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Experiencing War: Military Intel: The Inside Story (Stories from the Veterans History Project, Library of Congress)

Wars are won-and lost-not only by the regular troops and their commanders, but also by the soldiers who don't always work in uniform. Dropped behind enemy lines, they conduct war on a smaller, more intimate level, practicing acts of sabotage and inflicting small but significant wounds on the enemy. Often chosen for their ability to speak the local language and blend in with the citizenry, these soldiers took incredible risks, for capture almost certainly meant execution.

Featured Story: George Paris Davis
George Paris Davis - link to story
"I loved flying the surveillance and reconnaissance missions, because we were out with a really good mission of trying to find the bad guys." (Video Interview, Part 1, 17:14)

George Paris Davis was one of only five soldiers in his Officer Candidate School class commissioned for duty other than infantry. His assignment was intelligence, which led him to flight school and sorties over North Vietnam and Laos on dangerous reconnaissance missions. Davis also became proficient in maneuvering helicopters, and he carried along his expertise when he was in charge of a unit flying recon over the DMZ in Korea and later at the Pentagon in coordinating photographic intelligence to support the U.S. invasion of Grenada.

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George Paris Davis' story
Experience more stories of In Harm's Way more stories
"Our missions had an inherent added element of risk because, unlike regular warfare, our exercises were behind enemy lines and considered acts of sabotage."
                                                                                                                                   --Boris Spiroff
John Vanden Berg - link to story
"'Would you be willing to join ... if you knew that there was a 50-50 chance that you were going to die?'"

John Vanden Berg's story

Spiro Cappony - link to story
"I had a difficult time saying something and not saying something."

Spiro Cappony's story

René J. Défourneaux - link to story
" would you like to go back to the old country before everyone else?..."

René J. Défourneaux's story

Grant Jiro Hirabayashi - link to story
"He looked at me in the eye and he said, 'You're a traitor.'"

Grant Jiro Hirabayashi's story

Keith Little - link to story
"My weapon was my language, and that language probably saved countless lives."

Keith Little's story

Merril L. Sandoval - link to story
"'Leave our code talkers alone or we're going to kill you.'"

Merril L. Sandoval's story

Kenneth W. Stein - link to story
"It sounded like they were celebrating Hirohito's birthday. I had two machine guns firing at me..."

Kenneth W. Stein's story

Boris Robert Spiroff - link to story
"The OG personnel operated under the most hazardous, nerve-wracking conditions..."

Boris Robert Spiroff's story

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  June 19, 2007
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