|From Ho Chi Minhs fictional Diary: |
18 March 1945
Its now more than a week since the Japanese rounded up all the French in Vietnam they suspected of being pro-Allies. Yesterday I had a meeting with Lt. Fenn, an American officer in the Office of Strategic Services. They gather military intelligence, help prisoners-of-war, and rescue shot-down pilots. Of course Fenn knew about our rescue of Lt. Shaw and agreed to arrange a meeting with Chennault. But he also suggests future cooperation not only rescuing pilots but also helping to gather intelligence about the Japanese military set-up. In return, the Americans will give us money and supplies like radios and medicines, transport, and arms. I was, of course, all in favor of this. We arranged another meeting for Thursday.
|The French in Indochina, having at last realized that Japan was threatened with defeat, staged a last-minute effort of resistance. When this failed, all Frenchmen to any degree involved in this gesture were rounded up, including those bravely sending intelligence reports to a team of civilians on the China-Indochina border. This group was known as GBT, from the initials of the three Allied civilians who composed it: Lt. Gordon, a Canadian; Harry Bernard, an American; and Frank Tan, a Chinese-American. These three men, formerly employed in an oil company in Indochina, had escaped the Japanese seizure of their business and crossed into China. Then, utilizing contacts with Frenchmen who were still partly at liberty in Indochina, they set up an intelligence network unequaled by any other group covering that area. |
With the expansion of Allied operations in the far-eastern theater, it was felt desirable to attach an official liaison officer to GBT. Given the selection of the officer, Gordon surprisingly opted for me, although we had met only briefly. As things turned out, we both hit it off rather well, which was fortunate, since I was assigned to bring Gordons network within the Allied command. Very shortly, however, the increased effectiveness of U.S. air operations in Indochina prompted the Japanese to round up all Frenchmen in that area sympathetic to pro-Allied cooperation, which of course included the GBT agents. To replace a dead network we had no resource but to utilize Vietnamese, until then barred out of deference to the French. This was how I happened to hear about Ho Chi Minh, to meet him, to be instantly impressed, and to engage him as my number-one agent.