WORLD WAR II

OSS

Thailand

Associated Press. "CIA Honors Free Thai Veterans." 10 Jul. 2000. [http://www.nytimes.com]

In a ceremony at a Bangkok hotel on 9 July 2000, the CIA "honored 42 members of the underground 'Free Thai' resistance movement that fought with Allied forces against Japanese occupiers during World War II.... The Seri Thai worked alongside the forerunner of the CIA, the Office of Strategic Services."

Bergin, Bob.

1. "Claire Chennault and the OSS: A Favor Done and Returned." OSS Society Newsletter (Winter 2004-2005): 2.

OSS and Free Thai liberate and exfiltrate captured American Volunteer Group (AVG) pilot.

2. "OSS and Free Thai Operations in World War II." Studies in Intelligence 55, no. 4 (Dec. 2011): 11-22.

OSS established a base in Japanese-occupied Bangkok in early 1945. Maj. Nicol Smith "was in charge of the OSS Free Thai operations." Richard Greenlee and Maj. John Wester were the the first two OSS officers to arrive in Bangkok. "The Thai proved to be masters at manipulating the Japanese occupiers and adept at collecting intelligence."

Haseman, J.B. The Thai Resistance Movement during the Second World War. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 1978. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Silkworm Books, 2002. [pb]

Times Literary Supplement, 25 Oct. 2002, sees this book providing "a most valuable insight into the grass-roots origins of the Thai-US alliance."

Karr, Sharon E. Traveler of the Crossroads: The Life of Adventurer Nicol Smith. Jacksonville, OR: Log Cabin Manuscripts, 1995.

Surveillant 4.2: "For OSS, Smith served as assistant to Admiral Leahy, the U.S. ambassador in Vichy," and later moved to "a two and a half year assignment" in Asia, "leading twenty-one Thais on a mission to contact the Thai underground" (Operation Siren). The author "has done a splendid job faithfully recording explicit details of the major OSS activities of Smith." See also, Nicol Smith and Blake Clark, Into Siam: Underground Kingdom (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1946).

LePoer, Barbara Leitch, ed. "World War II" and "Pridi and the Civilian Regime, 1944-47." In Thailand: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1987. [http://countrystudies.us/thailand/21.htm and http://countrystudies.us/thailand/22.htm]

MacDonald, Alexander. A Wandering Spy Was I. Kearney, NE: Morris Publishing, 1997.

MacDonald landed in Bangkok with Jim Thompson just before the end of the war. For a short period, he was OSS station chief and ranking American officer in Thailand. [Bergin, 55.4 Studies (Dec. 2011]

Reynolds, E. Bruce. "Staying Behind in Bangkok: The OSS and American Intelligence in Postwar Thailand." Journal of Intelligence History 2, no 2 (Winter 2002). [http://www.intelligence-history.org/jih/previous.html]

From abstract: The experiences of former OSS officers James H. W. "Jim" Thompson and Alexander MacDonald, who remained in Bangkok after successively heading the Strategic Services Unit there in 1945-1946, "suggest that the presumed continuity between the OSS role in Thailand during World War II and the large-scale CIA operations there in the 1950s was more apparent than real."

Reynolds, E. Bruce. Thailand's Secret War: OSS, SOE and the Free Thai Underground during World War II. New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

For Sacquety, Studies 50.1 (Mar. 2006), the author shows that once OSS and its Free Thai group "overcame various obstacles in their path, they proved very effective in Thailand, in contrast to the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and its smaller group of Free Thai.... Initial attempts to operate from China proved disastrous for the fledgling OSS Free Thai group. Only by eventually basing the group with OSS Detachment 404 in Sri Lanka did Washington succeed in finding a location from which the Free Thai could successfully operate." With this work, "Reynolds proves that he is a dean among scholars of intelligence in the Far East during the Second World War. His exhaustive archival research and exploitation of untapped sources have produced a landmark work."

Ridderhof, H-War, H-Net Reviews [http://www.h-net.org], May 2008, says that this work "is well researched: a review of the sources indicates that Reynolds accessed both U.S. and British official sources, many western and Thai secondary sources, and has interviewed an impressive number of American, British and Thai participants. It is also a well-written book. Reynolds did an outstanding job in providing a clear narrative of what could be a very confusing story." Yu Shen, I&NS 20.3 (Sep 2005), also finds this to be "an excellent book" that "is well-researched." The author unfolds this "intricately complicated" story "with great sensitivity and objectivity."

Smith, Nicol, and Blake Clark. Into Siam: Underground Kingdom. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1946.

According to Sacquety, Studies 50.1 (Mar. 2006), the author "was the OSS liaison officer for the [Free] Thai group." See also, Karr, Traveler of the Crossroads (1995).

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