Friday, December 28, 2012

Bond Turns 50

Five of the most remembered actors to portray the 007 British spy
James Bond.  (Left to right:  Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery, Roger
Moore, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig.
 by Felicity Blaze Noodleman


To celebrate the 50th. Year of the “James Bond 007” spy thrillers in motion pictures, the latest being entitled “Skyfall”; this week’s article is undertaking the writing of a short story about the world of spying.  Ian Fleming who authored the James Bond character in his 1952 novel “Casino Royal” has been dead since 1964.  He wrote twelve 007 novels in all and were based on his work in British Naval Intelligence during the Second World War.  Although Fleming was only a cog in the large intelligence gathering branch of the HMS Royal Navy, he seemed to take a special delight in creating and writing about his ultra ego “James Bond”.   The spy for all occasions and assignments.


Fleming’s novels were all well received by the public and shortly before his death the first James bond film was made in 1962.  The 007 movies created a new style of motion picture.  Bond films were exciting and the plot for each unfolded in many locations all over the world.  Very exciting for the average theater attendee’s since James Bond opened a door into a world so far removed to them.


The Bond spy prototype has been in existence for century’s and was employed in many nations both East and West up until the end of the 20th century.  The end of the cold war between NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries and the Soviet Union really ended the need for the so called field agents.  In fact the NATO nations are so far ahead of all the other nations in the world the only things of interest to NATO and the United States is how other countries are advancing.  The two areas of interest for NATO and the United Nations are the Middle Eastern nations and Korea.  Small nations with aspirations of becoming as powerful militarily as the United States, Russia or the Chinese.  


Fleming’s experience in Her Majesties Royal Navy begins to give us a clue concerning modern espionage although he writes very little about it only making brief references to today’s “Spies”.  If you’ve ever wondered how such a high profile character such as a James Bond could ever be effective as a spy then congratulate yourself.  You’re smarter than the vast majority.  The real life spy is something less than a Chess Board Pawn and only contributes a very small amount of information to the “Mother Organization”.  And as for the occupation of Asian or Killer; well those jobs are filled by criminals and the dregs of society.  They are never traceable or associated to the actual intelligence organizations involved.


The spies of today’s world are actually intelligence organizations who continually compile and gather information on so many different areas of interest it would boggle the imagination of you or I.   Their agents are actually the latest Intel chip or maybe computer programs designed to probe the Internet for information of interest. 


Every once and a while I see a glimpse of real life spies in literature and film.  A “Jack Ryan” character in a Tom Clancy novel  who is a CIA analysis or maybe a “Joe Turner” as portrayed in a novel by James Grady’s “Six Days of The Condor” (later shortened to “ Three Days of The Condor”; a film staring Robert Redford).  These kinds of “work a day” government employees have for the most part replaced the 007 style field agent.   In fact if you begin to compile the profiles of the examples I’ve just given you than a prototype spy begins to emerge which is very close to a real spy.


The real life spies are very dull and mundane by most standards.  I feel the best example of a real life spy portrayed in film was in “The Eiger Sanction”; a film by Clint Eastwood.  The novel written by Trevanian, discussed the murder of an agent codenamed “Wormwood” and his avenge.  “Wormwood” is probably the most accurate portrayal of a real life spy I’ve ever seen.  A man living on life’s fringe in a very lonely world.


Industrial espionage is more in tune with the 007 Bond type of spying these days.  The companies of today are very eager to know what the latest trends and developments are in their fields of manufacturing.  What is the newest circuit making electronics smaller, faster and cheaper.  Where will the latest lines and colors in fashion be for summer.  There is all kinds of spying going on in our everyday world of commerce.  It really happens everywhere:  sports, business, recreation, the arts and even in house wares.



A Short Story by Felicity Blaze Noodleman

The Peninsula of Korea divided into two political states of North and
South by the allies after WWII.  The map also shows Korea in relation
to China and Russia in the north and Japan in the south.


Chin Jung Lee was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1948.  His parents were refugees from North Korea who escaped the North after the Communist take over in 1945 by the Russians which divided the small country in to two different political factions creating a North and South Korea.  His father hoped for a free Korea after the Japanese were defeated at the end of the Second World War but Korea would now be occupied by new aggressors. 

First the Jung family fled to South Korea and then immigrated to the United States as political refugees under the provisions of the US Immigration Department.  Chin Sr. had been an informant for the US Army’s OSS, the military branch which would later become the CIA.  He helped the OSS during WWII and now in the new Cold War.  His life was in danger from the Communist’s in North Korea.  He and his new wife would immigrate to the United States in Los Angeles, CA.  This  would be their new home.
As some of the first Koreans to settle in Southern California the Lees would be free naturalized citizens in their new home and life would be so very different to the life they had experienced in Korea.  With the birth of their first son a new generation of the Jung family would begin.  An American generation.
Chin was bought up in the traditional Korean home with his parents.  His father Chin Sr. established a small market catering to the Korean needs of the now growing community in Los Angeles and his mother Sue Lee worked in a dry cleaning establishment.  He learned to read and speak both Korean and Chinese from his parents who were fluent in both.  They also spoke some Russian and Japanese.  He went to his local public school near the family home.  He truly was a first generation Korean-American.


Being educated in an American school was difficult for Chin at first but he soon grasped the new English language and began to do well in his studies.  During his High School years Chin became active in the extracurricular organizations offered at his large Los Angeles High School.  Chin knew he wanted to attend College but how?  This is when he came into contact with the Army ROTC program offered at his high school. 
With a scholarship granted by the ROTC program and support from his family he began college at the University of Southern California.  He was an excellent student and discovered he had a high aptitude for language.  This was not a surprise to Chin.  He began to study Russian formally since he could neither read nor write the language and he soon became fluent in five languages now speaking, reading and writing in Korean, Chinese, Russian, English and able to speak some Japanese.
It was at this point the US Army began to take a special notice of Chin Jung Lee.  He was offered a full scholarship at West Point, The United States Military Academy.  Here at West point he would be given an education which would prepare him to be an Officer in the US Army.  Chin was looking forward to a career in the Army.  He graduated from West Point with honors and was given his first duty assignment at Fort Hood, TX.  He had come a long way from the family home in Los Angeles and would travel even further with his first overseas tour of duty in Seoul, South Korea.

 Chin would be a new kind of spy.  He would be an intelligence specialist
translating communications intercepted by the United States and S Korean
intelligence agencies.  Chin would also volunteer for more dangerous field assignments.

Was it an accident, providence or fate which brought the 22 year old Chin to this point of his life?  He wondered.  He had been serving in the Army now for two years working as an intelligence officer.  He had all the right qualifications and excelled at his work.  Now a new branch of the US Government would approach Chin with a job offer which he would readily accept.  He would become an intelligence officer for the CIA.  He would become a Spy gathering intelligence through communications and even in the field – in North Korea; and sometimes in China and Russia.
Chin was sent State side for further education and training at Quantico, VA with the US Marines and the FBI.  He was formally induction into the CIA at Langley, VA.  After a year of specialized training in Virginia Chin was long overdue for his military “Leave”.   Some R&R with his family in Los Angeles was all he could think about.  The year was now 1972.  As Chin returned home his thoughts were of all his hard scholastic achievements and his new career in the military.  Once he reached his Los Angeles home Chin felt a sense of relief he had never known before.  He now appreciated his home like he never had before.


Somehow things were now different for him now.  His parents had noticeably become older and so was he.  Both his mother and father expressed their pride in Chin’s accomplishments since he’d left home and now he was an honored guest in the family home.  As he talked with his father about his work with the Army and the CIA Chin came to know a side of Chin Sr. he had never seen before.  Chin realized that he had followed more closely in his father’s steps than he knew. 

Chin Sr. began to talk about the family home and life in North Korea under the Japanese occupation of WWII and then under the Communists.  He described things which he had done for the OSS in great detail.  He illustrated these story’s with maps and hand drawn illustrations he’d saved over the years.  For a moment Chin Jr. felt like he was back at his base in Seoul, S. Korea receiving an intelligence briefing.  Chin Jr. discovered he was the son of a SPY!  The stories his father and mother were telling his seemed to in creditable to be true.

"Monumental Tower" to commemorate the NATO forces in Korea
and their first battle. "Task Force Smith" the battle for Osan, Korea
July 5, 1950.  Intelligence provided by Chin Sr.
would aid the NATO forces.

 The two weeks spent at home flew by but it was so good to be back with the family.  Old memories began to fill his thoughts.  He had worked so hard to make it through school spending his time studying.  Now he realized he had not built any personal relationships.  If he was to find a love interest it should happen soon before he became too old.  Was his biological clock going off?  He wondered, but there was no one for him to pursue.  His mother spoke with him about it but still it was a shallow thought, at least for Chin.


Soon it was time to prepare for his journey back to Seoul, S. Korea.  He said his goodbyes to the family at the airport where his military transport would fly nonstop back to his duty assignment in Korea.  When he arrived at the Army Base in Seoul chin received new orders and continue his journey to his new assignment.  Everything about this was highly classified, his orders, his new base and his new job.  He was being assigned to the most sensitive duty stations in South Korea.  Chin would be working in the most secret bases in Korea.  Once he arrived Chin was given his full security briefing.  Chin was then driven to his quarters and then to his offices.

The main gate at Osan Air Base South Korea.

This base was like nothing he had ever seen or heard about before.  Officially it was an Air Force Base which was being run by the CIA.  The base had a large Army detachment which was mainly responsible for the security of the installation.  Also assisting the Army was an equally large detachment of South Korean Army forces, the ROK.  All were there to protect the air field and the CIA installation.  It was nothing Chin had ever seen or imagined before.
Once settled into his office and with yet more briefings, Chin learned he was to be working in Cryptology as a language specialist.  The installation was intercepting radio transmissions from North Korea, China and Southern Russia.  All were coming across his desk for translation.  Every morning he would attend meetings informing base superiors of the information being received and the intelligence which would be included for dispatch to all of the agencies which the base was disseminating to.  It was a worldwide network of intelligence organizations.  The remainder of the day would be spent putting together the package to be sent out.  A package which included satellite and aerial photography as well as all radio and television transmissions.  The base had its thumb on the Communists every move.
This was a relatively new kind of spying.  Satellite surveillance was now the eyes and ears of the west.  A post in space which was being maximized to the fullest.  In conjunction with this new wealth of information, air flights were being dispatched almost daily to take a closer look.  It was a gold mine of intelligence which had to be interpreted every day.  Chin began to settle into his new job.  His training was serving him well and he quickly became recognized for his professionalism and expertise in his new line of work.  He was highly knowledgeable and an asset to his organization.  He would soon be promoted from his rank of Captain to Major and be given more responsibility.  He had moved quickly up the ladder of rank and would soon be the assistant officer in charge of his unit.

One morning, as fate would have it, the daily briefing included an unusual feature.  A group of MIA’s (personnel missing in action) had been located deep in North Korea.  A mission was being put together to rescue these men and volunteers were being sought for the operation.  Chin felt he could assist and asked to join the effort.  He was accepted and told he would be placed in charge of the rescue operation.  He was more qualified than he knew.  The operation was code named “Over Coat” and Chin’s designation would be “Top Hat”. 
 Cover for a Cloak and Dagger Mission.
This operation had been planned out in advance and every conceivable circumstance had been considered.  This would be a bold excursion into North Korea and would be so classified that any knowledge of such a mission would be denied by all of the allied forces in the west.  The chances for success were, well almost next to none, but now with Chin on board the team’s chances for success greatly improved.  Since Chins parents were from N. Korea his Korean was perfect for the job.  His training at Quantico now would be of value. 

“Top Hat” and “Over Coat” began to rehearse the mission right down to the finest of details.  The team would be flown into N. Korea by helicopter and parachuted into the area with a truck which had been prepared with N. Korean insignias.  It had been captured and was the real thing.  Chin was to impersonate a N. Korean officer and his team “Over Coat” would all be S. Korean Army specialists.  They would be impersonating N. Korean army troops.  At first he found his troops difficult to work with but he soon discovered these men responded best to an almost brutal kind of discipline.  Once he adjusted to this attitude things quickly came under control.  The game was now afoot.  The team was now ready for the mission.
One thing to be said for American air power was that it was almost undetectable by the enemy.  Planes flew so high the North had no knowledge of their existence and the “Close in support” was highly experienced in flying under the North’s radar.  This is how “Top Hat and Overcoat” would reach their target only surfacing high enough to parachute everything to the ground.  Just a short brief blip on the enemies radar and then gone.
 CH 54 A Skycrane used to transport "Top Hat and Over Coat"
into North Korea.


When the troop but boots on the ground the mission quickly got underway.  All traces of their landing had to be covered.  They took possession of their truck and headed to the N. Korean base holding the MIA’s.  Phases one and two were complete with no casualties.  Now came the difficult part.  Walking right through the enemy’s front door and picking up the MIA’s to bring back to the South.  At this point all of the details of the mission were being handled by the clock and everything was proceeding according to plan. 
A faint untraceable message was being sent to the N. Korean base instructing them to expect Chin and his men and to release the MIA’s to Chin’s custody for transport to an undisclosed location.  “Top Hat and Over Coat” arrived shortly and Chin presented his documentation to the camp commander demanding the MIA’s.  Everything was working as planned.  The N. Korean commander had no idea he was talking to the “Sun of a Spy”!  The MIA’s were loaded onto the truck and they were off in short order.  Chin could not believe how well things were working.  All of the planning was paying off with huge results.  This took care of steps three and four.

Enemy North Korean soldiers similar to those encountered by Chin and
his men.

Now for the difficult part of the mission.  “Top Hat and Over Coat” would transport the MIA’s to a location not far from the point where they had entered N. Korea to be picked up by helicopter.  Again they would fly under N. Korean radar to a Naval Aircraft Carrier destined for Seoul S. Korea.  The MIA’s were very bad condition.  Dehydrated, malnourished and in need of medical attention the men were hardly up to the trip but they would have to make it.  Chin and his men would do what they could for the MIA’s hoping they could get them safely aboard the awaiting transports.  Once again the mission would unfold as planned.
Once aboard the awaiting helicopter everyone felt a lot better.  It was now just a short hop, skip and a jump to the Aircraft Carrier.  The US Army pilots wasted no time in departing N. Korea and making their way for the coast and through the seven mile distance to the naval vessel which was waiting to receive them in international waters.  Finally they would be in US territory and safe.  The mission had been a success.
Upon arrival at the Naval Aircraft Carrier the MIA’s were released for medical treatment.  Chin and his men were debriefed as their mission was concluded.  This was a huge relief for Chin.  His first field mission couldn’t have gone any better.  It was at this point that he discovered who these MIA’s were, all except one were CIA operatives working undercover in N. Korea much like his own father had been all those years ago.  The other man picked up by the Chin’s mission was a little more unusual to say the least.  He was an Englishman who was in N. Korea on a solo mission unrelated to any military operation being conducted by the allies.


Chin asked to sit in on the debriefing for the MIA’s and was allowed to do so since it had been his efforts which rescued these men.  This alone was an education in itself.  The Englishman however was debriefed by a special envoy of British officials with an American official from the Department of State.  This was all a greatly classified matter.  Chin again asked if he might meet with the Englishman whom he only knew as Jim.  
A brief face to face was set up for the two men, a chance to exchange greetings.  Jim was in much better condition by now and thanked Chin for his rescue and his life.  Jim briefly informed Chin that he was a British agent and his mission was classified and unsuccessful.  Chin gave Jim a bit of encouragement and told him that he would “live to die another day”.  Jim just laughed and said 00’s always carry through with their assignments and this was the first time he was unable to deliver.  Chin asked,” what do you mean by “00” Jim”?  “Well that’s my designation you see,  I’m James Bond, 007”!

Chin has now retired from the Army and CIA having served for more than thirty years.  During that time he was promoted to Brig. General working for most of that time in Korea and then serving in the Pentagon in Washington, DC.  He has returned to Los Angeles, CA and lives on his retirement benefits and his inheritance from the family business which has grown and is now being operated by his brothers and sister.  I see him now and again some times for coffee in the morning and listen to his stories!  He's an interesting man to know!
Pro-unification messages hang on the barbed wire at the Imjingak, near the
demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea on
December 20, 2011 in Paju, South Korea.




* “The Noodleman Group” is pleased to announce that we are now carrying a link to the “USA Today” news site.We installed the “widget/gadget” August 20, and it will be carried as a regular feature on our site.Now you can read“Noodleman” and then check in to “USA Today” for all the up to date News, Weather, Sports and more!Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of our site and hit the “USA Today” hyperlinks.Enjoy!
The Noodleman Group is on Google "Blogger"!

No comments:

Post a Comment