OSS DETACHMENT 101
Special Operations in the China-Burma-India Theater
While American troops advanced across the European continent and the vast reaches of the Pacific, they were also fighting and dying in a remote theater viewed as a sideshow by Allied leaders. When the United States entered World War II, President Roosevelt and his advisers had regarded Nationalist China as a possible base against Japan, as well as a major belligerent and future great power.
Although American leaders continued to hold lofty expectations regarding China's postwar role, they had adopted by mid-1944 a more realistic estimate of Chinese military prowess and were limiting American efforts on the Asian mainland to the minimum necessary to maintain Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist regime. The main task in the theater from the American point of view was to reopen China's overland communications with the outside world. In this theater of limited resources, great distances, challenging terrain, and Byzantine politics, American military leaders thus intended to commit few if any conventional forces, yet needed to secure northern Burma to ensure the flow of supplies to the embattled Nationalists. Here, as well as in China itself, the opportunities for a large program of special operations appeared evident. Yet the Army was slow to turn to such activities, again largely leaving the field to the British and the Office of Strategic Services.
For the Americans most of the fighting in the theater would take place in Burma, a land that offered uniquely favorable conditions for unconventional warfare. In the rugged mountains, narrow river valleys, monsoons, and dense tropical vegetation of Burma units on both sides relied heavily on the few existing roads and railways to move troops and supplies. These routes appeared vulnerable to operations by well-trained light infantry or by guerrillas operating in the thick jungles. To operate in this difficult assistance from the natives was imperative. A number of different national groups, each with its own customs and dialect, inhabited the area. The Kachins offered the best prospect of cooperation. Living in the hills along the northern border, these primitive tribes had benefited for many years from British support against the Shans and Burmese. To gain independence from British rule, the latter had aided the Japanese invaders, who, in turn, joined them in burning and plundering Kachin villages. Full of resentment, the Kachins, if provided with equipment and leadership, were more than ready to fight the Japanese. Around them, the Office of Strategic Services would build perhaps the most successful guerrilla organization of World War II
OSS Detachment 101
In early 1942 Donovan was searching for a way to establish his untested agency in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater (Map 9). He sent representatives to the CBI Theater and later personally conferred with Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, the acerbic theater commander, but found Stilwell to be noncommittal. Nevertheless, Donovan interpreted his response as approval and proceeded to organize a special detachment under Capt. Carl W. Eifler, a former customs agent who had once served in a reserve unit under Stilwell. Eifler, a 250-pound mountain of a man who seldom spoke more softly than a loud roar, would prove to be a dynamic, imaginative leader. In the beginning, however, neither he nor Donovan had any clear idea of the detachment's mission or capabilities once it arrived in the theater.
After submitting a rough plan for sabotage by agents behind Japanese lines in the Far East, Eifler rushed to deploy a unit to the theater before Stilwell changed his mind. Using tips from acquaintances, he sought volunteers with intelligence, good health, and "a serious disposition" as well as skills in such areas as demolitions, communications, medicine, and Asiatic cultures. From his former regiment, the 35th Infantry, he recruited Capt. John Coughlin, a former baseball star at West Point, and his own first sergeant, Vincent Curl. At Fort Benning 1st Lt. William R. "Ray" Peers received an urgent message from his old friend Coughlin, inquiring whether he would be interested in a combat assignment in the Southwest Pacific. Peers agreed but might have had some second thoughts when he reported to OSS headquarters in Washington. He was greeted by Eifler, who then "took a stiletto type dagger and drove it a good two to three inches into the top of his desk. He looked pleased." The young lieutenant could only wonder about the nature of the organization he had joined.
Prior to their departure, the recruits of "Detachment 101" trained at an SOE school in Canada and at an OSS training site in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. At Camp X, near Lake Ontario, Eifler, Coughlin, and five other trainees practiced demolitions and hand-to-hand fighting, developed a familiarity with Allied and foreign weapons, and received instruction in guerrilla tactics. Meanwhile, Peers and the rest of the contingent went to the Catoctins, where they studied cryptography, demolitions, and hand-to-hand combat. Unfortunately, most of the techniques taught at the two institutions were derived from the operations of the British commandos and consequently had only limited applicability to Asia. To compensate, members of the detachment collected books and talked to every available expert on the Orient. On 19 May Eifler and Curl left for the field. After a chaotic assembly and sorting of supplies, the rest of the detachment left a week later from Charleston, South Carolina, for the Far East.
Upon his arrival Eifler found that Stilwell had little inclination to use the detachment at all. A conventional soldier and a passionate admirer of infantry, Stilwell disparaged guerrilla tactics as "illegal action" and "shadow boxing." To complicate the situation, Navy Capt. Milton E. Miles, head of the U.S. Navy Group in China, had already reached an agreement with General Tai Li,Chiang's sinister director of internal security, to train 50,000 Chinese guerrillas. Alerted to Detachment l0l's arrival by the suspicious Tai Li and determined to preserve his exclusive control, Miles took his case to Stilwell, who claimed with some irritation that the War Department had pulled a "squeeze play" on him. Consequently, when Eifler appeared at theater headquarters in July, Stilwell remained aloof, informing him that "I didn't send for you and I don't want you."
In the end the CBI Theater commander, possibly at Miles' suggestion, relented enough to permit Eifler's detachment to gather intelligence and conduct guerrilla warfare in Burma. The Japanese occupation of the country had cut the Burma Road, the main supply line to China from the outside world; to replace it, American engineers were constructing a new route from Ledo, on the India-Burma border. Japanese control of the north Burmese city of Myitkyina and the surrounding region blocked completion of the road, and enemy aircraft from an airstrip near the town were continually harassing American transports flying supplies to China. Given the limited resources available, Stilwell needed any help he could obtain to drive the enemy out of the area. At a minimum he hoped that the detachment could prevent Japanese use of the airfield, informing Eifler that "all I want to hear are booms from the Burma jungle."
Lacking men, equipment, funds, a clear directive from Washington, and current intelligence on the situation in Burma, Eifler faced an immense task in building a clandestine organization. Although the unit successfully resisted minor staff assignments from the overworked CBI Theater headquarters, it still had only twenty men. Since American agents in Burma would attract attention, the detachment canvassed the British-led Burma Army for Anglo-Burmese volunteers. Supplies and equipment were a more difficult. Communications would be critical to operations; yet the radios available in the Pacific theater were woefully inadequate in range and adaptability to the damp Burmese climate. Funds were so tight that Eifler paid for many of the detachment's initial expenses out of his own pocket. Finally, a Japanese air raid destroyed the detachment's warehouse, aggravating an already grim supply situation.
At a tea plantation near Nazira in the northeastern Indian province of Assam, the detachment established a base camp under the guise of a center for malarial research. Using the services of a former district forester in Burma, Detachment 101 recruiters found about fifty refugees and Burmese military personnel anxious for the pay or the opportunity to fight the conquerors of Burma. Divided into small groups to preserve security, the prospective agents endured lengthy conditioning hikes into the rugged Naga Hills along the India-Burma border. They also received instruction in demolitions, weapons, communications, junglecraft, ambushes, and unarmed combat. Information often flowed in the opposite direction as well, since so many of the methods and training manuals of the detachment were based on Europe and were inappropriate for Asia. Lacking language capabilities of its own, the detachment had to rely almost exclusively on recruits who had at least a rudimentary knowledge of English. The trainees also provided their instructors with much information on local traditions, customs, and dress. While training continued, technicians, using parts from standard signal equipment and the local market, improvised a portable, self-powered, waterproof radio set with a range of over 500 miles. Through great effort and considerable improvisation, the detachment was ready for operations by mid-November.
For the detachment's initial operations Eifler planned to stress sabotage, intelligence collection, and the establishment of agent nets while laying the foundation for guerrilla activities. At first Detachment 101 planned to establish a base at Sumprabum near the Allied front lines; from there it could collect intelligence and infiltrate small groups by foot through Japanese lines. Nevertheless, when the eight agents of Group A deployed to Sumprabum in early December to begin operations, they found their arrival, with baggage and porters, to be about as clandestine as that of a circus entering a town. Once installed, their bad luck continued. Every attempt at infiltration was skillfully blocked by the Japanese. To complicate matters further, the local British commander demanded control over all operations in his area, an impossible condition for the detachment to meet. The mission appeared to be dead before it had even started.
Frustrated in his attempts to infiltrate agents by foot, Eifler negotiated a deal with Brig. Gen. Edward H. Alexander, the chief of Air Transport Command. The general's planes were suffering heavily from Japanese fighters in their attempts to fly supplies over northern Burma and the Himalayas to China. Those crews that survived crashes in the primitive mountains of northern Burma faced little chance for survival in a region full of tigers, snakes, and Japanese. In a conference with the general, Rifler pointed out that if Detachment 101 personnel could reach the region and contact the friendly Kachin inhabitants, they could organize them into a network to help the airmen escape back to friendly lines. Alexander responded with enthusiasm, offering to provide planes and parachutes to the detachment immediately.
In early February 1943 Group A, now consisting of twelve Anglo-Burmese agents under Capt. Jack Barnard of the Burma Army, parachuted into the Kaukkwe Valley of central Burma. The team was supposed to cut the Mogaung-Katha Railroad in conjunction with an Allied offensive and then organize guerrillas south of Myitkyina. To check the landing zone and make certain that the area was clear of Japanese, Barnard and a radioman jumped on 7 February, one day in advance of the rest of the group. Although the two landed safety and found the area clear, their radio was badly damaged due to a faulty chute, leaving them without communication with their base. After a long night without any word from the group leader, Eifler decided to go ahead and at least fly over the site with the remainder of the team. Fortunately, the pilots were able to spot Barnard and his assistant, and the transport dropped the rest of the team, along with a new radio.
Shortly after the drop theater headquarters notified the detachment of the cancellation of the offensive, but Group A went ahead with its mission.
Leaving six men to watch the base camp, Barnard and the remaining five agents began a 37-mile trek to the railroad, reaching the Namkwin area on 20 February. After reconnoitering in the dark, Barnard divided his party into three groups; each was to demolish a bridge on the railroad. Before 1st Lt. Patrick Quinn and his partner could finish placing explosives on their target, they were discovered by a patrol of Burmese militia. Quinn's partner was killed, and the lieutenant barely escaped. Hearing gunshots, Capt. Patrick "Red" Maddox and his companion fled after demolishing a span of the Namkwin Bridge. The third team, consisting of Barnard and his partner, abandoned their mission and returned to a prearranged rendezvous. When none of the others appeared, the two men hurried back to the base camp. Receiving orders to collect as much information as possible, Barnard's slightly enlarged party conducted several nightmarish marches east toward the Irrawaddy River, relying heavily on the few supply drops for which the detachment could find aircraft. When Japanese patrols east of the Irrawaddy became too numerous, the party headed north, walking into one of the detachment's forward outposts on 30 May. Not long afterward Maddox, his partner, and Quinn arrived at Fort Hertz. While the group's efforts to organize guerrillas proved premature, it had put one railroad bridge out of action, contacted some friendly Kachins, and provided detachment headquarters with fresh information on Japanese activities behind the front lines.
The success of the initial operation was partially obscured by the complete failure of two missions that followed. Eager to expand the unit's operations into southern Burma, Eifler overrode Coughlin's and Peers' concern that Detachment 101 was trying to do too much too soon. The U.S. Fourteenth Air Force, based in China, agreed to provide a transport for Group B's drop in the Lashio area as long as the C-47 transport bombed Lashio on the return flight. While flying over the drop zone, Peers felt misgivings about the proximity of a village of unknown loyalty but went ahead with the jump; while flying over Lashio on the return, he and Coughlin kept their promise to the Air Force by shoving bombs out of the side door of the transport. Peers' earlier worries were justified. The six AngloBurmese agents were attacked almost at once by Burmese natives, who killed three and turned the others over to the Japanese for execution.
One month later disaster struck another Detachment 101 mission. The commander of the British Eastern Army had requested that the OSS operatives conduct a raid against Japanese communications along the Burmese coast. After numerous delays due to rough weather and the limited availability of boats from the Royal Navy, Eifler, on a stormy March night, personally landed a party of six Anglo-Burmese on a beach near Sandoway. Once ashore, however, the men vanished without a trace. Eifler blamed this latest debacle on poor security and lack of equipment; thoroughly frustrated, he warned that the unit's dependence on the regular military for transport and other necessities was compromising its efficiency.. Yet Eifler's own eagerness to prove the worth of his unit to Stilwell and his superiors in Washington, resulting in deployment of his teams without sufficient reconnaissance or knowledge of the operating areas, had also contributed to these failures.
Despite the two setbacks, Stilwell was impressed with the results of the initial missions and approved an expansion of Detachment 101's strength and activities. By the end of January the detachment, largely through use of the "jungle grapevine," was already providing Stilwell's headquarters with valuable intelligence on developments behind Japanese lines. The American theater commander directed Eifler to expand his contacts with the Kachin natives, to gather more information, and ultimately to provide the Kachins with arms and equipment for guerrilla operations against the Japanese. The focus of Detachment 101's activities was changing from sabotage to guerrilla warfare.
To perform its new mission, Detachment 101 soon developed a general operating scheme that it used repeatedly in support of the Allied advance into Burma. Before the detachment could organize guerrillas in a given area intelligence and prior contacts were essential. From forward bases near the combat zone the unit infiltrated, by air or foot, small teams of advance agents behind Japanese lines to reconnoiter and locate friendly natives.
For the most part, the detachment arranged reception committees for the agents; only rarely did they enter an area blind. Once the agents reported favorable conditions, combat cells, including Americans, parachuted into the areas and established operating bases to recruit and train guerrilla bands and to undertake a series of hit-and-run attacks against Japanese installations and outposts. After conventional or guerrilla operations had finally driven the enemy from the area, the forward headquarters advanced into the region, and the process repeated itself. The guerrillas generally operated from 50 to 150 miles behind enemy lines; advance agents deployed about 100 to 200 miles beyond the guerrillas. Meanwhile, the forward base coordinated their operations with the main Allied forces.
These operational methods only evolved through considerable trial and error as throughout 1943 the detachment infiltrated agents and guerrilla cadres into the steamy jungles and mountains. In February Capt. William C. Wilkinson and four agents arrived in Sumprabum and began to contact Kachins in the area. A Japanese advance on the town soon forced them to flee, but in April Wilkinson, operating from Fort Hertz, infiltrated Japanese lines by foot to establish an operating base at Ngumla, where he raised a small guerrilla force, harassed the Japanese, and gathered intelligence from as far south as Mandalay.
Communication with the Kachins presented a serious problem until the team obtained the services of Father Dennis MacAllindon in August; the Kachin-speaking Catholic missionary proved an adept recruiter. Some of the new members returned to Assam for training as agents, and others joined the guerrillas.
Despite a lack of radios, medical personnel, and supplies, Wilkinson, by his departure in January 1944, had built a force of 700 guerrillas and a network of agents, one of whom was a general contractor to the Japanese in the Myitkyina area. He was succeeded as commander of the project, code named FORWARD, by Lt. Cmdr. James Luce, a Navy doctor who won friends among the Kachins with his medical skills.
West of Myitkyina, Vincent Curl, now a second lieutenant and proud owner of a magnificent flowing auburn beard, formed a small guerrilla army in the steep mountains near Naubum. In early March 1943 Eifler had sent three groups of agents into the upper Hukawng and Taro valleys to reconnoiter the area between Japanese patrols and the engineers who were constructing the Ledo Road. One month later Curl received command of the consolidated groups, jokingly code named KNOTHEAD after he misplayed a pop fly in a unit baseball game. Infiltrating through enemy lines from Fort Hertz, Curl crossed the Kumon Range into the Hukawng Valley, where he joined Zhing Htaw Naw, a Kachin leader who had been fighting his own guerrilla war against the Japanese. Zhing Htaw Naw would serve as combat leader and supply the soldiers and guides, while Curl agreed to provide equipment, supplies, and overall coordination. Assisted by KNOTHEAD, the Kachins gathered information, harassed Japanese detachments, provided targets for the Tenth U.S. Air Force, aided downed Allied flyers, and even constructed a makeshift airstrip, which they camouflaged with movable huts when not in use. By February 1944 Curl's group had helped to assemble about 600 guerrillas.
In addition to these two main bases, Detachment 101 by the end of 1943 had infiltrated several other intelligence and operating groups into northern Burma. Group Pat, code named after its commander, Lieutenant Quinn of Group A, established itself in the Myitkyina area, organized a small guerrilla force, and helped downed Allied flyers to escape. One of Pat's agents watched Myitkyina airfield with a telescope from a nearby hill and reported traffic directly to the Tenth Air Force. To the west at Taro, Group Red, under Captain Maddox of Group A, trained 500 guerrillas and reported Japanese activities on the right flank of the Allied forces preparing their advance into Burma. Other groups penetrated even farther behind Japanese lines. By December 1943 Detachment 101 had eleven radio stations reporting regularly from behind enemy lines.
Despite vastly different cultural backgrounds, Kachins and Americans, on the whole, got along quite well. Although the members of Detachment 101 found the local diet barely palatable and were repelled by the Kachin practice of collecting the ears of the dead, they appreciated the courage, loyalty, and honesty of the tribesmen. When a payroll bag containing $500,000 in rupees ruptured in a supply drop, for example, local natives returned all but $300 of the missing money.
OSS operatives participated in Kachin festivals, watched their musical processions, and joined their games, foot races, and feasts. Even U.S. military personnel not belonging to Detachment 101 came to appreciate the Kachins as "friendly, open faced, natural mannered, [and] smiling.... In an exchange of glances with a Kachin, you felt a rapport you might not achieve with your Indian bearer for years, if ever."
The Americans found the Kachins to be natural guerrilla fighters. They showed great care in the planning and preparation of an ambush, particularly in their use of the pungyi stick, a smoke-hardened bamboo stake of one to two feet in length. In preparing an ambush, the Kachins camouflaged the site to appear as natural as possible, placed their automatic weapons to rake the trail, and planted pungyis in the foliage alongside the path. Once the Japanese entered the area, the fire of the automatic weapons drove the surprised enemy troops into the undergrowth, where they impaled themselves on the pungyis. Having inflicted losses, the lightly armed Kachins usually left the area quickly, avoiding prolonged engagements. In contrast, the Americans often displayed too much readiness to stand and fight, not recognizing a guerrilla's responsibility to minimize his own casualties while maximizing those of the enemy.
The Kachins proved their value in a number of other ways. While Kachin agents initially estimated enemy numbers at roughly three times their actual strength, intensified training gradually resulted in extremely accurate reports. The Japanese skillfully used the dense jungle foliage of Burma to keep their movements and key installations invisible from the air. Consequently, the Tenth Air Force relied heavily on the detachment sponsored guerrillas to find targets and evaluate air strikes. On one occasion, the detachment, carefully examining photographs from the diary of a Japanese pilot captured by the Kachins, discovered that the enemy at a particular airfield were hiding planes in holes covered with sod. It was thus able to pinpoint targets at the seemingly vacant installation. By late 1944 the Tenth Air Force was acquiring 80 percent of its bombing targets from detachment reports. In addition, the morale of Allied airmen flying over the northern Burmese mountains to China improved markedly as OSS teams and agents rescued downed crews and brought them back to friendly lines. In all, Detachment 101 rescued about 400 Allied flyers.
As theater headquarters and the Air Force became more aware of the value of the detachment's operations, the group found it easier to obtain supplies, equipment, and other support. In the detachment's early days, it had been forced to beg or bargain for supplies within the theater, and some of its field personnel tried unsuccessfully to live off the land. Even later in the war, the unit's position in a low priority theater at the end of the supply line resulted in delays of three to six months in filling requisitions made through OSS headquarters in Washington. However, as theater resources became more available and Detachment 101's procurement and distribution of supplies became more systematic, the situation eased somewhat. By the end of 1943 the Air Force was providing C-47 cargo aircraft and some B-25 bombers to Eifler on a regular basis, and the detachment had even put together its own squadron of light aircraft for liaison and reconnaissance tasks.
A general shortage of skilled personnel, especially military cadre and communications technicians, continued to be a serious problem. Headquarters staff worked grueling hours, and some cadres stayed in the jungle for as long as twenty months because of the lack of personnel to relieve them.
By the end of 1943 the growth of the detachment and preparations for the coming Allied offensive made necessary a major reorganization. In December Donovan visited and assessed Detachment l0l's progress, even flying in one of the unit's liaison planes to an operating base behind enemy lines.
While at Nazira, he decided that Eifler must be replaced. Already prone to rages, the burly colonel had been plagued with severe headaches ever since he had struck his head against a rock while landing the ill-fated Sandoway party. In the ensuing shakeup, Coughlin received command, under Miles, of all OSS activities in Asia. Peers, formerly the operations and training officer of the detachment, took over the command, which was reorganized to encompass the entire scope of OSS activities, including psychological operations and research and analysis. Donovan also promised more resources, for Stilwell was about to direct an increase in the detachment's partisan force to 3,000 guerrillas. To ensure better coordination of the unit's expanded operations, Peers created four area commands and arranged for his operations section to travel with Stilwell's field headquarters in the forthcoming drive on Myitkyina, the key to the Japanese position in northern Burma.
Plans for a major Allied offensive in northern Burma had been discussed by U.S. and British leaders throughout the latter half of 1943. At the Quebec Conference in August Prime Minister Churchill had invited Maj. Gen. Orde C. Wingate, a brilliant if eccentric British officer, to discuss his concept of "long range penetration operations" behind enemy lines. The magnetic Wingate had already organized a mixed brigade of British, Indian, Gurkha, and Burmese troops. Operating in small groups for weeks at a time, these Chindits, as they were called, raided Japanese communications in Burma, including the critical north-south railroad. In the theater and within the British armed forces the value of such efforts had been hotly disputed by traditionalists who wanted to see the autonomy of the Chindits curtailed and their activities tied closer to conventional operational efforts. Nevertheless, at Quebec Wingate's concepts and energy impressed the American chiefs, who were anxious to launch the long-delayed campaign in Burma. An intrigued Marshall agreed to form a special U.S. commando unit of jungle-tested veterans who would operate with the Chindits in the coming campaign.
When the new unit assembled, it proved to be a far cry from the elite formation of picked troops that Marshall had envisioned. Despite the best efforts of recruiters in the South and Southwest Pacific, the Caribbean, and the continental United States, few jungle veterans showed any inclination to volunteer for an unspecified "hazardous" mission, and many of those who did suffered from malaria. In a number of cases, commanders seized the opportunity to unload personnel who, for various reasons, did not fit in with their units; when the troops from the Caribbean and the United States gathered at San Francisco, one officer remarked, "We've got the misfits of half the divisions in the country."
Initially, the men of the new unit, code named GALAHAD, had little information on their destination or mission. Although no official word had been issued, rumors had circulated to the effect that the unit would be withdrawn from action after an unspecified operation of about three months' duration. Under the temporary command of Col. Charles N. Hunter, a dour professional who had been an instructor at the Infantry School, two battalions departed San Francisco in mid-September. Enroute to the Orient, they added a battalion from the Pacific areas, bringing the total strength to about 3,000 men.
Arriving in Bombay, India, on 31 October, the GALAHAD troops trained in long-range penetration tactics under Wingate's direction. At Deolali, 125 miles outside Bombay, the troops endured both physical conditioning and close-order drill. After moving to Deogarh in central India, they received instruction in scouting and patrolling, stream crossings, weapons, demolitions, camouflage, small-unit attacks on entrenchments, evacuation of wounded, and the novel technique of supply by airdrop. In December GALAHAD conducted a weeklong maneuver with the Chindits. From the beginning, the unit was hard to handle; when it moved by rail from Deogarh to the Ledo area, for example, one officer found his men shooting out the windows at Indians as if they were riding through the Wild West in the 1870s. Nevertheless, for all its disciplinary problems and Hunter's belief that it needed more training, theater headquarters decided that GALAHAD would be ready for combat by February 1944.
On the eve of GALAHAD'S debut on the battlefield the unit found that it would not operate under Wingate. Determined that the only U.S. combat troops in the theater would not serve under a British officer, Stilwell had prevailed on Mountbatten, chief of the new Southeast Asia Command, to place GALAHAD under his control. To command GALAHAD, Stilwell chose one of his intimates, Brig. Gen. Frank D. Merrill, leading American correspondents to dub the unit "Merrill's Marauders." In contrast to Wingate's concept, the two American generals envisioned GALAHAD'S proper role as strategic cavalry, conducting envelopments deep into the Japanese rear while Stilwell's two Chinese divisions advanced on the enemy's front. Their opponent was the veteran Japanese 18th Division, which had conquered Singapore.
After a 140-mile march from the Ledo area to their jumpoff point near Shingbwiyang, the Marauders enveloped the right flank of the 18th Division. Screened by three intelligence and reconnaissance platoons and supplied by air drops in the infrequent jungle clearings, the three battalions followed obscure trails to a pair of positions near Walawbum, astride the expected Japanese line of retreat. The Chinese division commanders, under orders from Chiang to minimize casualties, failed to press their attacks, putting the Americans in an awkward situation. Taking advantage of the slow Chinese advance, Lt. Gen. Shinichi Tanaka, commander of the 18th Division, launched heavy attacks against the GALAHAD roadblocks. GALAHAD'S infantry, which had only mortars to counter Japanese field artillery, held on grimly, losing about 200 men but inflicting 800 casualties. As Chinese reinforcements began to arrive on 7 March Merrill withdrew his weary men from their positions. By then, the enemy had bypassed the roadblocks and had fallen back to a line along the rugged Jambu Bum range near Shaduzup (Map 10).
Anxious to capture the Jambu Bum before the onset of the monsoon season in June paralyzed offensive operations, Stilwell directed a resumption of the offensive on 12 March. Accompanied by the Chinese 113th Regiment, GALAHAD'S 1st Battalion outflanked the Japanese right, negotiating steep slopes and bypassing Japanese positions by slowly hacking its way through the dense undergrowth. In the course of the march the battalion crossed one stream fifty-six times. Early on the morning of 28 March the advance surprised an enemy camp south of Shaduzup and established a roadblock. Farther south, the other two battalions moved to cut the road at Inkangahtawng, but the 2d Battalion had no sooner established a blocking position than both battalions received orders from Stilwell's headquarters to head off a major Japanese drive against the flank of the Allied advance. Abandoning its prepared positions under fire, the 2d Battalion moved east to an isolated ridgeline at Nhpum Ga. Up to this point, Stilwell's headquarters had used GALAHAD as a flanking force that would only hold blocking positions for brief periods of time. As the official history points out, the change to a static defensive role at Nhpum Ga represented a radical change in the concept of GALAHAD's employment.
For eleven days the 2d Battalion, isolated and surrounded at Nhpum Ga, withstood heavy attacks and shelling, while the 1 st and 3d attempted to break through to them. Within the perimeter, lack of water and the pervasive stench of mule carcasses tortured the defenders; only a few supply drops made their position tenable. The defense was aided by the presence of Nisei (Japanese-American) interpreters, who overheard enemy orders and frequently confused the enemy by shouting directives in Japanese. Meanwhile, Merrill had been evacuated after suffering a heart attack, leaving Hunter in command of GALAHAD. Supported by artillery airdropped to them, the 1st and 3d Battalions finally reached the 2d on 9 April, and the Japanese withdrew south.
With the Jambu Bum in Allied hands, the 1,400 surviving Marauders anticipated a lengthy rest. But Stilwell had other ideas. He ordered the unit, accompanied by Chinese regiments and some Kachin irregulars, to seize the airfield at Myitkyina. The American commander recognized the poor condition of the Marauders but believed he had no alternative if the Allies were to capture Myitkyina before the monsoon. He promised to evacuate GALAHAD without delay "if everything worked out as expected."
Revived somewhat by Stilwell's pledge, GALAHAD began a 65-mile march over the 6,000-foot Kumon Range to Myitkyina. As 1st Lt. Charlton Ogburn later wrote, "We set off with that what-the-hell-did-you-expect-anyway spirit that served the 5307th [GALAHAD] in place of morale, and I dare say served it better. Mere morale would never have carried us through the country we now had to cross.... The saw-toothed ridges would have been difficult enough to traverse when dry. Greased with mud, the trail that went over them was all but impossible."
Mules fell off ledges to their deaths in the crevices below. Marauders left their packs by the side of the trail; straggling was rampant. Despite all the obstacles, the Marauders and their allies surprised the defenders of the air base on 17 May, seized the strip, and probed toward Myitkyina itself. Lacking a plan to follow up its initial success and reliable intelligence on the strength of the Japanese defense, the task force faltered in its attempts to take the city.
As the Japanese recovered from their shock and rushed reinforcements to Myitkyina, the exultation over the capture of the airfield dissolved in the gloom of a siege, a task for which GALAHAD was ill suited. Physically exhausted, the Marauders desperately needed to be replaced by rested, more heavily armed, line units, but Stilwell lacked fresh troops and, politically, could not afford to remove the Americans from the battle while other nationalities continued to fight. The results were inevitable. By 25 May the Marauders were losing 75 to 100 men daily to malaria, dysentery, and typhus, and Merrill was evacuated after his second heart attack. Morale, already low, plummeted when desperate staff officers, trying to hold down the rate of evacuation, pressed into service sick or wounded troops who could still walk. Along with broken promises of relief, the episode confirmed GALAHAD'S self-image as the maltreated stepchild of higher headquarters. A bitter Hunter was relieved from command on 3 August, the same day that Myitkyina finally fell to the Allied forces.
While the Marauders cursed Stilwell, they were grateful for the aid received from the Kachins. When GALAHAD had first marched into northern Burma, the Kachins in Curl's Area III provided information, guided patrols, and screened American movements from the Japanese. Kachin villages even placed their cargo-bearing elephants at the disposal of the Marauders. Later, Kachin patrols served as flank guards for the advance on Myitkyina. Despite a dangerous snakebite, a young Kachin guided the Marauders to the edge of the airstrip, making a surprise attack possible. During the siege of Myitkyina, guerrillas in Luce's Area I cut communications between the city and the Japanese 56th Division on the Chinese border, forcing the enemy to divert a battalion to that region. Other Kachins ambushed Japanese troops attempting to flee the city by floating down the Irrawaddy River on rafts. With the support of the Kachins, the U.S. troops could feel that the jungle was on their side. Many Marauders would later volunteer for service with the Kachin guerrillas following the campaign, and Hunter wired Peers his "thanks to your people for a swell job," estimating that GALAHAD "could not have succeeded without them." Already the detachment, with Stilwell's approval, was expanding its guerrilla force to 10,000 partisans, reorganized into three large area commands.
The Final Campaigns in Burma
From August to December 1944 Detachment 101 aided the Allied advance to a phase line from Katha to Bhamo. In Area III Maddox's partisans filled a 200-mile gap between Chinese and American forces to the north and the British Fourteenth Army to the west. Meanwhile, Kachin guerrillas in 2d Lt. Bill Martin's Area II conducted ambushes and protected the flanks of the British 36th Division in its drive on Katha. In Area I OSS cadres under Capt. Peter Joost, Luce's successor and former captain of a college boxing team, were arming and training five battalions of partisans with the aid of the Kachin chieftain Lazum Tang. From their nearly impregnable base in the Sinlum Hills east of Bhamo, they raided Japanese outposts and harassed enemy troops on the roads leading into the city. Their communications cut by raids and ambushes, the Japanese evacuated Bhamo on 15 December.
The fall of Bhamo opened the way for an advance to the old Burma Road. As the detachment left the familiar Kachin highlands and entered the more open terrain inhabited by the Shans and Karens, its leaders expressed some concern that local support would evaporate. However, a combination of Allied victories and Japanese misrule enabled the detachment to work with the local tribes and even recruit several Shan and Karen guerrillas. Nevertheless, the detachment still relied on its Kachin units for most of the fighting. Maddox, commanding a consolidation of Areas II and III, led his partisans in a series of raids against Japanese communications to support the Fourteenth Army's advance south. In Area I Joost's force, now comprising six battalions of 5,500 Kachins, harassed traffic along the Hsenwi-Wanting segment of the Burma Road and provided a security screen for the advance of the Chinese 50th Division. In some cases, the guerrillas even attacked fixed positions. With only .8 percent of the strength available to the Allies in the north, the Kachins inflicted 29 percent of the Japanese casualties in the course of the campaign.
While the guerrillas struck at Japanese communications, remnants of GALAHAD joined the advance of the main Allied force to the Burma Road. In August 1944 Stilwell reorganized the survivors of Merrill's Marauders into the 475th Infantry and then combined the new formation with the 124th Cavalry and supporting units to form a new long-range penetration group, the Mars Task Force. After repelling a Japanese counterattack near Tonkwa in December 1944, the unit made a killing hike south and east through mountainous terrain to outflank Japanese positions along the Burma Road near Lashio (Map 11). By 17 January 1945, advance patrols of Kachins and task force personnel were clashing with Japanese outposts along the legendary Burma Road. Hoping to encourage the Chinese to greater efforts while avoiding heavy casualties in his own unit, Brig. Gen. John P. Willey, commander of the task force, avoided the main road, instead placing his men on the adjacent high ground. From there, they could interdict the road with patrols and artillery. Their communications cut by the guerrillas and Mars Task Force, the Japanese evacuated Lashio on 7 March, enabling the Allies to link the Ledo Road to the Burma Road and reopen the land route to China.
Although Peers had originally planned to deactivate Detachment 101 once the Burma Road had been reached, the critical situation in China and the diversion of Chinese and U.S. troops to that front caused theater headquarters to request that the Kachin battalions be retained. By this time many of the tribesmen were already hundreds of miles from their homes, some of which were threatened by Chinese bandits, but about 1,500 volunteered for a final offensive to secure the Burma Road by a general advance south. Joined by about 1,500 Karen, Gurkha, Shan, and Chinese volunteers, the Kachins, beginning in April 1945, infiltrated again into Japanese territory, established bases, and harassed Japanese communications, particularly the Taunggyi-Kentung Road along which Japanese troops were trying to escape to Thailand. By this time the remaining Japanese in the area were in poor condition, but their rear guards still fought hard in defense of fixed positions. In desperate fighting at Loilem, Lawksawk, and Pangtara, the Kachins, despite some air support, suffered their heaviest losses of the campaign. By mid-June, however, they had inflicted 1,200 casualties on the Japanese and had driven them from the Taunggyi-Kentung region, an achievement for which Detachment 101 later received the Distinguished Unit Citation. With the deactivation of the detachment on 12 July the native troops at last returned to their homes, and the Americans joined the growing OSS organization in China.
The Office of Strategic Services in China
In the summer of 1945 the OSS effort in China was only beginning to become effective. During the first three years of the agency's involvement there, it had made little progress due to lack of resources, bureaucratic infighting, and the complexities of Chinese politics. Chiang's government, suspicious of any clandestine agency outside its control, limited its support to the joint Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO) under Tai Li, with Miles as deputy director. To gain entry into the theater, Donovan initially placed OSS activities in Asia under Miles, but the partnership never worked well. Miles was determined to be independent of Donovan's agency, which he perceived to be staffed with "old China hands" who could not deal with the Chinese as equals. The Office of Strategic Services, in turn, regarded Miles as the tool of Tai Li, who repeatedly blocked OSS efforts to establish an intelligence presence independent of the Nationalist regime. Seeking to free themselves from Miles, OSS operatives in China sought a patron in Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault of the U.S. Fourteenth Air Force, establishing the Air-Ground Forces Resources Technical Staff (AGFRTS) to collect intelligence and help downed fliers escape from behind Japanese lines. An OSS mission even investigated the possibility of supplying arms to Mao Tse-tung's Communists, who were conducting guerrilla warfare against the Japanese from bases in Yenan.
The establishment of an independent OSS branch in China and the end of the war in Europe in early 1945 greatly facilitated the expansion of OSS operations. After assuming command of the new China Theater in October 1944, Maj. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer pushed hard for control over all U.S. clandes tine operations in China. His arguments before the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Donovan's constant complaints to President Roosevelt of Chinese obstructionism finally resulted in the creation of an OSS agency independent of the Sino-American Cooperative Organization and under Wedemeyer's control. Meanwhile, the end of the war in Europe enabled the OSS to shift materiel, supplies, and personnel, including trained operational groups, to the Far East. By the summer of 1945 fourman OSS teams were training and leading large groups of Chinese partisans in operations against Japanese communications in southern China.
Even before the end of the war in Europe, OSS personnel had been attempting to organize Chinese commando forces for operations behind enemy lines. The idea apparently drew its inspiration from Wedemeyer, who, as a staff officer, had been involved in the formation of Darby's Rangers. Given the gener ally deplorable performance of Chiang's regular army in the field, the American theater commander hoped that smaller Chinese units, with intensive American training and guidance, might fight more effectively than the standard Chinese divisions. After some opposition, Chiang's government grudgingly agreed in February 1945 to provide about 4,000 troops, food, clothing, and equipment for a force of twenty commando units.
Almost immediately, the project encountered problems. The Chinese soldiers failed to arrive at the training area in Kunming until mid-April, and the quality of those who finally came varied greatly. Not surprisingly, Chiang's generals gave little support to the effort. Nevertheless, with the Office of Strategic Services in China providing most of the supplies and equipment, the OSS instructors began a hurried eight-week course in weapons training, guerrilla tactics, and parachuting. By July three commando units, each containing about 150 Chinese and 20 American advisers, were ready for the field.
On balance, the program was a success but came too late in the war to have much of an impact. Under the operational control of the Chinese military command, the commandos were to attack communications, to capture significant operational objectives, to gather intelligence, and to protect key facilities from destruction by retreating Japanese forces. Although the commandos later suffered severe losses in the field, they exhibited a fighting spirit rare in the other Nationalist combat units, but lack of coordination and their subsequent misuse as line infantry were major problems. For example, during an assault by three commando units and the Chinese 265th Regiment on Tanchuk airfield, the OSS-trained forces seized high ground overlooking the airfield but took heavy casualties and were forced to withdraw when the 265th failed to arrive in time to support them. An attack on Taiyuanshih by another commando unit and local guerrillas also failed for similar reasons. Nevertheless, by the time the Japanese finally surrendered in August 1945, the commandos appeared to have become an effective fighting force. The Chinese Nationalist high command, however, continued to mistrust these American-inspired units and showed little grasp of their proper employment.
The Office of Strategic Services in Southeast Asia
In Southeast Asia, as in China, OSS plans to organize guerrillas were just reaching fruition when the war ended. Great distances, difficult unpredictable weather, native apathy, and U.S. ignorance of local conditions presented formidable obstacles. Furthermore, the British and French, with major colonial interests in the region, viewed with suspicion efforts to establish an independent intelligence service there. Nevertheless, after an OSS lieutenant reached Ho Chi Minh in Tonkin in May 1945, OSS headquarters in China sent a team under Maj. Allison Thomas to arm and train the Viet Minh guerrillas of Ho and Vo Nguyen Giap for service against the Japanese. The OSS men held training sessions for 200 of Giap's best troops and supplied the Viet Minh with rifles, mortars, machine guns, and grenades. An OSS medic even cured Ho of a near fatal bout with malaria and dysentery. At the time of the Japanese surrender the Viet Minh were only beginning to establish their control over what later became Vietnam. Within twenty years they and the United States would meet again, under less auspicious circumstances.
Thailand represented an especially complex challenge for the Office of Strategic Services. Early in the war the Japanese had forced the Thai government into an alliance against the United States. At the time the Thai minister in Washington renounced the action and supported an OSS program training Thai students studying in the United States as a nucleus of agents to be infiltrated into Thailand. The Office of Strategic Services instructed the young Thais in radio, weapons, demolitions, and close combat and assigned Lt. Col. Nicol Smith to serve as their finance officer and quartermaster. Arriving at Chungking in the summer of 1943, the contingent soon encountered obstructionism from Tai Li and the Chinese secret service. By April 1944 OSS leaders were frantic to reach the Thai resistance ahead of the British, suspecting that the British would attempt to establish a protectorate in Thailand after the war. Smith hired a Chinese Catholic priest to guide his men across the border, but two were killed and the remainder vanished. In October, just as Smith and the remaining Thais were about to give up hope, one of the agents contacted them by radio from Bangkok. He had reached the Thai underground and found a substantial network of agents already in place.
In response to a Thai request for U.S. officers to train guerrillas, the Office of Strategic Services in early 1945 parachuted personnel into the country and laid plans to train 10,000 guerrillas in twelve operating areas. Although the Thais expressed eagerness to fight the Japanese occupiers, their American advisers counseled them to wait until the Allied invasion of Thailand, scheduled for December 1945. Thus, the war ended before the Thai guerrillas saw action.
As in the Philippines American forces in the CBI Theater demonstrated the potential of special operations, particularly in Burma. Facing a shortage of manpower and supplies, U.S. commanders turned to such activities as a means of maximizing their available forces. Lacking resources or even a clear initial concept of operations, Detachment 101 through improvisation and trial and error proved its value. Providing intelligence, reconnaissance, and, finally, a powerful guerrilla army, its efforts were vital to the Allied success in northern Burma. U.S. commanders at first underestimated the potential of the detachment's efforts but quickly revised their judgments. An evaluation of the performance of GALAHAD is more difficult.. Although technically no more than light infantry, the Marauders served as line units and suffered heavy losses. Given the lack of American combat forces and the extreme caution of the Chinese, Stilwell had no choice but to use them past the point of endurance to accomplish his mission. GALAHAD'S true raiding potential was never tested. The same might also be said of the OSS's belated attempts to organize guerrillas in China and Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, special operations, particularly those of Detachment 101, played a major role in the successes achieved by Allied arms in the China-Burma-India Theater.
Detachment 101 harried the Japanese in Burma and provided close support for regular Allied forces.
After the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941, the Japanese escalated from regional aggression to a sweeping armed conquest of virtually all Asia. With bewildering speed, Japanese forces overran the Philippines, occupied French Indochina and Thailand, fought their way down the Malay Peninsula to overwhelm the British bastion of Singapore, and seized the oil-rich Dutch East Indies.
Japanese armies then thrust into the southern tail of Burma and smashed north. The direct but wide-fronted advance from Thailand was an indirect approach to their major objective on the Asiatic mainland: the reduction of resistance in China by denying it Allied support. Rangoon, the Burmese capital, was the port of entry for Anglo-American supplies to China, by way of the Burma Road.
At the same time, the Japanese move was shrewdly designed to complete the conquest of the western gateway to the Pacific and establish a barrier across the main routes by which any overland British or American offensive might be attempted. On March 8, 1942, Rangoon fell, and within two months British forces were driven out of Burma, over the mountains and back into India. General Joseph Stilwell, chief of staff of Allied forces and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek's right-hand man, put it bluntly: "We got a hell of a beating. We got run out of Burma, and it's humiliating as hell. We've got to go back in there and take it back."
Burma had abundant oil, tungsten and manganese to fuel the Japanese war machine and was the world's leading exporter of rice. The one remaining effective point of contact between China and the Allied world was Burma.
But in the early months of 1942 orthodox military action in Burma was out of the question. The Americans were reeling from Pearl Harbor and the fall of the Philippines. The British were in disarray throughout Asia.
The Chinese were rent with dissension and disunity between Nationalists and Communists, between military commanders and outlaw warlords. Thus it fell to a clandestine operation created by America's Office of Strategic Services (OSS), code-named Detachment 101, to begin the long struggle to regain Burma.
Forerunner of the modern Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the OSS was a new agency on the scene, having become operational on July 11, 1941, as the Coordinator of Information (COI). COI was empowered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to "collect and analyze all information and data which may bear upon national security, and to carry out such supplementary activities as may facilitate the securing of information for national security not now available to the government." Shorn of bureaucratese, the agency's mission was espionage and counterespionage.
COI was a civilian agency in the executive branch reporting directly to Roosevelt. It was modeled after England's Special Operations Executive (SOE) and was headed by a World War I hero and genuine rakehell, the irascible, bombastic and charismatic "Wild Bill" Donovan.
By June 1942, COI was placed under the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff so its activities could be better coordinated with the war effort, and the agency was renamed the OSS.
Detachment 101 was the brainchild of Millard Preston Goodfellow, a former Brooklyn newspaper publisher and Boy's Club executive. As part of OSS activities, he prepared staff studies for intelligence and irregular warfare operations in Asia. Strategically located Burma was given special study. The OSS proposed a guerrilla operation to Stilwell and at first was turned down cold by the general. Stilwell, an orthodox officer, was not alone in his rigid opposition to guerrilla activities. General Douglas MacArthur would not permit the OSS to work in any area commanded by him during the war.
After continued entreaties from Goodfellow and Donovan, Stilwell reluctantly approved an OSS operation in Burma, particularly after they agreed to his choice as commander of the unit, Carl Eifler. Eifler was an army major and former border patrol officer who matched Donovan in girth and loudness, if not in fame. Donovan told him that he was to head the first American unit ever assembled to conduct guerrilla warfare, espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines. On April 14, 1942, Detachment 101 of the OSS was activated, although Stilwell was still skeptical about Detachment 101. He gave Eifler 90 days to get an intelligence and guerrilla warfare operation started behind the lines in Burma. "All I want to hear are booms from the jungle," he told Eifler.
The 21 original members of Detachment 101 established their base at Nazira in Assam, India, in May 1942, and began to make initial probes behind Japanese lines. Stilwell gave the unit a multiple assignment--deny the Japanese the use of Myitkyina airport and the roads and railway leading into it from the south, and closely coordinate operations with the British and Chinese.
A few 101 probes went overland into Burma in late 1942 with discouraging results, so it was decided to switch to parachute drops. On January 26, 1943, the first OSS men were dropped into northern Burma, and 10 more went in soon after. By March, Eifler's men were spreading out over the north, and the first landings had taken place in central Burma.
The Americans soon discovered that they would be fighting in one of the world's worst climates and on some of its most forbidding terrain. They were obliged to scale jagged mountains, hack their way through almost impenetrable jungles, and cross dusty plains where temperatures reached as high as 130 degrees. It sometimes rained as much as 15 inches in a single day. Clothes and boots rotted off their bodies in the sweltering humidity. Malaria, dengue fever, cholera, scabies, yaws, typhus and dysentery were at epidemic levels.
Clearly, a couple dozen Americans would have little effect in such an atmosphere against a hardened Japanese army. But, unwittingly, the Japanese themselves had sown the seeds for their ultimate defeat in Southeast Asia.
At first, the Japanese were seen as liberators freeing the Burmese from the British colonial yoke. But the Japanese treated the Burmese as they had the Chinese, brutally attacking the people and butchering entire villages. A tribe of hill people called the Kachins bore the brunt of the atrocities. As a result, the Kachins hated the Japanese, and many Kachins joined Detachment 101 in fighting the invaders.
The Kachin tribesmen were short, rugged men and born fighters, equally at home crossing mountain peaks and following virtually invisible tracks through the jungle. They had an uncanny ability to shadow their foes through the jungle for miles without being seen or heard, and in time the Japanese came to fear and dread them. Detachment 101 eventually grew to a force of more than 10,000 guerrillas.
From a string of jungle outposts established along a 600-mile front, Detachment 101 units mounted repeated attacks on Japanese supply lines, blowing up bridges and railroads, disrupting communications, and providing intelligence for the Allies. Detachment 101's patrols ferreted out Japanese camps and supply installations concealed in the jungle; they provided such exact descriptions of local landmarks for pilots of the U.S. Tenth Air Force that the Americans were able to successfully bomb and strafe targets they could not even see.
The presence of Detachment 101 patrols in the jungle also lifted the morale of American and British aircrews flying supplies over the "Hump" of the Himalayas from India to China. Now, for the first time, the fliers knew that if they crashed and survived, expert trackers would be coming to their aid. Detachment 101 even had its own air force--a ramshackle assortment of light planes used to supply its men in the field and to bring out wounded.
Detachment 101's support of Maj. Gen. Orde Wingate's Chindits and Maj. Gen. Frank Merrill's Marauders was crucial to the Allied success in Burma and to the eventual victory in Southeast Asia. The regular Allied forces came to depend on the support of irregular units perhaps more than in any other theater of the war.
The Americans represented the peaks of industrialization, modernization and education. The Kachins were from the other end of the spectrum--backward, primitive and mostly illiterate. However, mutual respect bound them together. Men from both groups were usually loyal, dependable and courageous. And they were all determined to run the Japanese out of Burma.
During three years of jungle warfare, Detachment 101 claimed to have killed 5,447 Japanese, while another 10,000 Japanese soldiers were wounded or reported missing. But the unit's importance went beyond its kill rate alone. The constant possibility of ambush, at which the Kachins were expert, made the Japanese edgy and cautious and ate away at their morale. When asked, Japanese prisoners rated each Kachin as equal to 10 Japanese soldiers. The OSS estimated that, in reality, the Kachins were even more effective than that--inflicting 25 casualties on the enemy for every casualty of their own. During its operations, Detachment 101 also destroyed 51 bridges and 277 military vehicles, while suffering the loss of 184 Kachins and 18 Americans killed in action.
Detachment 101 was deactivated on July 12, 1945. Skeptical to the end, General Stilwell was dubious of the Kachin kill rate. "How can you be so sure of the numbers?" he asked a guerrilla leader.
Dropping a bundle on Stilwell's desk, the diminutive warrior said, "Count these ears and divide by two." *
OSS DETACHMENT 101