MAJOR JORDAN’S DIARIES
Our deep gratitude and thanks goes to Karen A. for her precious time donated to the transcribing of this book. We’ve checked many sources and cannot find a publishing house now offering the book for sale. If you know of a source where people may purchase, please let us know.
As our time permits we’ll be adding to the historical information surrounding the orchestration, implementation and tragic results of WWII. Most of all, our readers will discover major lies that have been told, which proves once again the victors of war write the history.
In this case, as in all cases of war (that we’ve been able to ascertain) the ‘victors’ are never a nation, regardless appearances, modern history books, or reporting by the media. Why? Because the real victors are the same group of international financiers control the major publishing houses, education (from K-12, into and through all levels of higher learning), as well as the media. And let us not disregard the major role the entertainment industry plays in the thought control process. Books, movies, games, videos, music. . . all of it geared to create the International Citizen/Slave.
Notice that on May 10, 1942, Major Jordan reported to “UNITED NATIONS DEPOT NO. 8, LEND-LEASE DIVISION, NEWARK AIRPORT, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, INTERNATIONAL SECTION, AIR SERVICE COMMAND, AIR CORPS, U.S. ARMY.”
How could that be?!!! U.S. history and government documents assert that the U.S. didn’t join the United Nations until three and a half years later! October 24th, 1945. And then again. . . maybe not. Maybe it’s just one more lie in a nest of lies, liars and traitors.
Before you read the shocking revelations from Major Jordan’s Diaries about the billions of dollars, airplanes, tanks, munitions, foodstuffs, whole factories, blueprints and material for building the Atomic Bomb, personal luxuries for despotic Bolshevik Talmudic Communist rulers, as well as the paper and plates enabling them to print U.S. Federal Reserve Notes — all this sent to the U.S.S.R. from UN Depot No 8, Newark, N.J., U.S.A., — let us set the scene.
From Voices of History, Volume II, which claims to present “a permanent record of all the important speeches of the momentous year, 1942. In one chronological order are the official, unabridged, unedited speeches, state papers, messages, declarations and important letters of the leaders of the world. . .” on page 6 we read:
JOINT DECLARATION BY UNITED NATIONS
Washington, D.C., January 1, 1942
White House news release
DECLARATION BY UNITED NATIONS:
A Joint Declaration by The United States of America, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, South Africa, Yugoslavia.
The Governments signatory hereto,
Having subscribed to a common program of purposes and principles embodied in the Joint Declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dated August 14th, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter,
Being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world, Declare:
(1) Each Government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherents with which such government is at war,
(2) Each Government pledges itself to cooperate with the Governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.
The foregoing declaration may be adhered to by other nations which are, or which may be, rendering material assistance and contributions in the struggle for victory over Hitlerism.
Done at Washington
January First, 1942
And don’t kid yourself! Communism is NOT dead. The new name for Communism today is DEMOCRACY. Please visit this section from time to time. As with all sections, it will be expanded as our time permits with added information that will hopefully dispel the lies into which we were born. If Karen is able to continue her help, updating will be more timely. God bless us everyone.
— Jackie — May 28th, 2003
From Major Jordan’s Diaries
George Racey Jordan
With Richard L. Stokes
A Western Islands book,
Published by arrangement with the copyright owner.
Except for the omission of certain photographs of scenes at Great Falls and of various persons mentioned in the text, this edition is complete and unabridged.
Harcourt, Brace edition published 1952
Free Enterprise edition published 1958
American Opinion edition published 1961
The American Library edition published 1965
Copyright, 1952 by George Racey Jordan
All rights reserved
Manufactured in the United States of America
395 Concord Avenue
Belmont, Massachusetts 02178
1. “Mr. Brown” and the Start of a Diary 7
2. The “Bomb Powder” Folders 13
3. We Move to Montana 18
4. How My Alaskan Report Helped the Russians 23
5. The Black Suitcases 33
6. “Don’t Make a Big Production” 46
7. The Story of the “Heavy Water” 57
8. A Look at Lend-Lease 66
9. The Greatest Mail-Order Catalogue in History 75
10. My Visit to the State Department in 1944 111
11. The Priest Who Confirmed Stalin 114
12. How Russia Got U.S. Treasury Plates 126
13. “The Broadcast Goes on Tonight” 137
14. Clouds of Witnesses 141
15. Conclusion 151
About the Author 163
“We are determined that nothing shall stop us from sharing with you all that we have . . .”
– Harry Hopkins, AT THE RUSSIAN AID RALLY, MADISON SQUARE GARDENS, JUNE 1942.
My reason for writing this book is very simple: I would like to keep the record straight. I want to put in permanent form the full story of my experiences as a Lend-Lease expediter and liaison officer with the Russians during the war, when I served for two crucial years, from May 1942 to June 1944, both at Newark Airport and at the big air base at Grand Falls, Montana.
I went into the Army as a businessman in my forties and a veteran of World War I. From the First, as my story shows, I worked wholeheartedly on behalf of the Russians because, like everyone else, I considered it my duty to do so. That they were satisfied with my efforts is indicated by the fact that it was Colonel Kotikov, head of the Russian mission at Great Falls, who requested my promotion to Major.
But the tremendous volume of Lend-Lease material going through under “diplomatic immunity,” the infiltration of Soviet agents through the Pipeline, the shipments of non-military supplies and even military secrets, were more than I could stomach. I finally protested through proper channels, first in Great Falls, and then in Washington; nothing happened. This was in 1944, while I was still in the Army.
When the atom bomb was first dropped in August, 1945 I learned the full meaning of a word – uranium – I had already encountered in my contact with Colonel Kotikov. When the President announced in 1949 that the Russians had the bomb, I went to see Senator Bridge and my story was thoroughly investigated by the F.B.I. as well as by Fulton Lewis, Jr., who interviewed me on his broadcasts. There followed one Congressional hearing in December, 1949 and another in March, 1950.
I have been shocked at the efforts of the character assassins and press experts to keep the implications of this story from being brought into proper focus. A vicious attack was launched against Fulton Lewis, Jr., and the sniping at me has continued for nearly three years, in the vain hope that this story would never be evaluated and understood by the public. (Incidentally, I wish to state that Mr. Lewis has not seen the manuscript of this book, nor had any connection with it.)
As late as June, 1952 the Long Island Daily Press falsely declared:
“A Congressional committee, however, found no basis for (Major Jordan’s) charges.”
On the contrary, three members of the Committee stated just the opposite. First there is the following summary by Senator Richard M. Nixon, Republican nominee for Vice President. His questions are addressed to Donald T. Appell, former F.B.I. agent and the special investigator for the Committee on Un-American Activities:
Mr. Nixon: Your investigation shows first, then, that Major Jordan did, at least on two occasions, make a report concerning the passage of materials through Great Falls?
Mr. Appell: Yes.
Mr. Nixon: As I recall, Mr. Chambers had to tell his story five times before any cognizance was taken of his charges. So apparently if Major Jordan had told his more than twice he might have gotten the Government to do something about it. But be that as it may, as I see it at present time the issues are five.
First of all, the charge was made that if the shipments were going through, Major Jordan should have made a report. In this regard, he did make a report of the charges at least on two occasions. Is that correct?
Mr. Appell: Yes.
Mr. Nixon: As far as you have been able to find, at least two reports were made?
Mr. Appell: Yes; that is correct.
Mr. Nixon: Another point that was made was whether or not he tore radar equipment out of C-47 planes. As I understand, this particular phase of his story was questioned in the article in Life magazine, in which they said that the report that Mr. Jordan ripped out radar equipment from C-47s was preposterous, and they quoted his superior officer, Meredith, in that respect; and it was further said that as a matter of fact no C-47s were equipped with radar at the time mentioned by Major Jordan.
The investigation of the committee, in addition to your own, has shown, (1) that the C-47s equipped with radar and going to Russia did go through Great Falls; and (2) that Mr. Jordan specifically asked permission of Colonel Gitzinger in Daytona to tear the radar equipment out of a specific plane on one occasion.
Mr. Appell: That is correct, and he received that permission from Colonel Gitzinger.
Mr. Nixon: Then on the point of whether Mr. Jordan did or did not tear radar out of a plane, your investigation substantiates Major Jordan?
Mr. Appell: That is correct.
Mr. Nixon: Another point that Major Jordan made was that certain documents were going through Great Falls under diplomatic immunity; that he broke into the cases, examined the documents, and that some of the material in there which he examined consisted of plans, secret material, and so on, which it would be assumed would not be regarded under diplomatic immunity.
I think it is quite clear from your testimony that that phase of Major Jordan’s testimony stands up; is that correct?
Mr. Appell: Well, we do know, we are in contact with a witness, a former employee of the Russian Purchasing Commission, who helped pack one pouch of so-called diplomatic mail that went through, and we know it contained material highly secretive on industrial and war developments . . .
Mr. Nixon: Is it the intention of the staff, then, to present the witness [Victor A. Kravchenko] who may be able to substantiate, at least in part, Major Jordan’s testimony that secret material was going through?
Mr. Appell: That is correct. [Mr. Kravchenko’s testimony is quoted on pages 257-67.]
Mr. Nixon: On the point of the so-called shipments of uranium . . . the shipments went through. Is that correct?
Mr. Appell: Two specific shipments of uranium oxide and uranium nitrate and shipments of heavy water have been completely documented to include even the number of the plane that flew the uranium and heavy water to Great Falls.
Mr. Nixon: And the final point is the matter of Mr. Hopkins having attempted to expedite the shipments. Major Jordan’s testimony on that was that his notes, written at the time, showed the initials “H.H.” on one of the consignments which he broke into. Your investigation has shown no correspondence of Mr. Hopkins in which he used the initials “H.H.” Is that correct?
Mr. Appell: That which we reviewed.
Mr. Nixon: I understand that. My point is that as far as the investigation you have been able to make is concerned, you as yet have been unable to substantiate Major Jordan’s story on that point; is that correct?
Mr. Appell: Yes.
Mr. Nixon: But you have substantiated it on the four other points I mentioned?
Mr. Appell: Generally, yes.
Mr. Nixon: That is all.
Representative Harold H. Velde, also a member of the Committee, put this question to the investigator:
“Was Major Jordan’s story, as far as your investigation was concerned, ever discredited by any of the witnesses whom you contacted?”
Mr. Appell: “No.”
Finally, Representative Bernard W. Kearney of New York State made this statement:
“Listening to the testimony here, it seems to me the only one who did do his duty was Major Jordan. On two separate occasions, Major Jordan not only brought all this to the attention of his superior officers, but as a result conferences were held by various (Government) agencies named * – then it was dropped.”
With regard to the Hopkins note and the Hopkins telephone call (which are fully discussed in Chapter 6), I realize that there is only my word for them. But suppose that a letter of Hopkins signed “H.H.” existed, would that prove my charge that I saw a particular note on White House stationery in a black suitcase on a plane headed for Russia? Of course not. Why, then, have some persons insisted that producing such a signature is necessary, when such evidence would prove nothing?
Perhaps because they were impelled to raise a smoke screen. My point was that my notation of the signature (reproduced in center section of this edition) was “H.H.”, just as President Roosevelt sent Hopkins memos addressed “H.H.” (See Roosevelt and Hopkins by Robert Sherwood, page 409).
Since I have neither the letter itself or the transcript of the phone call, I have only my word to offer. I ask the reader only one thing: please reserve your judgment until you finish this book.
I am not a professional soldier, though I have served in two wars. I am a businessman who volunteered in the interests of my country. There is no reason, fortunately, for me to pull punches because of any pressures which can be applied to me. I have called the plays as I saw them.
I most sincerely acknowledge the assistance of those who have helped me with this volume: Colonel William L. Rich, Paul R. Berryman, John Frank Stevens, and Colonel Theodore S. Watson and his friends for their advice and insistence that I take leave of my business and spend the two years of effort necessary; and the writer whom a good friend of mine prevailed upon to undertake the Herculean job of sorting, rewriting, checking and preparing the data I have used – Richard L. Stokes, General Robert E. Wood and Eldon Martin of Chicago, for securing documents for reproduction; Mr. Robert A. Hug, N.Y. Public Library, microfilm division, for patient aid in research; and finally, my publishers for their patience and perseverance in seeing this book through this press.
George Racey Jordan
East Hampton, Long Island
August 1, 1952
“Mr. Brown” and the Start of a Diary
Late one day in May, 1942, several Russians burst into my office at Newark Airport, furious over an outrage that had just been committed against Soviet honor. They pushed me toward the window where I could see evidence of the crime with my own eyes.
They were led by Colonel Anatoli N. Kotikov, the head of the Soviet mission at the airfield. He had become a Soviet hero in 1935 when he made the first seaplane flight from Moscow to Seattle alone the Polar cap; Soviet newspapers of that time called him the “Russian Lindbergh.” He had also been an instructor of the first Soviet parachute troops, and he had 38 jumps to his credit.
I had met Colonel Kotikov only a few days before, when I reported for duty on May 10, 1942. My orders gave the full title of the Newark base as “UNITED NATIONS DEPOT NO. 8, LEND-LEASE DIVISION, NEWARK AIRPORT, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, INTERNATIONAL SECTION, AIR SERVICE COMMAND, AIR CORPS, U.S. ARMY.”
I was destined to know Colonel Kotikov very well, and not only at Newark. At that time he knew very little English, but he had the hardihood to rise at 5:30 every morning for a two-hour lesson. Now he was pointing out the window, shaking his finger vehemently.
There on the apron before the administration building was a medium bomber, an A-20 Douglas Havoc. It had been made in an American factory. It had been donated by American Lend-Lease, is was to be paid for by American taxes, and it stood on American soil. Now it was ready to bear the Red Star of the Soviet Air Force. As far as the Russians and Lend-Lease were concerned, it was a Russian plane. It had to leave the field shortly to be hoisted aboard one of the ships in a convoy that was forming to leave for Murmansk and Kandalaksha. On that day the Commanding Officer was absent and, as the acting Executive Director, I was in charge.
I asked the interpreter what “outrage” had occurred. It seemed that a DC-3, a passenger plane, owned by American Airlines, had taxied from the runway and, in wheeling about on the concrete plaza to unload passengers, had brushed the Havoc’s engine housing. I could easily see that the damage was not too serious and could be repaired. But that seemed to be beside the point. What infuriated the Russians was that it be tolerated for one minute that an American commercial liner should damage, even slightly, a Soviet warplane!
The younger Russians huddled around Colonel Kotikov over their Russian-English dictionary, and showed me a word: “punish.” In excited voices they demanded: “Pooneesh — peelote!” I asked what they wanted done to the offending pilot. One of them aimed an imaginary revolver at his temple and pulled the trigger.
“You’re in America,” I told him. “We don’t do things that way. The plane will be repaired and ready for the convoy.”
They came up with another word: “Baneesh!” They repeated this excitedly over and over again. Finally I understood that they wanted not only the pilot, but American Airlines, Inc., expelled from the Newark field.
I asked the interpreter to explain that the U.S. Army has no jurisdiction over commercial companies. After all, the airlines had been using Newark airport long before the war and even before La Guardia Airport existed. I tried to calm down the Russians by explaining that our aircraft maintenance officer, Captain Roy B. Gardner, would have the bomber ready for its convey even if it meant a special crew working all night to finish the job.
I remembered what General Koenig had said about the Russians when I went to Washington shortly after Pearl Harbor. He knew that in 1917 I had served in the Flying Machine Section, U.S. Signal Corps, and that I had been in combat overseas. When he told me there was an assignment open for a Lend-Lease liaison officer with the Red Army Air Force, I was eager to hear more about it.
“It’s a job, Jordan, that calls for an infinite amount of tact to get along with the Russians,” the General said. “They’re tough people to work with, but I think you can do it.”
Thus I had been assigned to Newark for the express purpose of expediting the Lend-Lease program. I was determined to perform my duty to the best of my ability. I was a “re-tread” as they called us veterans of World War I and a mere Captain by the age of 44 — but I had a job to do and I knew I could do it. The first days had gone reasonably well and I rather liked Kotikov. But there was no denying it, the Russians were tough people to work with.
As my remarks about repairing the bomber on time were being translated, I noticed that Colonel Kotikov was fidgeting scornfully. When I finished, he made an abrupt gesture with his hand. “I call Mr. Hopkins,” he announced.
It was the first time I had heard him use this name. It seemed such an idle threat, and a silly one. What did Harry Hopkins have to do with Newark Airport? Assuming that Kotikov carried out his threat, what good would it do? Commercial planes, after all, were under the jurisdiction of the Civil Aeronautics Board.
“Mr. Hopkins fix,” Colonel Kotikov asserted. He looked at me and I could see now that he was amused, in a grim kind of way. “Mr. Brown will see Mr. Hopkins — no?” he said smiling.
The mention of “Mr. Brown” puzzled me, but before I had time to explore this any further, Kotikov was barking at the interpreter that he wanted to call the Soviet Embassy in Washington. All Russian long-distance calls had to be cleared through my office, and I always made sure that the Colonel’s, which could be extraordinarily long at times, were put through “collect.” I told the operator to get the Soviet Embassy, and I handed the receiver to Kotikov.
By this time the other Russians had been waved out of the office, and I was sitting at my desk. Colonel Kotikov began a long harangue over the phone in Russian, interrupted by several trips to the window. The only words I understood were “American Airlines,” “Hopkins,” and the serial number on the tail which he read out painfully in English. When the call was completed, the Colonel left without a word. I shrugged my shoulders and went to see about the damaged Havoc. As promised, it was repaired and ready for hoisting on shipboard when the convoy sailed.
That, I felt sure, was the end of the affair.
I was wrong. On June 12th the order came from Washington not only ordering American Airlines off the field, but directing every aviation company to cease activities at Newark forthwith. The order was not for a day or a week. It held for the duration of the war, though they called it a “Temporary Suspension.”
I was flabbergasted. It was the sort of thing one cannot quite believe, and certainly cannot forget. Would we have to jump whenever Colonel Kotikov cracked the whip? For me, it was going to be a hard lesson to learn.
Captain Gardner, who had been at Newark longer than I, and who was better versed in what he called the “push-button system,” told me afterwards that he did not waste a second after I informed him that Colonel Kotikov had threatened to “call Mr. Hopkins.” He dashed for the best corner in the terminal building, which was occupied by commercial airlines people, and staked out a claim by fixing his card on the door. A few days later the space was his.
I was dazed by the speed with which the expulsion proceedings had taken place. First, the CAB inspector had arrived. Someone in Washington, he said, had set off a grenade under the Civil Aeronautics Board. He spent several days in the control tower, and put our staff through a severe quiz about the amount of commercial traffic and whether it was interfering with Soviet operations. The word spread around the field that there was going to be hell to pay. Several days later, the order of expulsion arrived. A copy of the order is reproduced in chapter nine of this edition, a masterpiece of bureaucratic language.
I had to pinch myself to make sure that we Americans, and not the Russians, were the donors of Lend-Lease. “After all, Jordan,” I told myself, “you don’t know the details of the whole operation; this is only one part of it. You’re a soldier, and besides you were warned that this would be a tough assignment.” At the same time, however, I decided to start a diary, and to collect records of one kind and another, and to make notes and memos of everything that occurred. This was a more important decision than I realized.
Keeping a record wasn’t exactly a revolutionary idea in the Army. I can still see Sergeant Cook, at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1917, with his sandy thatch and ruddy face, as he addressed me, a 19-year-old corporal, from the infinite superiority of a master sergeant in the regular Army: “Jordan, if you want to get along, keep your eyes and your ears open, keep your big mouth shut, and keep a copy of everything!”
Now I felt a foreboding that one day there would be a thorough investigation of Russian Lend-Lease. I was the only one cog in the machinery. Yet because of the fact that I couldn’t know the details of high-level strategy, I began the Jordan diaries.
These diaries consist of many components. The first was started at Newark, and later grew into two heavy binders stuffed with an exhaustive documentation of Army orders, reports, correspondence, and names of American military persons. It covers the Soviet Lend-Lease movement by ship from Newark, and by air from Great Falls and Fairbanks from early in 1942 to the summer of 1944.
The record is not only verbal but pictorial. Among many photographs there are eight which commemorate the visit to Great Falls of the most famous member of any World War I outfit — Captain “Eddie” Rickenbacker. A sort of annex, or overflow, contains oddments like a file of Tail Winds, newspaper of the 7th Ferrying Group.
The second section, also begun in Newark, is a small book with black leather covers. In this I entered the name, rank and function of every Russian who came to my knowledge as operating anywhere in the United States. The catalogue identifies 418 individuals not a few of whom were unknown to the FBI. Mr. Hoover’s men were interested enough to Photostat every page of this book.
The list proved to be of value, I was told, in tracing Communist espionage in America during the war. Incidentally, this ledger opens with what authorities have praised is a very complete roster of Soviet airbases — 21 in all, with mileages –from Bering Strait across Siberia to Moscow.
The third part, a sizable date-book in maroon linen, is the only one that follows the dictionary definition of a diary as “a record or register of daily duties and events.” It is a consecutive notation of happenings, personal and official during nine months of 1944. But we are two years ahead of ourselves, and we shall come to that period later.
An official explanation of the expulsion of the airlines from Newark Airport was necessary for public consumption, but the one given could hardly have been more preposterous. The CAB press release stated: “All air transport service at the Newark, N.J. airport was ordered suspended immediately by the Civil Aeronautics Board today . . . The Board attributed the suspension to the reduced number of airplanes available and the necessity for reducing stops as a conservative move.”
We at the airport were told there was too much commercial airplane traffic; the public was told that the ban was imposed because there were now fewer planes! And the idea that “conservation” resulted from the ban was absurd: the planes now stopped at La Guardia, which they hadn’t before, instead of at Newark!
On June 12th, the day of the ban, the identity of the “Mr. Brown” mentioned by Colonel Kotikov was revealed. His name was Molotov.
Front pages revealed that he was the President’s overnight guest at the White House. The newspapermen all knew that Molotov had been in Washington from May 29th to June 4th, traveling incognito as “Mr. Brown.” (One reporter asked Stephen Early, “Why didn’t you call him ‘Mr. Red’?”)
At Early’s request they had imposed a voluntary censorship on themselves and the visit was called the “best kept secret of the war.” At one point during this period, Molotov visited New York. Though I don’t know whether Colonel Kotikov saw him then, he obviously knew all about Molotov’s movements.
Late in the evening of Molotov’s first day at the White House, Harry Hopkins made an entry in his diary. I think it is shocking. Hopkins wrote:
“I suggested that Molotov might like to rest [Hopkins wrote].
Litivinov acted extremely bored and cynical throughout the conference. He made every effort to get Molotov to stay at the Blair House tonight but Molotov obviously wanted to stay at the White House at least one night, so he is put up in the room across the way [across from Hopkins’, that is].
I went in for a moment to talk to him after the conference and he asked that one of the girls he brought over as secretaries be permitted to come, and that has been arranged.” 
Ten days after the Molotov story broke, Harry Hopkins came to New York to address a Russian Red Rally at Madison Square Gardens. He cried:
“A second front?
“Yes, and if necessary, a third and a fourth front . . . The American people are bound to the people of the Soviet Union in the great alliance of the United Nations. They know that in the past year you have in your heroic combat against our common foe performed for us and for all humanity a service that can never be repaid.
“We are determined that nothing shall stop us from sharing with you all that we have and are in this conflict, and we look forward to sharing with you the fruits of victory and peace.”
Mr. Hopkins concluded:
“Generations unborn will owe a great measure of their freedom to the unconquerable power of the Soviet people.”
“Mr. Brown” And the Start of a Diary
1. Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History, Robert E. Sherwood, (Harper, 1948), p. 560.
2. Ibid, p. 588.
continue with Chapter 2
The “Bomb Powder” Folders
In my capacity as Liaison Officer, I began helping the Russians with necessary paper work and assisted them in telephoning various factories to expedite the movement of supplies to catch particular convoys. I soon got to know Eugene Rodzevitch, the field man who visited the plants and reported daily by phone as to possible expectations of deliveries.
As Colonel Kotikov communicated with many different officials of the Soviet Government Purchasing Commission, their names became more and more familiar to me. For instance, Mr. I.A. Eremin, a member of the Commission, was in charge of raw materials. Others were B.N. Fomin, in charge of powder and explosives in the military division; N.S. Formichev, assistant chief to Mr. Eremin in the chemical division under raw materials; and A.D. Davyshev, in charge of electric furnaces.
These names appeared more and more frequently, because we were destined to accumulate chemicals and chemical plants in increasing intensity in the months ahead. Major General S.A. Piskounov was chief of the aviation section, with his assistants, Colonel A. P. Doronin, in charge of medium bombers; and Colonel G. E. Tavetkov, in charge of fighter pursuit planes. I got to know the latter two officers very well.
Few of the American officers who came in casual contact with the Russians ever got to see any of their records. But the more I helped Rodzevitch and Colonel Kotikov, the more cordial they became. It became customary for me to leaf through their papers to get shipping documents, and to prepare them in folders for quick attention when they reported back to Washington.
At this time I knew nothing whatever about the atomic bomb. The words “uranium” and “Manhattan Engineering District” were unknown to me.
But I became aware that certain folders were being held to one side on Colonel Kotikov’s desk for the accumulation of a very special chemical plant. In fact, this chemical plant was referred to by Colonel Kotikov as a “bomb powder” factory. By referring to my diary, and checking the items I now know went into an atomic energy plant, I am able to show the following records starting with the year 1942, while I was still at Newark. These materials, which are necessary for the creation of atomic pile, moved to Russia in 1942:
Graphite: natural, flake, lump or chip, costing American taxpayers $812,437.
Over thirteen million dollars’ worth of aluminum tubes (used in the atomic pile to “cook” or transmute the uranium into plutonium), the exact amount being $13,041,152.
We sent 834,989 pounds of cadmium metal for rods to control the intensity of an atomic pile; the cost was $781,472.
The really secret material, thorium, finally showed up and started going through immediately. The amount during 1942 was 13,440 pounds at a cost of $22,848.*
*On Jan. 30, 1943 we shipped an additional 11,912 pounds of thorium nitrate to Russia from Philadelphia on the S.S. John C. Fremont. It is significant that there were no shipments from 1944 and 1945, due undoubtably to General Groves’ vigilance.
Regarding thorium the Smyth Report (p. 5) says:
“The only natural element which exhibit this property of emitting alpha or beta particles are (with a few minor exceptions) those of very high atomic numbers and mass numbers, such as uranium, thorium, radium, and actinium, i.e., those known to have the most complicated nuclear structures.”
It was about this time that the Russians were anxious to secure more Diesel marine engines which cost about $17,500 and were moving heaven and earth to get another 25 of the big ones of over 200 horsepower variety.
Major General John R. Deane, Chief of our Military Mission in Moscow, had overruled the Russians’ request for any Diesel engines because General MaCarthur needed them in the South Pacific. But the Russians were undaunted and decided to make an issue of it by going directly to Hopkins who overruled everyone in favor of Russia.
In the three-year period, 1942-44, a total of 1,305 of these engines were sent to Russia! They cost $30,745,947. The engines they had previously received were reported by General Deane and our military observers to be rusting in open storage. It is now perfectly obvious that these Diesels were post-war items, not at all needed for Russia’s immediate war activity.
Major General Deane, an expert on Russian Lend-Lease, has this to say in his excellent book, The Strange Alliance, which bears the meaningful subtitle, “The Story of Our Efforts at Wartime Cooperation with Russia”:
With respect to Russian aid, I always felt that their mission (that is, the mission of Harry Hopkins and his aide, Major General james H. Burns) was carried out with a zeal which approached fanaticism. Their enthusiasm became so ingrained that it could not be tempered when conditions indicated that a change in policy was desirable . . .
When the tide turned at Stalingrad and a Russian offensive started which ended only in Berlin, a new situation was created. We now had a Red Army which was plenty cocky and which became more so with each successive victory.
The Soviet leaders became more and more demanding. The fire in our neighbor’s house had been extinguished and we had submitted ourselves to his direction in helping to extinguish it. He assumed that we would continue to submit ourselves to his direction in helping rebuild the house, and unfortunately we did. He allowed us to work on the outside and demanded that we furnish the material for the inside, the exact use of which we were not allowed to see. Now that the house is furnished, we have at best only a nodding acquaintance. 
It is true that we never knew the exact use to which anything sent under Russian Lend-Lease was put, and the failure to set up a system of accountability is now seen to have been an appalling mistake. But could anything be more foolish than to suppose that the atomic materials we sent have not been used for an atomic bomb which materialized in Russia long before we expected it?
The British let us inspect their installations openly, and exchanged information freely. The Russians did not. Our Government was intent on supplying whatever the Russians asked for, as fast as we could get it to them – and I was one of the expediters. And when I saw “our Government,” I mean of course Harry Hopkins, the man in charge of Lend-Lease, and his aides. We in the Army knew where the orders were coming from, and so did the Russians. The “push-button system” worked splendidly; no one knew it better than Colonel Kotikov.
One afternoon Colonel Kotikov called me to the door of the hangar. He pointed to a small plane which bore a red star in a white circle. “Who owns this?” he asked. I recognized it as a Texaco plane, and explained that it belonged to an oil firm, the Texaco Company.
What right had the Texas Company, he asked, to usurp the red star? He would phone Washington and have it taken away from them immediately. I grabbed his arm and hastily explained that the state of Texas had been known as the “Lone Star State” long before the Russian revolution. I said that if he started a fight about this star, the state of Texas might declare war on Russia all by itself.
Kotikov wasn’t really sure whether I was joking, but he finally dropped the idea of phoning. I always remember with amusement that this was one of the few times that Harry Hopkins was not called upon for help.
The various areas of Russia that were being built or rebuilt were apparent from the kind of supplies going forward on Lend-Lease. Many of the suppliers were incredibly long-range in quantity and quality. Here are some of the more important centers:
Soviet City — Nature of U.S.
Chelyabinsk — Tractor and farm machinery
Chirchik — Powder and explosive factories
Kamensk — Uralski Aluminum manufacture
Nizhni Tagil — Railway car shops
Novosibirsk — Plane factory and parts
Magnitogorsk — Steel mill equipment
Omsk — Tank center
Sverdlovsk — Armament plants
The Russians were great admirers of Henry Ford. Often the interpreter would repeat to me such statements of theirs as, “These shipments will help to Fordize our country,” or “We are behind the rest of the world and have to hurry to catch up.”
It became clear, however, that we were not going to stay at Newark much longer. The growing scope of our activities, the expansion of Lend-Lease, the need for more speedy delivery of aircraft to Russia – all these factors were forcing a decision in the direction of air delivery to supplant ship delivery. It had long been obvious that the best route was from Alaska across to Siberia.
From the first the Russians were reluctant to open the Alaskan-Siberian route. Even before Pearl Harbor, on the occasion of the first Harriman-Beaverbrook mission to Moscow in September, 1941, Averell Harriman had suggested to Stalin that American aircraft could be delivered to the Soviet Union from Alaska through Siberia by American crews. Stalin demurred and said it was “too dangerous a route.” It would have brought us, of course, behind the Iron Curtain.
During the Molotov visit to the White House, Secretary of State Cordell Hull handed Harry Hopkins a memorandum with nine items of agenda for the Russians, the first of which was: “The Establishment of an Airplane Ferrying Service from the United States to the Soviet Union Through Alaska and Siberia.”
When the President brought this up, Molotov observed it was under advisement, but “he did not as yet know what decision had been reached.”
Major General John R. Deane has an ironic comment on Russian procrastination in this regard:
Before I left for Russia, General Arnold, who could pound the desk and get things done in the United States, had called me to his office, pounded the desk, and told me what he wanted done in the way of improving air transportation between the United States and Russia.
He informed me that I was to obtain Russian approval for American operation of air transport planes to Moscow on any of the following routes in order of priority: one, the Alaskan-Siberian route; two, via the United Kingdom and Stockholm; or three, from Teheran to Moscow. I saluted, said Yes, sir, and tried for two years to carry out his instructions. 
Where the U.S. was not able to force Russia’s hand, Nazi submarines succeeded. Subs out of Norway were attacking our Lend-Lease convoys on the Murmansk route, apparently not regarded as “too dangerous a route” for American crews.
A disastrous limit was finally reached when out of one convoy of 34 ships, 21 were lost. The Douglas A-20 Havocs, which were going to the bottom of the ocean, were more important to Stalin than human lives. So first we started flying medium bombers from South America to Africa, but by the time they got across from Africa to Tiflis, due to sandstorms the motors had to be taken down and they were not much use to the Russians. Nor were we able to get enough of them on ships around Africa to fill Russian requirements for the big offensive building up for the battle of Stalingrad.
Finally, Russia sent its OK on the Alaskan-Siberian route. Americans would fly the planes to Fairbanks, Alaska: Americans would set up all the airport facilities in Alaska*; Soviet pilots would take over on our soil; Soviet pilots only, would fly into Russia.
The chief staging-point in the U.S. was to be Gore Field in Great Falls, Montana. A few years before the war General Royce, who had been experimenting in cold-weather flying with a group of training planes called “Snow Birds,” had found that Great Falls, with its airport 3,665 feet above sea level on the top of a mesa tableland 300 feet above the city itself, had a remarkable record of more than 300 clear flying days per year, despite its very cold dry climate in the winter.
If you look at a projection of the globe centered on the North Pole, you will see that Great Falls is almost on a direct line with Moscow. This was to be called the new and secret Pipeline. The Army called it ALSIB.
* Later it came out that we actually built bases for the Russians in Siberia. Colonel Maxwell E. Erdofy, the famous airport builder, and crews from the Alcan Highway project were ordered to Russia and kept in isolation and under Soviet guard as they build Siberian airports. I find no record anywhere of this work having been changed to Lend-Lease.
1 – The “Bomb Powder” Folders
2 – The Strange Alliance, John R. Deane, (Viking, 1947), pp. 90-91.
3 – Ibid, p. 78.
Continue with Chapter 3
We Move to Montana
It was the coldest weather in 25 years when the route was mapped out. First of all, Major General Follette Bradley flew experimentally by way of the old gold-field airstrips of Canada. With the Russians he scratched out a route from Great Falls through Fairbanks, Alaska and across Siberia to Kuibyshev and Moscow. It is the coldest airway in the world across the Yukon to Alaska and through the “Pole of Cold” in Siberia, but it worked.
Colonel (then Captain) Gardner, our trouble-shooter at Newark, was one of the first to go ahead to Montana. Then Lieutenant Thomas J. Cockrell arrived at Great Falls in charge of an advance cadre to make arrangements for the housing and quartering of troops of the 7th Ferrying Group of the Air Transport Command, which was moving from Seattle.
Gore Field was at that time known as the Municipal Airport of Great Falls. Although it had been selected as the home of the 7th, actual construction of barracks and accommodations had not been started.
The Great Falls Civic Center was therefore selected as a temporary home, with headquarters, barracks, mess-hall and other facilities combined under the roof of the huge municipal structure. The Ice Arena was also used as a combination barracks and mess-hall and temporary headquarters were established in the office of Mayor Ed Shields and the offices of other city officials.
For nearly four months, the Civic Center remained the home of the 7th Ferrying Group, while contractors rushed construction of the barracks, hangars and other buildings which were to make up the post on Gore Field.
The group completed its move up to Gore Hill early in November, 1942. The 7th Group continued to supervise all stations and operations along the Northwest Route until November 17, 1942, when the Alaskan Wing of the Air Transport Command was established to take over the operations of the route to the north through Canada to Fairbanks, where hundreds of Russian pilots were waiting to take over.
Major Alexander Cohn arrived from Spokane to establish the 34th Sub-Depot for the Air Service Command. It was this depot that supervised the mountain of air freight that originated from all over the United States and poured into the funnel of this end of the Pipeline.
Colonel Gardner arranged for my transfer from Newark to Great Falls. My orders designated me as “United Nations Representative.” Few people realize that although the United Nations Organization was not set up in San Francisco until September, 1945, the name “United Nations” was being used in the Lend-Lease organization as early as 1942, as in my original orders to Newark.
For the record, I want to quote my orders to Great Falls, with one phrase italicized. One reason for this is that in 1949 the New York Times printed the following statement of a “spokesman” for the United Nations:
“Jordan never worked for the United Nations.”
I thereupon took the original copy of my orders in person to the Times, explained that this was an Army designation as early as 1942, and asked them in fairness to run a correction (which they did not do), since I never claimed to have “worked for the United Nations” and their story left the impression that I was lying. Here are my orders, with the original Army abbreviations:
Army Air Forces
Headquarters, 34th Sub Depot
Air Service Command
Office of the Commanding Officer
Capt GEORGE R. JORDAN, 0468248, AC, having reported for duty this sta per Par1, SO No. 50, AAF, ASC, Hq New York Air Serv Post Area Comd, Newark Airport, N.J., dated 2 January 43, is hereby asgd United Nations Representative, 34th Sub Depot, Great Falls, Montana, effective this date.
By order of
Lt. Colonel MEREDITH.
These official orders activating my post were preceded on January first by a Presidential directive. This directive was addressed to the Commanding Generals of the Air Transport, Material, and Air Service Commands, through Colonel H. Ray Paige, Chief, International Section, Air Staff, who worked directly under General Arnold.
This directive gave first priority for the planes passing through our station, even over the planes of the United States Air Force! It was extremely important in all my work. I quote the crucial first paragraph:
ARMY AIR FORCES
January 1, 1943
MEMORANDUM FOR THE COMMANDING GENERAL,
AIR SERVICE COMMAND:
Subject: Movement of Russian Airplanes.
1. The president has directed that “airplanes be delivered in accordance with protocol schedules by the most expeditious means.” To implement these directives, the modification, equipment and movement of Russian planes have been given first priority, even over planes for U.S. Army Air Forces…
By Command of Lieutenant General ARNOLD,
Richard H. Ballard
Assistant Chief of Air Staff,
The following story illustrates the importance of “first priority” and indicates how few people, even in the armed services, were aware of it. One day a flying Colonel arrived at Great Falls and asked for clearance to Fairbanks, Alaska. He was told that his plane could not leave for the four days it would take to comply with the winterization orders enabling his plane to fly the cold route. He immediately demanded sufficient mechanics to do the job in a few hours.
I pointed out that this would require mechanics who were working on Russian planes. “I know I’m just an Air Force Colonel,” he muttered, “and I hate to discommode Uncle Joe, but I’m afraid, Captain, that this American plane will have to take precedence over the Russian planes.”
It isn’t often that a Captain can contradict a Colonel. When I showed him the foregoing directive and he read the words, “the President has directed,” and “first priority,” he was positively speechless.
We suggested that he could borrow some mechanics from Pocatello (Idaho) and Ogden (Utah) to facilitate the winterization of his plane. But he went around with a puzzled look, muttering “First priority! I’ll be damned.”
He asked me whether many Air Force pilots knew about this. I told him that they found it out when they hit Great Falls and tried to enter the Pipeline.
To complete my dossier there was an order from the headquarters of the Air Service Command which outlined my duties in detail. I think it important enough to quote in full:
ARMY AIR FORCES HEADQUARTERS
AIR SERVICE COMMAND
SUBJECT: Duties in Connection With Movement of Russian Airplanes.
TO: Commanding Officer
34th Sub Depot
Great Falls Municipal Airport
Great Falls, Montana
1. In connection with the movement of aircraft to U.S.S.R. through your station, it is directed that you appoint an officer who will be charged with the following duties:
a. Inspect aircraft upon arrival, to determine
(2) Status of regular equipment
b. Install special flight equipment as requested by Russia.
c. Receive and store special flight equipment furnished for this movement.
d. Report any shortages of regular equipment to United Nations Branch, Overseas Section, and take necessary action to have them supplied.
e. Furnish United Nations Branch, Overseas Section, with daily report covering arrivals and departure of these aircraft and status of those held on field.
f. Coordinate activities of Air Service Command, Air Transport Command and Material Command which affect this entire movement of aircraft.
g. Receive and transmit messages and requisitions from Fairbanks.
h. Coordinate and expedite air freight movements for U.S.S.R. from Great Falls and Edmonton.
2. It is recommended that Captain Jordan who was recently assigned to your station be appointed for this purpose.
By Command of
Major General FRANK:
A/C.P. Kane, Col. C.C.
For LESTER T. MILLER
BRIGADIER GENERAL, U.S.A.
Chief, Supply Division
The temperatures were ranging from zero to 70 degrees below zero along the route where the williwaws blow between Great Falls and Fairbanks. The williwaws don’t get down as far as Gore Field, but gales up to 110 miles an hour moved one pilot to say, “If we used a 500-pound bomb as a windsock, it would blow around too much.” Despite the cold, the Engineer Corps were rebuilding the old Canadian gold-field airstrips and were getting the airway really started as a Pipeline.
The Russian staff had moved from Newark, to Great Falls, with Colonel Kotikov still at their head. By this time I was on a very friendly personal basis with the Colonel. As human beings, we got on very well together. From the viewpoint of the usual Russian behavior toward Americans, it could even be said that we were on intimate terms.
Colonel Gardner decided that it would expedite matters if I took a trip to Fairbanks, visiting the various airports en route to familiarize myself with conditions and with the Russian personnel.
I was to return and report back to Colonel Winters and Colonel Doty in Dayton the type of accessories that were needed to expedite the deliveries of the cannon-firing F-39 Airacobras, the small fighting planes that were being flown by contact pilots to Ladd Field, Fairbanks. The medium bombers and the transports could, of course, be flown by instrument pilots.
The Russians nicknamed the Bell Airacobras the Cobrastochkas (“dear little cobras”), and reported that they were able to perform successfully all sorts of vertical maneuvers, particularly the chandelle, and held a very definite advantage over the Messerschmitt 109. If bought in lots of one thousand, the Airacobras cost U.S. taxpayers only $85,465.45 each.
On February first, 1943, I departed from Great Falls for Fairbanks.
Continue with Chapter 4
How My Alaskan Report Helped the Russians
On the day of my departure, Colonel Kotikov came down to the runway to see me off. He saw my “Gaffney” boots, lined with sheepskin, and looked horrified. “You Americans know nothing about cold,” he muttered, hustling me into a car.
We raced to his quarters, and he insisted on lending me his own Russian boots made of felt with leather soles. Unlike sheepskin, felt never gets damp from perspiration. It also balloons down in a spread, making it possible to walk on snow without breaking through. I had good reason to be grateful to the Colonel for the boots.
As we drove back to the plane, Colonel Kotikov informed me with a pleasant grin that his wife was on her way from Russia to join him at Great Falls. It had been my experience that only the favored few could get their wives to join them from the Soviet Union; I had more reason than ever to consider that I was working with an important member of the Russian hierarchy.
Incidentally, Mrs. Kotikov arrived at Great Falls after my return from Fairbanks. She was the most seasick person I have ever seen, and it took all the efforts of most of our medical staff to bring her back to normalcy.
But it wasn’t the sea voyage from Vladivostok which caused her illness. It was the land voyage, Mrs. Kotikov told us, across Siberia by camel caravan! She assured us that a rocking boat was infinitely preferable to a swaying camel. Since she spoke some English, and quickly learned to use a typewriter, she became Kotikov’s secretary, office manager, and general assistant.
My flight from Great Falls to Fairbanks – about 1,926 miles – took six days! I kept a day-by-day record of the nightmarish trip, much of it penciled in the air. Also, it was my habit to write once a week to my mother, and some of my letters have helped me to piece out the record quite fully. The first three days of the trip, the easiest leg, brought us to Watson Lake. Here are some diary entries:
Tuesday, Feb. 2 – Landed at Edmonton, first stop. Weather foggy, but up above the clouds we saw the Rockies and a gorgeous sunset against the mountains. Many Canadian fliers and planes.
Wednesday, Feb. 3 – Covered very mountainous country at 10,000 feet. Lots of clouds and storm patches. Arrived Grand Prairie O.K. Then fort St. John. Very rugged looking ahead. Arrived at Fort Nelson 3:45 P.M. Too overcast to go on. Went to Hudson Bay trading post. Saw a trapper with frozen whiskers who had come 70 miles through the bush by dogsled.
On Thursday we arrived at Watson Lake, getting down just in time to avoid the very bad snowstorm which had started. During the afternoon and night of the next day thirteen men perished, and February 5, 1943 became known as “Black Friday” on the American arm of the Pipeline. Everyone aboard the C-49 transport piloted by Colonel Mensinger was lost.
I had met Colonel Mensinger that Friday morning at Watson Lake. We were all blizzard-bound – about 30 pilots with the weather closed on the north by a frost-bank 10,000 feet high. The outdoor temperature was 35 to 50 degrees below zero. The runway was a strip of solid ice, between furrows of snow.
That day the sun rose at 10:15 A.M. and set around four o’clock in the afternoon. At midday our pilot, Captain Arthur C. Rush, and I struggled across the field to the weather station. We were protected by three suits of winter underwear, furlined flying jackets, special gloves, chamois face masks and three pairs of heavy socks inside our boots.
At the weather shack we found an officer who introduced himself as Colonel Mensinger. Of slight figure and medium stature, he was well on the way to fifty years. He was intelligent and courteous, but he grew indignant as messages began crackling off earphones inside the depot.
“Just listen!” he exclaimed. “All we need to know about weather is coming through from naval stations in the Aleutians and submarines far out at sea. But we can’t understand a word of it. Men are dying because it isn’t protocol for the Navy to share its code with the Army.” He said he had jotted down a notebook full of memoranda on weather intelligence, our worst bottleneck.” When he got to Edmonton, he would prepare a “broadside of a report.”
Just then it was announced on the loudspeaker that Colonel Mensinger, who was flying south, could go, if he wanted to take a chance; but that Captain Rush and I, who were northbound, had to stay. The Colonel said he would face the risk. For the sake of American lives, he felt that his report could not wait. As we shook hands, he complimented me on the work being done at Great Falls.
Rush and I were tramping off to lunch when we heard his motors start. The plane dashed along the runway in a spume of ice chips kicked up by the grippers in the tires. Thus Colonel Mensinger, with his ten companions and his notes on weather service reform, vanished into oblivion. His body was not found until five years later.
This was my diary entry for the next day:
Saturday, Feb. 6 – Temperature 35 below. Slept last night in sleeping bag. Huskie dog under my bed had nightmare, howled and upset bed. In evening saw old movie, “King of Alcatraz.” Played poker with the boys; won a little. Two of our best pursuit pilots sprained ankles, first time on skis; no more skiing allowed. Magnificent Northern Lights. After sunset beautiful glow in black night from sun below horizon – very strange. Three wolves ran across lake, must be very hungry to come that close. Colonel Mensinger’s plane and another plane reported lost… Others went up, looked for fires or signals. Nothing seen.
On Monday our enforced stay at Watson Lake ended, but we were in for a much greater ordeal. We began the six-hour flight from Watson Lake to Fairbanks by crossing an area that became known as “the Million Dollar Valley,” because planes worth more than that sum were lost there. It was the 220-mile run from Watson Lake to Whitehorse, the next airfield to the north. We went up to 14,000 feet to break out of the frost-bank. It had been 54 below zero when we left the ground. At nearly three miles up we estimated the temperature at 70.
Then our heater froze! We knew we were in for it. This is what I later wrote from Fairbanks to my mother:
That trip from Watson Lake was a horror. I never knew a person could be so cold. I nearly lost a couple of toes, and my heels are still sore. My nostrils cracked when I breathed and the corners of my mouth hurt like a toothache. I shut my eyes because the eyeballs pained so. My shaving brush froze and the hairs dropped off – just like my eyelashes. I ate forty lumps of sugar and lots of candy bars. Your socks were a big help. The pilot couldn’t see out of the window because of his breath freezing on the pane. So we flew by instruments until the end, when we used lighter fluid to wash a hole to land by…
When our plane put down in Fairbanks, the first person aboard was a Russian girl of middle height, a mechanic, with a flat Slavic face and with the shoulders and torso of a wrestler. She took one look at me and screamed.
I was told later that my mouth resembled icy slush. My nose and cheekbones were covered with frost and my eyes were staring like glass. I couldn’t stand erect, because my knees were bent as if crippled with rheumatism. So were my elbows. I was almost insensible. After all, I was forty-five years old, and couldn’t take it like pilots in their twenties.
Without inhibitions, the generous girl seized my head with her brawny arms and hugged it to her warm bosom. She held it there until I could feel “pins and needles,” which showed that the tissues were warming back to life. Then she helped me into her “Bug” – a midget car with tractors for snow-work – and sped across the field to the Russian operations office.
I was stripped down to shorts and plunged into a tub of cold water, which to my body seemed hot. Cups of cold water were poured over my head and shoulders by Russian men and girls. One of them brought vodka in a paper cup and grinned at me: “Russian medicine!”
As I sipped it gratefully, my mind began to work again. Through the window I saw our plane, which had been towed across the field. An air hose, blowing out the heater pipe, hurled chunks of ice against the building. Then there was a roar of engines, and the C-47, which Captain Rush had landed only a few minutes earlier, was off for Siberia with a Soviet crew.
Suddenly the Russians, including a Colonel or so, dropped everything and stood at attention. Over my shoulder, for the first time, I saw the slight, elegant figure of a man about forty years old and weighing 125 pounds. His hair was black, and his dark, ascetic face could have been that of a holy recluse.
When he addressed me, the voice was soft and gentle. He spoke in cultivated English: “I’m sorry you had such a hard trip,” he murmured. I gave him a wet hand. He ordered the Russians to heat cloths on the steam radiator and put them against my neck. At his direction, they rubbed me down with rough towels until I thought the skin would come off. Finally he said that if I felt well enough he would like me to be his guest at dinner. I accepted, and he departed.
I asked who he was. The answer was one of the names most dreaded by Russians in America – that of the Lend-Lease spy chief for the Soviet Purchasing Commission, Alexei A. Anisimov.
At Fairbanks you do everything underground, and don’t come by except to fly. Shops, restaurants, quarters – they all made a marvelous underground city. The underground part of the airport was in the shape of a circular tunnel five miles long and nine feet in diameter, connected by stairways with heated offices and hangars above. At this time the new Alcan highway was not yet through, and was not expected until the spring. Everything had to be brought into Fairbanks by plane or boat. The airport was known as Ladd Field.
There were seldom fewer than 150 Soviet pilots at Ladd field, and sometimes there were as many as 600. They were older and hardier than our boys, and nearly all were combat veterans. The deadly Siberian lane was considered a great honor by these pilots, and it was held out to them as a reward for courage and for wounds in action.
While I was there, one of these pilots landed an Airacobra on the apron instead of the runway, and drove it weaving among other craft parked along the plaza. The operations officer, Captain Frederick J. Kane, took him to task. The flier answered rudely: “I got eight Nazi planes. How many you got?”
As I entered the Officer’s Mess, in response to Mr. Anisimov’s invitation, I noticed that the Americans kept apart on the other side of the dining-hall, where women were not allowed. The Russians, on the other hand, were sitting with their wives, and with girl translators. I looked for my host, but could not spot him. Suddenly the Russians stopped eating, thrust their hands under the tables, and sat at attention. Mr. Anisimov had entered.
He greeted me cordially. As we sat down at his table, the silence in the room persisted. It was not until he picked up his knife and fork that the Russians shifted from “attention” to “at ease.” He acted as if this procedure were the most natural thing in the world, and undoubtedly it was, for him.
At that dinner I sealed my subsequent fate in the Army, the final outcome of which was not to occur until fifteen months later. Data that Mr. Anisimov gave me, verified by my personal inspection, formed the basis of the Alaskan report which I made on my return to Great Falls. This report touched off a drastic reorganization in the Northwest area. It also brought upon me the wrath of Colonel Dale V. Gaffney, commander of Ladd Air Field and chief of the Cold Weather Testing Unit at Fairbanks, who was Anisimov’s bête noire.
In the big shake-up which my report subsequently sparked, the Russian movement was transferred to the AAP’s Alaskan Brigadier General and became my commanding officer. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of a friend who called me from Wright Field as soon as he read my Alaskan report. “It’s nice to have met you,” he said. “I’ll see you in civilian life sometime. Don’t you know you’ve cut your own throat?”
My official jugular had 15 months to go as I sat at the dinner table with Mr. Anisimov and he outlined his complaints. Colonel Gaffney, he charged, was taking all the good mechanics for his weather operations when it was obvious that the very best ones should be servicing Russian planes for the 6,000-mile hop across Asia. The Alaska Defense Force was snatching Russian supplies for its own needs in Alaska and the Aleutians. Equipment for both Alaska and Russia, mixed in utter confusion, lay stretched for miles in heaps buried under snow, along the bank of the Tanana River.
As the last point was difficult to credit, I borrowed a heated truck the next day, and made morning and afternoon trips along the riverside. It was 50 below zero, so cold that I could work only twenty minute at a time before returning to the truck to warm up; the task would have been impossible without Colonel Kotikov’s boots. On the morning tour I was accompanied by my Lend-Lease opposite number at Ladd Field, Captain Robert P. Mortimer.
Captain Mortimer originated a suggestion that delighted the Russians. It came in a letter addressed to me in Great Falls some days later: “Do you think you could put any cargo, say four or five hundred pounds, in each of the A-20s and B-25s that are coming up here?” Thereafter we loaded 250 pounds of freight on every B-25 and 320 pounds on ever A-20. Since they could make the run to Moscow in two-thirds of the time needed by transport craft, Colonel Kotikov used the bombers for triple-A priority shipments.
Captain Mortimer told me that a building previously used for storing Russian goods had been taken from him by the Alaska Defense Force, and that all materials reaching Fairbanks had been combined in one giant pool. There was no inventory, and he was having trouble locating supplies scheduled for Russia. A quotation from my Alaskan report speaks for itself:
We drove about five miles through woods along a tortuous road. I found the supply pool not in buildings and segregated to bins, but strung along the river bank in man different piles. Some were under tarpaulins and all ere under much snow. We got out several times, probed the snow away with sticks and looked at the boxes.
We saw many generators, complete Mobile Depot units, complete instrument shops in crates, unwrapped tires of different sizes and thousands of boxes of aircraft parts buried so deep in snow that it was difficult to know whether we were scraping the true bottom…
By actual count, I saw nearly a hundred boxed Pratt-Whitney and other type motors covered with snow along this river front… In one case we found a mimeograph machine, for which Captain Mortimer said he had been trying several months to get an order through… There seemed to be hundreds and hundreds of boxes of Air Corps spare parts, tools, dies, belly tanks, tires, pioneer equipment and wheel assemblies…
A sergeant (my driver) told me that in the spring this river always overflows its banks for a quarter of a mile on either side. It is a most dangerous situation because many suppliers will surely sink out of sight in the moist tundra, if they are not actually inundated by the freshet when the ice breaks.
Including my list of recommendations, the report was eight pages long. As a tribute to Colonel Mensinger, I urged that naval weather codes be made available to Air Forces radio operators. I included three Russian requests, in behalf of speed, which were granted: de-icer boots were removed from all planes; camera installations were stripped from Airacobras; and tow-target equipment was omitted from B-25 bombers. The Russians explained that they had plenty of real Nazi targets to practice on.
Among other things, it was recommended that each air station should have a first echelon repair shop, and spare supplies of tires, tubes, generators and radio sets; that Russian materials be isolated in a building of their own at Fairbanks; and that facilities and personnel at Gore Field be enlarged to cope with the mounting operations.
On Wednesday, February 10th, our return-trip plane arrived from the Russian front. It was a C-47, thoroughly pounded and badly in need of repairs. It had no heater. Captain Rush looked it over and said, “I hope it hangs together long enough to get us home.” We started the engines and finally took off. I had exchanged farewells with Mr. Anisimov that morning.
We flew to 14,000 feet and soon everything on the plane was frozen. An orange in my pocket became as hard as a rock. We had on board ten pilots and crewmen who had delivered Soviet planes at Ladd Field and were returning to Great Falls for another consignment.
It was colder and colder. Some time later, looking out from the sleeping bag into which I had crawled with all clothes on, I was amazed to see the crew chief, Sergeant O’Hare, holding the blaze of a blow-torch against his foot. He said he could feel nothing. I told him he would burn off his toes and be crippled for life. He said he knew it, but anything was better than freezing to death. I put out the torch and rubbed his feet with a crash towel. When circulation was restored, he did the same for me.
We managed to get to Fort Nelson, where a safe landing was made and where we had a good dinner of caribou steak. We were all ready to take off again when a snowstorm arose, so we decided to stay over in the comfortable log cabins. In the morning it was 33 below zero and it was with the greatest difficulty that we coaxed the motors to start, warming them up from 6 A.M. to 9 A.M.
When we were 150 miles from Edmonton, the fuel pressure of the right engine began an ominous drop! We got ready to heave everything overboard except U.S. mail and Russian dispatches and diplomatic pouches from Moscow. I tore out the radio operator’s table, wrenched off the toilet seat, disposed of every loose object in sight. Poor Captain Heide, who had been two years in Nome and was on his first return trip to the U.S., watched as I dragged his steamer trunk to the door.
The gauge dropped from 20 to 6. I adjusted my parachute and opened the door. At 3 we would fling everything overboard and bail out, leaving Captain Rush to try a belly landing with one engine. Then the pressure began rising. When it got to 10 we breathed a big sigh, shook hands and sat down again. By this time Edmonton was in sight. Were we glad to get down!
After lunch we set out on the last lap to Great Falls. Just as we took off, I saw gasoline pouring over my window. The tank cap on the left wing had been put back loose, and was swept off by the slipstream. The whole side of the plane was being drenched. I ran and told the pilot, who said: “Boys, all we can do is pray that we don’t have any sparks from that left engine.”
We tightened parachutes and flattened noses against the windows looking for sparks, as Captain Rush wheeled around to land. Seconds seemed like hours. I looked down on Edmonton and wondered in what part of the town I would land if I had to jump.
The pilot skillfully banked the motor to keep sparks away from the gasoline spray, and throttled the left engine the moment our wheels touched the ground We radioed the control tower, and a jeep dashed up with a new cap. We not only screwed it on, we wired it down. By then we were looking at another sunset, and flew homeward by the light of the stars.
It was around midnight of Friday, February 12th, when we got back to Great Falls. All my life I had heard of the “Frozen North.” Now I knew what a terror it is.
On the morning of February 17 I laid my Alaskan report before Colonel Meredith, a rugged veteran who had been trained at West Point. He read it through with minute care, word by word. Then he demanded incredulously: “You want me to endorse this?” I answered yes; the report was what I sent to Fairbanks to get.
“I thought you wanted to be a Major,” he said. “Evidently you’ve given up all hope of promotion.” But instead of handing the papers back, he called a stenographer to take a memo for Lieutenant Colonel P. I. Doty, chief of the United Nations Branch, Patterson Field, Fairfield, Ohio.
At that moment I admired more than ever the type of officer developed by the U.S. Military Academy. Colonel Meredith was a close friend of Gaffney, but this is what he dictated: “The attached report of Captain Jordan has been read and carefully noted. It is strongly recommended that constructive action based on findings in the attached report… be inaugurated immediately.”
At the next rating of officers, which took place every three months, Colonel Meredith jumped me from “excellent” to “superior.” When I came up for promotion, he sent a letter which I treasure. He wrote that he believed the “thoroughness and forcefulness” I had displayed were “strong” factors in expediting the movement of United Nations airplanes through Great Falls”; and that my “tact and understanding had contributed materially to excellent relations with the Russian representatives.”
As for my Alaskan report, Colonel Gardner told me that Lieutenant Colonel Ambrose A. Winters, executive officer of the United Nations Branch at Wright Field, had ordered a couple of hundred mimeographs of my report put in circulation. But Colonel Gardner warned me that from now on I would be a “marked man.” He observed that Pratt-Whitney motors cost the taxpayers $25,000 each and he added: “You would be the one to go out in the snow and dig them up!”
Inspectors began to rush to Fairbanks by the plane load. They started with first lieutenants and captains. As their reports went back, confirming mine, the rank ascended to majors and lieutenant colonels. Arriving at last was a full colonel named Hugh J. Knerr, who afterwards became a major general. He was chief of the Headquarters Air Service Command at Fairfield, and had been empowered to settle the matter once and for all.
Colonel d’Arce announced that my report was “raising the roof,” and that Colonel Gaffney had been summoned to Washington by the Chief of Staff of the Army Air Forces, Major General E. Stratemeyer. Gaffney wanted to see me when he passed through Great Falls. Colonel d’Arce continued, I was eligible for some leave, and if I liked he would get orders cut for me to go to Seattle or San Francisco. My reply was that I wouldn’t run away.
He left us alone when Colonel Gaffney arrived. I had never seen him before. He was a giant of a man, with a square, massive head and the super-structure of a Babe Ruth. He slammed his fist on the desk and roared: “You’ve certainly raised hell! What right had you to come into my post and make a report without consulting me?”
I explained that while I was in Fairbanks he was absent on a flight to photograph mountains; I had discharged my military duty by reporting to Lieutenant Colonel Raymond F.F. Kitchingman, commander of the 384th Supply Squadron which handled shipments to Russia. I quoted Mr. Anisimov as declaring that he had protested repeatedly to Colonel Gaffney without result.
“I’m going to Washington,” shouted the Colonel, “to try and undo the damage you’ve done. I’m giving you a last chance to retract!”
I said the report was true and I wouldn’t take back a line. I remembered the six words which Sergeant Cook had once assured me would stop any brass-hat in his tracks. What I had done, I told Colonel Gaffney, was “for the good of the service.” He was too furious to speak, and dismissed me with a fling of the arm.
At least I could point to these results of my Alaskan report:
The navy’s code was thrown open to wireless operators on the Pipeline’s American leg.
There were personnel changes made at Ladd Field, one of which was a new supply officer for the 384th Squadron.
Consignments for Russia were separated from those of the Alaskan Defense Force.
Adequate storage housing was ordered.
The Russian operation was now recognized as paramount at Great Falls. It was shifted to the town’s largest air installation (from which a bomber training center had removed overseas), known as “East Base.”
Continue with Chapter 5
The Black Suitcases
After my return to Great Falls I began to realize an important fact: while we were a pipeline to Russia, Russia was also a pipeline to us.
One really disturbing fact which brought this home to me was that the entry of Soviet personnel into the United States was completely uncontrolled. Planes were arriving regularly from Moscow with unidentified Russians aboard. I would see them jump off planes, hop over fences, and run for taxicabs. They seemed to know in advance exactly where they were headed, and how to get there. It was an ideal set-up for planting spies in this country, with false identities, for use during and after the war. *
* Major General Follette Bradley, USAF (Ret.), winner of the Distinguished Service Medal for his pioneering of the Alsib Pipeline, wrote in the New York times on Aug. 31, 1951: “Of my own personal knowledge I know that beginning early in 1942 Russian civilian and military agents were in our country in large numbers.
It is hard to believe, but in 1943 there was no censorship set-up at Great Falls. An inspector more than 70 years old, named Randolph K. Hardy, did double work for the Treasury Department in customs and immigration. His office, in the city, was four miles from the airfield. He played the organ in a local church, and I was often told he was practicing and could not be interrupted. I took it on myself to provide him with telephone, typewriter, desk, file cabinet, stenographer, interpreter and staff car.
Finally I was driven to put up a large sign over my own office door, with the legend in Russian and English: “Customs Office – Report Here.” When Mr. Hardy was not present I got into the habit of demanding passports myself and jotting down names and particulars. It was not my job, but the list in my diary of Russians operating in this country began to swell by leaps and bounds. In the end I had the 418 names mentioned earlier in this book.
Despite my private worries, my relations with Colonel Kotikov were excellent. I was doing all that I could do to expedite Russian shipments; my directives were clear, and I was following them to the best of my ability.
Colonel Kotikov was well aware that a Major could do more expediting than a Captain. I was not surprised, therefore, to learn that Kotikov had painstakingly dictated in English the following letter to Colonel Gitzinger:
ARMY AIR FORCES
United Nations Unit
Great Falls, Montana
March 8, 1943.
Lt. Col. C.H. Gitzinger,
Third National Building,
Dear Colonel Gitzinger:
Captain Jordan work any day here is always with the same people, Sub-Depot Engineering Officer, Major Boaz; 7th Ferrying Group Base Engineering Officer, Major Lawrence; Alaskan Wing Control and Engineering Office, Major Taylor; Sub-Depot Executive Officer, Major O’Neill; and Base Supply Officer, Major Ramsey.
He is much hindered in his good work by under rank with these officers who he asks for things all time. I ask you to recommend him for equal rank to help Russian movement here.
Col., U.S.S.R. Representative
When my promotion finally came through, the gold oak leaves were pinned on my shoulder by Colonel Kotikov. This occasion was photographed and the picture is reproduced elsewhere in this book.
Now two other occurrences began troubling me. The first was the unusual number of black patent-leather suitcases, bound with white window sash cord and sealed with red wax, which were coming through on the route to Moscow. The second was the burglary of morphine ampuls from half of the 500 first-aid kits in our Gore Field warehouse.
The first black suitcases, six in number, were in charge of a Russian officer and I passed them without question upon his declaration that they were “personal luggage.” But the units mounted to ten, twenty and thirty and at last to standard batches of fifty which weighed almost two tons and consumed the cargo allotment of an entire plane. The officers were replaced by armed couriers, traveling in pairs, and the excuse for avoiding inspection was changed from “personal luggage” to “diplomatic immunity.”
Here were tons of materials proceeding to the Soviet Union, and I had no idea what they were. If interrogated, I should have to plead ignorance.
I began pursuing Colonel Kotikov with queries and protests. He answered with one eternal refrain. The suitcases were of “highest diplomatic character.” I retorted that they were not being sent by the Soviet Embassy but the Soviet Government Publishing Commission in Washington. He asserted that, whatever the origin, they were covered by diplomatic immunity. But I am sure he knew that one of these days I would try to search the containers.
They had grown to such importance in the eyes of the Russians that they asked for a locked room. The only door in the warehouse with a lock was that to the compartment in which the first-aid packets were kept. I put it at Colonel Kotikov’s disposal. The couriers took turn about. First one and then the other slept on top of the suitcases, while his companion stood guard. Perhaps unjustly, I suspected them of stealing our morphine. They were the only persons left in the storeroom without witnesses.
At four o’clock one cold afternoon in March, 1943, Colonel Kotikov said to me: “I want you dinner tonight.” Then he doubled the surprise by whisking from his ulster pockets two slender bottles with long, sloping necks. “Vodka!”
The invitation was accepted with pleasure and also curiosity. For almost a year now I had associated with Colonel Kotikov and his staff, but I had never dined with them. As a matter of routine they lunched with us at the Officers’ Club. But at night they disappeared, wondering off by themselves to other restaurants or the dining-room of the Rainbow Hotel, where they were quartered. So far as I knew, this was the first time they had bidden an American to an evening repast. It reminded me of my meal with Mr. Anisimov, who had wanted something from me.
At the Officers’ Club we had noticed that the Russians were extremely absent-minded about picking up bar checks. These oversights were costing us around $80 monthly, and we decided to remedy the situation. In the club were several slot-machines, for which the Russians had a passion. We decided to “set aside” one machine to cover their libations. Thanks to the one-armed mechanical bandit, we contrived after all to make them settle for their liquor.
Now, of a sudden, they asked me to dinner and were offering vodka, free, as an allurement. I could not help wondering why. Acting on a hunch, I excused myself from riding to town with Colonel Kotikov in his Pontiac. I decided I would take my staff car, which had a soldier driver; in case of need, I preferred to have mobility. I was directed to join the party at seven o’clock at a restaurant in Great Falls know as “Carolina Pines.”
There was not much time, so I hastened to ask our maintenance chief whether the Russians were planning any flights. He answered yes; they had a C-47 staged on the line, preparing to go. It was being warmed up with Nelson heaters – large canvas bags, fed with hot air, which were made to slip over motors and propellers. (Winter temperatures at the airfield could be as severe as at Fairbanks, ranging from 20 to 70 degrees below zero. Oil would sometimes freeze as hard as stone, and two to four hours were required to thaw out an engine.)
The Russians wielded a high hand at the airbase, but I had one power they respected. Though Lend-Lease planes were delivered to them at Great Falls, they were flown by American pilots as far as Fairbanks. No American pilot could leave without clearance, and I had authority to ground any plane at any time. In m absence, permission was given by the flight Officer of the Day. I called the control tower, gave the telephone number of the restaurant, and issued a positive order than no cargo plane was to be cleared for Russia except by myself.
Occupied by these thoughts, I drove to “Carolina Pines.” It was on the second floor of a big frame structure, with an outside stairway like a fire escape. The gathering consisted of five Russians and a single American, myself. Colonel Kotikov acted as host, and among the guests was Colonel G.E. Tsvetkov, head of the fighter-pursuit division of the Soviet Purchasing Commission.
When Colonel Kotikov produced his vodka bottles, I decided it would be only civil, in this minute corner of Russia, to do as the Russians did. I am practically a total abstainer; my yearly ration would average no more than one bottle of Scotch. Lucky for me, the vodka supply was limited. Small wine glasses were handed about, instead of the usual goblets.
Our host offered the first pledge “to the great Stalin.” We tossed the liquid fire into our throats, and I imitated the others by holding my glass upside down, at arm’s length. The refill was instantaneous, and the second toast was to “Novikov.” I asked who he was. “The great Field Marshal A. Novikov,” I was told. “Commander-in-Chief of the Red Army Air Forces.” The third name was “Pokryshkin.” I had never heard of him either, and fond he was Colonel Alexander Pokryshkin, Soviet ace, with 48 German planes to his credit.
Since the Russians had failed to do so, I made bold at this point to suggest a toast to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was drunk with a will. So as the second pledge, in honor of my chief, General Henry H. Arnold, Commander of the U.S. Army Air Forces. With the vodka under our belts, we moved to chairs about the table. But at 8:30 o’clock when we were two-thirds finished, the waitress handed me a message in pencil. It notified me to call the control tower at once.
At a public telephone, in the corridor, I learned that the C-47 had warmed up and that a couple of newly arrived couriers were demanding clearance. Without returning to the dining-room, I threw on my great-coat, scuffled down the stairs and ordered the driver to race full speed for the hangars, four miles away.
It was mid-winter in Great Falls. Snow was deep on the ground, and stars glittered frostily in a crystal sky. The temperature that night was about 20 degrees below zero.
As we neared the Lend-Lease plane there loomed up, in its open door, the figure of a burly, barrel-chested Russian. His back was propped against one jamb of the portal. An arm and a leg were stretched across the opposite side. I clambered up and he tried to stop me by pushing hard with his stomach. I pushed back, ducked under his arm, and stood inside the cabin.
It was dimly lighted by a solitary electric bulb in the dome. Faintly visible was an expanse of black suitcases, with white ropes and seals of crimson wax. On top of them, reclining on one elbow on a blanket, was a second Russian, slimmer than the first, who sprang to his feet as I entered. They were mature men, in the forties, and wore beneath leather jackets the inevitable blue suits of Russian civilians. Under each coat, from a shoulder holster, protruded the butt of a pistol.
It had been no more than a guess that a fresh installment of suitcases might be due. My first thought was: “Another bunch of those damn things!” The second was that if I was ever going to open them up, now was as good a time as any. With signs I made the Russians understand what I intended to do.
Promptly they went insane. They danced. They pushed at me with their hands and shrieked over and over the one English word they appeared to know. It was “deeplomateek!” I brushed them aside and took from my pocket a metal handle containing a safety razor blade which I carry in preference to a pocket knife.
Sensing its purpose, the lean courier flung himself face down on the suitcase, with arms and legs out-spanned to shield as much as possible with his body. I dragged one of the containers from under him, and he leaped up again as I started to saw through the first cord. At this sight their antics and shouts redoubled.
While opening the third suitcase, I had a mental flash that brought sweat to my forehead. The Russians were half made with fury and terror. They were on both sides of me, in front and behind. Supposing, in desperation, one of them shot me in the back? There would be no American witness, and my death could be passed off as “a deplorable accident.”
I called to a Yank soldier who was on patrol duty thirty feet away. He crunched over through the snow. Bending down from the plane, I asked whether he had had combat experience. He answered that he had, in the South Pacific. I stooped lower and murmured:
”I’m going to open more of this baggage. I want you to watch these two Russians. Both are armed. I don’t expect any trouble. But if one of them aims a gun at me, I want you to let him have it first. Understand?”
After a moment’s thought, he looked me in the eye and said, “Sir, is that an order?” I replied that it was an order. He clicked the bolt of his rifle to snap a cartridge into the chamber and brought the weapon to ready. He was tall enough for his head to clear the doorsill. The muzzle was pushed forward to command the interior.
One courier jumped from the plane and sprinted for the hangars, where there were telephones. The other, his face contorted as if to keep from crying, began reknotting the cords I had severed. There was little trouble getting into the suitcases because the Russians had bought the cheapest on the market. They had no locks, but only pairs of clasps. All were consigned to the same address. The entry on the bill of lading read: “Director, Institute of Technical and Economic Information, 47 Chkalovskaya, Moscow 120, U.S.S.R.”
I decided to attempt only a spot check – one suitcase, say, in every three. I examined perhaps eighteen of fifty. Otherwise the search was fairly thorough, as I was looking for morphine. (Incidentally, none was found.) The light was so weak that it was impossible to decipher text without using a flash lamp. I had to take off my gloves, and my fingers grew numb with cold.
Using one knee as a desk, I jotted notes with a pencil on two long envelopes that happened to be in my pocket. There was usually one entry, or phrase of description, for each suitcase inspected. These scrawls were gathered within the next few days into a memorandum, after which I discarded the envelopes. A page of the memorandum is reproduced in this book on pages 80, 81.
The first thing I unearthed made me snort with disgust. It was a ponderous tome on the art of shipping four-legged animals. Was this the kind of twaddle American pilots were risking their lives to carry? But in the back I found a series of tables listing railroad mileages from almost any point in the United States to any other.
Neatly packed with the volume were scores of roadmaps, of the sort available at filling stations to all comers. But I made a note that they were “marked strangely.” Taken together, they furnished a country-wide chart, with names and places, of American industrial plants. For example, Pittsburgh entries included “Westinghouse” and “Blaw-Knox.”
The next suitcase to be opened was crammed with material assembled in America by the official Soviet news organ, the Tass Telegraph Agency. A third was devoted to Russia’s government-owned Amtorg Trading Corporation of New York. One yielded a collection of maps of the Panama Canal Commission, with markings to show strategic spots in the Canal Zone and distances to islands and ports within a 1,000-mile radius.
Another was filled with documents relating to the Aberdeen Proving Ground, one of the most “sensitive” areas in the war effort. Judging by their contents, various suitcases could have been labeled under the heads of machine tools, oil refineries, blast furnaces, steel foundries, mining, coal, concrete, and the like. Other folders were stuffed with naval and shipping intelligence. There seemed to be hundreds of commercial catalogues and scientific magazines.
I noted that there were letters from Yakov M. Lomakin. Afterwards, as Soviet Consul General in New York, he played a part in the Mme. Kasenkina “leap for freedom” incident which forced him to quit the country. There were also sheafs of information about Mexico, Argentina and Cuba.
There were groups of documents which, on the evidence of stationery, had been contributed by Departments of Agriculture, Commerce and State. All such papers had been trimmed close to the text, with white margins removed. I decided this was done either to save weight, or to remove “Secret,” “Confidential” or “Restricted” stamps that might have halted a shipment, or for both reasons.
I distinctly remember five or six State Department folders, bound with stout rubber bands. Clipped to each was a tab. The first read: “From Sayre.” I took down the words because it ran through my head that someone of that name had recently been High Commissioner to the Philippines.
Then I copied the legend: “From Hiss.” * I had never heard of Alger Hiss, and made the entry because the folder bearing his name happened to be second in the pile. It contained hundreds of Photostats of what seemed to be military reports. There was a third name which I did not copy but which stuck in my mind because it was the same as that of my dentist. The tab read: “From Geiger.” I did not list and cannot remember the names on other State Department folders.
* In my Fulton Lewis broadcasts it was decided to use the designations “Mr. X” and “Mr. Y” for Sayre and Hiss, since the trial of Alger Hiss was then in progress and mention of his name might have prejudiced it.
From the radio transcript of Dec. 2, 1949:
“LEWIS: Now careful, don’t mention any name… One folder said ‘From X’ and the other said ‘From Y’. And Mr. X and Mr. Y were well-known State Department officials, one of them particularly prominent in the news? JORDAN: That’s right.”
In one was an account by an American Army officer of a tour in the Near East. I read it hurriedly. Turkey and Iran were among the countries he had reviewed, unconsciously, for the Kremlin’s enlightenment. Glancing through the document, I found passages dealing with Soviet military strength in and about this area.
Bewildering, to say the least, was the discovery of voluminous copies of reports which American attachés in Moscow had forwarded trustfully, in diplomatic pouches, to their superiors in Washington. I asked myself what these officers would think if they knew their most secret dispatches were being returned to the Soviet capital, for perusal by the very individuals whom they had discussed and possibly denounced.
A suitcase opened midway in the search appeared to contain nothing but engineering and scientific treatises. They bristled with formulae, calculations and professional jargon. I was about to close the case and pass on when my eye was caught by a specimen of stationery such as I had never before seen.
Its letterhead was a magic incantation: “The White House, Washington.” As a prospective owner of an 80-acre tract alone the shore of Washington State, I was impressed by the lordly omission of the capitals, “D.C.” Under the flashlight I studied this paper with attention. It was a brief note, of two sheets, in a script which was not level but sloped upward to the right. The name to which it was addressed, “Mikoyan,” was wholly new to me. (By questioning Colonel Kotikov later, I learned that A.I. Mikoyan at the moment was Russia’s No. 3 man, after Premier Stalin and Foreign Commissar Molotov. He was Commissar of Foreign Trade and Soviet bass of Lend-Lease.)
A salutation, “My dear Mr. Minister,” led to a few sentences of stock courtesies. One passage, of eleven words, in the top line of the second page, impressed me enough to merit a scribble on my envelope. That excerpt ran thus: “ – had a hell of a time getting these away from Groves.”
The last two words should not be taken as referring to Major General Leslie R. Groves himself. What the meant, probably, was “from the Groves organization.” The commander of the Manhattan Engineer District, later the Manhattan Project, was almost unique in the Washington hierarchy for his dislike and suspicion of Russia.
I shall tell here, for the first time, that the verb before “hell” was preceded by a name, which stood at the end of the last line of the opening sheet. Its initial was either a capital “O” or “C” (since it was slightly open at the top), after which came four or five characters that rushed away in half-legible flourish. After pouring over it minutely, I came to the conclusion that the word had to be either “Oscar” if the initial letter was an “O”, or “Carrie” if the initial letter was a “C.” The full quotation would therefore read: “Oscar (or Carrie) had a hell of a time getting these away from Groves.”
The first thing I had done, on finding the White House note, was to flip over the page to look for a signature. I penciled it on my envelope as “H.H.” This may not have been an exact transcription. In any case, my intention is clear. It was to chronicle, on the spot, my identification of the author as Harry Hopkins. It was general usage at Great Falls or elsewhere to refer to him as “Harry Hopkins,” without the middle initial. *
*President Roosevelt, incidentally, adopted the same abbreviation as mine in December, 1941. The President’s notation, in his own handwriting, was as follows: “H H – Speed up! FDR.” A reproduction of this note can be seen on page 400 of the Robert Sherwood book.
At the time of this episode I was as unaware as anyone could be of Oak Ridge, the Manhattan District and its chief, General Groves. The enterprise has been celebrated as “the best guarded secret in history.” It as superlatively hush-hush, to the extreme that Army officers in the “know” were forbidden to mention it over their private telephones inside the Pentagon.
General Groves has testified that his office would have refused to send any document to the White House, without authority from himself, even if it was requested personally by the President. I am certain that this is true, and I have never asserted anything to the contrary with respect to General Groves.
I admire General Groves very much and I think that his testimony at the Congressional hearing was one of the impressive things that occurred there. The fact that he testified that he had never met Hopkins or even spoken to him seemed to convince some people that I was lying, but of course for Hopkins to write that “Oscar had a hell of a time getting these away from Groves” in no way implies that Hopkins knew about Groves.
General Groves did confirm in the following testimony that pressure was definitely felt in his organization even though he would not specify its source.
Mr. Harrison: You said there was a great deal of pressure on Lend-Lease to ship uranium to Russia. Can you tell us who exerted the pressure?
General Groves: No; I can’t tell you who exerted the pressure on Lend-Lease. Of course it could have been internal pressure. At any rate, we saw every evidence of that pressure, and I believe your files of the Lend-Lease diaries will show how they repeatedly came back. It was evident from reading the diaries that we didn’t want this material shipped, yet they kept coming back and coming back…
I believe it is fair to say that… (General Wesson’s) subordinates were fully aware that we did not want this material to be shipped abroad, and this continual pressure to ship it was certainly coming from somewhere. Either it was coming internally, from ambitious souls, or it was coming externally.
I am sure if you would check on the pressure on officers handling all supplies of a military nature during the war, you will find the pressure to give to Russia everything that could be given was not limited to atomic matters.
There was one incident that occurred later. I was reminded this morning by one of my former people of how delighted we were when we managed to get some materials away from the Russians. It was a major accomplishment. And the only thing we got away from them was time. We were very anxious, in connection with the gaseous diffusion plant, to get certain equipment. If it had not been obtained, that plant would have been delayed in its completion. The Russians had a plant on the way. Of course when I say they had it, you know who paid for it. That plant, some of it was boxed on the dock when we got it, and I still remember the difficulties we had in getting it.
One of the agreements we had to make was that we would replace the equipment, and use all our priorities necessary to get it replaced quickly… That particular plant was oil-refinery equipment, and in my opinion was purely postwar Russian supply, as you know much of it was. I give you that as an example of what people interested in supplying American troops had to contend with during the war.
Where that influence came from, you can guess as well as I can. It was certainly prevalent in Washington, and it was prevalent throughout the country, and the only spot I know of that was distinctly anti-Russian at an early period was the Manhattan Project. And we were – there was never any doubt about it from sometime along about October 1942.  [Italics added.]
In short, it seems as clear as daylight that if anyone did try to get anything away from General Groves or his organization, he would really have had “a hell of a time”!
“From the outset, extraordinary secrecy and security measures have surrounded the project,” declared Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War, in commenting on the first military use of the atom bomb. “This was personally ordered by President Roosevelt.” Mr. Roosevelt’s orders, he innocently added, “have been strictly complied with.” 
Yet Russians with whom I worked side by side at Great Falls knew about the A-bomb at least as early as March, 1943 and General Groves had reason to distrust the Russians in October 1942! In common with almost all Americans, I got the first hint of the existence of the atom bomb from the news of Hiroshima, which was revealed on August 6, 1945 by President Truman.
In a later chapter I recount my futile visit to Washington in January, 1944 to bring to the attention of the highest authorities what seemed to be to be a treacherous violations of security in the Pipeline. I got exactly nowhere in the State Department or elsewhere. It was not until I head the announcement of the atomic blast in Russia on September 23, 1949, that I finally had the good fortune of meeting Senator Bridges and Fulton Lewis – but more of that later.
It was after eleven o’clock and my checking job was virtually done, when Colonel Kotikov burst into the cabin of the plane. He wanted to know by whose authority I was committing this outrage and bellowed that he would have me removed. I answered that I was performing my duty, and just to show how things stood, opened two or three extra suitcases in his presence. I left the C-47 and with a nod of thanks dismissed my sentinel. As I crossed the field toward the barracks, Colonel Kotikov fell in beside me.
No doubt he reflected that he was in no position to force an issue. He may also have realized that I understood the gravity of almost nothing I had seen. All that mattered to him was getting the suitcases off to Moscow. Anxiously he inquired what I intended to do.
If I had known what I do today, I should have grounded the transport, but in the end it went on its way to Russia.
Colonel Kotikov asked me to open no more suitcases until instructions came from the War Department. He said he hoped he would not have to get me transferred. I expected to be fired, and went so far as to pack my gear. But I received no communications from the War Department, and gathered at last that Colonel Kotikov had made no complaint. Perhaps, I began to think, he did not dare.
I reported to Colonel George F. O’Neill, security officer of the 34th Sub-Depot at Gore Field, about the fifty suitcases I had examined. He was interested enough to pass the story on to his superior officer in Spokane. There was no reply, even after Colonel O’Neill made a second attempt. Apparently it was not considered good form to cast reflections on the integrity of our ally.
The Black Suitcases
1. Hearings Regarding Shipments of Atomic Materials to the Soviet Union during World War II, House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, (U.S. Government Printing Office, testimony of General Groves, Dec. 7, 1949), pp. 947-50.
2. On Active Service in Peace and War, Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, (Harper, 1947).
Continue with Chapter 6
“Don’t Make a Big Production”
Colonel Kotikov’s first concern, each morning, was to visit the chart room in the Operations Office. A huge map, showing the route from Great Falls to Fairbanks, had been mounted on the magnetized steel wall which held in position small metal markers, on each of which hung a tag bearing the number of each plane en route. The markers were moved forward by a WAC assistant, on a ladder, in accordance with teletype advice coming in. Colonel Kotikov could read the situation at a glance.
Toward the end of April, 1943, there was an unusual congestion of Airacobra pursuit planes at our field. We usually handled about 400 a month, in comparison with 80 medium bombers and 15 cargo ships in the same period; the Airacobras were used as anti-tank weapons by the Russians. There was always a chronic shortage of American pilots, but in 1943 the demand was ravenous – in the Atlantic, in the Pacific, in Europe, in Asia, and in the American system of global air transport which was a wonder of the war.
Now, to Kotikov’s disgust and fury, as many as 200 Airacobras were stacked up on the field. The markers clustered on the map as thick as bees. When he criticized us for allowing the situation to develop, I pointed out that the Russians had troubles, too; this he took as an insult. “Never, never,” he shouted, “does Russia have shortage of pilots!” He said he could order 10,000 Russian pilots to Great Falls in a matter of days. “And you’ll have to feed them!” he said with satisfaction.
He made life miserable for Colonel L. Ponton d’Arce, commander of Gore Field. “We’ve got to have more pilots,” he yelled. Colonel d’Arce assured him that the problem had been taken personally in hand by Major General Harold L. George, chief of the Air Transport Command; and the head of his Alaskan Wing, Brigadier General William H. Tunner. The Russian’s contempt was supreme. “Bah, promises!” he snarled.
And then, all of a sudden, something happened. Two days later, out of inbound craft tumbled strange new fliers, bewildered and annoyed. Some had been snatched from well-earned rest between trips to Ireland. Others hailed from bases in Puerto Rico, Long Beach, Boca Raton, Oklahoma City. Test Pilots had been plucked from Wright Field. There were even a few prodigies with instrument certificates; such defiers of storm and darkness were rare as hen’s teeth. The group totaled about twenty, in contrast to the mere three General Tunner had scraped together.
Few of the pilots had ever heard of Great Falls, and all were dumfounded by its extensive facilities and operations. “What the hell’s going on here?” they muttered. Some were disturbed at finding they were to pilot Airacobras to Alaska, almost a synonym for the North Pole. Scarcely one had driven a pursuit plane since flight training days, so we set up a refresher course in take-offs and landing. After a short time the emergency squad vanished as if it had never been.
Word was prompt to arrive at headquarters of the Air Transport Command, and there was an uproar. It was absolutely forbidden to procure pilots except through ATC which alone could judge the whole situation and decide which emergency was most critical in the entire war effort. Colonel d’Arce informed me had had been reproved for “going outside channels,” and asked whether I was the one who called in the extra pilots.
Colonel Kotikov, to whom I appealed, promptly stated that he was responsible. He had simply got tired of waiting and gone “straight to Mr. Hopkins.”
“So that’s how it was,” Colonel d’Arce scowled bitterly.
One morning a few weeks later, I was standing at my usual post beside Colonel Kotikov’s desk. At his elbow lay a stack of folders with which I had long been acquainted. They were held together with elastics. On the outside binder was pasted a typewritten label in English, “Re: Experimental Chemicals.” While telephoning to Washington, the Colonel would often cry out: “Chemicals!” I would fetch the sheaf of documents from his wife, who as his secretary kept them in a locked drawer.
This portfolio was the apple of his eye. Mrs. Kotikov took it home every night. I sometimes stopped by the Pennsylvania Apartments in the morning and drove them to work. I once saw Mrs. Kotikov drag the dossier from a hiding-place under the mattress, while her husband was pulling on his handsome boots of black leather.
When the chemical dossiers were complete and ready for Moscow, together with kindred folders on “Metals,” Kotikov refused to trust them to an ordinary messenger. His courier was a luminary of the Soviet Purchasing Commission, Semen Vasilenko, who was known in this country as an expert chemist but turned out to be Russia’s authority on pipes and tubes. (The gaseous diffusion plant at Oak Ridge and the Hanford Plutonium Works use many miles of pipes.)
My diary later showed * that Vasilenko flew from Great Falls in a special plane carrying about 4,000 pounds of “diplomatic mail.” He and the cargo were protected by three Russian guards, whom I recorded as Leonid Rykounin, Engeny Kojevnicov and Georges Nicolaiev.
* see pages 158, 159 (Chapter 15 – Conclusion)
After Vasilenko’s arrival from Washington, Colonel Kotikov led him to an Airacobra standing about one city block’s distance from the nearest building, with an open view on every side. They spread the papers out on one of the wings of the plane, and the two men discussed them for an hour.
This precaution was due to the Colonel’s pet bogy, dictagraphs. There were no dictagraphs in the field, but that did not stop him and his aides from searching for them every day in lamp fixtures and telephone books, and behind calendars and pictures. They even sounded the walls. I gathered it was not American spies that he feared but Soviet police agents.
One morning in April 1943, Colonel Kotikov asked whether I could find space for an important consignment of nearly 2,000 pounds. I said: “No, we have a quarter of a million pounds’ backlog already.” He directed me to put through a call to Washington for him, and spoke for a while in his own tongue. Then he put a hand over the mouthpiece and confided to me in English: “Very special shipment – experimental chemicals – going though soon.”
There was an interval of Slavic gutturals, and he turned to me again. “Mr. Hopkins – coming on now,” he reported. Then he gave me the surprise of my life. He handed me the phone and announced: “Big boss, Mr. Hopkins, wants you.”
It was quite a moment, I was about to speak for the first time with a legendary figure of the day, the top man in the world of Lend-Lease in which I lived. I have been careful to keep the following account as accurate in substance and language as I can. My memory, normally good, was stimulated by the thrill of the occasion. Moreover, the incident was stamped on my mind because it was unique in my experience of almost 25 months at Newark and Great Falls.
A bit in awe, I stammered: “Jordan speaking.” A male voice began at once: “This is Mr. Hopkins. Are you my expediter out there?” I answered that I was the United Nations Representative at Great Falls, working with Colonel Kotikov.
Under the circumstances, who could have doubted that the speaker was Harry Hopkins? Friends have since asked me whether it might not have been a Soviet agent who was an American. I doubt this, because his next remark brought up a subject which only Mr. Hopkins and myself could have known. He asked: “Did you get those pilots I sent you?”
“Oh yes, sir,” I responded. “They were very much appreciated, and helped us in unblocking the jam in the Pipeline. We were accused of going out of channels, and got the dickens for it.”
Mr. Hopkins let that one go by, and moved on to the heart of things.
“Now, Jordan,” he said, “there’s a certain shipment of chemicals going through that I want you to expedite. This is something very special.”
“Shall I take it up,” I asked, “with the Commanding Colonel?”
“I don’t want you to discuss this with anyone,” Mr. Hopkins ordered, “and it is not to go on the records. Don’t make a big production of it, but just send it through quietly, in a hurry.”
I asked how I was to identify the shipment when it arrived. He turned from the phone, and I could hear his voice: “How will Mr. Jordan know the shipment when it gets there?” He came back on the line and said: “The Russian Colonel out there will designate it for you. Now send this through as speedily as possible, and be sure you leave it off the records!”
Then a Russian voice broke in with a demand for Colonel Kotikov. I was full of curiosity when Kotikov had finished, and I wanted to know what it was all about and where the shipment was coming from. He said there would be more chemicals and that they would arrive from Canada.
“I show you,” he announced. Presumably, after the talk with Mr. Hopkins, I had been accepted as a member of the “lodge.” From his bundle on war chemicals the Colonel took the folder called “Bomb Powder.” He drew out a paper sheet and set a finger against one entry. For a second time my eyes encountered the word “uranium.” I repeat that in 1943 it meant as little to me as to most Americans, which was nothing.
This shipment was the one and only cash item to pass through my hands, except for private Russian purchases of clothing and liquor. It was the only one, out of a tremendous multitude of consignments, that I was ordered not to enter on my tally sheets. It was the only one I was forbidden to discuss with my superiors, and the only one I was directed to keep secret from everybody.
Despite Mr. Hopkins’ urgency, there was a delay of five weeks. On the morning of June 10th, I caught sight of a loaded C-47 which was idling on the runway. I went over and asked the pilot what was holding him up. He said he understood some kind of special shipment was still to come. Seven years afterward the pilot identified himself to the press as Air Forces Lieutenant Ben L. Brown of Cincinnati.
I asked Colonel Kotikov about the plane, and he told me the shipment Mr. Hopkins was interested in had just arrived at the railroad yards, and I should send a truck to pick it up. The consignment was escorted by a Russian guard from Toronto. I set down his name, and copied it later in my diary. It was Vladimir Anoufriev. I identified him with the initials “C.C.” for “Canadian Courier.”
Fifteen wooden cases were put aboard the transport, which took off for Moscow by way of Alaska. At Fairbanks, Lieutenant Brown has related, one box fell from the plane, smashing a corner and spilling a small quantity of chocolate-brown powder. Out of curiosity, he picked up a handful of the unfamiliar grains, with a notion of asking somebody what they were. A Soviet officer slapped the crystals from his palm and explained nervously: “No, no – burn hands!”
Not until the latter part of 1949 was it definitely proved, from responsible records, that during the war Federal agencies delivered to Russia at least three consignments of uranium chemicals, totaling 1,465 pounds, or nearly three-quarters of a ton. Confirmed also was the shipment of one kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of uranium metal at a time when the total American stock was 4.5 pounds.
Implicated by name were the Lend-Lease Administration, the Department of Commerce, the Procurement Division of the Treasury, and the Board of Economic Warfare. The State Department became involved to the extent of refusing access to files of Lend-Lease and its successor, the Foreign Economic Administration.
The first two uranium shipments traveled through Great Falls, by air. The third was dispatched by truck and railway from Rochester, N.Y., to Portland, Ore., and then by ship to Vladivostok. The dates were March and June 1943, and July, 1944. No doubt was left that the transaction discussed by Mr. Hopkins and myself was the one of June, 1943.
This was not merely the largest of our known uranium deals with the Soviet Union, it was also the most shocking. There seemed to be no lengths to which some American officials would not go in aiding Russia to master the secret of nuclear fission. For four years monopoly of the A-bomb was the cornerstone of our military and overseas policy, yet on September 23, 1949, long in advance of Washington estimates, President Truman announced that an atomic explosion had occurred in the Soviet Union.
In behalf of national security, the Manhattan Project during the spring of 1943 clapped an embargo on America exports of uranium compounds. But zealots in Washington appear to have resolved that Russia must have at all costs the ingredients for atomic experiment. The intensely pro-Soviet mood of that time may be judged from the echoes in later years.
For example, there was Joseph E. Davies, Ambassador to the Soviet Union in 1936-39, and author of a book and movie of flagrant propaganda, Mission to Moscow. In an interview with the Times-Herald of Washington for Feb. 18, 1946, he was quoted as saying:
“Russia, in self-defense, has every moral right to seek atomic bomb secrets through military espionage if excluded from such information by her former fighting allies!”
There also was Professor Harold C. Urey, American scientist, who sat in the innermost circle of the Manhattan Project. Yet on Dec. 14, 1949, in a report of the Atlantic Action Committee, Dr. Urey said that Major Jordan should be court-marshalled if he had removed anything from planes bound for Russia.
When American supplies were cut off, the device of outmaneuvering General Groves was to procure the materials clandestinely from Canada. * Not until 1946 did the commander of the Manhattan Project learn from the Un-American Activities Committee that his stockade had been undermined.
* The government of Canada frowned on uranium sales, but thought the U.S. has the right to determine whether Russia should have the precious product. In fact, it would appear that Canada’s alertness rather than ours prevented further shipments.
My share in the revelation was testimony under oath leading to one conclusion only – that the Canadian by-pass was aided by Mr. Hopkins. At his direction, Lend-Lease issued a certificate of release without which the consignment could not have moved. Lend-Lease channels of transportation and Lend-Lease personnel, such as myself, were used. Traces of the scheme were kept off Lend-Lease books by making it a “cash” transaction. The shipment was paid for with a check of the Amtorg Trading Corporation.
Because the initial branch of the airlift to Moscow was under American control, passage of the chemicals across the United States territory could not be avoided, in Alaska if not Montana. On account of that fact, the cash nature of the project, it was necessary to obtain an export license from the Board of Economic Warfare.
Such a document, covering a shipment of American origin, was first prepared. It was altered, to comply with the Canadian maneuver, by some BEW official whose identity has been concealed by the State Department. As amended, the license was issued on April 29, 1943. Its serial number was C-1643180.
But two facts were forgotten: (a) public carriers use invoices, and (b) the Air Force kept tallies not only at Great Falls but Fairbanks.
By diligent searching, freight and airway bills yielded incontestable proof that 15 boxes of uranium chemicals were delivered at Great Falls on June 9, 1943, and were dispatched immediately, in a Lend-Lease plane, to the Soviet Union.
The shipment originated at Eldorado Mining & Refining Ltd. Of Great Bear Lake, and was sent through Port Hope, Ontario. It was authorized by a Canadian arms export permit, No. OF1666. The carrier was the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway. Listed as consignee was Colonel A. N. Kotikov, resident agent of the Soviet Government Purchasing Commission at Gore Field, Great Falls.
The story behind the story is as follows: On Feb. 1, 1943, Hermann H. Rosenberg of Chematar, Inc. New York City, received the first inquiry about uranium ever to reach his office. The applicant was the Soviet Purchasing Commission which desired 220 pounds of uranium oxide, 220 pounds of uranium nitrate, and 25 pounds of uranium metal. At that date Oak Ridge was under construction, but would not be in operation for another year.
Six days earlier the war Production Board had issued General Reference Order M-285, controlling the distribution of uranium compounds among domestic industries like glass, pottery and ceramics. A loophole was left by overlooking the export of such materials for war purposes. The Russians claimed that they had urgent military need for uranium nitrate in medicinal research and for uranium oxide and metal alloys in hardening gunbarrel steel. There was nothing for the U.S. to do but grant an OK, since we did not want to imply that we were suspicious of Russia’s request.
Uranium metal was unavailable. On March 23, at Rosenberg’s instance, the S. W. Shuttuck Chemical Co. of Denver shipped four crates, weighing 691 pounds, to Colonel Kotikov at Great Falls. The Burlington railroad’s bill of lading described the contents merely as “chemicals,” but it was accompanied by a letter from Rosenberg to Kotikov designating the contents as 220 pounds of uranium nitrate and 200 (not 220) pounds of uranium oxide. Since it was a Lend-Lease transaction, defrayed with American funds, no export license was required. The cargo was dispatched without friction along the Pipeline.
But the War Production Board, from which clearance had been sought, alerted the Manhattan Project. It was too late to halt the Shattuck sale. General Groves reluctantly approved it on the ground that it would be unwise to “tip off” Russia as to the importance of uranium chemicals – a fact with which Moscow was only too familiar.
During the investigation, I was embarrassed by the questions as to why tables of exports to the Soviet Union contained no mention of uranium. The Shattuck consignment was legitimate. It had been authorized by Lend-Lease, the War Production Board, and the Manhattan Project.
Some months later I ran into John F. Moynihan, formerly of the Newark News editorial staff. A Second Lieutenant at the Newark Airport when I was there, he had risen to Colonel as a sort of “reverse press-agent” for General Groves. His duty was not to foster publicity but prevent it.
“I heard you floundering about,” he said, “and wished I could tell you something you didn’t know. I was sent to Denver to hush up the records in the Shattuck matter. It was hidden under the phrase, ‘salts and compounds,’ in an entry covering a different metal.”
General Groves moved rapidly to stop the leak through which the Shattuck boxes had slipped. By early April he had formed a nationwide embargo by means of voluntary contracts with chemical brokers. They promised to grant the United States first right to purchase all uranium oxide, uranium nitrate and sodium uranate received by the contractors.
The uranium black-out was discovered by Rosenberg when he tried to fill another order from the Soviet Purchasing Commission, for 500 pounds each of uranium nitrate and uranium oxide. On April 23, 1943, Rosenberg was in touch with the Canadian Radium & Uranium Corp. of New York, which was exclusive sales agent for Eldorado Mining & Refining, Ltd., a producer of uranium at Great Bear Lake.
An agreement to fill the Soviet order was negotiated with such dispatch that in four days Rosenberg was able to report victory to the Purchasing Commission. The shipment from Ontario to Great Falls and Moscow followed in due course.
The Port hope machination had the advantage, among other things, of by-passing the War Production Board, which was sure to warn the Manhattan Project if it knew the facts, but could only be kept in ignorance because its jurisdiction ran only south of the border.
General Groves was advised at once of the Soviet application for 1,000 pounds of uranium salts. He was not disturbed, being confident the embargo would stand. After declining to endorse the application, he approved it later in the hope of detecting whether the Russians would unearth uranium stocks which the Manhattan Project had overlooked. American industries were consuming annually, before the war, upwards of 200 tons of uranium chemicals.
“We had no expectations,” General Groves testified December 7, 1949, “of permitting that material to go out of this country. It would have been stopped.”  So far as the United States was concerned, the embargo held fast. The truth that it had been side-stepped by means of resort to Canadian sources did not come to the General’s knowledge until three years later.
Another violation of atomic security was represented by the third known delivery to Russia, in 1944. It proved to be uranium nitrate. During May of that year, Colonel Kotikov showed me a warning from the Soviet Purchasing Commission to look out for a shipment of uranium, weighing 500 pounds, which was to have travel priority. The Colonel was soon returning home. As the climax of his American mission, he proposed to fly the precious stuff to Moscow with his own funds.
Disguised as a “commercial transaction” within American territory, the deal was managed by Lend-Lease. Chematar and Canadian Radium & Uranium abandoned in favor of the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department, although the Treasury, under regulations, had no authority to make uranium products available to the Soviet Union.
Contractors were asked to bid, and the winner was Eastman Kodak Company. Somewhere in this process, the expected 500 pounds shrank to 45. Eastman Kodak reported the order to the War Production Board as a domestic commercial item.
Whatever the motive, it was determined not to send the compound by air. After a Treasury inspection in Rochester, the MacDaniel Trucking Company drove it to the Army Ordnance Depot at Terre Haute, Ind., arriving July 24. *
The shipment turned up in freight car No. 97352 of the Erie Railroad, and got to North Portland, Ore., on Aug. 11. By means of shifts not yet divulged, the uranium nitrate found itself aboard a Russian steamship, Kushirstroi, which left for Vladivostok on Oct. 3. Colonel Kotikov, who had planned a triumphal entry into Moscow with a quarter-ton of “bomb powder” as a trophy, gave up the project in disgust on learning that the shipment would be only 45 pounds.
*From the hearings of the Un-American Activities Committee, Dec. 5, 1949, p. 932: “MR. TAVENNER: Were there shipments of uranium passing through your field which originated at places other than Canada after you received the Canadian shipments? MR. JORDAN: I believe the other shipments came from Army Ordnance.”
In charge of uranium purchases for the Manhattan Project in 1944 was Dr. Phillip L. Merritt. Appearing January 24, 1950, before the Un-American Activities Committee, Dr. Merritt swore he was taken by surprise, a day earlier, on discovering for the first time that the Eastman Kodak order had been shipped to Russian by way of Army Ordnance.
General Groves was likewise uninformed. Asked as a witness whether it was possible for uranium shipments to have been made in 1944, he answered: “Not if we could have helped it, and not with our knowledge of any kind. They would have had to be entirely secret, and not discovered.”  He declared that there was no way for the Russians to get uranium products in this country “without the support of U.S. authorities in one way or another.” 
The Soviet Purchasing Commission appears to have had instructions to acquire without fail 25 pounds of uranium metal, which can be extracted from uranium salts by a difficult process requiring specialized equipment. Supported or advised by Lend-Lease, the commission for a whole year knocked at every available door, from the Chemical Warfare Service up to Secretary Stimson.
As a matter of fact, uranium metal was then non-existent in America, and for that reason had not been specified in the Manhattan Project’s embargo or named as a “strategic” material.
Stimson closed a series of polite rebuffs with a letter of April 17, 1944, to the chairman of the Purchasing Commission, Lt. General Leonid G. Rudenko. But Moscow was stubborn. Under Soviet pressure, the commission or its American friends had an inspiration. Why not have the uranium made to order by some private concern?
As usual, a roundabout course was taken. The commission first approached the Manufacturer’s Chemical Co., 527 Fifth Avenue, New York, which passed the order along to A.D. Mackay, Inc., 198 Broadway. By the latter it was farmed out to the Cooper Metallurgical Laboratory in Cleveland. According to Mr. McKay, neither he nor the Cooper concern suspected that their customer was the Soviet Union.
But McKay reported the deal to the War Production Board, which warned the Manhattan Project. The latter’s expert on rare metals, Lawrence C. Burman, went to Cleveland, it is related, and urged the Cooper firm to make sure that its product was of “poor quality.” He did not explain why. But the metal, of which 4.5 pounds was made, turned out to be 87.5 per cent pure as against the stipulated 99 per cent.
Delivery to the Soviet Union was then authorized of a small sample of this defective metal, to represent “what was available in the United States.” Actually shipped was one kilogram, or 2.2 pounds. The Purchasing Commission abruptly silenced its demands for pure uranium. But the powers that be found it suitable to omit this item, as well as the Rochester sale, from the 1944 schedule of exports to Russia.
From the start, in contrast to the atmosphere prevailing in Washington, the Manhattan Project was declared by General Groves to have been “the only spot I know that was distinctly anti-Russian.  Attempts at espionage in New York, Chicago and Berkeley, California, were traced back to the Soviet Embassy.
They convinced General Groves in October, 1942, that the enemies of our atomic safeguards were not Germans of Japanese, but Russians. “Suspicion of Russia was not very popular in some circles (in Washington),” he stated. “It was popular at Oak Ridge, and from one month of the time I took over we never trusted them one iota. From that time on, our whole security was based on not letting the Russians find out anything.” 
That the Russians found out everything from alpha to omega, has been established by volumes of proof. Through trials in Canada, England and the United States there has been revealed the existence of an espionage network so enormously effective that Russia, scientists calculated, “should have been able to make a bomb considerably before September, 1949.” The network chief was the former Soviet Vice Consul in New York, Anatoli A. Yakovlev, who fled in 1946.
In light of these disclosures, there stands in plain view the answer to a mystery that troubled James F. Byrnes, Secretary of State, at the Potsdam Conference. Following a session of the “Big Three,” on the afternoon of July 24, 1945, Harry S. Truman walked round the large circular table to Joseph Stalin’s chair. We had perfected a new bomb, he said, more powerful than anything known. Unless there was an early surrender, we would use it against Japan.
Stalin’s only reply [writes Mr. Byrnes] was to say that he was glad to hear of the bomb and he hoped we would use it. I was surprised at Stalin’s lack of interest. I concluded that he had not grasped the importance of the discovery. I thought that the following day he would ask for more information about it. He did not… 
On the contrary, Stalin probably knew more about the bomb than Truman and Byrnes together. Perhaps he was struck speechless by the simplicity of his American guests. What did they take him for, he may have been thinking, not to have informed himself to the last particular regarding a weapon bound to revolutionize war?
As someone remarked bitterly: If we ever hear of Stalin’s death, we know that he died laughing.
“Don’t Make a Big Production”
1. Hearings, General Groves, p. 941.
2. Ibid., p. 945.
3. Ibid., p. 900.
4. Ibid., p. 948.
5. Ibid., p. 947.
6. Speaking Frankly, James F. Byrnes (Harper, 1947), p. 263
Continue with Chapter 7
“The Story of Heavy Water”
One morning in November, 1943, Colonel Kotikov protested against the manner in which a C-47 had been packed. He showed me tiers of large bottles. The necks and stoppers, secured with wire, protruded from wooden crates. Alternate bottles had been loaded bottom-up to conserve space. The Colonel insisted that they all had to be topside down, with each bottle lashed down separately. “We must repack,” he ordered.
Though all our loading was done by a crew of American civilians, freight was checked in the warehouse, from duplicate manifests, by a young Russian non-com, Senior-Sergt. Andrei Vinogradsky. He was a mysterious character whom we suspected of spying on Colonel Kotikov for me Fairbanks host, Alexei A. Anisimov. The Sergeant seemed to understand little English, and communicated with the air-stevedores through signs and interpreters.
I gave orders to repack the cargo. It may be that Sergeant Vinogradsky pointed to the wrong entry, or that crewmen mistook the line to which his finger pointed. At any rate, one of them astonished me by asking: “What is it – that heavy water stuff?”
“Heavy water?” I echoed, for I had never heard the expression. Yes, said the worker, that was what was listed on the manifest. Thereafter, for all of us, such carboys were “heavy water,” on this and other transports. Many times I heard the shout: “Be careful of that heavy water!”
The fact is that the five-gallon demijohns actually contained sulfuric acid. It was demonstrated six years later, during the Fulton Lewis broadcast of December 6, 1949, that this misunderstanding was general. Three former members of the Gore Field ground crew – Elmer Williams, John Kukay and Leonard Woods – were quoted as declaring stoutly that with their own hands they had loaded “big carboys of heavy water.”
Unwittingly Colonel Kotikov helped the mistake along by asking over the phone whether the “heavy water plane” had taken off. I said no. He directed me to hold it and drop by his office for a bundle of papers to be handed to the pilot. While leafing through the folder, I caught sight of the words, “heavy water,” and asked the Colonel what they meant. “Something for our new chemical plants,” came the answer.
What is popularly known as “heavy water” is technically called deuterium oxide. It is in crystal form, not liquid.
In alledging medical and other grounds for its needs of uranium oxide and uranium nitrate, Russia had taken care to observe an appearance of truth, for such use is not unknown to therapeutics. It had been tried out in throat sprays and lent its name to Uranwein, a German specific against diabetes. Uranium oxide had been tested as an alloy for toughening steel, but it was found difficult to handle and had erratic results. Therefore when Moscow asked for heavy water, they let the cat out of the bag. Except for curious experiments regarding plant growth, heavy water boasts only one useful property: it is the best of moderators for slowing down the speed of neutrons in nuclear reactions.
Records of evidence  prove that on August 23, 1943, Hermann Rosenberg of Chematar received an application from the Soviet Purchasing Commission for 1,000 grams of deuterium oxide. The purpose stated was “research.”
A supplier was found in the Stuart Oxygen Co. of San Francisco, which shipped the merchandise on October 30, by railway express, to Chematar’s New York office. Rosenberg forwarded the consignment to the Purchasing Commission in Washington, which dispatched it on November 29, by way of the Pipeline to Rasnoimport, USSR, Moscow U-1, Ruybjshova-22.
The order was packed with as much tenderness as if it had been a casket of jewels. Forty pyrex ampoules, each containing 25 grams, were enclosed in mailing tubes and wrapped in layers of cotton. The ampoules were divided in lots of 10 among four cartons, which were placed, with further precautions against damage, in a large wooden box. This was strapped and sealed. The overall weight was 41.12 pounds. The cost of the fluid content was that of expensive perfumes – $80 an ounce.
The export of heavy water to the Soviet Union was approved by a release certificate, No. 366, dated November 15, with the signature of William C. Moore, Division for Soviet Supply, Office of Lend-Lease Administration.
If General Groves had been consulted, the heavy water would not have left this country. Had it been known at the time, he said, that 1,000 grams were available, unquestionably he would have bought the treasure himself. He added: “If it had been pure.”  That it was between 99.7 and 99.8 per cent pure was attested by an independent analysis made for Rosenberg in the laboratories of Abbot A. Hanks, Inc., San Francisco.
At the beginning of 1945, the Soviet Purchasing Commission placed with Rosenberg a second order for heavy water. Only 100 grams were sought. He applied once more to the Stuart concern, which expressed the “liquid diamonds”* to Chematar on February 7. One week later Rosenberg forwarded the parcel to the commission. Its subsequent adventures have not been traced. In August of the same year Rosenberg was naturalized as an American citizen.
* From General Groves’ testimony on Dec. 7, 1949: “It is just like somebody would tell me they shipped a dozen Hope diamonds.”
In good faith, I assured the Un-American Activities Commission at the first hearing that passed through Gore Field “we had separate loads of carboys of heavy water that we could hardly move.”  At my second hearing before the committee on March 3, 1950, I admitted confusing “heavy water” with sulphuric acid, and I explained how the confusion occurred. 
Was one kilogram of heavy water and were mere hundreds of pounds of uranium chemicals too insignificant for important use?
Specialists agree that the quantities delivered were inadequate for producing one A-bomb or even one experimental pile. They point out, however, that scarcely any fraction of a substance can be too small for laboratory research. The head of a pin could not have formed with the first plutonium ever made. From 500 micrograms were determined most of the properties and the chemical behavior of an element which 18 months earlier had been entirely unknown.
On the presumption that 1,465 pounds of uranium salts were contributed to the Soviet Union, metallurgists estimate that they were reducible in theory to 875 pounds of natural uranium, which in turn would yield 6.25 pounds of fissionable U-235. But 4.4 pounds of the latter, or nearly two pounds less, are capable of producing an atomic explosion. Authority for this assertion may be found in the celebrated report which Dr. Henry DeWolf Smyth of Princeton University wrote at the request of General Groves and published in 1945.
The Shattuck and Eldorado purchases totaled 1,420 pounds. With their third requisition the Russians expected so confidently to acquire another 500 pounds that papers to that effect were drafted and sent to us in Montana. If the full amount had been available, instead of 45 pounds, the aggregate would have been 1,920 pounds, or virtually one ton.
At his Paris laboratory, while chief of the Atomic Energy Commission of France, Frederick Joliot-Curie built an experimental pile to which he gave the affectionate name of “Zoe.” It actually ran, though the wattage was feeble. The quantity of uranium crystals, said Dr. Joliot-Curie, was “something in the order of one ton.”
It seems fair to take into account not merely what the Russians got, but what they tried to get. With Communist tenacity and ardent support from both White House and Lend-Lease, the Soviet Purchasing Commission strove again and again to obtain 8½ tons each of the uranium oxide and uranium nitrate, plus 25 pounds of uranium metal. The campaign started in February, 1943,* and persisted until the Russians were squelched by Secretary Stimson during April, 1944.
*Captain Kavanagh of the U.S. Army replied as follows in 1943 to a Russian request for uranium: “The amount of eight and one-half tons of uranium requested is unavailable in this country.”
There are memorable instances of what can be achieved with less than 17 tons of uranium powders. One was a model atomic pile which went into operation at Chicago University on December 2, 1942. “So far as we know,” Dr. Smythe recounts, “this is the first time that human beings ever initiated a self-maintaining nuclear chain reaction.” With a power level of 200 watts, the device served as a pilot plant for the Hanford Engineer Works. The uranium supply available to them was six tons.
Even earlier, before the Manhattan Project was dreamed of, a group of scientists at Columbia University began a course of hazardous experiments under the leadership of two foreign-born savants, Leo Szilard of Hungary and Enrico Fermi of Italy.
They were so ill-supported with cash that 10,000 pounds of uranium oxide had to be “rented” at a nominal fee of 30 cents a pound fromBoris Pregel, president of the Canadian Radium & Uranium Corp. of New York who was later unjustly made a scapegoat by the press for the secret Canadian shipment.
Here was done all the preparatory work moving toward the eventual creation of the first man-made elements in history, neptunium-93 and plutonium-94. From the group’s creative imagination rose in time the vast plutonium plant at Hanford, Washington and, in a large sense America’s atom bomb itself. The materials of that triumph were not 17 but 10 tons of uranium compounds.
One of my lucky experiences was that of chancing upon the February 27, 1950 issue of the magazine Life shortly before the Un-American Activities Committee. I bore the copy with me to the witness chair. It contained an illustrated article on the atomic bomb.
I learned for the first time that a plutonium pile consists of giant blocks of graphite, surrounded by heavy walls of concrete and honeycombed with aluminum tubes. In these tubes, it was related, are inserted slugs of natural uranium, containing 1 per cent of U-235. The intensity of the operation was declared to be governed by means of cadmium rods.
Graphite, cadmium, aluminum tubes – where had I met the words before? In the Russian Lend-Lease figures* which I had added to the Jordan diary. Re-examining those pages, I discovered that during the four-year period 1942-45 we contributed to the Soviet Union, 3,692 tons of natural graphite, 417 tons of cadmium metals and tubes in an entry designating 6,883 tons of “aluminum tubes.”
* See Chapter 9, Anatoli B. Gromov, First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy and chief of the NKVD in the U.S., granted my request for the Soviet lists of Lend-Lease figures, in view of my work with the Russians at Great Falls.
The figure for cadmium was arresting in view of its extreme scarcity in this country and because of the fact that it occurs, so far as we know, sparsely if at all in the Soviet Union. Under war stimulus, American production of cadmium rose from 2,182 short tons in 1940 to 4.192 in 1945.
It was interesting to find that in 1942-45 we shipped to Russia 437 tons of cobalt – a staggering amount when collated with American production, which was nothing before the war, and increased to 382 tons in 1942 and 575 in 1945.
That cobalt is valuable in the A-bomb for retarding radioactive emanations, and could be equally so in the hydrogen bomb, has been affirmed by a chemical engineer who was consultant to one of the war agencies. “Cobalt,” says he, “was one of our highest scarcity materials. If I had known that so large a proportion was going to the Russians, I should have suspected them of being at work on the bomb.” Incidentally, cobalt was the first item to be restricted by President Truman in the Korean emergency.
Almost as curious was the discovery that we shipped to Russia more than 12 tons of thorium salts and compounds. Two other elements alone, besides uranium and plutonium, are fissionable. They are protactinium and thorium. The former may be disregarded because of its rarity in nature. But thorium, which is relatively plentiful, is expected by physicists to rival uranium some day, or even supplant it, as a source of atomic energy.
Then there were cerium and strontium, of which the Soviet Purchasing Commission obtained 44 tons. Both metals, along with cadmium, thorium and cobalt, figured in Colonel Kotikov’s dossier on experimental chemicals. They are useless for atomic purposes. But Russian scientists may have been working their way through the rare earths and metals, on a well-founded suspicion that something momentous was afoot in that group.
Everyone is aware, of course, that these elements have industrial or military functions unrelated to the atomic bomb, but Russia had a very critical interest in procuring A-bomb components from America. Red scientists are said to have been the first in Europe to announce the theory of nuclear fission.
As America discovered at a cost of billions of dollars, it is a far cry from setting down speculations on paper to putting them in practice at the dimensions imposed by modern war. Thus the Kremlin was frantically inquisitive about large-scale production techniques developed by the Manhattan Project.
The following incident occurred after my first broadcast from the private studio at the home of Fulton Lewis, Jr., in Maryland: A few minutes after we went off the air, a long-distance call rang in. The speaker was General Groves, from his residence in Connecticut. He wished to verify a particular quotation from the memorandum I made of my night examination of the “diplomatic suitcases.” Mr. Lewis read the passage: “Walls five feet thick, of lead and water, to control flying neurons.” There was a long silence. Putting a hand over the mouthpiece, the commentator remarked: “I think the General must have fallen out of his chair!”
One ground for minimizing my evidence is a claim that Russia had abundant uranium of its own, in connection with massive radium deposits in the former area of Turkestan, the Kazakh Republic and the state of Tannu Tuva, north of Mongolia. More than 30 years ago, it is said, Soviet physicists worked out the correct formula for separating uranium from radium. On the other hand, as atomic experts are fond of pointing out: “You can never have too much uranium.”
If a blunder occurred, such objections proceed, it was no the shipment of minor quantities of uranium compounds to the Soviet Union, but the publication of Dr. Smyth’s book, which told not only how to make a nuclear bomb but how not to make one. The chief atomic authority of Norway, Gunnar Randers, is cited as having pronounced that the indiscretion of this publication saved Russia and every other country two years of research.
According to Professor Szilard, “one half of the atomic bomb secret was given away when we used the bomb, and the other half when we published the Smyth report.” After the espionage trials, however, one may ask whether the Smyth revelations were not more informative to the American public than to the Politburo.
W. L. White, noted war correspondent and author of Report on the Russians, tells the following first-hand account of how much more they knew in Russia in 1944 than Americans did:
Just what do they know in the Soviet Union about our atomic secret? When I visited Russia in 1944 they knew more than I did. A Soviet guide took our party on a tour of Leningrad. At the badly bombed Kirov electrical plant, a curious contraption of rusty steel caught my attention.
“What is that?” I asked Kirilov, our guide.
“Oh, that,” said Kirilov, “is cyclotron. Is used by our great Soviet physicist, Professor Joffe, when he makes, how you say, splitting of atom. But this is old,” continued Kirilov. “The new ones we move them behind Ural mountains. Behind Urals Professor Joffe has much newer, much better.”
“Of course,” I was humoring him. I could see he was trying to make the point that, even with the enemy at its gates, in the Soviet Union this research in the theoretical science will continue.
But Kirilov doggedly went on. “Behind Urals we have many big things. We have like you call in America, Manhattan Project. You know this, yes?”
“Oh, of course,” I said. “We have lots of war projects in New York.” “Not in New York,” said Kirilov, looking at me intently, “Manhattan Project. You know of this?”
“But Manhattan,” I said, “is a part of New York. Of course I know Manhattan. I live there!”
It was not until an entire year passed – and the atomic bomb went off at Hiroshima – that I understood, at last, exactly what that poor, stammering Kirilov had been trying to ask me. 
In any event, it is heartening to know that, on the whole, our uranium embargo stood firm. Moscow was prevented from winning its grand objective of 17 tons, in contrast to the delivery of 15 tons of uranium chemicals to Great Britain, which the Manhattan Project authorized.
The steadfastness of the General Groves organization against Russia was the more admirable in that it was challenged by Mr. Hopkins, with the power of the White house behind him. After the Un-American Activities Committee closed its hearing on March 7, 1950, I was examined searchingly by Government investigators.
They tried to lure me into admitting a possibility, however faint, that the person to whom I spoke might have been Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., who had died five months earlier, on October 11, 1949.
My answer was that never once, during my two years at Newark and Great Falls, did I hear so much as a mention of Stettinius, though reference to Hopkins was daily on the lips of the Russians.
It is common knowledge that on August 28, 1941, Stettinius succeeded Hopkins as titular chief of Lend-Lease, and held the post until September 25, 1943, when the agency was merged with kindred bodies into the Foreign Economic Administration, with Leo A. Crowley as Administrator. But even the official biographer of Mr. Hopkins does not hesitate to write:
Hopkins knew that policy governing Lend-Lease would still be made in the White House and that the President would continue to delegate most of the responsibility to him. Stettinius was his friend and they could work together – and that was that. 
Another effort to clear Hopkins was based on the supposition that he acted in ignorance of what it was all about. Even if he helped the Russians to get A-bomb materials, the implication ran, it was as the unsuspecting tool of Soviet cunning.
The Hopkins papers for Mr. Sherwood’s book were organized by Hopkins’ longtime friend, Sidney Hyman. A fortnight after my first broadcast he was quoted as affirming that, until Hiroshima, Harry Hopkins had not “the faintest understanding of the Manhattan Project,” and “didn’t know the difference between uranium and geranium.”
On the contrary, Harry Hopkins was one of the first men anywhere to know about the atom bomb. Dr. Vannevar Bush chose Hopkins as his intermediary for presenting to Mr. Roosevelt the idea of the atom bomb. It was in consultation with Hopkins that Dr. Bush drafted the letter, for Mr. Roosevelt’s signature, which launched the A-bomb operation on June 14, 1941! Where do we learn this?
In the official biography of Mr. Sherwood, on pages 154 and 155. Finally, on page 704 we are told that the head of a state, Winston Churchill, “was conducting this correspondence on the atomic project with Hopkins rather than with the President, and that he continue to do so for many months thereafter.”
A witness on the topic, General Groves testified that to the best of his recollection and belief he never met Harry Hopkins, talked with him on the telephone, or exchanged letters or dealt with anyone claiming to represent him. But the General thought it incumbent to remark: “I do know, of course, that Mr. Hopkins knew about this project. I know that.” 
An early symptom of White House obsession for “reassuring Stalin” has been described by General Deane. In letters to American war agencies, dated March 7, 1942, Mr. Roosevelt ordered that preferential position, in the matter of munitions, should be given to the Soviet Union over all other Allies and even the armed forces of the United States.
Then and there, decided the former chief of the U.S. Military Mission to Moscow, was “the beginning of a policy of appeasement of Russia from which we have never recovered and from which was are still suffering.” 
This obsession was also observed by William G. Bullitt, during a conversation in which Mr. Roosevelt outlined his Russian policy. From three years’ experience as an Ambassador to Moscow, Mr. Bullitt answered with reasons, now wholly vindicated, why the program was sure to fail.
“Bill, I don’t dispute your facts,” said Mr. Roosevelt. “They are accurate. I don’t dispute the logic of your reasoning. I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of man. Harry (Hopkins) says he’s not, and that he doesn’t want anything but security for his country.
And I think that if I give him everything that I can and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of peace and democracy.” 
The Story of the “Heavy Water”
1. Hearings, testimony of Hermann H. Rosenberg, Jan. 24, 1950, p. 1035.
2. Hearings, General Groves, p. 954.
3. Hearings, testimony of Major Jordan, Dec. 5, 1949, p. 932.
4. Ibid., March 3, 1950, p. 1155.
5. Kansas City Star, March 17, 1950.
6. Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 376-377.
7. Newsweek, Dec. 19, 1949.
8. Hearings, General Groves, p. 947.
9. The Strange Alliance, p. 89.
10. Life, June 30, 1949.
Continue with Chapter 8
A Look at Lend-Lease
In his Twenty-First Report to Congress on Lend-Lease Operations, President Truman says: “Total Lend-Lease shipments to the Soviet Union amounted to $9.5 billions.” 
It is this figure of nine and one-half billions, covering shipments only, * that I intend to examine.
I am sure that most people are under the impression that by far the greater amount of Russian Lend-Lease shipments were munitions. But from the government’s own figures in the Twenty-First Report, we learn that the contrary is true. The lesser part, or 49%, was for munitions. The greater part, or 51%, was for non-munitions! Here are the figures:
Munitions $4,651,582,000 – 49%
Non-Munitions $4,826,084,000 – 51%
TOTAL $9,477,666,000 – 100%
What exactly is meant by “munitions” and how much did we spend in each classification? The Twenty-First Report breaks down all Russian munitions under Lend-Lease into those five classifications, with the following expenditures:
1. Aircraft and parts $1,652,236,000
2. Motor vehicles and parts $1,410,616,000
3. Ordnance and ammunition $ 814,493,000
4. Tanks and parts $ 478,398,000
5. Water craft * $ 295,839,000
TOTAL $4,651,582,000 
* In addition to a merchant fleet, we gave the Russians 581 naval vessels. Though they agreed to return all the ships at the conclusion of war, they are still holding most of them.
Among the few returned: the radar-equipped light cruiser Milwaukee, 4 frigates, and a couple of badly used icebreakers.
The original list included 77 minesweepers, 105 landing craft, 103 subchasers, 28 frigates, 202 torpedo boats, 4 floating drydocks, 4 250-ton pontoon barges, 3 icebreakers, 15 river tugs, and the light cruiser.
Few citizens, if any, would cavil at the sums expended in any of the foregoing categories. Most, like myself, would probably say “Well spent!” But now let’s take a look at the greater category, the 51% of non-munitions. We find they break down into:
Petroleum Products – $111,075,000
Agricultural Products – $1,674,586,000
Industrial Materials & Products – $3,040,423,000
TOTAL $4,826,084,000 
Since we gave the Russians planes, tanks, ships and motor vehicles, it is easy enough to grant them “Petroleum Products,” the necessary oil and gas and fuel, are a justifiable wartime expenditure. Though the Government does not do this, “to my mind the $111,075,000 could logically be included under “Munitions.”
But what about the rest of this greater part of Lend-Lease?
In the spirit of humanity, let us pass over the enormous figure of $1,674,586,000 for “Agricultural Products,” even though we never got so much as a formal “thank you” from the Russian people or their leaders, and even though the dislocations and shortages caused in our own domestic economy by these tremendous shipments of foodstuffs are only too vivid in our memories.
There still remains the largest figure of all, $3,040,423,000. We now discover that one-third of the whole of our nine and one-half billions of Russian Lend-Lease comes under the heading of “Industrial Materials and Products.”
It is this category which conceals a multitude of sins, running the gamut from such military secrets as uranium and other atomic bomb ingredients, down to the Moscow amusement park which I will show you was paid for by Lend-Lease.
And under which of President Truman’s four main headings – Munitions, Agricultural, or Industrial – could the following items legitimately be listed?
Yet these are things which we sent to Russia under Lend-Lease, as I shall shortly show you in detail. And just to mention at this point several other fantastic items, we also sent pianos and other musical instruments; antique furniture; calendars; 13,328 sets of teeth; toothbrushes, of course; women’s jewelry, etc., etc. Yet the Lend-Lease Act specifically excluded “goods furnished for relief and rehabilitation purposes”!
Are these items listed in the President’s Twenty-First Report? You can bet your life they aren’t. The Twenty-First Report has only general statements and the grand totals I have quoted.
Where can one find a list of the specific items of Lend-Lease shipped to Russia? Not in any Government publication. If you go to the Library of Congress, or write to the Superintendent of Documents for Lend-Lease figures, you will get Department of State Publication No. 2739, entitled Soviet Supply Protocols. 
This booklet of 156 pages seems comprehensive. It has an account of the four big Lend-Lease agreements or “protocols” arrived at between October, 1941 at conferences in Moscow, Washington, London, and Ottawa respectively.
It has all kinds of headings and sub-headings about Soviet “requirements,” but after a good deal of frustrating attempts at analysis, you find the loop-hole statement that the booklet does
“not indicate the extent to which materials were actually delivered to the Soviet Union.”
And where do they refer you for this information? To the Twenty-First Report, which has a “Partial List of Goods Shipped” – only 28 items! 
After bouncing back and forth between the Soviet Supply Protocols with its unanalyzable figures and lack of “actual deliveries,” and the incomplete figures of the Twenty-First Report, the knowledge-seeking citizen finally asks himself: “Whom do they think they’re fooling?”
Fortunately, I have the Russians’ own figures. That’s where the items listed above come from. The lists compiled by the Russians are crystal clear. There is no legal gobbledygook, no prattle about “protocols.” Instead there is the name of each item, the quantity, and the cost – just like that!
The Russians reveal that under Lend-Lease they received all kinds of supplies which can be found in no published Government record.
My own favorite item went over in 1944. There it is, listed all by itself (see reproduction on page 79 of this edition) as “Tobacco pipe, one, $10.” For what person would the entire machinery of Lend-Lease make available one pipe? Maybe Joseph Stalin wanted to test, for himself, the subtler resources of Lend-Lease. In any event, there it is.
As far as I know, these Russian figures have never been made available. I consider them the core of this book and I include them in the following chapter in full. They deserve endless study and examination.
Small businesses that found wartime shortages severe to the point of stopping production will be amazed to learn how many “scare” items were lavishly supplied to Russia.
Housewives will be aghast at the quantities of butter we denied ourselves and sent to a people which used it for greasing purposes.
Chemical and metal experts, and machinists, other specialists in many fields will find here the facts and figures which affected them in wartime.
Atomic materials were only one of many things that Moscow’s friends in Washington sent along to Russia via Lend-Lease, in violation of the spirit and letter of the law, in defiance of our country’s security and safety.
The United States master Lend-Lease agreement with Russia declared:
“The Government of the United States of America will continue to supply the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with such DEFENSE articles, DEFENSE services, and DEFENSE information as the President of the United States of America shall authorize to be transferred or provided.”
Under the Lend-Lease law the President had full power to decide what defense assistance the Russians were to get. He delegated that power to Harry Hopkins, with the result that in addition to defense supplies, the Russians got whatever they asked for, unless someone lower in the hierarchy tried to prevent it.
Take the case of copper. American copper resources became so critical during the war that bus bars of the metal, on electric panel-boards, were replaced with conductors of silver, borrowed from the Treasury’s vaults at West Point.
Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, was scarce enough to warrant serious debate over substituting steel in shell cases.
With such facts in mind, Lend-Lease shipments of copper, brass and bronze to the Soviet Union, divulged in the Russian lists, seem terrifying. They aggregated 642,503 tons, valued at $283,609,967.
Seven-tenths of all our copper donations to Russia consisted of wire and cable.
In January, 1942, Donald M. Nelson was named chairman of the War Production Board. According to Robert E. Sherwood, he owed the appointment to Harry Hopkins, who recommended Nelson after talking Mr. Roosevelt out of his notion of a three-man committee – Nelson, Wendell Willkie and William O. Douglas.
But Nelson, knowing the needs of American aircraft production, rebelled against Russia’s enormous requisitions of copper wire. Soviet agents appealed to Hopkins, who ordered Nelson to give what they wanted. Despite his personal obligation, the chairman was patriotic enough to refuse, and did so a second time when the command was repeated.
Thereupon, Hopkins arranged a meeting at the White House, where the President went to work on the WPB chief. Mr. Roosevelt suggested that he would take it as a personal favor if Nelson let the Russians have all the copper wire they requested.
What they obtained was enough telephone wire to circle the globe 50 times.
The allotment of copper wire and cable to Russian in 1942 was 32,355 tons.  After three more years the total was 219,403 tons, rated at $108,115,726. 
Immediately after Pearl Harbor, the Navy needed to repair our damaged battleships and placed a high priority order for copper wire suitable for battleship use. The Navy, however, did not have a priority high enough to secure the wire they needed, because an order for Russian copper wire had a higher priority.
The American Steel & Wire Company plant at Worcester, Mass. Continued to rush through the Soviet order, which amounted to nearly a million miles of copper wire.
This was obviously intended for the post-war rehabilitation of Russian cities, because the wire, which was on spools, was packed in separate soft pine boxes and placed in storage on a 20 acre lot in Westchester County, New York, where it remained until the war was nearly over before it was shipped to Russia for rehabilitation of their communications system.
About the same time a store arose in the Ordnance Division of the War Department, which had been sending to Russia quantities of artillery shell cases. The Russians announced that they wished to make their own cases, and demanded the requisite metal sheets and machinery, including hydraulic presses and annealing furnaces.
American experts protested on two grounds. The process left a scrap amounting to 45 per cent of the original brass which could be melted down into other sheets. In view of the shortage, it was felt that the surplus should be kept in the United States instead of being donated to Russia.
More important was the fact that delivery of presses and furnaces would hand over to possible future enemies the know-how of a vital branch of our munitions industry. Objections of the War Department and the War Production Board were overruled by the White House.
The gift of this self-contained unit – a plant for fabricating shell cases – brings us to a new dimension of Soviet Lend-Lease. Before the Russians, like a mail-order catalogue, had been spread the total array of American products and resources. In order to receive, they had merely to ask. If bills were ever rendered, they need not pay.
We also sent machine tools and apparatus for precision tests; lathes and power tools for metal working; machinery for textiles, wood pulp and paper, woodworking, typesetting and printing; and cranes, hoists, derricks, elevators, air compressors, coal cutters and rock drills. The thought is disconcerting that each machine may have been copied and bred multitudes of its kind.
From individual machines Soviet hunger sharpened to demand entire factories. The Twenty-First Report acknowledges the delivery to Russia of one tire plant, one aluminum rolling mill and an unstated number of pipe fabricating works.
General Groves testified that the Manhattan Project, in the nick of time, snatched from boxes on an American wharf the equipment for an oil refinery going to Russia. But the agency had to promise the use of “all its priorities” for replacing the equipment at the earliest moment.
The following installations, mostly described as “complete,” are among those for which the American Government, under Lend-Lease Act, pledged delivery to the Soviet Union:
One repair plant for precision instruments $550,000; two factories for food products, $6,924,000; three gas generating units, $21,390,000; one petroleum refinery, with machinery and equipment, $29,050,000; 17 stationary steam and three hydro-electric plants, $263,289,000.
They even got more than $88 millions as charity!
Hopkins’ experience as a relief administrator was well known to the Russians. When they applied to Hopkins, they got “relief” – even though it was in direct violation of the Lend-Lease Act. According to their records the items are officially listed as “Relief or Charity.”
In 1942 they received $10,457,417.
In 1943 it went to $19,089,139.
In 1944 the total was $25,479,722.
In 1945 it was $33,674,825.
The total for four years for this handout alone: $88,701,103 
The women of Russia have every reason to be well dressed, even today, thanks to Mr. Hopkins. In the three years 1942-44 we sent the Russians dress goods costing more than $152 millions of satin twill, and ribbons, braids and trimmings, costing millions more – a grand total of $181 millions for women’s apparel. 
(In the same period the Russian army got only $21 millions of uniform material.)
Among other things I found in the black suitcases at Great Falls were blueprints of the leading industrial plants of the country. I opened one suitcase, as an example, and found the complete plans for a General Electric Plant at East Lynn, Mass.
I have since inquired about this plant and have found that it was under constant heavy guard, since it was at this plant that our new plane turbo chargers are being made. Armed guards to keep Americans out – but all the blueprints sent to our most dangerous enemy before the plant was built!
We also found blueprints of the Electric Board Corp., of Groton, Conn., where our new atomic submarines are being built.
During the summer of 1943 there was another load of “diplomatic suitcases.” Following the routine I had set up, I opened three – one at each end of the plane and one at the center. To my surprise all contained reprints of the patents in the U.S. Patent Office, a division of the Department of Commerce. When I spoke to Colonel Kotikov, he said the entire cargo consisted of these records, and that they would be coming through continuously.
The Soviet Union has refused to give out a single one of its patents since 1927. But our Patent Office was thrown open to a crew of technical experts from the Amtorg Trading Corporation. They were on full-time duty, and spent every day going over the files to pick out what they wanted. The documents were provided by the Patent Office itself.
Later the task was given over by another Soviet Government agency, the Four Continent Book Company, which abandoned the selective process and took everything in sight. The Photostats were paid for with frequent checks, running from $1,000 to $4,000 each.
The number of patents acquired, the House Committee on Un-American Activities stated in 1949, “runs into the hundreds of thousands.”
The Committee further stated that
“Russian officials have been able to collect a lot of our industrial and military inventions from our Government Patent Office. This is done right out in the open with our permission.”
Among the patent reprints supplied to Russia the committee listed: bombsights, military tanks, airplanes, ship controls, bomb-dropping devices, helicopters, mine sweepers, ammunition, bullet-resisting armor.
This sack of America’s inventive ingenuity did not end with the war, but continued four years longer. The State Department ruled that nothing could be done without Congressional legislation. Finally, due to the Fulton Lewis broadcasts and the resulting public indignation, John Marzall, Commissioner of Patents, ordered the termination of this practice on December 13, 1949.
Another “diplomatic” cargo which arrived at Great Falls was a planeload of films. Colonel Stanislau Shumovsky, the Russian in charge, tried to prevent me from making an inspection by flaunting a letter from the State Department. I told him the letter did not apply to me. It was a letter authorizing this Russian to visit any restricted plant, and to make motion pictures of very intricate machinery and manufacturing processes. I looked over a half dozen of the hundreds of cans of films. That one plane carried a tremendous amount of America’s technical know-how to Russia.
And, in return? Well, here is the story of “reverse Lend-Lease.” In 1943 we in Great Falls sent Dr. Patrinkoff on to Washington as a representative of Russian industry. He was supposed to have the very latest process data for making synthetic rubber.
The State Department publicized his arrival and arranged for him to meet with the Rubber Reserve Corporation. There, “in exchange for the invaluable Russian technique,” he was to be completely enlightened about (1) our chemical processes for making synthetic rubber, (2) the plant designs and flow sheets, (3) anything else he might want to know about..
The visit, from the point of view of Rubber Reserve Corporation, was valueless for the following reasons:
1. In July of 1942 all process designs were frozen so that plant construction could commence.
2. During late 1943 construction was largely completed and operations were beginning to deliver the rubber.
3. The protest from Houdry Process Corporation during late 1943 that they had perfected a better, cheaper process than nay then being projected, was overruled since the objective was to produce rubber and not to perfect an ideal system.
4. Dr. Patrinkoff arrived during the Houdry protest and such ideas on process as he did reluctantly divulge were unsuitable and, in fact, covered almost primitive phases of synthesis which had been obsolete in the United States for some time.
Dr. Patrinkoff, after being refused full unlimited access to its data by the Rubber Reserve Corporation, went to various chemical and rubber companies in the country and attempted to gain what had been denied to him in Washington. Each company he visited called Rubber Reserve Corporation for confirmation and each in turn refused the requested information. He then went to the plant construction companies and received the same treatment.
Thereafter the Department of State sent him to Du Pont and asked that he be given the process data on neoprene production. Sufficient pressure accompanied this request to make Du Pont accede. The neoprene process is not patented but is undivulged in this country. Thus, it can be assumed that the Russians did learn this very valuable process through the intervention of our State Department. Dr. Patrinkoff’s visit was publicized as “reverse Lend-Lease” – Russian aid to the United States!
This “reverse Lend-Lease” cost taxpayers: five plants for synthetic rubber and its constituents, $27,500,000; two neoprene rubber factories; one factory each for styrene, Houdry method butadiene, and Houdry catalysts. The neoprene and butadiene plants had a capacity of 40,000 tons annually, which is probably the reason the Soviet press announced recently that they now lead the world in synthetic rubber production.
In his ardor for the Soviets, Hopkins never hesitated to seize upon supplies urgently demanded by other agencies, even when the issue was military success on the Western Front. Colonel H. E. Rounds, a wartime member of the Supply Committee of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, has stated to me that interventions of this kind were so frequent that they came to be regarded as all but invariable. The general feeling, Colonel Rounds said, was that in a given supply problem the Russians repeatedly came first.
When Harry Hopkins stood up in Madison Square Gardens on June 22, 1942 and said to the Russian people: “We are determined that nothing shall stop us from sharing with you all that we have,” he knew exactly how he was going to do this. It was to be through Lend-Lease, over which he had such absolute personal control that nothing could stop him from sharing with the Soviet Union all that we had.
A Look At Lend-Lease
1. Twenty-First Report to Congress on Lend-Lease Operations, The White House, Jan. 31, 1946, (U.S. Government Printing Office, p. 25.
2. Ibid., Table 8, p. 24.
4. Soviet Supply Protocols, State Department Document No. 2759, (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946).
5. Twenty-First Report, Table 9, p. 25.
6. Soviet figures (Jordan Diary).
Continue with Chapter 9
The Greatest Mail-Order Catalogue in History
A complete, itemized list of Lend-Lease shipments is unobtainable from any agency or group of agencies of our Government. However, the Russians kept their own lists which I, as a liaison officer, was allowed to consult and copies of which I finally acquired.
They list the dollar value of every item, though not always the exact quantity, with annual totals as follows:
1942 – $1,422,853,332;
1943 – $2,955,811,271;
1944 – $3,459,274,155;
1945 – $1,838,281,501.
The grand total for four years is some $9.6 billions, which compares with the President’s figure of $9.5 (for shipments only) in the Twenty-First Report. But the complete Russian record is much more revealing than any partial or “protocol requirement” list the public has been allowed to see.
I would have preferred to give the Russian figures for each of the four years, because there are many interesting comparisons, such as the thorium shipments which stopped after 1943. Space limitations prevented this. Faced with the choice of listing some items with all the breakdowns, or cumulative totals for all the items, I chose the latter. If any readers would like to have the yearly breakdowns on specific items, I will be glad to provide them from my worksheets.
At the start I have grouped all the materials – chemicals, metals, minerals – suitable for use in an atomic pile. I have not listed here the ‘millions of dollars’ worth of mining, ore-crushing, and construction equipment which we sent to Russia. Informed readers may also find materials suitable for use in the hydrogen bomb elsewhere in the lists.
Item Quantity Cost in Dollars
Beryllium Metals 9,681 lbs. — $ 10,874.
Cadmium alloys 72,535 lbs. — $70,029.
Cadmium metals 834,989 lbs. – $71,466.
Cobalt ore & concentrate 33,600 lbs. — $49,782.
Cobalt metal & cobalt-bearing scrap 806,941 lbs. — $1,190,774.
Uranium metal 2.2 lbs. –
Aluminum Tubes 13,766,472 lbs. — $13,041,152.
Graphite, natural, flake, lump or chip 7,384,282 lbs. — $812,437.
Beryllium salts & compounds 228 lbs. — $775.
Cadmium oxide 2,100 lbs. — $3,080.
Cadmium salts & compounds, n.e.s. * 2 lbs. — $19.
Cadmium sulfate 2,170 lbs. — $1,374.
Cadmium sulfide 16,823 lbs. — $17,380.
Cobalt nitrate 51 lbs. — $48.
Cobalt oxide 17,800 lbs. — $34,832.
Cobalt salts & compounds n.e.s. 11,475 lbs. — $7,112.
Cobaltic & cobaltous sulfate 22 lbs. — $25.
Deuterium oxide (heavy water) — $1,100 grs. –
* “n.e.s.” stands for “not especially specified,” throughout.
These lists continue on page 83. (Pages 77 through 110 are copies of written orders, etc. along with many pages of details itemizing goods sent through Lend-Lease to Soviet Russia. These pages will be scanned in here, as soon as our webmaster receives them via mail. – Jackie)
Continue with Chapter 10
My Visit to the State Department in 1944
The stream of “diplomatic suitcases” passing without inspection through Great Falls weighed more heavily than ever upon my conscience. During January, 1944, I made a special trip to Washington to see whether something couldn’t be done.
When I explained m intention to Colonel O’Neill, he agreed the matter was important enough for a trip to the Capital and promised to issue the necessary orders. I left Great Falls on Jan. 4, 1944, which was my 46th birthday.
Because the Colonel and Mrs. Kotikov wished to visit New York at this time, I got first-class transportation. The C-47 in which we traveled belonged to the unsuspecting Colonel Kotikov, and bore the Russian red star. Lt. Col. Boaz was our pilot and when we landed in Minneapolis we were photographed by the Minneapolis Star.
I reached Washington on the afternoon of January 6. The next morning I went to ATC headquarters at Gravelly Point, and spent the day being shuttled back and forth among eight different offices. On the following morning I appealed to Colonel Paige, who suggested that I try the Chief Air Inspector, Brigadier General Janius W. Jones.
General Jones afterwards denied that he ever met me, but my diary entry for Jan. 8 reads: Saw Gen. Jones, Col. Wilson, Col. Vander Lugt.” As a matter of fact, Jones listened to me for fifteen minutes, and promised to send on of his ace inspectors to Great Falls. He said this officer would be Colonel Robert H. Dahm, who actually arrived on Jan. 25.
That afternoon I went to the old State Department Building on Pennsylvania Avenue. I had been directed to John Newbold Hazard, liaison officer for Lend-Lease. He was soon to act as a special adviser to Vice-President Wallace on a mission to the Soviet Union and China, and is today professor of public law at Columbia University and director of its Russian Institute. I was not to meet Mr. Hazard, however, until some months later at a meeting of the Washington Forum.
From his private office, after I was announced, came a young assistant.
“Major Jordan,” he began, “we know all about you, and why you are here. You might as well understand that officers who get too officious are likely to find themselves on an island somewhere in the South Seas.”
With natural anger, I retorted that I didn’t think the State Department had any idea how flagrant abuses were at Great Falls. I said we had virtually no censorship, or immigration or customs inspection.
Crowds of Russians were coming in of whom we had no record. Photostats of military reports from American attachés in Moscow were being returned to the Kremlin. Planeloads of suitcases, filled with confidential data, were passing every three weeks without inspection, under the guise of “diplomatic immunity.”
“But, my dear Major,” I was admonished with a jaunty wave of the hand, “we know all about that. The Russians can’t do anything, or send anything out of this country, without our knowledge and consent. They have to apply to the State Department for everything. I assure you the Department knows exactly what it is doing. Good afternoon.”
I returned to Great Falls in low spirits. But I took heart from Colonel Bernard C. Hahn, another of General Jones’ Inspectors who did not conceal his indignation after I took him over the base and showed him the things I had protested about. “What can we do?” he asked. I replied that the State Department was hopeless, and that our best chance was to call in Army Counter-Intelligence.
Colonel Kotikov was displeased when he learned of this turn of events, and let me understand that he knew I was responsible. An overall report was drafted, but has never been made public. Its existence was confirmed to me in 1949 by the FBI, through their questions.
On March 28, 1944, however, a report had been prepared by an unidentified special agent of Counter-Intelligence. It ran, in part, as follows:
On 13 March, 1944, while in the performance of official duties, this agent had occasion to contact Major George Racey Jordan, United Nations Representative at East Base, Great Falls, Mont…, Major Jordan stated that he was desirous of conveying certain information to intelligence authorities…
There is an incredible amount of diplomatic mail sent to Russia through Great Falls… All of this was protected from censorship by diplomatic immunity. It may be significant that it is not at all uncommon for the Russian mail or freight shipment to be accompanied by two men who openly state that they are to see that the mail or freight is not examined and the diplomatic immunity privilege violated…
This agency observed that Major Jordan appeared to maintain accurate, detailed files and was very anxious to convey his information through intelligence channels. He requested that he be contacted at a time when the Russian activity could be outlined in minute detail, and was advised that this would be done…
It is recommended that a prolonged interview be conducted with Major Jordan; that his records be scrutinized for information of an intelligence nature; and that he be contacted regularly.
It is further recommended that the facts contained herein be given due consideration, with a view to contacting the State Department in order that they may be cognizant of the situation and that corrective measures be taken. 
The recommendations were endorsed by the Acting Adjutant General of the U.S. Army, Brigadier General Robert H. Dunlop, who urged that their adoption, in his judgment, would result in “a more comprehensive enforcement of existing laws and regulations than hitherto has been the case.” 
When the report and endorsement arrived at the State Department, it was necessary to make at least a show of activity. The matter was assigned to Charles E. Bohlen, who later became Counselor of the Department. A specialist on Russia, he acted at Teheran and Yalta as interpreter for Mr. Roosevelt, and at Pottsdam as political advisor to Mr. Truman.
On July 6 Bohlen called a meeting of representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of Censorship, Military Intelligence, Air Transport command, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Bureau of Customs, Foreign Economic Administration and State Department. If any minutes or memoranda of the session were recorded by the Department of State, they were not made available from its files when the Un-American Activities Committee asked for them in 1950.
Bohlen had an interview with the Second Secretary of the Soviet Embassy, and followed with a written memorandum dated July 28. It presented a statement of U.S. customs and censorship regulations, and advised that in future they would be enforced. The warning appears to have been ignored completely.
On Sept. 20, 1944 security officers at Great Falls reported that a C-47 left for Moscow with 3,800 pounds of non-diplomatic records. They had not been censored and were therefore in violation of the Espionage Act. But local officers did not dare to remove the shipment from the Pipeline.
An explanation of their timidity was found in a notarized statement submitted to the Un-American Activities Committee by Captain Harry Decker, chief of a new Traffic Control Unit set up in July, 1944 at Great Falls. Its function was to make sure that overseas personnel and cargo, in and outbound, were checked by the proper civilian agencies.
Customs, Immigration, Censorship and the FBI now had staffs at Great Falls. Captain Decker had learned, as I had to, that it was possible to force the Russians to accept inspection by refusing to clear American pilots flying Soviet planes. Beyond that, nothing could be done. Captain Decker said he had asked again and again for authority to ground any plane bearing contraband persons or freight, and to hold it until the defense was rectified.
He was enlightened by a high official of the Department of Commerce, Irving Weiss, who made a trip to Great Falls. Such authority, Weiss told him, could be granted only by a top echelon decision of the State Department, the Board of Economic Welfare and the President’s Protocol Committee. “It seemed,” Captain Decker observed ruefully, “that the power of enforcement lay at very high levels beyond the reach of us there.”  Needless to say, no enforcement order was issued.
By this time, I was no longer at Great Falls.
My Visit to the State Department in 1944
1. Hearings, testimony of Donald T. Appell, March 2, 1950, pp. 1128-29.
2. Ibid., p. 1146.
3. Ibid., p. 1140.
Continue with Chapter 11
The Priest Who Confronted Stalin
Many surprising things turned up on the Pipeline, but the most unexpected of all was a priest.
Before I tell the story of Father Orlemanski, it is necessary to recall some details of the tragic fate of Poland. In a speech on Jan. 22, 1944 Winston Churchill gave the first clue that the Western Powers were planning to deliver Poland, one of their staunchest allies, into Russian hands.
The Prime Minister could afford to take the public lead; he had no Polish constituency, while the United States had 3,000,000 citizens of Polish birth or descent. At Teheran, four months earlier, Poland’s death-sentence had been arranged; it was to be executed at Yalta early in 1945.
Prominent roles in the tragedy were played by two American citizens who were cleared from Great Falls to Moscow on April 12 and 19, 1944. Both had been equipped by the State Department with passports authorizing travel to the Soviet Union, and by the War Department with military passes for the Western Defense Command (Great Falls) and Alaska Defense Force (Fairbanks).
First to arrive was Oscar Richard Lange, professor of economics at Chicago University. Born and educated in Poland, he had been a traveling fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1934-36 and had come to America in 1937, at the age of 33. He was naturalized in 1943.
I first heard of Oscar Lange from Colonel Kotikov, who was leaving on one of his mysterious hurry-up flights to Washington. He asked me to keep a particular look-out for a man “high in Polish affairs” who would be passing through on the way to Moscow. He could be identified because he “walked with a limp.” On account of an urgent appointment in Edmonton, he was to be sent along without delay.
As my diary records, Professor Lange arrived on April 11 and departed early the next morning. In the press of other business I took little notice except to examine his papers, which were in order. But I sat up when a telegram was forwarded by the Airbase Commander. It was from General Marshall, who sent his personal order for the professor’s clearance. I thought, “This Lange must really be a V.I.P.” Never before, at Great Falls, had such intervention from the Chief of Staff occurred.
The second American was Father Stanislaus Orlemanski. To the best of my information, Professor Lange and Father Orlemanski were the first Americans to pass the “Iron Curtain” stretched across the Bering Sea.
Father Orlemanski was the pastor of a church in Springfield, Mass. He was possessed by the idea of an heroic mission. He would confront Joseph Stalin face to face and wrest from him a promise that Communist persecution of religion would cease. For such a dream there have not been too many parallels since the Middle Ages.
In the year 1219 another of “God’s fools,” Saint Francis of Assisi, trudged across a no-man’s land in Egypt, through the Moslem camp where there was a price on every Christian head, and stood at last before the Saracen commander-in-chief. To Sultan Malik-al-Kamil the friar preached the Gospel and implored him to accept baptism. The monarch smiled, but granted safe-conduct to Francis and remarked to his courtiers that for the first time he had met a true “Nazarene.”
On the morning of April 18 Colonel Kotikov telephoned us that he had been stranded at Billings, Montana. In a B-25 bomber, Colonel Boaz, Major Paul Reid and I flew to the rescue, returning about 2:15 the same afternoon.
There in my office, sitting with an air of tranquil patience, was a Catholic priest. He was nearly six feet tall and had the build of a husky workingman. We shook hands and exchanged names.
Quite simply, Father Orlemanski said that he was on the way to Moscow. I, Major Jordan, was to put him on a plane. He spoke with the serenity of one who had taken to heart the favorite maxim of Saint Francis of Assisi: “Cast your care upon God, and He will protect you.” Thinking of the fate in store for a priest in Russia, I was horrified.
I demanded his credentials, never dreaming he could have any. To my stupefaction, he ordered military passes for the Alaska Defense Force and Western Defense Command, bearing the names of their respective chiefs, Major General Simon B. Buckner and Major General David McCoach, Jr. Next he produced a passport from the State Department empowering him to travel to the Soviet Union by way of Egypt, Iraq and Iran. He also had visas for the three countries.
I asked why he was in Montana instead of the Near East. The Soviet Consulate in New York, he answered, had instructed him to ignore the visas and report to me in Great Falls. I went immediately to Colonel Kotikov, who showed me a wire from the Soviet Embassy directing him to facilitate the priest’s departure. He was bound for Moscow by personal invitation from Premier Stalin himself.
“But it isn’t safe!” I objected. “Your people have been killing priests by the thousands!”
“Ho, ho!” Kotikov laughed. “Was years ago, during bad part of Revolution. Today, under the great Stalin, religion in Russia very fine.” He shrugged off the visas for Egypt, Iraq and Iran..
“Stalin wants him. Is visa enough,” he said.
Full of worry, I went back to Father Orlemanski and asked how it happened that he, a Catholic priest, had been invited to Moscow by Joseph Stalin. He explained that his flock was made up entirely of Poles, by nativity or heritage, and that he had been besieged with questions, which he could not answer, about the fate of the Catholic religion in their homeland. Would it be suppressed? Would it be allowed to survive? Would it be tolerated for an interval and then destroyed? Had the hour not come for trying to bring about good relations between the Vatican and Kremlin?
Believing in direct action, Father Orlemanski sat down and wrote an appeal to the one man in the world who had the answers.
No letter could have been more providential for Stalin. He was preparing to swallow Poland, a morsel notoriously indigestible. There was urgent need of help from quarters which were Polish and non-Communist. Father Orlemanski was both. That he was also an American, and beyond all else a Catholic priest, was too good to be true.
It happened that the Springfield cleric had published some writings on the position due to labor in society. The son and pastor of workingmen, and himself no stranger to manual labor, he had advanced ideas on the subject. His writings came into Stalin’s hands.
The result was one in which the priest saw the hand of God. Through the Soviet Consulate in New York he received a cordial invitation to go to Moscow as Stalin’s personal guest, for a discussion across the table of the matters cited in his letter.
“When Mr. Stalin invited me,” the priest told a correspondent in Moscow named Harrison E. Salisbury, “he sent a message to Mr. Roosevelt and asked him if it was all right for me to come over and, if it was, to fix it up about my travel papers.”
Out of his native independence, Father Orlemanski responded with demands so uncompromising that they might have served as an example for the White House and State Department. He had the boldness to dictate the three conditions under which he would accept Stalin’s invitation:
(1) He would not travel to Moscow unless there was a sworn understanding that he would talk with Stalin himself.
(2) In case of an attempt to elude the promise after he got there, and foist some lesser person upon him, he would take the next plane home.
(3) Under no circumstances would he travel with Professor Oscar Lange, who had been suggested as a companion.
I told Father Orlemanski that transportation would not be available till the following afternoon. So I phoned for a reservation at the Rainbow Hotel and asked him to tell me about himself.
He was 54 years old, and pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church on Franklin Street, Springfield, Mass. His father was an immigrant from Posen who had come with his young bride to Erie, PA, in 1876. Then had ten children, five girls and five boys, of whom four became priests. The elder Orlemanski started life in America as a common laborer, but gained a modest fortune in the contracting business. In 1912 he won a Carnegie medal for heroism: he had risked his life in an effort to snatch a stranger from death in a railroad accident.
In 1917, two years after ordination, Father Orlemanski was sent to Springfield to found a parish in a settlement of Polish-Americans who were employed in local mills. There were only 80 families, but the number grew in 27 years to 965, aggregating bout 3,000 souls. Beginning with a rented tenement, he developed a parish center, not without fame, which covered more than a city block and was valued at half a million dollars. It boasted a school, convent, community house, rectory and an extraordinary new church, dedicated in 1940. Most of the construction was done with their own hands by men and boys of the parish, who gave their work free. As carpenter, plasterer and painter, the priest toiled shoulder to shoulder with the others. He himself designed the church. He finished with an expression that was very old-fashioned and somehow touching in an era of installment buying and public deficits: “There isn’t a penny of debt!”
By this time I began to feel protective toward Father Orlemanski. Though not a Catholic, I was moved by his courage, simplicity and faith. I asked whether he had flown before. He had never been on a plane, and had traveled from New York to Great Falls by railway, at his own expense. He had no parachute.
“Do I need one?” he asked.
Under regulations, he could not board a plane without it and it would be useful in getting to the ground, I said, if anything happened. He looked so disturbed that on impulse I offered to lend him my own. But he must be sure to return it, as the Army would charge me $125 if it were lost. (The parachute arrived by express several weeks later.) To show how the apparatus worked, I buckled it over his black coat.
“Father,” I warned, “if you do have to jump, don’t start praying until you’ve counted to ten and pulled the release handle. After that, you can pray your hardest.” He laughed, and said he would remember. I saw him to the hotel and asked him to lunch at the Officers’ Club at 11 A.M. the next day.
We entered the club with Colonel Kotikov, in Red Army uniform. Eyes bulged and jaws dropped. While the Colonel chatted with other Soviet officers, I was glad to have the priest to myself, for I had another question, and a serious one. Did he have the sanction of the Catholic Church for his one-man crusade?
A look of distress crossed his face. To be frank, he admitted, he was acting against orders from his superior. This was the Most Rev. Thomas M. O’Leary, Bishop of Springfield, who has since died. He had told Bishop O’Leary of the invitation from Stalin, and had been expressly forbidden to accept it. “There were fences,” he said, “and I had to leap over them.”
He realized that if he went to Russia, it would have to be as a private individual. The Church must not be committed in any way. If he got back alive, and had accomplished something of benefit, the rest would be up to the Bishop. The priest had applied for his first vacation in 30 years and it had been granted. So here he was in Great Falls, severed temporarily from his parish and free, as he imagined, to act on his own.
I had thought of a small service that would make the trip to Fairbanks more pleasant. Going to the ready-room where pilots waited for assignment, I asked whether any of them spoke Polish. A stocky, blonde lad, whose name I have forgotten, came forward.
I introduced him to Father Orlemanski before the take-off. They broke into happy exchange in their own tongue as Colonel Kotikov and I walked with them to the C-47. The priest’s farewell word to me was: “Bless you, Major, for such a good Polish pilot!” I went to my office and wrote in the date-book: “Rev. S. Orelmanski departed for Moscow, 14:40.”
At Fairbanks, it appears, the transport halted only long enough to take on gas and a Soviet pilot. Father Orlemanski had no chance to dismount. It seems probable that no one at Ladd Field knew he was aboard. The first night was spent in Siberia, at the third airfield beyond Nome. According to my list, it was Nova Marinsk.
The flight across Asia was punishing. Winter still prevailed. Due to cold, altitude or motor noise, or all together, the priest’s hearing was permanently injured. There was a day when the plane got lost. The pilot was too stubborn to consult his maps or too proud to admit that he didn’t know how to use them. Father Orlemanski was accustomed to taking charge and making decisions. He got out the maps, identified points on the ground and convinced the pilot he was 150 miles off the course.
He arrived in Moscow on April 25, and was promptly fastened upon by Professor Lange. They were in a theatre at 10 P.M. when a messenger notified Father Orlemanski that a car was waiting to drive him to the Kremlin. He arose, and so did Lange. The priest halted.
“If this man is going along, I’ll stay here,” he announced.
The economist dropped back into his seat and the priest went alone to meet Stalin. Also present at the Kremlin were Molotov and the interpreter, Pavlov.
No respecter of persons and the son of a fearless man, the priest talked to Stalin as if he were a member of his own parish. At emphatic moments he did not hesitate to pound the table and shake his finger in the autocrat’s face. He addressed the Generalissimo as “Mr. Stalin” or simply “Stalin.” Flatly he declared that Poland must never have Communist rule, but a government modeled on the American system.
For his part, the wily Stalin acted to perfection a role that was to take in Americans more worldly than Father Orlemanski. Such a performance tricked President Truman into praising him as “good old Joe,” and led General Arnold, returning from Teheran, to swear that Stalin was not a Communist at all, but the soundest of democrats.
In every respect he was the jolly, flattering host, full of deference and good humor. He made jokes, and laughed heartily at those cracked by the priest. Throughout he used the respectful title “Father.” No offense was taken when the pastor charged that Communism was persecuting the Catholic Church. On the contrary, Stalin protested, he was an ardent champion of liberty of conscience and worship. After a decent resistance, he admitted that Father Orlemanski was right about everything.
When he saw that the spell had taken effect, Stalin got down to business. At Sumy, he revealed, was the Red Army’s first detachment of Polish recruits, numbering 8,000. For the moment, at least, they had been christened the “Kosciuszko Division.”
Tadeusz Kosciuszko, one of Russia’s most formidable enemies, was a hero of the American Revolution, an aide to General Washington and an honorary citizen of the United States. Father Orlemanski himself was the founder of a society in America named the “Kosciuszko League.” Visibly he was enchanted by what seemed the happiest of omens.
If he liked, Stalin went on, it would be possible to arrange for Father Orlemanski to inspect the camp, and perhaps speak a few words to his countrymen. The pastor accepted gratefully, and in his enthusiasm consented to a further proposal that he should address the Polish people over the radio. Two and a half hours had passed when the session broke off.
“You won’t believe me,” Father Orlemanski exclaimed afterward to a friend, “but when Stalin was talking to me I couldn’t help thinking to myself: ‘There is a man who would make a good priest!’” Stalin, it has been said, trained for the priesthood in his youth.
The Washington Bureau of the Tass Agency broke the story for the morning papers of April 28. It was confirmed by Radio Moscow. All the globe was electrified by news that Stalin and Molotov had been in conference with a Catholic priest from America. Dispatches stated that no Catholic priest had entered Russia, at least openly, since 1934. Only rarely, they emphasized, did Stalin receive a private person, and almost never a religious one.
Russian newspapers, on April 29, gave the episode a play reserved for guests at highest official rank. On front pages were headlines and group photos of Stalin, Molotov and Father Orlemanski. It was noted that the Generalissimo was smiling broadly.
In the United States this caused a tumult. Polish cliques branded Father Orlemanski as a man of “divided loyalties.” The Springfield chancellor announced that “diocesan authorities had no knowledge of the pastor’s trip to Russia” and that the journey “was made on his own initiative, without permission.”
Speaking for the National Catholic Welfare Conference, the Rt. Rev. Monsignor Michael J. Ready, its general secretary, described the mission as “a political burlesque, staged and directed by capable Soviet agents.” He added pointedly that one would like to know “the exact part our own government had in the performance.”
Secretary Hull admitted that the State Department had supplied passports to Russia for Father Orelemanski and Professor Lange. They went as private citizens, he declared, and in no way represented the American government. Both had been invited to Moscow by Soviet authorities.
At a news conference, the President diverted inquiries from himself to the chief of the Passport Division, Mrs. Ruth B. Shipley. Everyone knew her severity in granting passports, he pointed out, and whenever an applicant got by Mrs. Shipley, it was certain the law had been complied with.
One midnight, toward the end of April, I was aroused by a telephone call from New York or Washington. The speaker was a woman correspondent for a wire service. She asked whether I had cleared a Catholic priest through Great Falls to Moscow.
She repeated the question in several forms, taking care not to mention Father Orlemanski’s name. I was sleepy and shivering with cold. I instructed her that any information about Father Orlemanski must come from Colonel William Westlake, chief of public relations for the Army Air Forces.
“Thank you, Major,” the girl chuckled, “you’ve told me exactly what I wanted to know.”
Newspapers revealed the next morning that Father Orlemanski had been routed through Great Falls. The airfield’s gates were thronged with reporters, who waylaid mechanics and crewmen and learned from them that a Catholic priest had been walking with me.
A general in Washington got me on the phone. Had I seen the newspapers? I had. “Well,” he shouted, “you’ve certainly stuck your neck in a sling! What right had you to put a priest on a plane and send him to Moscow?” The voice was full of menace.
I hastened to remind him that Father Orlemanski, in addition to a passport, had two permits from the War Department, covering the Western Defense Command and the Alaska Defense Force. Evidently this was news to the General. There was a pause. In a very different tone, he muttered: “Oh. I see!” He hung up, and that was the last I heard from the Pentagon.
In the meantime, Father Orlemanski visited the “Kosciuszko Division” at Sumy. A special train was put at his disposal for the four-day trip. He was pleased to note that the men were duly provided with Catholic chaplains. He assured them in a speech that he was no Communist, and led cheers for Poland, the Soviet Union and the United States. But he declared that Stalin, to his personal knowledge, was a true friend of Poland and the Catholic religion. Of similar tenor was his radio address to the Polish people.
Back in Moscow, he was taken in charge by Salisbury, bureau chief in Russia for the United Press, and by a commentator for the Columbia Broadcasting System, James Fleming, who was a Catholic. They knew that turmoil was raging in America, and were fearful about the reception awaiting Father Orlemanski. The public would have only his word, they declared, that Stalin’s intentions were friendly and peaceable. The pastor would be “slaughtered” unless he could furnish tangible proof – something over Stalin’s signature, for example.
On that evening the priest had a second engagement at the Kremlin, which also lasted two and a half hours. He said: “Mr. Stalin, I have to have something in writing, I must have some sort of statement from you to take back to America.” The Generalissimo answered that was a “good idea.”
The remainder of the night was spent by Father Orlemanski in drafting two documents. One was his own statement summarizing conclusions reached at both interview. The other contained two questions, for which Stalin was asked to give signed answers. Father Orlemanski’s statement, sanctioned by Stalin, was released on the day the pastor left Moscow. It read in part:
Unquestionably Marshal Stalin is the friend of the Polish people. I will also make this historical statement: Future events will prove that he is well disposed toward the Catholic Church…
“Poland should not be a corridor through which the enemy passes at will and destroys Russia,” said Stalin.
He really wants a strong, independent, democratic Poland to protect herself against future aggressors.
He has no intention of meddling in the internal affairs of Poland. All he asks for is a friendly Poland.
As to religion, the religion of our forefathers shall be the religion of the Polish people. Marshal Stalin will not tolerate any transgressions in this regard.
Salisbury and Fleming were delighted when Father Orlemanski produced the other document, signed by Stalin. The document read as follows:
Translation of the answers of Marshal Stalin to questions by Rev. Stanislaus Orlemanski.
Q. Do you think it admissible for the Soviet Government to pursue a policy of persecution and coercion with regard to the Catholic Church?
A. As an advocate of freedom of conscience and that of worship, I consider such a policy to be inadmissible and precluded.
Q. Do you think that cooperation with the Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, in the matter of the struggle against persecution and coercion of the Catholic Church is possible?
A. I think it is possible.
Stalin invited Father Orlemanski to a third meeting, from which the priest excused himself. He was in haste to report the success of his mission at home. After 12 days in Russia, he departed on May 6 in jubilation.
The priest had no doubt that he had managed single-handed to negotiate a private concordat with Stalin guaranteeing the Catholic Church against persecution throughout the Communist world. As evidence that Christianity was still free in Russia, the guileless cleric took with him a basket of Easter eggs procured in Moscow.
Disillusionment began at Fairbanks, where he arrived three days later. The War Department, alarmed by public clamor, refused him transportation to Great Falls. Borrowing $200 from a Catholic chaplain, he took passage on a commercial airliner and reached Seattle May 10.
His journey across the continent was accompanied by a blare of headlines. At a press conference in Chicago, he made public the questionnaire signed by Stalin. He was welcomed by his parishioners with music, banners and acclamations. From Bishop O’Leary, however, came a missive ordering him into seclusion. The charges were “disobedience” and “treating with Communists.”
He was not helped by an announcement from the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Cicognani, that Father Orlemanski, like every priest, was subject to his Bishop. There could be an appeal, if he wished, to the Pope, but the Apostolic Delegate had no jurisdiction.
After two days the pastor surrendered. To Bishop O’Leary he wrote a letter of apology. An old friend and enthusiastic admirer of his accomplishments as a parish priest, the Bishop on May 21 allowed him to celebrate Mass once more at Our Lady of Rosary Church. His two papers, including the document with Stalin’s signature, were sent by ordinary post with a three-cent stamp, to Archbishop Cicognani. Presumably they are now in the Vatican archives.
Early the following June the Premier of Free Poland, Stanislaus Mikolajczyk, arrived in Washington to offer a last desperate prayer for the life of is country. He refused to receive Professor Lange, whom he regarded as a notorious Soviet propagandist. Mr. Bohlen, of the State Department, sent for Mikolajczyk.
Although Lange was a Marxist, Bohlen asked the Premier to see him in the interest of good relations between the USSR and the United States. Unable to refuse, Mikolajczyk had to listen to Lange’s “realistic” views. Stalin, he said, thought Poland unadapted to Communist rule, did not wish to dominate the country and had no interest in its internal structure.
Soon afterward the Premier had a conference with Mr. Roosevelt, who thanked him for meeting Lange and suggested that he talk also with Father Orlemanski, “a good man, pure and decent, possibly too naive, but with the best of intentions.” Father Orlemanski would tell him that Stalin favored religious freedom and particularly freedom for the Catholic Church.
Father Orlemanski had reported, he went on, that Stalin was troubled by religious separatism. Obviously he did not wish to become, like the Tsars, head of the Greek Orthodox Church. He might agree to a union of the Catholic and Greek Orthodox faiths, with the Pope in command of both.
What did Mikolajczyk think of sending Father Orlemanski to Rome to submit this idea to the Vatican? The Premier answered dryly that he would be ready to believe in Stalin’s sincerity after he released many Catholic priests still held in Soviet prisons.
Poland was sold down the river at Yalta in February, 1945. Three months later Stalin and Harry Hopkins met companionably in Moscow to discuss the “Government of National Unity” which was to be the intermediate step toward that country’s absorption in the Soviet empire.
There would be 18 or 20 ministries, the dictator said, of which four would be offered to Mikolajczyk’s faction. The rest would go to the pro-Soviet “Lublin regime.” What would Hopkins think of Professor Lange as a member of the new Cabinet?
The only objection offered by Hopkins was that the economist might be unwilling to give up his American citizenship, which was only two years old. Shortly afterward Lange was in Warsaw getting himself re-naturalized as a Pole.
It was decided that he should become Ambassador to the United States. For an obscure pedagogue, he proved to have unparalleled backing. Former Ambassador Davies entreated him in a letter to accept the appointment for the sake of Soviet-American friendship. Arthur Bliss Lane, Ambassador to Poland, warned the State Department that Lange had been known for years as a Communist sympathizer, but his warning was ignored. On July 5, 1945 Poland’s Stalinist government was recognized by the United States and the United Kingdom.
As for Father Orlemanski, he is still pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church. But events in East Europe have taught him that the only freedom of religion tolerated by Communism is freedom to serve as an organ of the state; and that Communist cooperation with any creed is impossible save on terms of overlord and vassal.
One condition of his reinstatement was a promise of silence regarding the mission to Moscow. He is quoted, however, as reflecting sadly: “Stalin tried to use me and I tried to use him, for the good of my Church. He won and I lost.”
It is possible that he finds a bit of comfort in remembering the occasion on which Stalin took him to admire Lenin’s tomb. The priest said to Stalin: “I suppose you’ll be having a bigger one.” Then he looked him in the eye and said: “Because you know, Stalin, you too will die some day, like the rest of us.”
Continue with Chapter 12
How Russia Got U.S. Treasury Plates
I returned to Great Falls, for the first time as an Army Officer, on June 13th, since I had just been replaced by Lieutenant George Walewski Lashinski. I was due to speak in Omaha on the 16th, and this was my last chance to say good-by to my friends, including Colonel Kotikov.
On a personal level, I had always been very friendly with the Colonel; he was one of the most unusual people I had ever known, and he had many likable traits as a human being. It was only when politics intervened, or orders came to him from above, that his attitude and manners became difficult.
During our farewell talk, Colonel Kotikov mentioned the “money plane” which had crashed in Siberia and had been replaced. I asked what he meant by “money plane.” The U.S. Treasury, he explained, was shipping engraving plates and other materials to Russia, so that they could print the same occupation money for Germans as the United States was printing.
I was certain he was mistaken. I was quite sure that never in history had we let money plates go out of the country. How could there be any control over their use? “You must mean, Colonel,” I said, “that we have printed German occupation money for Russia and shipped the currency itself.”
“No, no,” he replied. He insisted that plates, colored inks, varnish, tint blocks, sample paper – these and similar materials had gone through Great Falls in May in two shipments of five C-47s each. The shipments had been arranged on the highest level in Washington, and the planes had been loaded at the National Airport.
I was still incredulous, but I was impressed enough to pass these remarks on to Colonel Bernard C. Hahn, the Air Force Inspector who had come on as a result of my trip to Washington.
Not until 1950 did I learn all the particulars about these money plates. The full story has never been released to the general public, and only a few people in Washington seem to know the details of this Lend-Lease scandal. I see no reason why every citizen should not know how his public servants handled such a grave matter in wartime.
The sum of money which we lost in redeeming the marks which the Russians rolled off their presses, with no accountability whatever, appears to have been $250,000,000! It was not until September, 1946, that we put a stop to the siphoning of our treasury by refusing to redeem further marks. By this time the plates had been in Russian hands over two years.
At the closed hearing in June 1947 Senator Styles Bridges, chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, inquired of Assistant Secretary of War Howard C. Petersen:
“Does Russia still have the plates, so far as you know?”
Mr. Petersen: As far as I know, they still have the plates.
Chairman Bridges: And as far as you know, are they still printing the currency?
Mr. Petersen: As far as I know, they are still printing the currency.
Chairman Bridges: And has there been any protest from this Government endeavoring to stop them?
Mr. Petersen: There have been strenuous efforts from the Allied Control Council in Berlin to obtain an accounting from the Russians as to the amount of Allied military marks which they have issued. Those efforts have been unsuccessful. 
Senator Bridges and Mr. Petersen had previously had this exchange:
Chairman Bridges: Was there any action taken by the War Department to restrict the number of notes issued by the Russians?
Mr. Petersen: The answer of the War Department is “No.”
Chairman Bridges: And as far as you know, was there any action taken by the State or the Treasury Department to restrict Russia in the number of notes she would issue?
Mr. Petersen: To my knowledge, none. 
Mr. Petersen later stated: “I know when we stopped the use of them (the Allied marks) in Germany. It was September 1946.”
Here is the exchange between Senator William F. Knowland of California and Assistant Secretary Petersen:
Senator Knowland: As I understand, there are $380,000,000 more currency redeemed than there were appropriations for?
Mr. Petersen: That is correct.
Senator Knowland: And you expect eventually that that amount will be cut down to $160,000,000; is that right?
Mr. Petersen: Yes…
Senator Knowland: Now what I would like to ask is, what is the amount outstanding as of, let us say, the end of last month (May, 1947)?
Mr. Petersen: That is $340,000,000. 
The hearing continued for two days. At its end there were 141 printed pages of oral testimony, and in addition 31 pages of State Department documents, 59 pages of Treasury Department documents, and 474 pages of War Department documents. From the mass of unreleased material it is possible to reconstruct the story chronologically, step by step.
It started in early 1944, when the need for uniform occupation currency in Germany was acknowledged by the Allies. On January 29th Ambassador Averell Harriman informed our State Department from Moscow:
“Great importance is attached by the British Government to the Russian Government’s participation in this arrangement. 
Cordell Hull informed Harriman on February 8th that the U.S. would be glad to print the money for Russia.
“The production of sufficient currency to take care of Soviet requirements, if desired, is being contemplated. 
On February 15th Moscow’s answer came from Harriman:
“The Commissariat for Finance considers that in preparing the currency it would be more correct to print a part of it in the Soviet Union in order that a constant supply of currency may be guaranteed to the Red Army…
It will be necessary to furnish the Commissariat for Finance, in order that the M-marks may be of identical design, with plates of all denominations, a list of serial numbers, and models of paper and colors for printing.”
The Russian technique was clever: Don’t ask whether your demand will be met; ask when it will be met. Harriman’s cable ended as follows:
“Molotov asks in conclusion that he be informed when the Commissariat for Finance may receive the prints, models of paper and colors and list of serial numbers. Please instruct.” 
Secretary Hull took over a month before replying on March 23:
“It is not expected that the Combined Chiefs of Staff will favor the delivery of plates to the Russians.” 
However, other departments of the Government were also being consulted. Inside the Treasury Department great concern was expressed by two veteran civil servants, Mr. D.W. Bell, Under Secretary of Treasury, and Mr. A.W. Hall, Director of the Bureau of Engraving. In a memorandum to his immediate superior Bell stated:
“It would be very difficult to make the plates available to the Russians, The Treasury had never made currency plates available to anybody.” 
Mr. Hall reported to the same superior, pointing out the gravity of the problem of accountability. His memorandum said:
“To acquiesce to such an unprecedented request would create serious complications. To permit the Russian Government to print currency identical to that being printed in this country would make accountability impossible…
he present contractor for the printing of invasion currency for Germany is under heavy bond to insure against the misappropriation, loss, or improper use of plates, paper, and printed currency.
I do not believe that under any circumstances would the contractor agree to the manufacture of duplicate plates by any agency outside of his plant. Furthermore, it is doubtful that the Treasury Department could force him to do so. Almost certainly his bond would become forfeit if such an arrangement were resorted to.” 
The immediate superior of Mr. Bell and Mr. Hall was a relative newcomer to the Treasury Department named Harry Dexter White. Revealing testimony about Mr. White has been made by Whittaker Chambers in his recent book, Witness:
In the persons of Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White, the Soviet military intelligence sat close to the heart of the United States Government. It was not yet in the cabinet room, but it was not far outside the door…
Harry Dexter White had become Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. In a situation with few parallels in history, the agents of an enemy power were able to do much more than purloin documents.
They were in a position to influence the nation’s foreign policy in the interests of the nation’s chief enemy, and not only on exceptional occasions like Yalta (where Hiss’ role, while presumably important, is still ill-defined), or through the Morgenthau Plan for the destruction of Germany (which is generally credited to White), but in what must have been the staggering sum of day-to-day decisions. 
With this clue in hand, the day-to-day progress of the decision on the engraving plates makes fascinating reading. Mr. Bell again conferred with Harry Dexter White.
He pointed out that the plates which had been engraved for the Treasury Department were, in fact, the property of the Forbes Company in Boston and if we insisted that they should make duplicate sets available to the Russians, it is possible that the Forbes Company would simply refuse to print any further currency for us, on the grounds that security control had been removed and they could not be responsible for anything that might happen to the printing of the currency from that time on. 
He added that not only could the U.S. print all the currency the Russians could possibly desire, but
“we could have the first shipment ready for them before the Russians could start manufacturing currency from plates that we might make available to them.”What did Henry Dexter White think of all this?
White said that he
…had read with considerable interest the memorandum of March 3 from Mr. Hall to Mr. Bell on this subject, but he was somewhat troubled with the views expressed therein, which indicated that we could not make these plates available to the Russians…
Mr. White reiterated that he was loath to turn the Russian request down without further review of the matter. He called attention to the fact that in this instance we were not printing American currency, but Allied currency and that Russia was one of those allies who must be trusted to the same degree and to the same extent as the other allies. 
Never, of course, had any other ally asked for engraving plates nor had we supplied them. We had printed other occupation currency for use in Italy and Japan, and our other allies were perfectly satisfied with this arrangement, but Mr. White made no reference to this.
Mr. White then records his meeting with Ambassador Gromyko at the Soviet Embassy in Washington on the evening of March 22. He relates that Gromyko
“kept coming back with a question which he asked a number of times, namely, why the Forbes Company should object to giving a duplicate set of plates to his Government. He said that after all the Soviet Government was not a private corporation or an irresponsible government. I explained to him how both the Forbes Company and the American Banknote Company felt but I am afraid he remained unimpressed with the reasons I offered.” 
At no point did Mr. White say that our Government, for which he was in this instance the spokesman, objected to providing duplicate plates because this would make accountability impossible. There was only the integrity of two American business firms with which to meet Russian demands and protect the interests of the United States.
The State Department also heard from Mr. Harriman in Moscow that
“the Russians could not accept the explanation of a private printing company interfering with the program under consideration. The Russians asked that they be told whether the plates would or would not be made available to them. In the event the plates were not made available, they were prepared to proceed with the printing of their own variety of mark currency.” 
This threat had the desired effect.
When Senator Bridges asked Assistant Secretary Petersen at the closed hearing, “Who in the United States made the decision to turn over, to the Russians, United States engraved printing plates for producing currency?”, Petersen answered: “The record as I have seen it in the War Department indicates that the decision was made by the State and Treasury Departments…” 
The decision was made on April 14, 1944. It was recorded by James Clement Dunn of the State Department in the following memorandum of his conversation with Secretary Morgenthau. The paragraph next to last, referring to the difficulties raised by the Forbes Company, indicates that the Treasury Department was ready and willing to assume, under the President’s War Powers, the responsibility which the business firms would not undertake. Here is Mr. Dunn’s memo in full:
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Date: April 14, 1944.
Subject: Duplicate plates to be furnished to the Soviet Government.
Participants: Mr. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the treasury; Mr. Dunn,
Copies to: SEE – Mr. Bohlen.
Mr. Morgenthau telephoned me this morning to say that he was informing the Soviet Ambassador this afternoon that the duplicate plates for the printing of the Allied military mark to be used in the invasion of Germany would be furnished to the Soviet Government in response to that Government’s request. He asked whether the Department of State was in favor of this action.
I replied that it was the opinion of this Department from the political point of view, aside from any military considerations or any technical questions or difficulties, that if possible it was highly advisable to have the duplicate plates furnished to the Soviet Government in order that the three Governments and the three Armies entering Germany would be using the same identical currency.
The Soviet Government had informed us that if the plates were not furnished to it, that Government would proceed to produce a different currency for use in Germany. It was our opinion that it would be a pity to lose the great advantage of having one currency used by the three Armies, which itself would indicate a degree of solidarity which was much to be desired not only for the situation in Germany but for its effect on the relations in may other aspects between the Soviet, British, and United States Governments.
Mr. Morgenthau said he was very glad to have this expression of the Department’s views on this question as there might be some technical difficulties arise which would require the Treasury to take over, under the President’s War Powers, the plant which is now using the original plates for the production of these marks.
This question has been up between the United States and Soviet Governments since last November, and it has become perfectly clear to us as a result of the exchanges of correspondence on the subject that the Soviet Government is not ready to join in the common use of the same currency unless it receives the duplicate plates from us.
In order to convince the Soviet Government of our sincerity in the desire to have the closest collaboration in these military operations against Germany, it becomes essential that we make every effort within our possibility to furnish the plates to that Government.
JAMES CLEMENT DUNN. 
On the same day Secretary Morgenthau sent a memo to Soviet Ambassador Gromyko saying,
“There will be shipped from Washington on Tuesday, April 8, glass negatives and positives of all plates used for printing M-marks. The designs are in negative and positive forms since it is not known which is preferred by the Soviet Government.”
He ended by saying,
“The U.S. Treasury is desirous to cooperate with the Soviet Government in this matter in every possible way.” 
It was not until May 13 that the first shipment actually left the Washington airport. There was a comedy of errors on the second shipment, which was supposed to leave by plane at 6 A.M. on Tuesday, May 23. Mr. Hall reported to Mr. Bell as follows:
The material was loaded on the trucks yesterday, and a crew of men brought in to work at 5 A.M. today (May 23), and delivery was made to the Airport before 6 A.M…. I called Colonel Frank H. Collins (of the ATC) to ascertain whether the planes had left, and he informed me that the crews of the five planes were standing by waiting for the representatives of the (Soviet) Embassy. He further stated that the crews were becoming impatient as they wanted to land at Great Falls, Montana, before sundown. 
The trouble was that the Soviet Embassy had arranged for their couriers to board he planes on May 24! The five airplanes were therefore held overnight with “a guard in each plane, and a guard around the area where the planes were parked.”
They left early on Wednesday, May 24, after each courier arrived with an additional box weighing over 200 pounds. Colonel Collins said he “thought the extra boxes contained American canned goods and American liquor.” 
As for the third shipment, said Mr. Hall,
“it is now necessary to uncrate all of the material and rearrange the whole shipment. You will remember when we talked to the Ambassador (Gromyko), he insisted upon complying strictly with instructions he received from his government, and now that his government had reversed itself, we have to do the job all over again.
This has been a pretty trying assignment for all associated with it.” 
Was there anything else that Russia could possibly ask from the Treasury? Yes, it could ask us to repeat one of the planeloads. That is exactly what Gromyko asked on June first, in a note to Morgenthau which stated briefly that “all the materials… perished in connection with a crash of the plane which carried them.”  Gromyko said absolutely nothing about when the crash occurred, or where.
Did we ask for proof of the crash, or direct any questions whatever to Gromyko about the alleged accident? On the contrary, Secretary Morgenthau promptly answered:
“I am pleased to inform you that the seven items representing replacement of the materials lost in the plane crash will be ready for shipment on Wednesday, June 7… I trust that this arrangement meets with your approval.” 
Why was Russia so insistent on printing German occupation currency without accountability? The answer is quite simple. They knew that the U.S. Army would convert such currency into dollars. (Russia, of course, refused to redeem the same currency with roubles.) As a result, every Russian-made mark that fell into the hands of an American soldier or accredited civilian became a potential charge against the Treasury of the United States.
Russia could pay its occupation army in marks, and in fact did so, adding a two-year bonus for good measure. If the Red Army could get anything out of the German economy with these marks, all well and good. If they could get anything out of America, even better.
In any event, these marks cost the Russian economy nothing whatever. With the materials provided from Washington, they took over a former Nazi printing plant in Leipzig, deep in the Russian zone, at a safe distance from American inspection, and started the presses rolling.
Any GI could buy a pack of cigarettes for 8 cents at a U.S. Army Post exchange. For this the Russian and German black-markets would offer him 100 marks from the Leipzig mint. To realize a profit of almost $10 on an 8-cent package of cigarettes, the American had only to take his 100 Leipzig marks to an Army Post Office, purchase a $10 money order and mail it to the United States.
It was revealed that the standard offer for a five-cent candy bar was 50 marks, or $5; $18 for one pound of Crisco; $20 for one K-ration; $25 for a pound of coffee, and $2,500 for a wrist watch costing $17.
By December 1946, the U.S. Military Government found itself $250,000,000 or more in the red. It had redeemed in dollars at least $2,500,000,000 marks in excess of the total marks issued b its Finance Office! The deficit could have had no other origin than the Russian plant in Leipzig.
Let us read once again the War Department’s testimony at the hearing in 1947:
Chairman Bridges: Was there any action taken by the War Department to restrict the number of notes issued by the Russians?
Mr. Petersen: The answer of the War Department is “No.”
Chairman Bridges: And, as far as you know, was there any action taken by the State or the Treasury Department to restrict Russia in the number of notes she would issue?
Mr. Petersen: To my knowledge, none.
Chairman Bridges: My next question is, does Russia still have the plates, so far as you know?
Mr. Petersen: As far as I know, they still have the plates.
Chairman Bridges: And as far as you know, are they still printing the currency?
Mr. Petersen: As far as I know, they are still printing the currency.
Chairman Bridges: And has there been any protest from this Government endeavoring to stop them?
Mr. Petersen: There have been strenuous efforts from the Allied Control Council in Berlin to obtain an accounting from the Russians as to the amount of Allied military marks which they have issued. Those efforts have been unsuccessful. 
To everyone’s surprise, the Russians at one point agreed to submit quarterly statements of the volume of money they were putting into circulation. Their statements were so palpably rigged, however, that American officers called them “unbelievable.” In that case, smiled the Russians, it would be useless to make further reports.
It took 18 months before Russia’s siphon into the American Treasury was severed. The Army’s payroll in Germany was shifted from Allied marks to U.S. Military Certificates, which were non-convertible.
In addition to the $250,000,000, there was a further loss, which through small was mortifying. A charge of $18,102,84 was rendered to the Soviet Embassy, covering the expense of the engraving plates and the materials in the three 1944 deliveries. The bill was ignored and is still unpaid. The Russians, as Mr. Petersen indicated, still have the plates and undoubtedly a good deal of knowledge regarding U.S. currency manufacture techniques.
As for Harry Dexter White, his ascent was steady. Five months after the duplicate plates fiasco, there was a conference of the Secretaries of State, War and the Treasury at the Hopkins office in the White House. White read a prospectus for the doom of Germany: It’s people were to become a pastoral horde; their entire industrial plant would be removed or destroyed; all equipment was to be torn from the Ruhr mines, and it’s coal deposits would be “thoroughly wrecked.”
Secretary Stimson was struck with horror – an emotion which Secretary Hull shared. They learned with consternation two weeks afterward that the “Morgenthau Plan” had been initiated by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill at the Quebec Conference of Sept. 11, 1944. To Mr. Roosevelt’s face, Secretary Hull charged that Churchill’s signature was procured by Morgenthau with an offer of $6,500,000,000 of postwar Lend-Lease for Britain. 
From Assistant to the Secretary, Mr. White moved up to Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in 1945. During February 1946, he was appointed by President Truman, and confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Director of the International Monetary Fund, with a tax exemption salary of $17,500.
The name of Harry White became so important in the record of the Senate committee that finally Senator Bridges suggested calling him as a witness. But White was absent from the capital on vacation. It was announced that Morgenthau and White would be placed on the stand at a future section, but this was never called.
Mr. White submitted his resignation from the International Monetary Fund on June 19, 1947, the day after the committee recessed. When the economist was put on oath the following year, he denounced the Chambers accusations as “unqualifiedly false.” He was not and never had been a Communist, White affirmed, and had committed no disloyal act. But two weeks later his funeral was held at Temple Israel in Boston: he had died of a heart attack.
In November of that year Whittaker Chambers produced five rolls of microfilmed documents. Among them were eight pages of script divulging U.S. military secrets. Found in possession of an acknowledged Communist courier, the handwriting was identified as that of Harry Dexter White.
How Russia Got U.S. Money Plates
1. Occupation Currency Transactions Hearings before the Committee on Appropriations, Armed Services and Banking and Currency, U.S. Senate, (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1947), p. 27.
2. Ibid., p. 27.
3. Ibid., p. 8.
4. Ibid., p. 147.
5. Ibid., p. 147.
6. Ibid., p. 148.
7. Ibid., p. 150.
8. Ibid., p. 178.
9. Ibid., pp. 175-176.
10. Witness, Whittaker Chambers, (Random House, 1952), p. 427.
11. Occupation Currency Transactions Hearings, p. 178.
12. Ibid., pp. 178-179.
13. Ibid., p. 183.
14. Ibid., p. 151.
15. Ibid., p. 16-17.
16. Ibid., p. 152-53.
17. Ibid., p. 186.
18. Ibid., pp. 206-7.
19. Ibid., p. 208.
20. Ibid., p. 207.
21. Ibid., p. 208.
22. Ibid., p. 211.
23. Ibid., p. 27.
24. The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, (Macmillan, 1948), Vol. II, pp. 1613-18.
Continue with Chapter 13
“The Broadcast Goes on Tonight”
My one desire, after retiring from the Army, was to forget it. I had had a surfeit of military life dominated by political practices, and vowed to have nothing more to do with it. The means of escape was to plunge up to my ears with private business, taking up where I left off in 1942.
As a side-line I kept up a modest career in public speaking which has continued until now. It started in Montana. Colonel Meredith was frequently asked to deliver addresses. He loathed them and got in the habit of ordering me to take his place. I remember my first effort was before parents and teachers of the Whittier School in Great Falls early in 1944.
For some reason the invitations persisted after I left the Army, though I never sought an engagement nor was I connected with a speaker’s bureau. Prior to 1950 the subject was generally deeds of heroism on the Fairbanks flight and my adventures among the Russians. Again and again I declared that we knew nothing about the Russians, while they knew everything about us. Understanding them for what they were, I stated, was now one of the crucial things in the world.
The Smyth Report was issued in August, 1945, the month of the Hiroshima announcement. My first intimation that uranium and the atom bomb had any connection derived from summaries of the Smyth Report which filled newspapers and magazines in the weeks following its appearance.
In my memory the word “uranium” sounded like an echo, but I was not even certain whether the spelling was the same I had written two and a half years earlier. I made a journey to the safe where my most important records were stored. From a metal box I drew the memorandum on my first search of the diplomatic suitcases. One of the entries read: “Uranium-92.”
I thought to myself: “So that’s what the Russians wanted with uranium!” But my alarm was quieted by official lullabies. Because of “Russian ignorance and backwardness,” top authorities stated, Moscow could not hope for years to achieve an atom bomb. Like the rest of the nation, I buried my head in the sand.
News in May 1949, that a fraction more than an ounce of U-235 had been lost or stolen at the Argonne Laboratory, convulsed the nation for more than a month. Headlines bellowed and Congress roared.
My own response was indignation. In view of the petty amount involved, so colossal an uproar appeared absurd and spurious. What was a single ounce of uranium compared to the hundreds of pounds that had passed through Great Falls? And why screech about the Russian espionage when Washington itself had delivered to the Soviet Union one installment of 420 pounds and another of half a ton?
Of course, I was still unaware of the distinction between uranium compounds and uranium metal. I had heard of fissionable U-235 and non-fissionable U-238, but they were phrases without meaning. In my untutored thought, uranium was uranium, just as iron was iron. But my instinct was not wholly wrong. The 1,465 pounds of uranium chemically handed by Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union contained a potential of not merely one ounce of U-235 but 6.25 pounds, or 75 ounces.
In July, 1949 I took the plunge and phoned the office of Fulton Lewis, Jr. I had never met him, but I was one of his radio fans. He was out of the city, and I told the story to his secretary. Mr. Lewis never heard of my call.
On September 23, 1949, President Truman disclosed that an atomic explosion had just occurred in the Soviet Union.
I was shocked and stunned to the depths of my being. American policy had suffered a stupendous defeat. There was evidence in my possession, I was convinced, proving that the disaster was chargeable not only to spies but to actual members of the Federal hierarchy. It was information that the American people obviously should have. But I was at a loss where to turn.
Eleven days after the President’s announcement, I had lunch with my friend Arthur Johnson at the Army and Navy Club in Washington. Once more I recited the story of the Pipeline and my experiences at Great Falls. At the conclusion, Mr. Johnson solved my dilemma with six words. He was a native of New Hampshire and a personal friend of his senior Senator. As we left the table, he announced: “I’m going to telephone Senator Bridges.”
When I was received on the afternoon of Oct. 5, the Senator looked at me quizzically. “Well, Major,” he smiled, “I’m afraid you’re on the wrong track. I have been assured that in 1943 there were not 1,000 pounds of uranium in the whole United States.”
“Who said the uranium came from the United States?” I retorted. “It came from Canada!” The Senator seemed stunned. I told him there had been a previous shipment of 420 pounds from Denver and a later consignment of what I then thought to have been 500 pounds.
“What is more,” I went on, “Mr. Hopkins personally directed me to expedite the Canadian shipment.” Incredulously, Mr. Bridges exclaimed: “Harry Hopkins?” I insisted Harry Hopkins himself gave the order by telephone. The Senator asked whether I would be willing to testify, under oath, as to what I had charged. I answered that I would.
For two long hours the Senator examined me closely. As I was leaving, he said the things I alleged were so shocking that an investigation would be necessary. He would need time to decide on the course to be pursued. In the meanwhile, I must promise to keep the matter secret. I gave my word.
Twenty days passed and, on Oct. 25, 1949 Fulton Lewis telephoned from Washington. Senator Bridges had spent the weekend with him, he stated, and they had gone over my story in detail. It was decided to use the Lewis staff for a thorough investigation, and then, if the story stood up, to break it by radio. I was to join Mr. Lewis at breakfast next morning at a hotel in New York and bring my documents.
At 9 A.M. on Oct. 26 we got down to work. The commentator went through my chief records page by page, item by item, and word by word. His questions were pitiless; it seemed to me that the bar had lost a great prosecuting attorney. Five hours later, at 2 P.M., he rose and stood for some minutes looking out of the window. Then he wheeled about and let me know the verdict.
“I suppose the next stop,” he drawled, “will be your former superior, Colonel Gardner, in Mansfield, Ohio.”
As I was collecting my papers, he added: “I’m sorry, Major, but this is something I’ll have to turn over to the FBI.”
I heard nothing from Mr. Lewis for almost a month, but it was not long before Edgar Hoover’s boys started to haunt my days, from early morning to night. In pairs they beleaguered my office. My three metal cabinets, brought up from the basement, were ransacked folder by folder. Endless Photostats were taken. Looking for discrepancies, they had me tell the story again and again. Sometimes their questions were new. More often they were the same ones, asked on different occasions, to check previous answers.
When I slipped away for a quiet Thanksgiving to the home of my mother-in-law in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, there, waiting in a chair on the porch when I arrived, was an FBI man, with twenty typewritten questions.
On Dec. 1 there was a call from Mr. Lewis.
“Major,” he announced, “I’ve checked your story from stern to stern. The FBI made a parallel investigation and has given me permission to break it over the radio. The first broadcast will be on Monday night, Dec. 5. We’re going ahead from there a whole week, and maybe longer.”
He invited my wife and me to his home in Maryland for the weekend.
The next day we were sipping cokes in his living-room and my wife, Kitty, in all innocence, dropped a bombshell. “By the way, Racey,” she asked, “did you get those calls from Walter Winchell?” Mr. Lewis slowly put down his glass. I hurried to explain that Winchell’s office had been telephoning since Nov. 28 and that in the last two days there had been several calls. The commentator rose.
“I think,” he announced, “that we won’t wait till Monday. The broadcast goes on tonight. Let’s get at my typewriter!”
There was the chance that Winchell, on Sunday, might try to heat the gun. And so our opening interview went on the air that evening, Friday, Dec. 2, 1949.
Continue with Chapter 14
Clouds of Witnesses
The first Fulton Lewis broadcast had scarcely ended, when a multitude of officers and servicemen, throughout the country, sprang to my support – at the risk, in a few cases, of postwar government jobs. Several participated in later broadcasts from the Lewis studio, others on local radio programs and newspaper interviews.
A number were my former colleagues at Newark, Great Falls, and Fairbanks. The names of most of the others I had never heard before. Some disclosed incidents of questionable aid to Russia that lay outside my own experience.
The WAC sergeant who worked in my office was one of the first persons to come forward. She was now Mrs. Gordon Bean of Meadville, Pa., but as Sergeant Georgianna Pilkington she had acted for a year as my chief military clerk at Great Falls.
When my date book was produced, she recognized the volume as the identical one she had often seen while tidying my desk. In its pages, she said, I was always entering “copious notes about everything.” She said I kept it under lock and key in the top drawer, whenever I left the office.
“Major Jordan told me frequently,” declared Mrs. Bean, that he was very much concerned about how much information was going through.” She observed that I was troubled by the importance as well as volume of these contraband shipments. When Colonel Kotikov was dissatisfied, she related, it was common knowledge that all he had to do was call Washington to get whatever he wanted. 
It was also disclosed that traffic in black suitcases started before I ever dreamed of their existence. This was revealed by former Corporal Henry J. Cauthen of Company G, fourth Infantry Regiment, which was stationed at Nome, Alaska. He was employed in 1949 by an engineering firm in San Jose, Cal. In an interview he told of an experience at Nome one Sunday afternoon in late November or early December, 1942. That was one month before I arrived in Great Falls and three months before my first search of Russian suitcases.
“Some friends and I were watching an A-20 take off for Russia,” said Cauthen. “About five miles from the base it crashed and burned. We skied over to see whether we could rescue any of the men. The plane was destroyed and four Russians were dead. On the ground were four suitcases. Two had been almost consumed, but the others were intact except that the light straps with which they were bound had split apart. All were black and very cheaply made.
“We examined one of them. There were maps on top, and beneath was a stack of blueprints. The first chart had been made for the Air Corps by the American Army Engineers. It was in English, but there were markings in Russian showing all our positions and defenses in and around the Nome Airbase.
“While we were looking at this map, some Russians came over in a skimobile. One officer was very disturbed to see that we had opened the suitcase, and demanded that I give it to him. I did so. He wrapped it up and carried it away. This was witnessed by several of our own Army Corps officers who were there at the time.” 
Corroboration of the charge that uranium information went to the Soviet Union came unexpectedly from a senior GI student at Clemson College, S.C. He was Royall Edward Norton, 29 years old and married, with one son.
Norton consulted the president of Clemson College, Dr. Robert E. Poole, who suggested that they ask counsel from former Justice James F. Byrnes, who was arriving next day to deliver an address. Byrnes advised Norton to send a full report to the Un-American Activities Committee. Thus it happened that Mr. Lewis made a special trip to Clemson, which is near Greenville, S.C.
Norton enlisted in the Navy during October, 1941, and served till the close of the war, in the North and South Atlantic, the Caribbean, Africa, Sicily and Alaska. He suffered shipwreck aboard the USS Motole and injuries to his foot and back in an airplane crash. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Chief Petty Officer, four letters endorsing his candidacy for a commission, and a general service rating that was exceptionally high.
A letter of commendation for his service with the Red Army Air Forces covered a tour at the Coast Guard Air Station, Elizabeth City, N.C., and the naval base on Kodiak Island, Alaska. At Elizabeth City planes were conditioned for delivery to Russia and Russian pilots were trained to fly them. At Kodiak they were reconditioned, stripped of surplus gear and cargo, inspected and reloaded. He gave Fulton Lewis the following account of one of his Alaskan experiences:
A PBM – a Catalina type without landing gear* – was being loaded for the take-off to Russia. I had finished checking the cargo against my inventory when I noticed three extra parachute bags that obviously were not filled with parachutes.
*This seaplane was requested by the Russians only for its Wasp engine, which they could not get from us any other way. Since they never used seaplanes, this PBM (and how many others?) was presumably discarded after being cannibalized.
“I started to inspect them, and in the first one found a wooden box about 18 inches long, less than a foot wide and maybe 8 or 10 inches deep. The top of the box was not fastened down or sealed in any way, and I lifted it up to see what was inside.
“The Soviet pilot, who was making a final check in the cockpit, saw what I was doing and put on a terrific scene. He tried to make me stop, yelling in English: ‘Personal gear – personal!’ I went on long enough to see what was in the box. It contained a solid stack of blueprints, all of about the same size and general appearance, as if they belonged to a set.
“I unfolded the one on top and examined it fairly carefully. I had had some little experience in reading blueprints. This was very unusual and different from anything I had ever seen. But I had studied enough chemistry in school to recognize it as a highly complicated pattern of atomic structure. Protons and neutrons were shown.
“In the lower right hand corner was a group of words, which were probably an identification of the blueprint. I cannot remember the terms, but I do recall the figure ’92.’ It meant nothing to me at the time, as I had never heard of atomic energy or atomic bombs. In the light of Major Jordan’s broadcast, this was undoubtedly a blueprint of the atomic structure of the 92nd element, uranium.” 
Norton also revealed that he entered a protest against Russian demands for a complete set of astronomical charts of all Alaska and the Aleutian island chain.
“I could not see why they had any need for such a thing,” stated he. “A simple course map would have been enough. The astronomical charts give them a tremendous amount of additional information, far beyond what was necessary. But the Russians were able to use enough influence, despite my objection, to get 15 complete sets.” 
During the Fulton Lewis broadcast of Dec. 7, his researcher Russell Turner quoted Marcus McCann, a civilian member of the loading crew at Great Falls, as stating he was present when I opened a large brown-paper bundle on a plane being turned over to the Russians. In this package McCann saw railroad maps and plans of factories.
Another of the freight-handling crew, Elmer Williams, was reported to have explained to Turner that two kinds of shipments went through Great Falls. One was sent openly and the other consisted of hundreds of “diplomatic” pouches, boxes, bags and suitcases, accompanied by armed guards who never left them, but slept with them in the warehouses.
Crewmen weighed these secret shipments, Williams said, so that planes could be kept in balance when they were loaded, but had no idea of the contents. “Virtually anything could have gone through,” he asserted. Among open deliveries he remembered thousands of pounds of printed materials – books, technical publications, newspapers, plans and tools, such as wrenches and fine precision drills. 
Colonel Frank C. Lynch of Pasadena related that he was an ordnance expert at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. It was one of his duties to accompany a Russian officer assigned there and make sure he learned nothing about super-secret weapons. They included an anti-aircraft cannon that aimed itself, so that all the gunners had to do was feed it with shells. In the summer of 1944 he was ordered to crate this miracle gun for shipment to Russia. He accompanied the weapon to Philadelphia, Colonel Lynch related, and saw it loaded on a freighter.
Harvey Hart, port manager of Longview, Wash., declared that one of the last shipments to Russia included items labeled “301A Geiger tubes” and “401A registers,” purchased from the Cyclotron Specialties Company. Geiger counters are used for detecting radioactivity. These instruments left for Vladivostok on the steamship Surikov, said Hart.
Lloyd Chestley of Presque-Isle, Main, volunteered that in 1944 he gave information about American radar to a Soviet General. Chestley was an Air Forces radar officer, with the rank of Captain, at a U.S. airbase near Gluntoe, Ireland. He stated that an American officer accompanied the General, who was armed with “authorization” to inspect secret equipment.
Robert K. Califf of Lake Worth, Fla., who was weighs and balances officer at the Washington airport, with the rank of First Lieutenant, revealed that he was often prevented from inspecting Russian shipments. In his interview, as quoted, he stated:
I can say I was prevented many times from examining parcels and pouches which I should have inspected. I was prevented from examining these articles by higher authorities, on the grounds that they carried “diplomatic immunity.” 
Private George F. Roberts, of Seattle, told reporters he was stationed during the war at an Army base near Edmonton, and that he was driven away from transports bound for Siberia by civilians wielding tommy guns and speaking a foreign language. He saw large boxes in the planes, but was prevented from inspecting their contents. Superiors ordered him, Roberts declared, to “stay off C-47s.”
An offer to produce the manifesto for a cargo containing two helicopters and thirty large U.S. Army tanks, which left the Erie pier in Jersey City on the Russian freighter Chutokea for Siberia by way of the Panama Canal in 1948, was made by Herbert Cooney, a former Congressional investigator, of 1419 University Ave., Bronx. Apparently a ruse, he said, the tanks were earmarked for Turkey.
Two intelligence officers, residents of Los Angeles, told newspapermen they had been questioned by FBI operators. Lt-Colonel Lewis J. Clarke, Jr. said that during four years at Fairbanks and Great Falls he made daily reports on Russian activities to G-2 in Washington. “I could only tell the FBI what any other officer could tell them,” reported Major Perry W. Parker, “namely, that the Russians in Montana and Alaska spent most of their time trying to worm out secret information from Americans.”
One of the Navy’s specialists in small arms and special weapons, whose name was withheld because he was still in active service, related that he was placed in charge of a training program at Governor’s Island, N.Y. He was harassed by Russian officers who demanded information about weapons so new that they had not yet been tested or even built. When he refused, the Russians threatened to appeal to Washington and have him dismissed. He was haled before Navy superiors at 90 Church Street and reprimanded. His request for a transfer was granted.
The War Department itself announced that during 1944 a dozen Russian officers were trained in radar operations at Fort Monmouth, N.J., Signal Corps Center. They were instructed in three types of radar – for aiming artillery, identifying aircraft and tracing low-flying bombs and planes.
My former superior, Colonel Gardner, was interviewed by Fulton Lewis. In his Dec. 5 broadcast Mr. Lewis told me:
I talked with Colonel Gardner this afternoon and he told me he had the same experience in Newark that you had. Every time the Russians were displeased with the way things were going – which was frequently – they would get on the telephone to their Embassy in Washington and have the Embassy contact Mr. Hopkins. All the difficulties would be straightened out immediately. I asked Colonel Gardner how he knew it was Mr. Hopkins who did the job. He said it was common information. The Russians referred to it, and so did everyone else. It was general routine knowledge, he declared. 
In a broadcast of his own, Colonel Gardner was kind enough to remark that “Major Jordan was one of my best and most trusted officers.” He continued:
I know nothing first-hand about the shipment of atomic materials. I do know that, while I was in command at Great Falls and in charge of this operation, the Russians could and did move anything they wanted to without divulging what was in the consignment. 
Before a microphone in Mansfield, Ohio a week later, Colonel Gardner declared:
“There is more beneath the surface than has yet come to light, and it is to be hoped that the investigating committee will forget partisan politics and go to the very bottom. We in America must know whether public servants in Washington are still giving our secrets away. If so, they should be eliminated. We have had enough of fellow-travelers and Americans who believe in foreign ideologies.” 
He then quoted a letter from “one of the outstanding airmen of all time,” Roscoe Turner of Indianapolis.
Many thanks for your good letter of Dec. 6 and the attached statement of yours in support of our mutual friend, Racey Jordan.
I am needling the Legion on this support too because, after all, there may be an attempt to hush this thing up, as it is stepping on too many high places.
I also wrote Jordan and told him not to lose his nerve since he has done such a magnificent job of uncovering it. 
Major John C. Starkle came forward in San Francisco for the Fulton Lewis broadcast of Dec. 9:
I recall an occasion late in 1943 when Major Jordan came into my office and raised quite a row because Russian aircraft had come in with equipment he thought the Russians shouldn’t have. He was in communication with his superiors. We discovered that none of us was familiar with the apparatus. It was a secret type of electronic equipment which was not authorized for the Russians and which we removed. It did not go to Russia.
I was in Great Falls for a year and a half. During 1943 Major Jordan and I were closely associated. His office was across the hangar from mine and we had lunch together nearly every day at the Officer’s Club. He was United Nations Representative for the 34th Sub-Depot, in which I was assistant maintenance officer for the Ferrying Section, with jurisdiction over repair, maintenance and utilization of UN aircraft.
Major Jordan mentioned Harry Hopkins’ name quite often… Concerning materials of which I had person knowledge, and so far as my observations went, everything Major Jordan has said checks out. 
Lt.-Colonel Bernard C. Hahn of Washington, Pa., was on duty several months at Great Falls as personal representative of the Army Air Inspector, Brigadier General Jones. In a newspaper interview, Colonel Hahn said that he “helped Major Jordan break open some of those mysterious black suitcases the Russians were sending home.” He continued:
Through 1934-44 Great Falls was the take-off point for thousands of planes supplied to Russia through Lend-Lease. I noticed cheap, black composition suitcases that the Russians were putting aboard planes going to Siberia. It was not my job to inspect them. My principal duty was to watch for sabotage and defects in these planes.
Shortly after I arrived at Great Falls, Major Jordan became much concerned over the black suitcases. I told him he’d better take it up with the security officer at the base.
He did so, and one morning the security officer whose name I have forgotten [Col. O’Neil]; Colonel William Boaz, the technical officer at the field, Major Jordan, and I moved in and began examining suitcases. We found no Oak Ridge plans, documents or heavy water. But I do know they were sending to Moscow enough U.S. roadmaps and technical magazines to cover all the pantry shelves in Russia. 
Colonel Kotikov, Hahn added, requested that a WAC Sergeant be assigned to watch over his wife. Mrs. Kotikov complained to Colonel Hahn, the letter stated, that her husband didn’t trust her “and has that woman follow me everywhere.” He reflected that Colonel Kotikov probably has as little privacy as his wife, and explained that “an enlisted man on Kotikov’s staff was at his heels day and night.” The reference, of course, to Sergeant Vinogradsky.
The first person to whom I confided the story of my search of “diplomatic suitcases” was the security officer of the 34th Sub-Depot, at Gore Field, Lt.-Colonel George F. O’Neill. Without losing a moment’s time, Colonel O’Neill published a pledge to “support Major Jordan to the limit.” His interview was dispatched from Los Angeles, where he had taken a post, after retirement, with the Veterans Administration. He was quoted as follows:
There is one instance which offers conclusive proof of Major Jordan’s story. I have detailed this evidence to the FBI. For that reason I cannot speak about it at this time. I’m ready to tell the whole matter under oath.
All of us at the Great Falls airbase knew that Russia had the ear of the White House. That was common knowledge among the officers.
If the Russian mission didn’t like the way something was going, in no time at all they’d have the White House on the wire and then we’d be jumping.
As far as anything Major Jordan says, I knew him to be a square-shooter. I have absolute faith in his integrity.
Only people who were at the base could understand the difficult times we had there. It was men like Jordan who never slept that made an impossible job possible. 
The former commandant of Gore Field, Col. D’Arce, declared in an interview that the Russians “could have sent the Capitol dome to Moscow without our knowing what was in the boxes.” Under prevailing instructions, he explained, it was not the duty of American officers to question the nature of shipments to Russia but to speed the cargo through as fast as possible. “I remember Major Jordan very well,” said Col. D’Arce. “He is not the type of man to make up a story out of whole cloth.”
The Lewis broadcast of Dec. 6 presented quotations from an interview with Lt.-Colonel J. D. McFarland of Hamilton, Ohio, formerly an inspector for the Alaskan Wing of the Air Transport Command. “I believe,” he announced, “that I can substantiate everything Major Jordan says,” His statement was cited in part as follows:
I was in Great Falls every couple of weeks. Major Jordan repeatedly raised hell about uncontrolled deliveries going to Moscow.
The Russians wanted no restrictions from the U.S. Army. Every time the issue got hot, they would telephone Washington, and they always had their way. 
According to the Cincinnati Inquirer, Colonel McFarland, who was in close touch with General Gaffney in Fairbanks, declared that I was transferred from Great Falls in 1944 as a consequence of my activities against uninspected shipments to Soviet Union. He had personally examined the diary, he said, in which I kept records of such consignments.
As commander of the Great Falls Army airbase, Colonel Russell L. Meredith was in nominal command of the Soviet movement. By his own wish, I seldom bothered him with problems in that area. More than once he protested that it was my job to keep the Russians out of his hair.
With good cause, I hold Colonel Meredith in respect and gratitude. Naturally he was indignant over a scandal alleged to have taken place in a post under his authority. It was only human that his impulse should have been to denounce some features as “preposterous.”
An officer of roved equity, Colonel Meredith in respect and gratitude revised his opinion now that fuller information is at hand. In November, 1949, there had not been a single Lewis-Jordan broadcast and the Un-American Activities Committee had not heard a single witness in the case. I quote the ensuing dialogue between Fulton Lewis and Russell Turner during the Dec. 6 broadcast:
Turner: I interviewed the former commandant of the base, Colonel Russell Meredith, now retired; and seven civilians who had been members of the ground crew at the Lend-Lease depot – the individuals who actually handled the freight.
Lewis: Well, let’s handle the Colonel first. He is one of the people quoted as saying that Major Jordan’s story is “unbelievable.”
Turner: He told me the same thing. But he also said he found a notation in his own diary – that he could not understand how 10 tons a month of printed material passing through the Great Falls base was going to help the Russians win that particular war.
Lewis: So this statement in itself confirms the fact that tremendous quantities of printed matter were going through the Great Falls base?
Turner: More than that. He stated that he himself had personally protested against the quantity of stuff that was going through, but was told to lay off – that such policy matters were being decided by “top brass.” He said he didn’t recall any specific occasion on which names were mentioned, but that at the time, in his own mind, he presumed Hopkins and Wallace to have been the persons referred to.
Lewis: Did the Colonel have any other information to offer?
Turner: He said once again it was difficult to remember anything specific, but that generally speaking the material going through seemed to be everything the Russians could lay their hands on about American industries, locations, plans, mechanical designs and scientific data of all kinds – and that there was a mountain of it. 
Clouds of Witnesses
1. Interview with WAC Sgt. Bean, Fulton Lewis broadcast, Dec. 5, 1949.
2. Corp. Henry Cauthen, Fulton Lewis broadcast, Dec. 19, 1949.
3. Royall Edward Norton, Fulton Lewis broadcast, Dec. 14, 1949.
5. Interview with Great Falls crewmen, Fulton Lewis broadcast, Dec. 7, 1949
6. Interview with Robert Califf, Associated Press, Dec. 5, 1949.
7. Fulton Lewis broadcast, Dec. 5, 1949. Interview with Col. Gardner.
10. Letter of Roscoe Turner to Col. Gardner, Dec. 8, 1949.
11. Major Starkle, Fulton Lewis broadcast, Dec. 9, 1949.
12. Interview with Lt. Col. Hahn, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 14, 1949.
13. Interview with Lt. Col. O’Neill, Los Angeles Examiner, Dec. 5, 1949.
14. Interview with Lt. Col. McFarland, Cincinnati Inquirer, Dec. 7, 1949.
15. Fulton Lewis broadcast, Dec. 6, 1949.
Continue with Chapter 15
As final corroboration of the story which I have set forth in this book, I am going to call on testimony which comes from the other side of the Iron Curtain. It is the testimony of four people, two of whom are Russian and two American.
The first witness is a former member of the Soviet Purchasing Commission, Victor A. Kravchenko, Author of I Chose Freedom, who was questioned by the counsel for the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., as follows:
Mr. Tavenner: What position did you hold with the Soviet Government while you were here in the United States?
Mr. Kravchenko: I was economic attaché of the Soviet Purchasing Commission from August 1943 to April 1944.
Mr. Tavenner: Will you explain to the committee the set-up of the Soviet Purchasing Commission, that is, who controlled the activities in which the Commission was engaged, and any other pertinent matter regarding its function which this committee would be interested in?
Mr. Kravchenko: Yes. First I ask your permission to explain the general features of the situation during the war. Before we came to the United States – when I say “we” I mean all members of the Communist Party who had more or less responsible duties or more or less responsible jobs – before we came to the United States, we had received instructions from the party.
Mr. Tavenner: By “party” are you referring to the Communist Party?
Mr. Kravechenko: Communist Party, of course, because in the Soviet Union there is only one party. In conversations which I had with officials of the Central Committee Party, I was told repeatedly:
“You are going to the capitalistic United States. We are allies today because we need each other, but when the war is over and we shall have won victory – and we are sure we shall win it – we shall again become open enemies.
We shall never modify our philosophy and our doctrine. We are allies in trouble, but both partners know that they hate each other. Sooner or later a clash between the two is inevitable. Until then the Allies will remain our friends and we shall cooperate in our mutual interests.
For this reason and with an eye to the future we must study carefully the industry in the United States, the military industry, the civilian industry, all technological and industrial processes, and we must get hold of their secrets so that we can achieve similar results in our country and when the time comes we will be ready for the fight.”
Rep. Francis E. Walker: Did the Russians regard the United States as their enemy during the period we were fighting for the common cause?
Mr. Kravechenko: Ideologically and secretly, yes. For example, every week we had closed Party sessions in our office in Moscow. Somebody would come from the Central Committee or from the Politburo. He would give us a speech on the international situation, the war situation, and so on, and would make it absolutely clear – I mentioned it in my book and it is not necessary to repeat, but I would like to mention that they always said and always repeated:
“We are Allies because there is a war on. But we must realize that the Americans will never like us and we will never like them.”
“We will never like the English and the French; I mean their political attitudes.”
And practically – as a practical result of all this – every Soviet official, when he goes to the United States or to any other country, he always has two duties to perform. These duties go parallel:
One of them is a simple engineer to the Soviet Purchasing Commission, but before he comes to the United States, the Central Committee of the Party or some special government office or department, issues orders indicating where in the United States he must work, which factory or chemical plant, or any kind of industry he has to watch. I am talking now about engineers, because I was one of them and I know their work best. I don’t know what orders were given by the general staff.
Now, when this man came to the United States he had to do two jobs at the same time. The one was open and legal, and the other was conspiracy. And when he went back to the Soviet Union, the Soviet Government would appreciate his work in the U.S.A. according to the secret information he had gathered for the Soviet industry or for the military staff. All of us had such duties.
Mr. Walter: Is that true of the diplomats as well?
Mr. Kravchenko: Absolutely. They are absolutely no different. In 1943 or 1944 Mr. Rudenko, who was chairman of the Soviet Purchasing commission, had an office at 3355 Sixteenth Street in Washington. General Serov was military attaché at that time.
Gromyko was Soviet Ambassador to Washington. Gusev, in New York, was head of the organization Amtorg. All these officers worked together. Of course there was competition among them, because everyone wanted the “thank you” from the Soviet Union so that upon his return to the Soviet Union he would receive a higher position.
Mr. Walter: Do I understand the Soviet diplomatic representatives in the United States were engaged in espionage?
Mr. Kravchenko: Absolutely. Mr. Chairman, that is their system. We must understand that they all received special training, for instance, Mr. Malik, now representative in the United Nations: Mr. Zarubin, Soviet Ambassador in London*; Mr. Panyushkin in Washington, who has good experience in military intelligence. All of them – there is no question – all of them are members of the Party. That comes first. Their first duty is not diplomatic; their first duty is to be devoted members of the Party. They must do everything the Politburo of the Soviet Union requires, at any price.
*Georgy Zarubin is now Ambassador to the United States.
Now I come back to your question. For example, the Soviet Purchasing Commission during the war had more than a thousand employees. Some of them came to the United States as simple engineers, but in reality they were in top positions in industry or in scientific research. Some came as citizens, but really they were officers of the Navy or artillery or tank troops or the air force.
No official of the Soviet Purchasing Commission came to the United States as a member of the Communist Party. If you look at the records in the Department of State you will find that no Party members came from the Soviet Union.
This was the psychologically favorable moment for the Soviet Government. We were in the midst of a war. Many American people paid great respect to the Soviet Army. Everybody was in sympathy with and liked to talk to men in Soviet military uniform.
In the Soviet Purchasing Commission, Mr. Rudenko, Mr. Serov, and a few chairmen of departments were called “the Politburo of the Purchasing Commission.” On the seventh floor of the Soviet Purchasing Commission, behind an iron door at 3355 Sixteenth Street, Washington, D.C. – it was not in Moscow – there was a special department of the NKVD.
Everything that came from the Soviet Union, for instance a secret communication, came to the seventh-floor department. Also, the seventh-floor department kept agents in every department, in the metal department or chemical department or aviation department.
Secret material went to the special department, one of whose officials was Mrs. Arutunian. Her husband was son of the Deputy Commissariat of Railroads of the Soviet Union. She also worked for this special department and all secret papers went through her hands. With this department I had some trouble, and I know what I am talking about. All of us knew about the functions of the special department, but we never knew who the representative of the Soviet Secret Police was in the Soviet Purchasing Commission.
Mr. Tavenner: Did I understand you to say Rudenko was responsible to the NKVD which had its headquarters on the seventh floor? Is that a correct statement?
Mr. Kravchenko: The special department formally was under Mr. Rudenko, because he was head of the Soviet Purchasing Commission; this is natural. But in fact they were independent, the NKVD section was independent from the chief of the Purchasing Commission.
Mr. Tavenner: And the head of the Purchasing Commission, Mr. Rudenko, was compelled to carry out certain activities that were outlined by the NKVD? Is that a correct statement?
Mr. Kravchenko: This is absolutely natural. You see, he had two bosses. The one boss – may I make this clear? – was Mr. Mikoyan, the member of the Politburo, and second assistant to Mr. Stalin during the war. Mr. Mikoyan was Commissar of Foreign Trade. During the war Mr. Mikoyan was in charge of Lend-Lease. That was his duty as a member of the Politburo. All supplies for the Soviet Government passed through the hands of Mr. Mikoyan.
As to Leonid Rudenko, I had known him many years. We worked at the same factory in the Ukraine in about 1924 or 1925. Mr. Rudenko received orders from Moscow from Mikoyan, from the foreign office, from the general staff, and from the Party. What he did for one office or another I don’t know, but the fact is that all these offices were represented in the United States.
At the end of 1943 or beginning of 1944, one day we received orders issues to all responsible members of the Communist Party. It was after work, after 5 o’clock. The office door was closed, and Mr. Serov came in with several sheets of paper containing orders from Mikoyan to Mr. Rudenko and to all members of the Party in the Soviet Purchasing Commission.
These orders made it absolutely clear that we had to find out all secret information about the industrial development in the United States, and especially in the military industry, and Mr. Mikoyan said, “We shall appreciate you according to your ability to comply with this order.” This document was read to us and we were asked to sign a statement that we knew about this order and that we would make every effort to fill it. This was what I saw, what I knew. It was absolutely clear; there was no mistake about it.
Mr. Tavenner: What effect did this order have upon the activities of the Russians who were members of the Soviet Purchasing Commission?
Mr. Kravchenko: First I will mention a few names and give you a practical example of what they did.
One day I saw big books like this, approximately (indicating) which contained many pictures of the aviation industry, the special machines, special details, and so on. There were pictures and blueprints. Three large volumes. This material was signed by General Belayev, Alexander Rostartchouk,* and Engineer Khimuchin.
General Belayev was chairman of the Soviet Purchasing Commission; Alexander Rostartchouk was head of the metal section; and Engineer Khimuchin, who came to the United States as a simple engineer, actually was doctor of technical sciences and was working on research at an institute in Moscow in that capacity. He came to the United States as a simple engineer. How they obtained those pictures and blueprints, how they found all this information about the development of aviation in the United States, I don’t know. I just saw these documents; I saw the signatures; and I know General Belayev took them when he flew to Moscow. This is the first example.
Second example: I can’t mention a certain name in open session of the committee. I have some good reasons for that. But I know this: Two Soviet Navy captains obtained information on the production of American submarines, on technological processes and details on the perspective development of the submarine industry. This is the second example.
The third example: From 1925 or 1926 I have known Semen Vasilenko. Semen Vasilenko, now in the Soviet Union, is head of the whole production of pipes and tubes in the Soviet Union, as part of the metallurgical industry.
Mr. Tavenner: Will you repeat that?
Mr. Kravchenko: He is head of the production of pipes and tubes in the Soviet Union.
Mr. Tavenner: Will you spell that name?
Mr. Kravchenko: S-e-m-e-n V-a-s-I-l-e-n-k-o. Semen Vasilenko. I knew him many, many years. Vasilenko was a member of the Party; he had been a member of the Ukrainian Government and was awarded a Stalin premium, and also he had a few decorations. He came to the United States for the sole purpose of finding some special information about the metallurgical and tube industry and military industry.
One day in February 1944, I don’t remember the date, Vasilenko, myself and Vdovin got ready to fly to the Soviet Union six large bags, and Vasilenko took the six bags to the Soviet Union. I saw that material. Some of this material was about the production of planes and the new technological processes; some was about artillery; some was about new technological processes in metallurgy; some was about the possibilities of industrial development.
Mr. Kearney: Would the witness mind repeating that?
Mr. Kravchenko: Among this material there was also an outline of the possibilities of industrial development. I mean the perspective: for example, what was planned 5 or 10 years ahead; what the plans for the present are; and so on; also the plan in perspective for the general development of industry. Do you understand?
I know all this material was found in an unofficial way. What could be the reason for Mr. Vasilenko, former member of the government, or for somebody else, to do work as a plain workman? They were working as plain workmen.
We closed the door. Nobody could see this material. And Vasilenko took this material and flew to the Soviet Union.
Now, one more example. At the end of 1943 or the beginning of 1944, Vassili Sergeiev was deputy of Mr. Mikoyan. Mr. Sergeiev* came to the United States. He had meetings here and saw many responsible industrial people and so on. He brought from Moscow another order about various types of information which should be obtained. Sergeiev gathered the heads of the departments and explained what kind of material they are expected to get at any price.
*My diary records that Vassili Sergeiev, his wife Nina, Petre Makeev, Valentina Batanova, and Anatoli Baranovsky were expedited through Great Falls to Moscow on March 9, 1944. They were allowed to depart nearly two tons of personal and “diplomatic” baggage.
I must make it clear, Mr. Chairman, all departments of the Soviet Purchasing Commission – aviation, transportation, all of them – were working for this purpose. We transferred to the Soviet Union not just this one package; we transferred to the Soviet Union dozens of tons of material, and not just by airplane. We also were using Soviet ships that came from Lend-Lease for the Soviet Union, and they called this material Super Lend-Lease. (Laughter)
Well, it is true. And they sent material by these ships for the only reason, that the Soviet Government never believed in peace between these two countries. They worked very hard to prepare themselves. They understand very well that a new war, if it comes, will be a great technical war, much more so than the last war, and they know very well that the United States is a great industrial country They must find all material they can, all kinds of information, to be on a level with this country in its military and industrial developments; also, to be up to date.
Mr. Walter: Do you know how this Super Lend-Lease material was concealed before it was put aboard the ships?
Mr. Kravchenko: Lomakin simply could come to any boat, or anybody else could come and bring whatever they wanted. And any captain and any sailor would go ashore to New York or Philadelphia or Baltimore. They did as they pleased. How could you check on them? I saw Soviet ships in New York. We brought this material on the ship. Who cared what we took? Had we taken the Empire State building and put it on a ship, nobody would have cared! That is true. I know; I saw that. Nobody opened boxes and checked. I witnessed it. I saw dozens of times how Soviet boats were loaded, and I know what I am talking about.
Mr. Walter: So no check was made, and these packing cases containing plans and blueprints were freely passed on the ships with other Lend-Lease material?
Mr. Kravchenko: You see, Mr. Chairman, it was absolutely naturally during the war. In the United States, as in many countries in the world, there was much respect for the Red Army. It was a natural feeling. I am talking now about the policy and psychology of the Soviet Government. They did everything against the United States during the war, and now why should they change?
Mr. Kearney: Were any of those packages under diplomatic seal?
Mr. Kravchenko: Yes. Vasilenko flew to the Soviet Union with all this luggage; possessed diplomatic immunity. And Vasilenko was not an exception. Everybody who went back always took something with him under diplomatic immunity. And during the war the Soviet Government received plenty of airplanes from the United States. These airplanes were flown by Soviet pilots to the Soviet Union. It was part of our activity during the war.
Mr. Tavenner: If I understood you correctly, Vasilenko packed these six bags behind closed doors?
Mr. Kravchenko: That is right.
Mr. Tavenner: Were you there when they were packed?
Mr. Kravchenko: Yes. I was helping him.
Mr. Tavenner: You helped him pack them?
Mr. Kravchenko: Yes. We worked like simple workmen because they didn’t trust anybody.
Mr. Tavenner: Then you did actually assist in packing that sort of material?
Mr. Kravchenko: Yes, I did.
Mr. Tavenner: Do you recall the month and year in which Vasilenko flew these packages to Moscow?
Mr. Kravchenko: I don’t remember exactly the date, but I remember very well it was sometime in February, 1944.
Mr. Tavenner: February, 1944?
Mr. Kravchenko: That is right.
Mr. Tavenner: Mr. Chairman, it was the testimony of Major George Racey Jordan, from his diary, that Vasilenko came through Great Falls, on the 17th of February, 1944, en route to Moscow with diplomatic mail. 
Besides corroborating so dramatically the espionage journey of Semen Vaslienko through Great Falls, which I had recorded in my diary, Mr. Kravchenko also confirmed many other names and duties of Russian agents who appeared on the list which I had turned over to the FBI.
My second witness, An American, is Father Leopold Braun. For eleven years he was the only American priest in Russia. He served from 1934 through 1945 as the pastor of the Church of Saint Louis de Francais, in Moscow. Since his return to the United States, Father Braun has made few public appearances, one of which was at a Communion breakfast held at the Hotel Brevoort in New York.
At the time Father Braun went on record with these observations, based on what he saw at first hand during the crucial war years in the Russian capital:
The American people were fooled into believing that our wartime aid to Russia was aiding the Russian people, when instead it was implementing the harsh and brutal regime of Stalin and the Politburo. Organized appeasement hid from the American people the truth about what was happening to the millions [billions, actually] of dollars’ worth of aid that we gave to Russia.
Lend-Lease aid to Russia during the war was diverted to a second, secret Red Army which was used exclusively for the purpose of suppressing revolts against the Kremlin regime.
Naïveté on the part of responsible persons in the State Department has strengthened the grip of the Politburo and the Communist Party. Our State Department has absorbed Soviet propaganda time and again, and if by chance they did not absorb it, they indicated that they did not understand it. 
Father Braun saw Lend-Lease supplies, which were intended solely to fight a war against a tyrant named Adolf Hitler, used by the Soviet for purely domestic purposes – just as tyrannical, of course.
Two final witnesses, American and Russian, also confirm the main contention of this book – that there were Lend-Lease shipments of a non-military nature. They confirm it explicitly and concretely, and they are the two people who really ought to know: Harry Hopkins and Joseph Stalin.
I said I would cite testimony from behind the Iron Curtain only. Well, that is where Mr. Hopkins’ words were spoken – in the Kremlin, to Stalin’s face. It was in May, 1945, during Hopkins’ last trip to Moscow, following President Roosevelt’s death.
Former Secretary of State James F. Byrnes quotes the words verbatim and tells us that their source is Hopkins’ and Averell Harriman’s “report on their conversations with Marshal Stalin, which they sent to the President,”  meaning of course President Truman, who asked Byrnes to read this record of the meeting before embarking for the Potsdam Conference.
The report reveals that Stalin, at this final meeting with Hopkins in the Kremlin, “was particularly irritated by the manner in which Lend-Lease shipments had been suspended at the end of the European war.” 
He stated that Russia had intended to make a “suitable expression of gratitude” to the United States for the Lend-Lease assistance during the war, but the way to which it had been halted “now made that impossible to do.” 
In other words, we were officially told that we were not going to get even a “thank you” from the Russian people or their master for our eleven billions of Lend-Lease, and of course we never have got one.
Naturally Hopkins was very much upset by Marshal Stalin’s remarks, which reflected on the one operation of the war nearest his heart, the vast program in which he had chief responsibility. Stalin noticed Hopkins’ reaction and stated later in the meeting that “he was afraid that his remark concerning Soviet public opinion had cut Mr. Hopkins to the quick.” 
In any event, Hopkins did not let Stalin’s ungrateful gibes about Lend-Lease go unanswered, and at once “explained that cancellation of Lend-Lease was necessary under the law because Lend-Lease was authorized only for the purpose of prosecuting the war.”
Hopkins then proceeded, in an understandable state of emotion, to make this historic admission. Secretary Byrnes tells us:
“He reminded the Marshal of how liberally the United States had construed the law in sending foodstuffs and OTHER NON-MILITARY ITEMS to their aid.” 
In stating how liberally the United States construed the law, Mr. Hopkins was, of course, referring to himself. As William Chamberlain has said, Hopkins was, “after the President, the most powerful man in America during the war.” 
He was Administrator or Lend-Lease. The law under which he operated was at no time submitted to any court for interpretation or test, and therefore it was he who “construed” the law, he decided what we supplied to Russia under Lend-Lease, and he himself tells us, addressing Marshall Stalin directly, that he construed the law liberally in sending non-military items to Stalin’s aid.
And what did our final witness, Joseph Stalin, have to say to this? A man of few words, he replied in character. There is neither ambiguity nor obscurity in his reply and, with these eight words, I rest my case:
“Stalin readily acknowledged the accuracy of Hopkins’ statement.” 
And what of my friend Colonel Kotikov? In August, 1945 the Soviet Government announced rewards “for the successful execution of tasks assigned to them by the Soviet Government, according to stipulations of the Red Army and Navy.”
Second on the list, receiving the Order of the Red Banner, Russia’s highest decoration after the Order of Lenin, stands the name of A.N. Kotikov. 
The United States of America did not rate Russia’s official “thank you,” but it is at least interesting to know that Colonel Kotikov did.
1. Hearings Regarding Shipments of Atomic Materials, testimony of Victor A. Kravchenko, March 7, 1950, pp. 1179-86.
2. New York Times, April 12, 1952.
3. Speaking Frankly, p. 61.
4. Ibid. p. 62.
5. Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 896.
6. Ibid., p. 898.
7. Speaking Frankly, p. 62.
8. America’s Second Crusade, William H. Chamberlain, (Henry Regnery & Company), p. 187.
9. Speaking Frankly, p. 62.
10. Bulletin No. 781, American Russian Chamber of Commerce, Aug., 1945.
“ABOUT THE AUTHOR”
“His statements prove true,” said John O’Donnell in the New York News.
The man to whom he was referring is Major George Racey Jordan, whose statements concerning American Lend-Lease to Russia during World War II were met with strident denials from columnists, commentators, and government employees.
Fortunately, Major Jordan did not have to rely on his memory: Shortly after his appointment as Lend-Lease expediter, a post he held at Newark Airport and then at Great Falls, Montana, he began keeping his famous diaries.
He credits his foresight in doing so to a World War I sergeant at Kelly Field, Texas, who in 1917 told the then nineteen-year-old corporal:
“Jordan, if you want to get along, keep your eyes and your ears open, keep your big mouth shut, and keep a copy of everything!”
George Racey Jordan served in the 147th Aero Squadron of Captain “Eddie” Rickenbacker’s First Pursuit Group in World War I. Between 1918 and the Second World War, he completed his education and became in time a successful sales and advertising executive. He left his business career to serve his country again during World War II.
Working under a special presidential directive at Great Falls, Major Jordan watched with increasing uneasiness the growing mountain of Lend-Lease items being channeled to Russia and the infiltration, on the return trip, of Soviet agents into the United States.
Most disquieting of all, however, were the thousands of “black suitcases” that traveled with diplomatic immunity and State Department top priority from the U.S. to the U.S.S.R. through the Lend-Lease pipeline. In spite of strenuous objections by armed Russian couriers, Major Jordan inspected some of these suitcases. His notes on their contents, and on “regular” Lend-Lease shipments, became the basis for his radio interviews with Fulton Lewis, Jr., and for his testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1949 and 1950.
Major Jordan’s statements have indeed proved true. The Soviets were able to explode their atom bomb earlier than our experts dreamed possible because our officials provided them with uranium, thorium, cobalt, cadmium, and atom bomb data from our own top-secret Manhattan Project.
Major Jordan is the author of Gold Swindle, The Story of Our Dwindling Gold. He presently lives in Southern California.
Again, our very sincere appreciation and thanks to Karen A. for donating her precious time to transcribe this book. As stated in the forward statement, we’ve made an exhaustive search and cannot find a bookseller who offers it.
Another relevant report Karen has transcribed which will be posted here, is titled “And Not A Shot Is Fired.” (Webmaster’s note: Link coming soon) Revisit this section often for new additions as our time allows. Here are the first few paragraphs of the intro to that report:
By Jan Kozak (Member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia)
One might ask today, years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: “Why would anyone want to read a report by a communist about the revolutionary takeover of Czechoslovakia – a country that no longer exists? The Czechs are capitalists now, remember?”
Such a question reveals a number of erroneous assumptions that this document convincingly refutes – not the least of which is the false assumption that the leaders of the former Communist states of Eastern Europe were wedded to ideology.
As Jan Kozak and 40 years of brutal Communist Party rule in Czechoslovakia so clearly demonstrate, communism was a tactic employed for the assumption of power, rather than a sincere belief.
These same tactics, modified only slightly, are being used today. Americans who labor under the false premise that communism is either an ideology or a system of economics that died with the Cold War do so at their personal and national peril.
Thanks, also, to Darren Weeks, our webmaster extraordinaire, who gives so generously of his time and limited personal funds in building and maintaining this site.
With love and gratitude. . . Jackie — June, 1st, 2003