Ady / Lynn / BAAG / OSS
It occurs to me now that my father might have had or at least had ought to have had some BAAG contacts. You probably could not verify that, but I would be delighted to have any such info if you have it.
After Stanley [Don and his family were interred in the Stanley Civilian Camp in early 1942. As Americans, they were repatriated later that year.] he in 1943 started a long process of returning to China. He was a workaholic and wanted to get back to his (evangelical) mission. Long hold ups in Portugal and in India.
In India he happened to encounter a man he knew well, Dr. Robert Lynn, of the Presbyterian mission whom he knew as a mission colleague from Canton and possibly from his station in Yeung Kong (now Yangjiang). In the recent past Dad and my mother and I had been room mates of Lynn's wife and daughter in Stanley.
Lynn had some outstation HQ assignment with the OSS, the CIA predecessor. Lynn who had managed exfiltration from China after Pearl Harbor knew that Yeung Kong had a large Japanese garrison, so Dad could NOT go there. He talked Dad into a very arduous OSS assignment of which I know the very barest of bones.
Dad took his blood curdling secrecy oaths with the utmost seriousness. (E'dda told us but then e'dda adda kill'd us?). Also he hated to toot his own horn or talk of himself, so it was quite difficult to pry out the vaguest of hints.
I don't actually know every bit of this, but am doing educated guesses: His job was prearranged intelligence gathering with a band of 1800 Communist guerillas in S. China - Kwangtung and I think too some adjacent provinces. I gather (or assume) that he questioned many scouts in their own language, vetted their reportings, abbreviated, encrypted, and radioed them in to Chungking. Purpose for general intel background and for bombings also.
I am speculating but am supposing that they let him into their evening leadership councils where he gave them useful advice. He could have given them not only good day to day advice, but good military advice. As a young man he fought in WWI in France, going from private (lowest rank) to field commision as 1st Lieutenant in the field artillery. Had he been willing to do so, he could have taught them better now to lay their field fire of mobile guns and more. (In France his outfit sported horsedrawn wagons - caissons).
Dad did say they were on the move all of the time, daily forced marches through mountains (he was then nearly 50 years old and it was especially hard on him despite that he had walked and walked the dusty roads so often for the mission to small Christian outposts etc.)
Another story he told:
'We stopped in a village one night for a special restaurant treat. In the dim light my mouth watered when rice pudding showed up with raisins in it! I had had nothing sweet for a whole year. But, when I put my chopsticks to the bowl, the "raisins" flew away!'
He was instrumental in helping shot down Flying Tigers or other pilots getting back to Chungking. I met one of these men years later, but he was very close mouthed, too!
Dad left the band at the end of the war. What is really a bit surprising it that they presented him with a Samarai sword taken from a Japanese general killed by them in battle. That is a much stronger praise that a pallid commendation the CIA gave him.
The sword a few years later ended up in Japan, returned to family via the embassy. Dad thought bygones should be bygones, though he had eyewitnessed nasty stuff. I feel fortunate not to have seen some things that he saw.
On departure back in Canton a sniper tried a head shot on him, but missed. He suspected a Kuamintang mistake, and it didn't recur after embassy protests.
Regards, Don Ady