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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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altogether, but I would manage to get away from them after relatively short times and get into something else, because I just didn't want to do that. Now, this may have been foolish, and I don't even defend it on any logical grounds; this was sort of an emotional approach, I guess, to being in the Army: I wanted to be a soldier. That was really what it amounted to. And I had the idea of being in combat intelligence. I felt that was the place where I could use what language and educational background I had and also actually get into some real action. But as Army would have it, although I did get into intelligence, I got into a rather restrictive field of combat intelligence, because I found myself, one day, entirely beyond my control, in something I had literally nothing at all to do with, suddenly assigned to OSS, to the Office of Strategic Services. Oh, I had wanted to be in intelligence and had been assigned, to my delight, to the intelligence school which was at that time, or one of them was, at Camp Ritchie in Maryland. And I thought from there I would go into combat intelligence, and suddenly I found myself, after doing some teaching at Ritchie (I had been assigned to the staff there to teach) in OSS, which wasn't precisely what I wanted to do. But in any case, there I was. I went from there overseas, which I did want to do, and found myself in a very secret part of counter-intelligence activities in OSS, and spent my two years overseas doing that, first in England, and right after the invasion - although I didn't go in with the first day of the [D-Day] invasion, I went in pretty soon afterwards [July 14] - in France and spent the rest of the War in France and ended up in Germany. I had a pretty clear offer, which I turned down, to go into such things as Yank, for instance, and so on. After I had been an enlisted man for almost a year, I got to officers' school (in the very early days of the officers' school). It hadn't been set up very long; I was in class number 10 or 12 at Benning [Infantry Officers' School] and I will say parenthetically that the three months at Benning were about the most interesting three months I spent in the Army, and most

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