7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 19, 2017 6:02 AM by Michael Tomko

    Why does a 1947 Far East Commission report say FROM: WAR (STATE DEPT)?

    Bill Streifer Adventurer

      Was the War Department a part of the U.S. State Department or visa-versa? I didn't think either.

      And why does it say, "RADIO"?

        • Re: Why does a 1947 Far East Commission report say FROM: WAR (STATE DEPT)?
          Research Services at the National Archives Scout

          Dear Mr. Streifer,

           

          Thank you for sharing your question with the History Hub.

           

          Without having more information about or context for the specific record you refer to, it is not possible for us to provide a definitive answer about the origins of that particular report. There are, however, several possibilities. For example, the document could have been created by one agency and then shared with another. It also could have been created by a committee or organization comprised of members from both agencies, or it could be that the Department of State has/had its own war office or committee. Again, there are any number of reasons why the document could be labeled as “War (State Dept).” As for the “radio” annotation, it could be a transcript or summary of a radio report, for example.

           

          If you would like to learn more about the organizational histories of the Department of War and the Department of State, there are several resources available. First, you can review the record groups related to each department at the National Archives’ Guide to Federal Records. The Guide contains an outline of each record group, including a brief administrative history. The General Records of the Department of State (RG 59) and the Records of the Office of the Secretary of War (RG 107) are two examples.

           

          Second, you might also want to review the Department of State’s website for its Office of the Historian and official military history sites like the US Army Center of Military History to find more information about the history of those organizations.

           

          Third, you can also review authority records for creating organizations in the National Archives Catalog. These catalog authority records provide a more detailed overview of offices, branches, divisions, etc. within an agency that are responsible for creating the records. Each series listed in the Catalog includes a link to its creating organization’s authority record, so if you can locate the records you are interested in in the Catalog, you can see more about the organization that created the series. For example, the series Radio Reports on the Far East, 1947-1947 has a most recent creating organization of National Security Council. Central Intelligence Agency. Directorate of Intelligence. Office of Operations. Foreign Broadcast Information Branch. 9/25/1947-ca. 8/20/1949. That link shows the organization authority record, which lists predecessor and successor organization names and dates. It also includes links to related catalog descriptions and series created by each iteration of the organization.

           

          Thank you, again, for posting your inquiry to the History Hub and best of luck with your ongoing research.

           

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            • Re: Why does a 1947 Far East Commission report say FROM: WAR (STATE DEPT)?
              Bill Streifer Adventurer

              I provided all of the context I could without divulging my research, but I do have a copy of the entire message, and many other similar messages. If I could have attached the actual message, I would have. The only other potentially-valuable information is the TO: line, but I don't think it would help anyone figure out the identity of the sender.

               

              However, based on what you've said, it's possible that the message was FROM the War Department ON BEHALF of the State Department, based on the importance of the message -- post-war Japan and the national security of the United States.

               

              In a more general sense, it could be that any message that contains a FROM: line that reads, "FROM: John (Mary)," actually means, "My name is John and I would like you to know what Mary said."

            • Re: Why does a 1947 Far East Commission report say FROM: WAR (STATE DEPT)?
              Michael Tomko Adventurer

              Bill,

              The State Dept. most likely had elements of the Intel Services assigned for various reasons. The OSS could use the State Dept. for diplomatic access into various countries during WW2. During the Cold War,  the State Dept. was used to gain access to Europe, whereby the operatives would then travel to the target country. Various Agencies are still used.

              The communication methods to transfer information were by currier, drop, signal and radio. Most often, the radio method was by signal code. Ships and Subs also used light and flag code from shore. During WW2, radio communications were often quickly triangulated. Messages could be sent by courier and drop, and even coded in letters, art and mail. The letters by mail usually have a pre arranged code and it is still used in the prison systems and gangs  to circumvent electronic monitoring. The FBI Vault released its Alaskan Stay behind forces project, similar to the European, Gladio project in Italy. Every European Nation had a group.  There are also radio intercepts and translations.

              • Re: Why does a 1947 Far East Commission report say FROM: WAR (STATE DEPT)?
                Michael Tomko Adventurer

                OSS Dissolved Sep 20, 45 and War Dept. Dissolved Sep 18, 1947.

                • Re: Why does a 1947 Far East Commission report say FROM: WAR (STATE DEPT)?
                  Michael Tomko Adventurer

                  Lots of Good historical Articles at the CIA Web Site, the electronic Museum is interesting, I need one of those letter openers.

                   

                  Excerpt from the CIA Website, The Pond: Running Agents for State, War, and the CIA.  The Hazards of Private Spy Operations, by Mark Stout

                   

                  A few people at FBI headquarters were also in on the secret, as the Pond produced some reports pertaining to domestic security. In early 1947, an FBI informer happened to be in a Pond office in New York and saw people typing what looked like intelligence reports. The FBI's assistant special agent in charge was suspicious and ordered further inquiry, unaware that the whole thing was well known to Mickey Ladd, chief of the FBI's Domestic Intelligence Division, an ally of Grombach.17

                  Overseas, the Pond had case officers under various types of cover.18 The Pond set itself apart from the OSS by reaching an agreement with the State Department which allowed foreign service officers (FSOs) to serve as case officers. These FSOs had their own sources of funds and did not have to tell the chief of mission what they were doing, although some did. They had remarkably little training and a great deal of independence. James McCargar describes his arrival in 1946 at the legation in Budapest, where a college friend was serving. Soon the friend was given a new posting and asked McCargar if he would like to become the Pond's officer in Budapest. McCargar accepted, and, without any special training, he inherited a network of Hungarian assets.19

                  • Re: Why does a 1947 Far East Commission report say FROM: WAR (STATE DEPT)?
                    Michael Tomko Adventurer

                    Per a CIA Web Site search of the OSS In Asia,  the OSS had a Sub Mission listed on the Map in Mukjen China. If a research facility was in N Korea, then the OSS would have had a start point or air base for human and signal operations. There's also an interesting search of an article on the Kwantung Army, Harbin and soviet intercepts.

                    Harbin was the theater for Unit 731, which was basically granted immunity . In the case of radiological research there would be a component of human exposure and associated physiological and medical research. 

                     

                    OSS in Asia — Central Intelligence Agency

                    • Re: Why does a 1947 Far East Commission report say FROM: WAR (STATE DEPT)?
                      Michael Tomko Adventurer

                      Here's another interesting one for those around during Iran Contra, from the 1988, Congressional Recordhttps://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP93B00385R000300090001-1.pdf