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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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exhausting, a really very stimulating officers' course. This was the course in which you went from and enlisted man to Second Lieutenant. And at about that time, I could have gone into one of the Army publications, such as Yank. In fact, I had a letter from somebody asking me if I was interested in it, and I said no. And I haven't really regretted that at all.


You received several decorations from both France and the United States and Britain, too. Were they for any specific actions, or were they for general Army service?


Well, the OSS was a queer place, and don't get me started on the general subject of OSS because I'm not one of OSS's admirers. I know it did some good and did some valuable service but it also wasted a lot of time, personnel, and money, which could have been put to better use in other directions. But those are just side remarks in thinking about OSS. The decorations you talk about were for general service and some specific combat actions in close connection with the French and British. We were doing a particular kind of counterintelligence operation which involved, at first, very, very close connections with the British because as a matter of fact everything we knew we learned from the British in the field in which I was working, which, I suppose, now, fifteen years later, is all right to say, although I certainly have never talked about it before, and that's in the general field of double agents, that is, trying to turn captured enemy agents into people who would work for our side. It was a rather tricky business, and we learned a great deal from the British. In fact, I would say that most of what we knew was from the British, so my contacts with some of the British were very, very close. And as soon as we arrived in France, which in my case was July of '44, I began having very close contacts with French resistance officers, too, particularly, and naturally, after we reached Paris in August. And I was then assigned

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