detchment 101.

(You might be interested in scrolling through the footnotes to the last citation (the Center of Military History one by Hogan)

OSS Detachment 101 Burma

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSS_Detachment_101

 

“On April 14, 1942, William Donovan, as Coordinator of Information (which evolved into the Office of Strategic Services that June), activated Detachment 101 for action behind enemy lines in Burma. The first unit of its kind, the Detachment was charged with gathering intelligence, harassing the Japanese through guerrilla actions, identifying targets for the Army Air Force to bomb, and rescuing downed Allied airmen. Because Detachment 101 was never larger than a few hundred Americans, it relied on support from various tribal groups in Burma. In particular, the vigorously anti-Japanese Kachin people were vital to the unit's success. By the time of its deactivation on July 12, 1945, Detachment 101 had scored impressive results. According to official statistics, with a loss of some 22 Americans, Detachment 101 killed 5,428 Japanese and rescued 574 Allied personnel."[2] 101's efforts opened the way for Stilwell's Chinese forces, Wingate's Raiders, Merrill's Marauders, and the great counter-attack against the Japanese Imperial life-line.” 3.

 

Unfortunately, the list of officers and men that was supposed to be included in the following site has been taken down.

 

2.. Behind Japanese Lines in Burma The Stuff of Intelligence Legend

Edited by Troy J. Sacquety

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/fall_winter_2001/article07.html

 

3. Behind the Burma Road by William R. Peers and Dean Brelis, 1963.

 

“The book aims in part to be a primer for guerilla fighters. It lists Detachment 101's accomplishments as far as they were known at the time in terms of the effects of its attacks on and harassment of the Japanese during World War II.... The successes of Detachment 101 made possible the entry of Joseph Stilwell's Chinese forces, Orde Wingate's Raiders, Merrill's Marauders, and the other moves against the Japanese Imperial interior lines.

 

U.S. ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS IN WORLD WAR II by David W. Hogan, Jr

https://history.army.mil/html/books/070/70-42/CMH_Pub_70-42.pdf

see pp. 97-132. for information about the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, especially pp. 98-112 for Detachment 101.

 

See the footnotes pp. 129-132.

 

Steve Thomas

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Thanks Steve, actually I went down the Detachment 101 road twice, most recently when I did Shadow Warfare.  I spend a lot of time there following OSS 101 members who became locally influential in Burma after the war, who helped establish the first CIA presence there and to some extent many of the basic practices for CIA covert operations during the Cold War...long before PB/SUCCESS.  If you have SW check Chapter 4 on Armies of Opportunity and Chapter 4 on Fighting China...Deniably.  I think you will find some names that are familiar to you and others that are not...but a lot of connections that later turn up in Laos and the Golden Triangle, including Lucian Conein.

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1 hour ago, Larry Hancock said:

Thanks Steve, actually I went down the Detachment 101 road twice, most recently when I did Shadow Warfare.  I spend a lot of time there following OSS 101 members who became locally influential in Burma after the war, who helped establish the first CIA presence there and to some extent many of the basic practices for CIA covert operations during the Cold War...long before PB/SUCCESS.  If you have SW check Chapter 4 on Armies of Opportunity and Chapter 4 on Fighting China...Deniably.  I think you will find some names that are familiar to you and others that are not...but a lot of connections that later turn up in Laos and the Golden Triangle, including Lucian Conein.

Larry,

 

I felt kind of stupid referring you to the OSS and Burma.

I figured you were all over it anyway, but couldn't stop myself from hitting that send button. *grin*

I don't have Shadow Warfare, but the Golden Triangle connections intrigue me.

I read The Strength of the Wolf by Doug Valentine a long time ago, and it left an impression on me.

 

Steve Thomas

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The Golden Triangle connection is important in a much larger context than we normally take it.  It developed largely though the efforts of the US in supporting independent nationalist chines armies in actual invasions of China. These efforts created some of the first CIA commercial covers, actual proprietaries and field officer links to what later evolved in both Indonesia and Laos. It was the venue in which former OSS officers in SE Asia and China first connected and networked with each other. The drug thing developed much later.  When State tried to have Hecksher removed as station chief in Laos and Helms refused, it ultimately led to Hecksher being designated to help bring in the rogue nationalist forces to act against Laotian communist rebels.  It was only after that work that Hecksher was transferred to Japan - in the same time frame both Nagell and Oswald were in Japan.

Certainly the drugs did get inserted into the operations in Burma and later Laos, as I've said...when you set up covert commercial covers to move weapons and supplies into an operation, someone will figure out how to make money sending something illegal back the other way...the nature of the beast.

But for interest there is another story entirely and its how the CIA field officers came to work together and establish a social network that extended beyond their day jobs.....who would trust each other, who would share information and who figured they knew more than headquarters. 

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One of the most famous Jedburghs was William Colby, who would later become Director of the CIA.  Colby, whose Jedburgh codename was “Berkshire,” led a Jed team into occupied France in August 1944. He was only 24 years old. The son of an Army officer, Colby had attended Princeton and Columbia before joining the military. He cheated on an eye exam to become a paratrooper. Jump school, along with French language skills, made him a good candidate for OSS.  50 years later Colby described the mission casually as “to harass the Germans as much as possible… ambushes on the road, blowing up bridges, that sort of thing.”  In 1945, Colby led an OSS special operations team into Norway (under the codename “Operation RYPE”) to sabotage German rail lines and prevent any German efforts to reinforce the homeland from the north. According to Colby, this team “was the first and only combined ski-parachute operation ever mounted by the US Army” during World War II. After the war, many American Jedburghs, including Colby, joined OSS’s successor, the CIA.

   Image result for william colby jedbergs

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William Colby on an OSS mission.

https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2015-featured-story-archive/legend-of-the-jedburghs.html

 

image.thumb.png.793b77e51727d82f0759d1b74a362ea9.png

 

Steve Thomas

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9 hours ago, Steve Thomas said:

Where the Jedburgs part of the 10th mountain division that trained at Ski Cooper and Monarch mountain based out of Leadville Colorado?  Wasn't there a movie about their mission? 

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4 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

Where the Jedburgs part of the 10th mountain division that trained at Ski Cooper and Monarch mountain based out of Leadville Colorado?

Ron,

 

No, I don't think so.

 

Steve Thomas

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