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Wednesday, April 23, 2003

STORY OF A MARINE WHO FOUGHT FOR THE FRENCH

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STORY OF A MARINE WHO FOUGHT FOR THE FRENCH!

From :
Ben Frank XXXXX
To :
gunnyg@hotmail.com

Subject :
Fwd: CCFYI: Fw: Incredible Story of an exceptional Marine

Date :
Wed, 22 May 2002 12:31:11 -0400

Reply Reply All Forward Delete Printer Friendly Version

Dick, here is the article I wrote about Ortiz. Ben
COLONEL PETER JULIEN ORTIZ, OSS MARINE

Written by Benis Frank, a now retired Marine Corps historian

While preparing the Marine POWs appendix for Victory and Occupation,
vol. V of History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II, to
locate the names and places of the various POW camps in which Marines
were incarcerated, I had to use the casualty report prepared by the
Reports and Statistical Unit, Personnel Service Branch at Headquarters
Marine Corps. This report was prepared in 1952, and is the final
accounting of Marine casualties in World War II. It was one of these
very wide machine records printout with a large number of columns, each
one having its own code for a prison camp or for POWs, or whether the
individual was KIA, WIA, or Missing in Action Presumed Dead. As I went
from the printout to the code sheet, I was surprised to find that a
handful of Marines had been captured in Europe. I immediately assumed
that these may have been OSS Marines, and to validate this assumption, I
randomly selected the name of one of the POWs, Major Peter J. Ortiz, and
retrieved from the St. Louis personnel records center his officer's
qualification jacket.

A review of the jacket revealed to me a brand new area of Marine Corps
history, i.e., the story of the Marines who served in Europe with the
OSS. I had previously known that such Marines existed, but not very much
about their activities, because they were for the most part classified
and besides, as a Marine Corps historian of Marine operations in the
Pacific, that is where my attention was focused. As it turned out,
Ortiz' exploits before he enlisted in the Marine Corps were as
spectacular as his World War II experiences. So dramatic were his
adventures--that is a very weak word when describing what he did, but it
will have to suffice--that two movies were made about his
accomplishments. One was not too bad a movie, "13 Rue Madeleine," with
James Cagney, and the second, a not too good one. This was "Operation
Secret," with Cornell Wilde. As I later learned, Ortiz worked on the
script of "13 Rue Madeleine," and for many Hollywood OSS and Foreign
Legion pictures, he was the technical director. [Jacq': He also acted in
several pictures.] However, as I researched and read about Ortiz'
exploits in Europe, I became convinced that in his case, there was no
way by which art could imitate life.

Peter Julien Ortiz was born in New York on 5 August 1913, of a French
father with a strong line of Spanish forebears, and an American mother.
Ortiz p�re was well connected socially and otherwise in France, and had
his son, who spent much of his youth in that country, educated there. He
was a student at the University of Grenoble when the adventure bug
apparently bit him. As I was told recently, "Pete enlisted in the Legion
just for adventure. Held read a lot of romantic tales. He had a Polish
girl friend at the time [who was also at Grenoble] and she accompanied
him to Marseilles. He enlisted under her name." His father made an
attempt to buy him out, and when he arrived in Morocco to take his son
home, "Pete would have none of it," and he remained in the Legion until
1937. During this time, he rose through the ranks from private to acting
lieutenant, and was offered a permanent commission as second lieutenant
if he agreed to reenlist for five years and consider eventual
naturalization as a French citizen. He turned down the offer and
returned to the United States. He was acting lieutenant in charge of an
armored car squadron when he resigned. While with the Legion, he fought
in a number of engagements in Africa and was wounded in 1933. He was
well decorated for this first tour--he received the Croix de Guerre with
two palms, one gold star, one silver star, and five citations; the Croix
des Combatants; the Ouissam Alouite; and the Medaille Militaire.

He returned to the States and went to California, where his mother
lived. He soon became employed in Hollywood as a technical director on
military matters. When the war broke out in Europe, Ortiz returned to
the Legion. He enlisted in October 1939, got a battlefield commission in
May 1940. For his service 1939-1940, he was decorated with the Croix de
Guerre (one palm, one silver star, two citations), Croix des
Combattants, 1939-1949. In June 1940, he was wounded and captured. Ortiz
was taken when he learned that some gasoline had not been destroyed
before his men had withdrawn. He returned to that area on a motorcycle,
drove through the German camp, blew up the gasoline dump, and was on his
way back to his lines when he was shot in the hip, the bullet exiting
his body, but hitting his spine on the way out. He was temporarily
paralyzed and easily taken.

He spent 15 months as a POW in Germany, Poland, and Austria. He
attempted a number of escapes, and finally succeeded in October 1941. He
reached the United States by way of Lisbon on 8 December, and was
interrogated by Army and Navy intelligence officers, and was promised a
commission. It didn't come through immediately.

He had been offered commissions by the Free French and the British in
Portugal, but he wanted to wear an American uniform. In any case he was
not fit for immediate active duty and, besides, wanted to see his mother
in California. By June 1942, when nothing further was heard about the
commission, he enlisted in the Marine Corps on the 22d and was assigned
to boot camp at Parris Island.

Ortiz was tall, athletically built, handsome, and had a military
carriage, which is understandable since he had served over five years
with the Legion, and it is also understandable that he stood out from
the rest of the recruits in his boot platoon. In addition, he wore his
decorations, which caused no little interest by his DIs and the senior
officers at Parris Island. Colonel Louis R. Jones, a well-decorated
World War I Marine and at this time Chief of Staff at the Recruit Depot,
wrote the Commandant of the Marine Corps about Ortiz on 14 July. He
enclosed in his letter copies of Ortiz' citations for the French awards
together with Ortiz' application for a commission. In his letter, Jones
wrote:

Private Ortiz had made an extremely favorable impression upon the
undersigned. His knowledge of military matters is far beyond that of the
normal recruit instructor. Ortiz is a very well set up an and makes an
excellent appearance. The undersigned is glad to recommend Ortiz for a
commission in the Marine Corps Reserve and is of the opinion that he
would be a decided addition to the Reserve Officer list. In my opinion
he has the mental, moral, professional, and physical qualifications for
the office for which he has made application.



On 1 August 1942, Ortiz was commissioned, with a date of rank of 24
July. He was kept at Parris Island for two months as an assistant
training officer and then sent to Camp Lejeune to join the 23d Marines,
and then, despite the fact that he was a qualified parachutist from his
time in the Legion, he was sent to the Parachute School at Camp Lejeune,
but not for long. In all, counting his jumps with the Legion, at Camp
Lejeune, and with the OSS, he made a total of 154 of all types.

Meanwhile, Headquarters Marine Corps had become very interested in his
record, his duty with the Foreign Legion, and the fact that he was a
native French speaker, and less so with German, Spanish, and Arabic. On
16 November, Colonel Keller E. Rockey, of the Division of Plans and
Policies, sent a memo to Major General Commandant Thomas Holcomb,
stating that "The rather unique experiences and qualifications of
Lieutenant Ortiz indicate that he would be of exceptional value to
American units operating in North Africa. It is suggested that the
services of Lieutenant Ortiz be offered to the Army through COMINCH
{Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations/Commander in Chief,
U.S. Fleet]." Colonel Rockey also recommended Ortiz' promotion to first
lieutenant or captain. As a matter of fact, he was promoted to captain
from second lieutenant on 3 December. On the 21st he left Washington for
Tangier, Morocco, where he was assigned duty as assistant naval attach�.
That was just a cover.

He was ordered to organize a patrol of Arab tribesmen to scout German
forces on the Tunisian front. Major General William J. Donovan, Director
of the Office of Strategic Services, forwarded to the Commandant a
message from Algiers which read, "While on reconnaissance on the
Tunisian front, Captain Peter Ortiz, U.S.M.C.R. was severely wounded in
the right hand while engaged in a personal encounter with a German
patrol. He dispersed the patrol with grenades. Captain Ortiz is making
good recovery in hospital at Algiers. The [P]urple [H]eart was awarded
to him." In April 1943, he returned to Washington to recuperate and in
May was assigned to the Naval Command, OSS. In July he flew to London
for further assignment to missions in France.

He was to spend most of his time in France in the southeastern region
known as the Haute Savoie. In that region is the Vercors plateau, which
was of special interest to General Charles de Gaulle, as well as to the
British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the OSS. Not only were
there some 3,000 Free French Maquisards in the area, but it was planned
to turn Vercors into a redoubt against which the Germans would attack in
vain and which would be a major center of French resistance in the area
to be called upon when D-Day arrived. It was vitally necessary to
contact and arm this group. To attempt this task, SOE decided to form an
inter-allied team consisting of English, French, and American agents.
The mission was codenamed UNION and it was to determine the military
capabilities of the units reported active in Savoie, Isere, and Drome.
The team's mission was to impress the leaders of such units with the
fact that "organization for guerrilla warfare activity, especially after
D-Day, is now their more important duty." The British team member was
Colonel H.H.A. Thackwaite, a prewar schoolmaster; the French radio
operator was "Monnier," purportedly the best in the business. Ortiz was
the American.

The team dropped into France on the moonless night of 6 January. Per
standard SOE practice, they wore civilian clothes, but carried their
uniforms with them. Once they linked up with the maquis on the ground,
they identified themselves as military men on a military mission.
Accordingly, as M.R.D. Foot wrote in SOE in France, they were the first
Allied officers to appear in uniform in France since 1940. Thackwaite
later wrote that "Ortiz, who knew not fear, did not hesitate to wear his
U.S. Marine captain's uniform in town and country alike; this cheered
the French but alerted the Germans and the mission was constantly on the
move." Parenthetically, I have seen pictures of Ortiz in uniform in
France at this time, and was shocked to see that he had removed the
grommet from his cap, so that he wore it like Air Corps pilots wore
their "30 mission" caps. Incidentally, Ortiz always thought that
Thackwaite's statement that he "knew not fear," was absolutely
ridiculous. Considering all that he had been through with the Legion and
now with the OSS, of course he knew fear.

UNION found several large groups of maquisards willing and ready to
fight, but lacking weapons. It took the team considerable time to
arrange for clandestine arms drops and weapons instruction for the
maquis. As Lieutenant Colonel Robert Mattingly wrote in his
prize-winning monograph, Herringbone Cloak--GI Dagger: Marines of the
OSS:

It might be reasonable to suppose that the team remained hidden in the
high country, but this was not the case. Ortiz in particular was fond of
going straight into the German-occupied towns. On one occasion, he
strolled into a cafe dressed in a long cape. Several Germans were
drinking and cursing the maquis. One mentioned the fate which would
befall the filthy American swine when he was caught. [The Nazis
apparently knew of Ortiz' existence in the area with the maquis] This
proved a great mistake. Captain Ortiz threw back the cape revealing his
Marine uniform. In each hand he held a .45 automatic. When the shooting
stopped, there were fewer Nazis to plan his capture and Ortiz was gone
into the night.

This story has appeared in several forms, but in any case it appears
that there was this confrontation, with the Nazis the losers. Ortiz
appeared to be truly fearless and altogether brave. He had another
talent, that of stealing Gestapo vehicles from local motor pools. His
citation for the British award making him a Member of the Most
Honourable Order of the British Empire reads in part:

For four months this officer assisted in the organization of the maquis
in a most difficult department where members were in constant danger of
attack...he ran great risks in looking after four RAF officers who had
been brought down in the neighborhood, and accompanied them to the
Spanish border [at the Pyrenees]. In the course of his efforts to obtain
the release of these officers, he raided a German military garage and
took ten Gestapo motors which he used frequently...he procured a Gestapo
pass for his own use in spite of the fact that he was well known to the
enemy....

The UNION team experienced great problems in getting the area organized.
Money was short and there was a lack of transportation. Security at the
regional and departmental levels was poor, and there was the
country-wide problem of getting resistance organizations with divergent
political views to cooperate. The maquisards lacked heavy weapons, basic
gear such as blankets, field equipment, radios, ammunition, and the list
goes on. In the midst of all this, in late May 1944, before D-Day at
Normandy, the UNION team with withdrawn to England for further
assignments.

In England, he was decorated with the first of two Navy Crosses he was
to earn. The citation for the first read:

For extraordinary heroism while attached to the United States Naval
Command, Office of Strategic Services, London, England, in connection
with military operations against an armed enemy, in enemy-occupied
territory, from 8 January to 20 May 1944. Operating in civilian clothes
and aware that he would be subject to execution in the event of his
capture, Major Ortiz parachuted from an airplane with two other officers
of an Inter-Allied mission to reorganize existing Maquis groups and
organize additional groups in the region of Rhone. By his tact,
resourcefulness and leadership, he was largely instrumental in effecting
the acceptance of the mission by the local resistance leaders, and also
in organizing parachute operations for the delivery of arms, ammunition
and equipment for use by the Maquis in his region. Although his identity
had become known to the Gestapo with the resultant increase in personal
hazard, he voluntarily conducted to the Spanish border four Royal Air
Force officers who had been shot down in his region, and later returned
to resume his duties. Repeatedly leading successful raids during the
period of this assignment, Major Ortiz inflicted heavy casualties on
enemy forces greatly superior in number, with small losses to his own
forces. By his heroic leadership and astuteness in planning and
executing these hazardous forays, Major Ortiz served as an inspiration
to his subordinates and upheld the highest traditions of the United
States Naval Service.

Ortiz, who had been promoted to the rank of major, returned to France on
1 August, the head of a mission entitled UNION II. This was a new type
of OSS mission, an Operational Group. These were heavily armed
contingents which were tasked with direct action against the Germans.
They were not only to conduct sabotage, but also were to seize key
installations to prevent retreating German units from destroying them.
Team members were always in uniform. Accompanying Ortiz on this mission
were Air Corps Captain Francis Coolidge, Gunnery Sergeant Robert La
Salle, Sergeants Charles Perry, John P. Bodnar, Frederick J. Brunner,
and Jack R. Risler, all Marines, and a Free French officer, Joseph
Arcelin, who carried false papers identifying him as a Marine.

This was a daylight drop near the town of les Saises in the Haute Savoie
region. In addition to the team, a large supply of weapons and
ammunition and other supplies in 864 containers for the French Bulle
Battalion operating in the region were also dropped. The mission began
badly, for Perry's steel parachute cable snapped, and he was dead in the
drop zone. His comrades buried him with military honors.

During the week after they arrived in France, UNION II instructed the
members of the Bulle Battalion on the functioning and maintenance of the
new weapons they had just received. Then they began a series of patrols
in order to link up with other resistance groups believed to be
operating in the area. In an activity report, Brunner later stated:

On 14 August we proceeded to Beaufort where we made contact with other
F.F.I. [Forces Francaises de liInterieur] companies and from there went
on to Montgirod where we were told there were heavy concentrations of
Germans. We were able to enter the town but had no sooner done so than
we were heavily shelled by German batteries located in the hills around
the city. We were forced to retire and hid out in the mountains near
Montgirod with the Bulle Battalion. The Germans quickly surrounded the
area.

Two days later, Ortiz and his group were surprised in the town of
Centron by elements of the 157th Alpine Reserve Division, consisting of
10-12 heavy trucks in which there were several hundred troops. The
convoy was headed for the garrison of Bourg-St. Maurice, northeast of
Centron. [Ironically, by 20 August, the Germans were in confused retreat
after the Allied landing in Southern France on 15 August. Also
ironically, the first American jeep entered Albertville, in the Haute
Savoie, on 22 August.] The surprise was mutual. Spotting the Americans,
the trucks screeched to a halt and soldiers tumbled out and began
firing. Brunner later recalled:

Major Ortiz, Sergeant Bodnar and Sergeant Risler withdrew into the
southwest section of the town. Captain Coolidge, Jo-Jo, [the French
member of the team] and I took the southeast. We retaliated as best we
could, working our way under fire toward the east. I called out to Jo-Jo
to follow us but he remained in the town. At this time, Captain Coolidge
received a bullet in the right leg but he kept going. By then we had
reached the bank of the Isere. I dived in and swam across under fire. I
had some difficulty as the current was very swift. It was then that I
became separated from Coolidge and did not see him again until we
met...on 18 August [at the location of another resistance group].

Ortiz, Risler, and Bodnar were receiving the bulk of the German fire. As
they retreated from house to house in Centron, French civilians implored
them to give up in order to avoid reprisals. Ortiz ordered the two
sergeants to get out while they could, but neither would go without him.
Ortiz recognized that if he and his men shot their way out of the
entrapment, local villagers would undoubtedly suffer for Germans deaths
which a firefight surely would have produced. He knew of the massacre at
Vassieux and the destruction of the town of Oradur-sur-Glane and all of
its inhabitants. In his after-action report given after his liberation
from a POW camp, Ortiz stated:

Since the activities of Mission Union and its previous work were well
know to the Gestapo, there was no reason to hope that we would be
treated as ordinary prisoners of war. For me personally the decision to
surrender was not too difficult. I had been involved in dangerous
activities for many years and was mentally prepared for my number to
turn up. Sergeant Bodnar was next to me and I explained the situation to
him and what I intended to do. He looked me in the eye and replied,
"Major, we are Marines, what you think is right goes for me too."

Ortiz began shouting to the Germans in an attempt to surrender. When a
brief lull ensued, he stepped forward and calmly walked toward the
Germans as machine gun bullets kicked up dust around him. Finally the
firing stopped, and Ortiz was able to speak to the German officer in
command. The major agreed to accept the surrender of the Americans and
not harm the townspeople. When only two more Marines appeared, the
major became suspicious and demanded to know where the rest of his enemy
were. After a search of the town, the Germans accepted the fact that
only three men had held off a battalion.

Bodnar and Risler were quickly disarmed and Ortiz called them to
attention, and directed that they give only their names, ranks, and
serial numbers as required by the Geneva Convention's terms relating to
the treatment of prisoners of war. This greatly impressed the Germans,
who began treating them all with marked respect.

From that time, until 29 September, when he reached his final
destination, the naval POW camp Marlag/Milag Nord located in the small
German village of Westertimke outside Bremen, Ortiz looked for every
opportunity to escape, but none presented itself. Fortunately for Ortiz
and the other prisoners, this prison camp was loosely controlled in that
outside of periodic searches and roll calls three times a day, the POWs
were left to themselves. Still, Ortiz tried to escape several times,
despite the fact that the senior Allied POW was a Royal Navy captain who
made it plain to the new arrival that escapes were out. Ortiz then
declared himself the senior American POW present and that he would make
his own rules.

Allied forces were drawing closer each day, and suddenly, on 10 April,
the camp commandant ordered all POWs to prepare to leave within three
hours. The column left with such haste, that a number of the prisoners
were left behind. Not Ortiz, for special watch was kept over him. En
route, the column was attacked by diving Spitfires, whereupon Ortiz, and
three other prisoners made for a nearby wood, and waited for the column
to continue on, which it did, leaving him and his fellows behind
unnoticed. Allied progress was slow, and the escapees were not rescued
as quickly as they thought they would be.

Ortiz later reported:

We spent ten days hiding, roving at night, blundering into enemy
positions hoping to find our way into British lines. Luck was with us.
Once we were discovered but managed to get away, and several other times
we narrowly escaped detection...By the seventh night, we had returned
near our camp. I made a reconnaissance of Marlag O....There seemed to be
only a token guard and prisoners of war appeared to have assumed virtual
control of the compounds.

The escapees were in bad physical shape. On the tenth day, the four men
decided it might be better to live in their old huts than to starve to
death outside. They walked back into the camp, no commotion was raised
by the guards, and the remaining POWs gave them a rousing welcome. Among
the reception committee were Bodnar, Risler, and the French "Marine,"
Jo-Jo--Joseph Arcelin. The battle reached Westertimke on 27 April, and
two days later, the British 7th Guards Armoured Division liberated the
camp. Along with Bodnar, Risler, and Second Lieutenant Walter Taylor,
another OSS officer who had been captured in Southern France, Ortiz
reported to a U.S. Navy radar officer assigned to a Royal Marine
commando attached to the Guards Division. The Marines wanted to join
this unit in order to bag a few more Germans before the war was ended.
Their request was refused.

Ortiz and his fellow Marines were sent to staging areas behind the
front, and then to Brussels where he reported to the OSS
officer-in-charge. He then was sent to London, where he was awarded his
second Navy Cross, the citation for which read:

For extraordinary heroism while serving with the Office of Strategic
Services during operations behind enemy Axis lines in the Savoie
Department of France, from 1 August 1944, to 27 April 1945. After
parachuting into a region where his activities had made him an object of
intensive search by the Gestapo, Major Ortiz valiantly continued his
work in coordinating and leading resistance groups in that section. When
he and his team were attacked and surrounded during a special mission
designed to immobilize enemy reinforcements stationed in that area, he
disregarded the possibility of escape and, in an effort to spare
villagers severe reprisals by the Gestapo, surrendered to this sadistic
Geheim Staats Polizei [sic]. Subsequently imprisoned and subjected to
numerous interrogations, he divulged nothing, and the story of this
intrepid Marine Major and his team has become a brilliant legend in that
section of France where acts of bravery were considered commonplace. By
his outstanding loyalty and self-sacrificing devotion to duty, Major
Ortiz contributed materially to the success of operations against a
relentless enemy, and upheld the highest traditions of the United States
Naval Service.

Ortiz returned to California and civilian life in the movie industry as
both a technical advisor and as an actor. He was a good friend of
director John Ford, who put him in a couple of John Wayne movies. He
wasn't the greatest of actors, and he never really liked seeing the
movies he was in.

He remained in the Marine Corps Reserve, reaching the rank of lieutenant
colonel. He was offered the command of a reserve tank battalion located
in San Diego, but had to turn it down because his commitments in
Hollywood kept him quite busy. In April 1954, he wrote a letter to the
Commandant, volunteering to return to active duty to serve as a Marine
observer in Indochina. The Marine Corps was unable to accept Ortiz'
offer because "current military policies will not permit the assignment
requested."

He retired in March 1955 and was promoted to colonel on the retired list
for having been decorated in combat. In October 1945, the French
government decreed him a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. He also
received the Croix de Guerre with five citations, the Medaille de
Blesses, Medaille d'Evades, Medaille Coloniale. In addition to his two
Navy Crosses, his American awards included the Legion of Merit with
Combat "V" and two Purple Heart Medals. And, as noted earlier, he was
made a Member of the Order of the British Empi re (Military Division).

On 16 May 1988, Colonel Peter J. Ortiz, USMCR (Ret) died of cancer, and
in doing so, lost the only battle of the many he fought. He was buried
with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, with military
representatives of the British and French governments present.

While the name of Peter Ortiz may not be well known to present-day
Marines or to the American people, it is certain that the citizens of
les Saisies or of Centron will never forget him and the Marines who
fought with him in France. Both towns commemorated the anniversaries of
the major events which occurred in each place 50 years earlier. Invited
to attend the ceremonies in August 1994 were Colonel Ortiz' wife, Jean,
and their son, Marine Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. Ortiz, Jr., retired
Sergeant Major John P. Bodnar, and former Sergeant Jack R. Risler. Also
present at the ceremonies were Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Parnell II,
USMC, assistant Naval Attach� in Paris, and Colonel Peter T. Metzger,
commander of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, then in the
Mediterranean, together with a color guard and an honor guard from his
unit.

On 1 August 1994, the ceremonies at les Saisies began in the afternoon
with a parachute drop made by French troops. Members of the famous
Chasseurs Alpins together with the 26th MEU Marines rendered honors as a
monument acclaiming the 1994 event was dedicated. Twelve days later, the
town of Centron held its own ceremonies when it unveiled a plaque naming
the town center "Place Peter Ortiz." This event was attended by many
former members of the local maquis unit in the region, as well as the
Marine contingent and Mrs. Ortiz and her son. As an aside, during CBS's
coverage of the last Winter Olympics in Albertville and the surrounding
region, Charles Kuralt had a 20-minute spot about Peter Ortiz, telling
of his exploits.

Peter Julien Ortiz was a man among men. It is doubtful that his kind has
been seen since his time.


--
Benis M. Frank

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-72
Gunny G's Old Salt Marines Tavern
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Forward

Table of Contents

Section 2

Section 1.
Marines Who Participated in the
Office of Strategic Services (OSS)

Introduction

Many individuals, both military and civilian, do not understand the word "Counterintelligence." Some think of it as someone who catches spies and works entirely undercover collecting information about the so called "bad guy" and only appears to pass this information to the U.S. Government. In a sense that is part of its meaning, However, in the U.S. military it is much more. From a military standpoint, counterintelligence is that portion of intelligence devoted to destroying the effectiveness of inimical foreign intelligence activities and to protecting information against espionage, personnel against subversion, and installations and material against sabotage. Counterintelligence activity involves investigations and other measures to collect, process, and disseminate related information. (OPNAVINST 03850.1A of 30 Jan 68).

In order to establish a starting point for this Marine Corps Counterintelligence Oral history, it is important to note the history of the Navy's counterintelligence program. Recorded documents noted that on 27 July, 1916, and in compliance with a Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) directive dated, 18 April 1916, provided instructions that "the Director of Naval Intelligence submitted a detailed, confidential plan for establishing the information service and the collection of information for use by each of the Naval District's." On 22 September 1916, this plan was referred to the General Board within CNO for comments and recommendations by then Acting Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt. A few weeks later Admiral George Dewey, President of the Board, endorsed the plan, sending it to the Secretary of the Navy, Jospehus Daniels for approval. The plan was approved on 6 October 1916. Thus was inaugurated the Naval District Information Service. To support the new service, a major reorganization plan was developed by Major J.H. Russell, USMC, and Commander D.W. Knox, USN, who were both assigned to the Office of Nava Intelligence. The plan established four divisions, each having separate responsibilities - one of the divisions concerned itself with counterespionage and secret service activities within the United States.

At the outbreak of World War I, all U.S. Naval Attaches were involved in counterintelligence in various forms. Many Marine officers assigned with the Naval Attaches also participated. In Paris, France, counterintelligence activities were set up which employed agents to make investigations of suspected individuals.

Also assigned to the Office of Strategic Services was LtCol W.A. Eddy, a well-decorated veteran of World War I, where he earned the Navy Cross and two Silver Star Medals. Born in Lebanon of missionary parents, Eddy was fluent in Arabic and acted as interpreter for President Roosevelt when he met King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia. Eddy was photographed with the king on board the destroyer Murphy (DD 603) while in the Red Sea. The naval officers shown here are not identified.


Figure 1. LtCol W. A. Eddy

In the late 1930s, and prior to the United States involvement in World War II, counterintelligence activities within the naval service required close and cordial observance of various "patriotic" societies. This was done in an effort to combat persons believed to be conducting subversive, pacifistic, and defeatist activities against the United States.

In an effort to thwart German espionage activities against the United States prior to the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Navy CI directed its effort in up-dating its German intelligence database that remained from World War I.

In 1939 the Counterintelligence (CI) Branch (OP-16-B) within the Office of Naval Intelligence (comprising of many Marine Officers) was organized into the following sections: B-2, Naval Censorship; B-3, Investigative; B-4, Security of Naval Information; B-5, Commerce and Travel; B-7, Sabotage, Espionage and CI; and B-8, The Coastal Information Section.

One Marine officer assigned to OP-16-B, was Major W. Eddy.

The specific tasks assigned to OP-16-B, included:

* Determine enemy plans and organization for espionage and sabotage;
* Discover what kinds of information and intelligence the enemy was obtaining;
* Determine what was the connection and established channels between legitimate and proper sources of information and intelligence and enemy's intelligence organizations;
* Establish methods used to transmit such information and intelligence to the effective enemy destination;
* Ascertain Personnel, organization, and methods used by, or available to, the enemy for sabotage directed against the U.S. Navy, including propaganda;
* Prepare plans and methods for denying information and intelligence about the U.S. Navy War Operations to the enemy and for preventing interference with those operations by the enemy; and;
* Dissemination of intelligence on (a) through (f) to the proper action agency or agencies, with recommendations and possible countermeasures. (ONI, "Administrative History of ONI in World War II", pp. 55, 446).

Of all the military disciplines associated with the working parts of any military organization i.e., administrative, intelligence, operations and logistics, Marine Corps counterintelligence has a short history of its own. This is not to say that many Marines have either participated or had been assigned to support counterintelligence assignments with other agencies prior to the Marine Corps being authorized a counterintelligence role of its own on April 23, 1943.

NOTE: Major Robert E. Mattingly, in his occasional paper entitled "Herringbone Cloak & CI Dagger," depicting Marines of the OSS, provides additional reading on this subject.

THE GROWTH OF THE UNITED STATES
MARINE CORPS COUNTERINTELLIGENCE

1941 to 1951

If the disaster of Pearl Harbor accomplished anything for the United States, it demonstrated a deficiency in America's overall intelligence operations and its programs. At Pearl Harbor, our battleships were lined up in their berthing spaces in an open invitation to an air attack. Our aircraft were wheeled out of their revetments and placed side-by-side on the flight line at Hickham Airfield. The main reason was because of our military leadership had underestimated Japan's strength, its capabilities and failed to fit the pieces together or failed to identify simple warning and indicators which may have averted the foretold air strikes against Honolulu and its facilities.

Many observers in Europe had predicted that Russia could not last more than six weeks against a German assault and had placed the full attention of allied strategy to that region of the world, completely ignoring the Japanese threat.

Prior to 1948, a formal established Counterintelligence occupational field was non-existent within the Marine Corps, with the exception of some Marines assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. However, a 29 page manual depicting the mission and general instructions for Marine Corps Counterintelligence was published on 23 April 1943.

The first group Marines to attend any type of formal counterintelligence training did not occur until April 1948. At this time quotas were obtained for four officers and eight enlisted personnel to attend CI training at the U. S. Army Counterintelligence Corps Center, Camp Holibird, Maryland. These were the first Marines to receive formal training in counterintelligence operations and, as such, became the nucleus for other Marines entering Marine Corps Counterintelligence. The Marine Corps Military Occupational Skill (MOS) designation for members originally assigned to the counterintelligence field was (636) until it was changes in the spring of 1950 to 0210/0211.

THE COORDINATION OF INFORMATION (COI) IS
LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MARINES

In order to place Marine Corps Counterintelligence in its historical prospective upon being authorized on 23 April 1943, we must digress to an individual who in some circles was an inspirational force in this countries development of its intelligence - counterintelligence practices. This individual force was a man named, William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan. He was a man of great discipline and during World War I, distinguished himself in the Battle of Champagne - Marne and Saint Mihiel and Argonne Campaigns. He was wounded three times and for his gallant efforts was awarded the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross and Distinguished Service Medal Croix de Guerre. Donovan earned his nickname "Wild Bill" in France as a battalion commander and later became the regimental Commanding Officer of the 165th Infantry -better known as the "Fighting 69th."

BACKGROUND:

Donovan received his B. A. from Columbia College in 1905 and by combining his final colleague year with pre-law studies, graduated from Columbia Law School in two years. One of his classmates, later to become the President of the United States, was Franklin D. Roosevelt who proved to have Donovan's ear concerning the formalization of a intelligence gathering network for this country.

In 1912, despite the pressures of legal work of his law practice, Donovan was instrumental in founding, Troop "I" 1st New York Cavalry, of the New York National Guard. Later that year, he was elected the Troops Captain and when the troop was called-out in support of operations along the Mexican border, he left his law books. Prior to the outbreak of World War I, Donovan was promoted to the rank of Major.

After the war, Donovan served as an unofficial U.S. military observer in Asia for a short period and them resumed his law practice. In 1921, Donovan was appointed U.S. District Attorney for Western New York and in 1925 became, Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the same area. Also during this time, Donovan became extremely active in the Republican Party politics. Another Columbia contact who played an important role in Donovan's later career in establishing a national intelligence center (COI) was Harlan F. Stone, adjunct professor of law, who was appointed by President Calvin Coolidge 1924 as the United States Attorney General. Stone invited Donovan to be his assistant in charge for the Justice Department's Criminal Division.

In 1928, many insiders of government presumed that Donovan would be the heir-apparent to be the next U.S. Attorney General, but his appointment was opposed by party conservatives largely due to his Irish-Catholic background.

This is one position that Donovan wanted the most, instead President Hoover offered him the post of Governor of the Philippines which he declined.

In 1932, Donovan ran unsuccessfully for Governor of New York and returned to his law practice there after.

Later, being a close friend of Knox, the Republican Vice-President nominee in 1936, whom Roosevelt brought into the Cabinet as a symbol of national harmony, recognized Donovan's talents in his endeavors in developing an intelligence agency for the United States. Donovan's talents were also recognized by Churchill's Canadian Emissary, William Stephenson. Together, these two individuals were instrumental in securing Donovan' appointment as, the Director of Coordinator of Information. In 1942, COI was redesignated as Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Prior to the United States becoming involved in World War II, Donovan was fascinated with the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). Having this fascination, Donovan was invited to SIS Headquarters, where he was showed things no other American had seen before. Some of the things that he was shown, was the then, Top Secret invention of Radar and the newest interceptor planes just to name a few. The SIS had unlocked their safes, and initiated him into the mysteries of the SIS techniques of unorthodox warfare. He was particularly intrigued by the methods the Britt's used in capturing German Spies and use them a counteragent. All the things that Donovan had observed later proved important that were to be incorporated into this countries own intelligence structure.

On the bases of what he had seen, Donovan stated unequivocally to President Roosevelt, that "America needs to form such an organization that would report directly to the President of the United states on all intelligence matters outside the boundaries of the United States." President Roosevelt welcomed the suggestion of a single agency which would serve as a clearing house for all intelligence and establishing a training center for what were euphemistically called "Special Operations." By Executive Order on July 11, 1941 - almost five months before the United States became involved in World War II, President Roosevelt appointed Donovan the Director, Coordinator of Information (COI). His duties, as defined by President Roosevelt own words were, "To collect and analyze all information and data which may bear upon national security, to correlate such information and data and make the same available to the President and to such departments and/or officials of the government as the President may determine, and to carry out when requested by the President, such supplementary activities as may facilitate the securing of information important to national security, not now available to the government."

As you might have determined, the directive was purposely obscure in its wording, due to the secret and potentially offensive nature of the new agencies functions and the other intelligence organizations that might become jealous as intruding on their responsibilities.

In vain, President Roosevelt reiterated that Donovan's work was not intended to supersede, duplicate or interfere with the ongoing activities of the General Staff, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or other existing intelligence agencies. The dog-eat-dog struggle among government departments, to preserve their own areas of power, is all too familiar to the Washington bureaucratic setting. The late J. Edgar Hoover, perhaps fearing that the new intelligence organization would steal mush of the spotlight, was not completely satisfied, until the President assured him that the new agency would be forbidden to conduct its activities within the United States. In the Military arena, Major General George V. Strong, felt that their was a conflict of interests by the establishment of COI. This was due to Strong's belief that Army G-2 represented tactical military intelligence and COI represented strategic intelligence of all kinds could not coexist in both a military or civil working environment.

Due to Donovan's recommendation that the United States establish a "commando military element," independent of the Army and Navy, he submitted a Memorandum to the President Roosevelt stating its overall purpose and function.

The following day, President Roosevelt, in non-committal language, indicated that Donovan's proposal for development and deployment of a "commando military element" had merit and would see to it that the idea would be considered. President Roosevelt initiated a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (Major General Holcomb) for consideration of Donovan's idea. President Roosevelt, how was constantly in communication with Prime Minister Winston Minister Churchill, had talked over the "commando concept," which Churchill favored the idea.

One of the biggest questions that arose concerning this issue, was where would this notional organization be placed. In Donovan's Memorandum to the President, he only noted the purpose of the "commando military element" and did not address where it would be placed or its organizational structure. However, a number of circumstances pointed directly towards the Marine Corps.

At the same time President Roosevelt forwarded a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps concerning the notional "commando" organization, Captain James Roosevelt, son of the president, prepared a letter describing a notional make up of a "commando element." This letter also listed both personnel and equipment needs in order for this structure to operate in the true commando enviornment. Captain Roosevelt's letter was forwarded through the Chain of Command to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. It should also be noted that Captain Roosevelt had just recently served as Donovan's military aid to the Coordination of Information (COI).

The letter was prepared on January 14, 1942, and forwarded to Major General Clayton B. Vogel, Commanding General, Camp Elliott, San Diego, California. The letter was strongly endorsed by General Vogel and sent to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. On General Vogel's endorsement, he fully supported Captain Roosevelt's proposal for the creation of a "commandos unit" that was similar to that of the British Commandos and the Chinese Guerrillas and presented further details in personnel and equipment needs for the unit.

Receiving both letters, Major General Thomas Holcomb, the Commandant of the Marine Corps at that time, reviewed the President's letter and was to make comments on the commando concept. It was evident right from the start that General Holcomb was faced with two issues needing to be resolved. The first issue, centered on bringing Colonel Donovan into the Marine Corp, and promoting him to a Brigadier General, in order for him to head the "commando force." The second issue, was to see if a alternative course could be developed to resolve the first issue that would be in the best interest of the Corp.

The first issue, after considerable consultation with his senior Marine Corps generals, all recommended against bringing Donovan into the Corps and promoting him a general to run the proposed commando unit. It should be noted that General Holcomb, purposefully withheld who had originated the proposal from his senior generals. Also, General Holcomb fully understood that if Donovan got his foot in the door due to his direct link to the president, it would present a force to be reckon with, which he probably could not control. No acting upon the issue immediately, the issue stilled remained unsolved, until after lengthy communications between the Commandant, his generals, Admiral King -Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, Admiral Stark - Chief of Naval Operations and Admiral Nimitz - then flying his flag aboard the U.S.S Pennsylvania. Admiral King sent a directive to Admiral Nimitz directing him to:

"Develop a organization and training of Marines and Naval units of "commando-type" for use in connection with expeditions of raid character for demolition and other destruction of shore installations in enemy held islands and bases. Employment of some small units embarked in submarines appears practicable by use of rubber boats."

Admiral Nimitz in turn passed the problem on to Brigadier General Clayton Vogel of the Joint Training Force noting "it appears that four such units may be organized within an infantry battalion without appreciably altering present organization........"

Captain Roosevelt's letter was reviewed and turned over to the War Plans Section at Headquarters Marine Corps.

To support the generals task dealing with both documents, the War Plans Section at Headquarters Marine Corps drafted a message for Admiral King's signature, that highlighted scarcity of specialized personnel on the west coast and directed transfer of infantry, machine gun, and mortar troops from the First Separate Battalion to San Diego, California. This would from the center piece of a Pacific Fleet "commando-type unit."

The pattern of events that had transpired the formation of a commando-type unit was now plain - The president wanted a commando military unit.

The Prime Minister of England, along with President Roosevelt endorsed raids on Japanese control areas in the Pacific. Donovan seemed to have no interest in having the OSS engage its operations in the Pacific Theater, not to mentioned Admiral Nimitz's dislike for the OSS and Donovan. It seemed that Donovan's primary concern was exclusively oriented towards Europe and not the Pacific.

Thought the decade of the thirties, the Marine Corps experimented with the concept of raider-type forces as part of larger unit in exercise support. The continuing interest in this concept was demonstrated by the formation of the Provisional Rubber Boat Companies from companies "A", "E", and "I" of the Seventh Marines during Fleet Exercise-7 in February 1941. The Tentative Landing Manual of 1935 discussed this concept in limited detail.

Therefore, through some organizational redesignation, the 1st and 2nd Raider Battalions were organized. The commander of the 1st Raider Battalion was Lieutenant Colonel Merritt A. Edson and the commander of the 2nd Raider Battalion was Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson with specific operations directed in the Pacific Theater.

The basic mission of the two new Raider Battalions, were threefold:

* To be the spearhead of amphibious landings by larger forces on beaches generally thought to be inaccessible;
* To conduct raiding expeditions requiring great elements of surprise and high speed; and
* To conduct guerrilla type operations for protracted periods behind enemy lines.

Several Raider Battalion Operations were conducted in the Pacific. It should be noted that Captain James Roosevelt was assigned as the Executive Officer of the 2nd Raider Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Carlson. James Roosevelt grew up in the public eye as the eldest son of master politician and joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1938. He was called to active duty during November 1940 and at this time held the rank of Captain. He worked in diplomatic and intelligence missions before Worls War II. While assigned to the 2nd Raider Battalion, he participated in a famous raid on Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands in August 1942 and for his action in - then a Major - won the Navy Cross, the highest Marine Corps award for valor.

In November 1943, he won the Silver Star and subsequently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. During the same year he was given command of the 4th Raider Battalion. He spent 26 months in combat, participating in such battles against Japanese forces on Tawara and Guadalcanel. He later became a Brigadier General in the Marine Corps Reserves. He also wa the author of two works about his father, "Affectionately F.D.R.; A Son's story of a Loney Man" in 1959 and "My Parents: A differing View" in 1976. General Roosevelt died 13 August 1991.

Counterintelligence Corps (CIC)

At the beginning of 1942, and to meet the increased need for counterintelligence activity created by World War II, the U. S. Army replaced the old Corps of Intelligence Police with a new organization called the Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC). The CIC was a larger and more centralized organization, then that of the old Corps of Intelligence Police. CIC under its new name, had its own chief, school and included commissioned officers who had counterintelligence training experience. CIC's mission was to recruit, train, and administer Army Counterintelligence by providing qualified CI personnel to support military operations. CIC not only conducted military investigations within CONUS, but furnished tactical detachments to Army field commanders.

Some of the activities performed by CIC within the U. S. were criticized. In 1944, this lead to a merger with Army Criminal Investigator Corps to form a short-lived Security Intelligence Corps. However, the new merger did not affect those tactical CIC units overseas from continuing to function.

U. S. forces in Europe needed reliable intelligence about their rear areas as well as the fighting front. American troops were fighting on alien soil, surrounded by people speaking different languages, and operating in an environment subject to exploitation by Nazi spies, saboteurs, and collaborators.

To counter this threat, the Army relied on agents from the Counterintelligence Corps. A 17-man CIC detachment was attached to each Army division in Europe. CIC agents parachuted into Normandy with the first airborne divisions on D-Day to be utilized as screening nets and develop additional intelligence information on the enemy.

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was developed out of the old COI after World War II. The new purpose for the OSS was to identify outdated concepts of international espionage, and update them with techniques never previously employed by the United States. Executive Order 9182, delineated the responsibilities of the OSS in matters relating to intelligence and para-military operations.

On the strategic level, the OSS encouraged the Resistance in France, supported partisans in Italy and Balkans, and parachuted some of its agents - to include Marines - into Nazi Germany.

U.S. MARINES WHO SERVED WITH THE OSS
BEHIND GERMAN LINES IN FRANCE
"THE GREAT PARACHUTE DROP" (FRANCE WW-II)

During the turbulent war years of 1943-1944, a little known town called Haute Savoie, France in the Vercors Plateau was considered a stronghols and key to the allied cause in combatting Nazi German military. Rising some 3,000 feet above sea level, the plateau measured some 30 miles long and some 12 miles wide. The reason for its strategic importance was its 3,000 French freedom fighters called the "Maquis." Both the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the American Officer of Strategic Services (OSS) kept a close eye on all activities involving this clandestine group.

On 6 January 1944, a trio of Allied military personnel parachuted into the area. Their assignment was to observe and gather information on the French freedom fighters. The operations code name was "UNION I." It was soon discovered that the freedom fighters were willing to fight, however, they lacked the necessary equipment to continue the fight against Nazi Germany. In the spring, "UNION-I" was withdrawn.

Due to the plateau's strategic importance, another secret mission was established, code named "UNION II." Unlike the first mission which strictly to observe the freedom fighters, this mission called for direct confrontation with those German combat units within the area. The participants involved in "UNION-II" wore their regulation military uniforms. Also, what made this mission different from the first, was the vast amount of supplies and equipment that had to be dropped into Savoie to be used by the freedom fighters - some 864 containers in all. It ranked as one of the two greatest parachute drops of World War II.

One of the participants of "UNION-II," was a young Marine Corps Sergeant named Jack Risler, who had volunteered for the mission along with seven other Marines. Due to the vast amount supplies and equipment needed, UNION-II would also help the French freedom fighter continue its engagement against the Waffen SS and other elite German units in and around the plateau.

Sergeant Risler received his parachute training at Camp Gillespie near San Diego, California in 1942. The training lasted for six weeks. In June 1943, Sergeant Risler, now assigned at the U.S. Naval Air Station Parachute Riggers School, Lakehurst, New Jersey, was called into the office of Major Bruce Cheever, the schools senior instructor. The Major asked Sergeant Risler "Would you like to do something different?" Sergeant Risler responded by saying "Yes Sir," not knowing what he had just volunteered for. Within a couple of days, the sergeant was on his way to Washington, D.C., to receive training from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

Sergeant Risler was quartered at the Congressional Country Club, which the OSS had taken over during World War II for its agents. A total of 16 individuals, eight Army and eight Marines, started their OSS training. Training consisted of self-defense (judo), map and compass reading, and other things. During this training, Risler had the opportunity to met John Hamilton (better known as the movie actor Sterling Hayden), who eventually went to Yugoslavia and fought with Tito's partisans.

After training was completed, the 16 members remained as the training nucleus for a new corps of instructors. This lasted until November 1943, where the group was transferred to England to receive additional training on the English style of parachute jumping. The reason for the different style of jumping was due to the difference of the American parachute verses the British parachute. The American chute comes out of the pack after the risers and suspension lines, where the British chute operates in the reverse order, the chute comes out first, then risers and suspension lines. There is less of an opening shock with the British chute than the American's and once on the ground, the jumper can get out of the chute alot faster. After receiving this additional training, the 16 members were split up.

Sergeants J. P. Bodnar, Charles Perry and Risler, all Marines, were sent to a area called Holme, about 60 miles north of London. It was better known as area H (Fielding Estates & Airfield). The reason for the letter designation was that the OSS made it a practice to assigned letters to all of their duty stations where agents were located. At Area H, Sergeant Risler noted that several B-24s were painted black and was told that the aircraft were used by the OSS to drop civilian agents into various parts of Europe.

In June 1944, Sergeant Risler along with other area H members took a 48 hour pass and visited London. While in London, the group stopped at a street corner and listening to various individuals speaking against the British governments involvement in the war. While listening to the speakers, the group was approached by someone from within the crowd who asked them what they were doing. The individual was, Marine Corps Major, Peter Ortiz. It should be noted that Major Ortiz was on the UNION I and had received the Navy Cross for this involvement. As the conversation picked-up, Major Ortiz informed the group that he was going back in France. One of the members from the group remarked: "Well, you know who to take back with you if you need help." Major Ortiz then told the group, "he would see what he could do." The major departed and the group finished out the 48 hour pass then returned to area H.

It was not too long thereafter, that the group received a call to report back into London. The group met on Baker Street, at the SOE headquarters, where each member drew a backpack, personal supplies, a Colt .45 pistol, a Winchester semi-automatic carbine with a metal folding stock, a Fairburn stiletto and a map case. Shortly afterwards, the group received further instructions and were told that they were going to jump behind the German lines, somewhere in Southeastern France. Major Ortiz was also there.

On 30 July 1944, Sergeant Risler and the other OSS Marines went to Knettishall Air Base, some 60 miles northeast of London. At the air base, each were issued, a silver hip flask full of Cognac, several packages of Lucky Strike cigarettes with no markings on the pack, and French francs equal to about $1,000 American dollars.

Major Ortiz, who met Sergeant Risler and the other OSS Marines at the air base, was carrying a suitcase. The suitcase contained a million francs for the French Resistance force operating on the Vercors Plateau and within the town of Savoie. Not telling the group the real reason for the large amount of money, Major Ortiz informed the group, that the money was to be used in the event that the group became lost or separated and needed help.

On 1 August 1944, UNION II began and those involved left in several B-17's from the 388th Bomber Group. A squadron of P-51 Mustang fighters escorted the bombers to the drop zone. A total of 78 planes made it to the drop zone. The majority of the aircraft were loaded with 864 container destine for the French freedom fighters. These containers contained; 1,096 Sten guns, 298 Bren automatic rifles, 1,350 Lee-Enfield rifles, 2,080 Mills anti-personnel grenades, 1,030 Gammon grenades, 260 automatic pistols, 51 P.I.S.T. antigun guns, 2 1/2 million rounds of ammunition, several tons of explosives, medical supplies, clothing and rations. Also, included were bicycle tires and chewing gum. Participating in UNION II, were Major Ortiz, Gunnery Sergeant Robert LaSalle, Sergeants Bodnar, Perry, Brunner, Coolidge and Risler. Once landed in the drop zone, the group was to met a Free French officer, named Joseph Arcelin, who was to assist in the mission. There were only three jump sites suitable for the jump in order gain entry onto the plateau.

The French Freedom Fighters provided a company at each site, which could be easy defended and to pertect the incoming jumpers. A company of the French Freedom Fighters consisted of about 25 to 30 members. The group jump into an area called, Col des Saises, which was between the Plateau des Glierres and the Plateau des Vercors.

Once on the ground, road blocks or ambush sites could easily be established in the event the group ran into a german patrol. Sergeant Risler was in the second wave. Once over the drop site, he made the jump from 400 feet and was in the air no more than 30 seconds. The plane was traveling at 150 miles per hour. Once on the ground, one of the French Freedom Fighters kissed Risler on his cheek.

Sergeant Charles Perry was killed when his steel static line developed a kink and it snapped. Gunnery Sergeant LaSalle injured his ribs and spine in the fall. By the end of the day, two-thirds of the containers were collected. Some years later, it was found out that the citizens of Albertville, a small nearby town, told the Germans on the day of the jump that several battalions of paratroopers had landed. That threat gave the operation some valuable time to gather supplies and setup a base camp. Once the base camp was setup, the freedom fighters were shown how to fire the weapons. Afterwards, the group and several of the freedom fighters set out on reconnaissance patrols. German units in the area were identified as the 157th Alpine Division. While on patrol, Major Ortiz, established ambush points for the freedom fighters on the German supply routes.

While setting up the various ambush sites, Risler over heard Major Ortiz tell the freedom fighters that: "The best ambush is accomplished with no more that five to ten people."

On the third day, three Germans were captured and handed over to the freedom fighters. On 12 August, Major Ortiz decided that the French freedom fighters were strong enough to force the Germans from the Tartenaise Valley. In the morning of 14 August, the team of Marines, entered a town called Montgirod situated on the side of a mountain. A German spotter plane seemed to be following the team. Captain Jean Bulle, one of the French Freedom Fighter leaders, had a 200 man force in a nearby hamlet ready to assist the Marine team, if they came across any Germans. About noon, the Germans started firing mortar shells into the teams location. During the attack, the team started down, what was thought to be an escape route, only to run into a German patrol. Luckily, the team was not seen by the Germans patrol and jumped into a nearby ditch to waited until they passed. The team stay until dark. Later, after dark, the team started back to their base camp, only to run into several German patrols, who were looking for them. The team continued to evade the German patrols without incident, however, on the next day, the team was not so lucky. As the team began to cross a bridge to leading into a town called Centron, they were caught by a German convoy from the Alpine Division. As the Germans dismounted from their vehicles and opened fire on the team, Sergeants Coolidge and Brunner who were at the end of the column made their escaped back across the river into a heavily wooded area. In Brunner and Collidge escape, Sergeant Coolidge was hit in the leg. The rest of the team scrambled back towards Centron to take what refuge they could. As the remainder of the team scrambled back across the river bridge, Major Ortiz informed the team, that each could try and make his own escape, the team refused. Then to much of the groups surprise, Major Ortiz hollered to a German officer and inform him that the team would surrender, provided that the Germans would not burn the village or hurt the villagers.

Once captured, the team appeared in front of a German Officer named Major Kolb, who had won the Iron Cross in World War I. The German Major was in the Regular German Army, who told the team that, "They were his prisoners and he would take care of the team." Luckily, the team didn't fall into the hands of an SS Officer, because most certainly the team would have been executed. The team remained prisoners for almost nine months. Each member was interrogated, frequently slapped, however, as reports of their imprisonment they were never tortured. The Germans keep moving the team around until they went to Marlag, a naval prison camp. It was comprised mainly of British seaman and British Royal Marines. There were only 13 Americans in the camp. On 28 April 1945, the team members were freed. Brunner, who escaped from Centron, was later killed on another mission. Captain Jean Bulle was executed by the Germans. Major Ortiz was awarded his second Navy Cross and Bodnar, LaSalle and Risler were awarded the Silver Star for the mission.

Later they made a movie on the team's exploits called "13 Rue Madeleine," staring James Cagney and Richard Conte. Major Ortiz was the technical advisor for the film. In May 1984, Sergeant Bodnar and Risler, returned to France to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the "Great Parachute Drop."

During the 1992 Winter Qlympics held at Savoie, Franch, a segment of the program was dedicated to the heroic action of those who participated on "UNION II" and because of Major Ortiz's action that spared the town from certain distruction by the Nazi forces. The CIC resumed its independent existence just before the end of World War II.

The CIC continued to support the fighting forces in Europe until victory was achieved by the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany on 8 May 1945.

THE PACIFIC THEATER (World War II)

As already mentioned earlier, during the World War II, Donovan tried on several occasions to convince Admiral Nimitz to employ OSS operations within the Pacific Theater.

Despite the fact that the Allied war effort put a premium on defeating Germany first, General Douglas MacArthur was able to persuade Washington to send him enough supplies to launch an amphibious island hopping campaign against Japanese forces entrenched on the enormous island of New Guinea and in the Bismarck archipelago.

General MacArthur's push through the Southwestern Pacific was accompanied by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz's campaign in the Central Pacific, in which U. S. Army troops were also employed. In October 1944, these two elements converged on Layette Gulf in the Philippines. Once the Philippines had been freed, U. S. forces approached Japan's doorstep, and the end of the war in the Pacific was in sight.

There is also evidence that several Marines participated in the (OSS) in the Pacific campaign once the Pacific Theater was divided between General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz.

There were reports that a Marine Corps Captain assisted a OSS team behind the Japanese lines.

Captain Charles Black, husband of former child movie star Shirley Temple Black, was a Marine during World War II and assigned in the Pacific Theater. After his retirement from the Marine Corps he became one of the first CIA junior officer trainees in 1950.

Another account of Marines being assigned or later involved with the OSS, was a young 23 year old Lieutenant. On the morning of July 22, 1944, on the island of Guam, a Japanese grenade rolled into the foxhole of the Marine Lieutenant. The young Marine Lieutenant was a machine gun platoon leader and received wounds from the grenade, where he had to be evacuated from the area. Upon leaving the Marine Corps, he worked his way up the ladder within the OSS/CIA to become, Chief of CIA's Covert Action Operations."

In order not to steal those recorded accounts already published by Major Robert E. Mattingly in his occasional paper entitled "Herringbone Clock & GI Dagger," depicting Marines of the OSS, one should refer to this publication for further reading.

Marines Who Participated in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)

During World War II, both Marine Corps officers and enlisted personnel served with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Each member distinguished themselves, and contributed significantly to winning the war. Marines - although not complete - who served with the OSS - are noted below.

COLONELS --- LOCATION
William A. Eddy

James M. McHugh
North Africa

Washington

LIEUTENANT COLONELS --- LOCATION
Remsen J. Cole

Horace W. Fuller

Franklin P. Holcomb

Peter J. Ortiz

Carl B. Peters

George Van der Hoef

Frederick A. Willis

Andrew Wylie
Washington

France, China

Morocco, Algiers, France

Tunisia, France

Washington

China

Washington

Washington

MAJORS --- LOCATION
Richard A. Gard

Charlotte D. Gower*

William G. Hamilton

Albert F. Moe

James T. Patterson
China

Washington

England, France

China, France

England, France

CAPTAINS --- LOCATION
William L. Cary

Joseph E. Charles

Gordon A. Craig

Gerald F. Else

Francis T. Farrell

Leon Grell

William F. A. Grell

John Hamilton**

Elmer Harris

Willaim A. Holmin

Emil M. Krieger

Robert P. Leonard

Walter R. Mansfield

C. L. A. Mathieu

George H. Owens

Sabastian Passanessi

Winthrop Rutherford Jr.

Richard E. Sullivan

Leon H. Weaver
Romania, Yugoslavia, Italy

England, France, Germany

West Africa, Algiers

Cairo, Greece, Liberia

China

England

England, France

Cairo, Italy, Yugoslavia, Albania, France, German

Tunisia, Corsica, Italy, China

Algiers, Italy

France, Germany

India, Burma

England, Yugoslavia, China

China

Algiers, Cairo, Burma

Algiers, Sardinia, Italy

Tunisia, France, Germany

Washington

China

1st LIEUTENANTS --- LOCATION
William Applebaum

Peter Benson

John C. Bradley

Joseph F. Campisi

John H. Cox

Edward T. Dickinson Jr.

William E. Duggan

Charles H. Fenn

John W. Gardner

Harry H. Harper

George M. Hearn

William E. Jones

Rolfe Kingsley Jr.

Clearence J. Lewis Jr.

William B. Macomber

Alan K. Magary

Hugh A. McDevitt

John J. Meilly

John W. Mowinckel

Charles A. Muecke

Robert Rubin

John S. Russell Jr.

George S. Seabury

Michael Shaughnessy

Lewis B. Walton Jr.

Edward E. Weismiller

Richard D. Wylly
Washington

China

China

London, Italy

Burma, China

London, Sweden, France

China

Burma, China

Washington

Cairo, Bulgaria

Italy

China

Cairo, Italy, Austria

India, China

France, Burma

London, France

Malaya, Burma, China

London

France, Germany, Austria

France, Germany

London

Washington

Cairo, Ceylon, Malays, Burma

London

China

France

France

2nd LIEUTENANTS --- LOCATION
Nick R. Cooky

Robert L. Hitt

Walter W. Taylor

Robert G. Scurrah

Peter Viertel
Italy, Albania

China

Corsica, Italy, France

China

France, Germany

WARRANT OFFICERS --- LOCATION
Thomas L. Curtis

John L. Richardson
Greece, China

Washington, London, Ceylon

GUNNERY SERGEANTS --- LOCATION
John Harnicher

Robert La Salle

Larry Elder
France, Germany

France, Germany

North Africa

SERGEANTS LOCATION
Charles Perry

John Bodnar

Fred Brunner

Jack Risler
France

France, Germany

Germany

France, Germany

CORPORAL LOCATION
James S. Sweeney Washington, London
* Only Woman Marine Officer to serve with the OSS

** Sterling Hayden - Movie actor etc.

Reference: "Herringbone Clock & CI Dagger" Major Robert E. Mattingly Occasional Papers 1984.

NOTE: On October 1, 1945, the Office of Strategic Services was officially disbanded and both non-military and military personnel shifted to either the War Department or the State Department for duty.


Figure 2. Capt Ortiz and his OSS Team

Sgt Charles Perry, a member of Captain Ortiz' OSS team, died when his parachute failed while jumping over the Haute Savoie region of France. Captain Ortiz and the team members render honors at Perry's grave. From left to right are:

* Captain Ortiz
* Captain Francis Coolidge - USA
* Sergeant R. E. Lasalle
* Sergeant J. P. Bodnar
* Sergeant F. J. Brunner
* and Sergeant J. Risler

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