THE SPY INCIDENT
It was a quiet evening and my Trick had the 3 to 11 shift. We had only a couple of
hours to go, and there was very little enemy traffic on the air. It was on this slow
evening, that our commanding Officer burst into the command center, bringing with him
two other people we did not know. They were in field uniforms, but other than the 45Ã¢
â‚¬â„¢s strapped to their waists, wore no other identifying insignia on their uniforms. It
was soon established that they were C.I.C. (counter intelligence) agents, and had come
to our unit for help.
After asking everyone their code speed, the CO decided that myself, and Bob Watson,
who was trick chief on the 11 to 7 shift, would go with the C.I.C. agents. I knew the
CO was excited, especially since he already knew we were all high speed operators.
As I left the center to pick up my sleeping bag and steel helmet, the CO, still very
excited, said something to the effect that we might get the Congressional Medal of
Honor for this. That remark kind of got us excited too.
Getting into the jeeps that the C.I.C. men came in, off we went in different directions.
As we drove, the Agent I was with explained the problem he had. He was taking me up
to an armored unit that was entrenched on the main line of resistance. This unit was
flanked by a South Korean unit. It seems that the perimeter guards walking their posts
at night, often heard what sounded like morse code signals, sometimes loud, and
sometimes very faint.. One guard even claimed he saw one of the ROK soldiers come
out of his tent, and throw a pigeon up into the air, and the pigeon flew North. It seems
we were spy hunting.
When leaving our camp to come here, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to lug around my Carbine,
so I had borrowed a webely 38 pistol and shoulder holster from one of my crew. Even
though my uniform had SGT. Stripes on it, the C.I.C. agents often posed as non-coms,
officers, and even privates. Since the officers there knew the agent who brought me
there, they assumed that I was CIC too. Thus I was treated like an Officer the whole
time spent there. In fact, they put two Lieutenants out of their two man pyramidal tent
to give me a place to bed down.
One thing I found out about this unit, while walking and talking with the guards. They
had a very dangerous mission of sending a small patrol into enemy territory, looking for
a fire fight. When they found and engaged an enemy unit, they would slowly retreat to a
specified location, where the remainder of the Company would have an ambush set up.
When the enemy entered into this ambush, the unit would engage them with superior fire
power, until they either retreated, or were wiped out. They had lost a few men with
these tactics, but the enemy had lost twenty times more. This was happening while the
truce talks were going on, and both sides were looking for bargaining chips to use at the
conference table at Panmunjom.
So for about three days, I reveled in the V.I.P. treatment, sleeping by day, and walking
the guard posts at night, listening for radio signals, and watching for Koreans releasing
Anyway, after a couple of nights of bird dogging the guards on their rounds, we
discovered the source of the morse code signals. Some of the men had radios and liked
to listen to Armed Forces Radio, being broadcast on short wave from Japan. Other
morse code signals were drifting in and out of the frequency used by Armed Forces
Radio. The voice transmissions were usually muffled by the tents, but the morse signals,
being of a higher audio frequency were often heard outside in the compound by the
guards. As for the Koreans, we never did see a pigeon, or any other kind of a bird
I later learned from Bob, that the only things found where he was taken, was the same
as it had been for me. The big difference was where they had bedded him down.
In that cold frozen weather, it was impossible to dig a garbage pit, so they would usually
pitch a squad tent, put a stove in it, and when it warmed up and the ground thawed out,
would dig a pit in one end, in which they would continually throw in the garbage from
the mess tents, and then cover it with a layer of dirt, until the hole was completely full.
Unfortunately, the only room left, was for him to be bedded down at one end of this
garbage tent for the whole time he was there.
And so ended our quest for the Congressional Medal of Honor !
CHUCK KELLY 329TH CRC KOREA 1951-52