Title: InSIDer's View of History: In SHAPE, In France

Release Date: 2016-12-07

Document Date: 2004-03-26

Description: Anecdotes about the author's time in the Army during the Cuban missile crisis, working for NATO, JFK’s assassination, and meeting the late Bobby Kennedy, among other highlights.

Document: DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL

(U) InSIDer's View of History : In SHAPE, In France
FROM: CW4
USA
Technical Director, MOC's SIGINT Development Division (S3304)
Run Date: 03/26/2004
FROM: CW4
USA
Technical Director, MOC's SIGINT Development Division (S3304)
(U) When I first joined the Army over forty years ago, I was issued
two pair of brown boots and two cans of black leather dye. I was
then ordered by my Platoon Sergeant (Drill Sergeants were yet to
be invented) to make'em shine. This was during the Cuban Missile
Crisis and near the end of basic training we were informed that we
would all be grabbing our M1 rifles and heading off for Cuba.
(U) Instead, I hopped on a bus and traveled to the Brooklyn Naval
Yards where I caught a ship, the USS Darby, and sailed off to
France, by way of Dover, England where we picked up a pilot to
get through the Channel and then sailed on to Bremerhaven, FRG.
As we deboated (it's kind of like deplaning from a boat), we were
welcomed by a German oompah band and a crowd of well-wishers.
(U) This was quite a contrast to the indifference that met us upon
arriving by train in France. The attitude of the German people was
positive and they were always friendly towards Americans in
general, and soldiers in particular. The French still looked upon us
as invaders or occupiers and worked diligently to remove us from
their soil, which they accomplished in 1966, the year after I left.
(U) My first duty station was Dreux, France, which was on an Air
Force Base without any airplanes and only one Army company.
There was an old soldier in my platoon, (he was a highly decorated
private E2 who had a bit of difficulty hanging on to his stripes) who
had served with Audie Murphy during World War II. The only thing
that I remember about his stories was that he said that everyone
avoided Audie because he was prone to draw enemy fire wherever
he went. I guess there is a lot of truth about not sharing a foxhole
with anyone braver than you are.
(U) I was then assigned to SHAPE** HQ in Paris where I worked in
an underground NATO communications center. I was standing in
formation when the then new Canadian maple leaf flag was first
introduced and raised at NATO HQs. This is where I was when
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I was in the Club at
the time and after they made that tragic announcement, they
closed up there were a lot of tears and sadness.
(U) Years later I met his brother Bobby Kennedy, just a few days
before he was shot and killed as well. It was at a business meeting
in Indiana as he was campaigning for the Presidency; he shook
hands with all of us and asked where we were from. That very
weekend when I returned home to Los Angeles, he was shot in the
kitchen of the Roosevelt Hotel, not ten miles from where I was
living.
(U) Charles de Gaulle was the President of France during this time
and you could always tell whenever he was on the move. City

SERIES:
(U) InSIDer's View of
History '04
1. InSIDer's View of
History ... A Lesson
in Personal
Accountability
2. InSIDer's View of
History : How a Four
Star General Once
Waited for a Lowly
Captain to Finish
Eating Lunch
3. InSIDer's View of
History : In SHAPE,
In France
4. InSIDer's View of
History : 'Soviet
Rocket' Strikes
Chicksands
5. InSIDer's View of
History: Onboard Air
Force Two Bound for
Moscow
6. InSIDer's View of
History : Testifying
Before Congress...
Who Turned Out the
Lights?
7. InSIDer's View of
History : Resourceful
NCOs at Goodfellow
8. InSIDer's View of
History : Desert One
- The Iranian
Hostage Rescue
Mission
9. InSIDer's View of
History : SIGINT
Appearing in the
Press
10. InSIDer's View of
History : Meeting
President Reagan
11. InSIDer's View of
History : 'Local
Support' as Stress
Management

streets and the autoroute would be closed down and the military
and the gendarmes would be at every intersection and overpass
with automatic weapons at-the-ready. This was also during the end
of the Algerian war and there were often open gun battles on the
streets of Paris between the gendarmes and Algerians. There were
many times that we were restricted to base and the city put offlimits.
(U) My last view of history was meeting the last surviving five star
general, Omar Bradley, when he attended a division celebration for
the 82d Airborne, where I was assigned. Another distinguished
member in my battalion was the S3, MAJ Richard Quirk, who would
later gain prominence as a fellow employee of NSA.

12. In SID er's View of
History : Quite a
Welcome!
13. In SID er's View of
History : The
Adventure Continues
-- Evacuation from
Belgrade

(U) **SHAPE = Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe
(NATO's military headquarters). SHAPE relocated from Paris to a
site near Mons, Belgium, where it remains to this day.
(U) Note from SIGINT Communications: if you missed it, have a
look at the previous InSIDer's View of History from
.
Also, please send us YOUR story!... see our call for submissions for
details.

"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)."

DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL
DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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