Army

March 7, 2014

Military Intelligence – A moment in history

Tags:
Ruth Quinn, Staff Historian
USAICoE Command History Office

Woman of character, courage and commitment celebrated

Special Agent Major Ann Bray is considered the First Lady of Counterintelligence.

1905 – 1976
The theme for the 2014 National Women’s History Month is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment” which recognizes and honors the extraordinary and often unrecognized determination and tenacity of women. In recognition of that, therefore, the Military Intelligence History Office week pays tribute to Ann Bray, a “Very Special Agent.”

Ann Bray had already achieved success as a newspaper journalist and teacher when she enlisted in the Army in 1943. She became a private at 38 years old, full of adventure and ready to do her part.

After basic training, Ann’s assignments concentrated on journalism, public relations and writing. Her work ethic and zeal for learning got her into Officer’s Candidate School and earned her a commission. What intrigued her most, however, was the Counter Intelligence Corps, or CIC.

Never having been shy, Ann submitted her request to attend CIC training as soon as the field was opened to women. She made it into the second basic course that included women and became one of the very first women in the counterintelligence field. The former high school teacher/reporter became a special agent, countering the efforts of spies and anyone attempting espionage, sabotage or subversion against the United States.

Special Agent Bray spent five years in Japan before, during and after the Korean War. While serving in the 441st CIC Headquarters in Tokyo, she and other CIC agents monitored Korean nationals living in Japan prior to the Inchon landings in September 1950.

The investigation was incredibly complex and difficult, made more so by the fact that Koreans living in Japan spoke both languages and had no particular loyalty to either nation. Plus, there were no laws in Japan against espionage, so arrest was impossible. Spies were well funded, supplied and recruited, owing to the high value the Communists placed on intelligence and espionage in general.

However, CIC agents from the 441st found a way to identify suspected enemy agents and were able to arrest 200 individuals from several interconnected spy rings, protecting the surprise of the United Nations troop landings at Inchon. Special Agent Bray, who was an investigative agent on the case, wrote most of the intelligence summaries that were sent to Gen. Douglas MacArthur during the investigation of the spy ring.

Upon returning to the States, Bray worked at Fort Holabird, Md., to direct the collection, research and writing of the history of the American CIC in its combat phases for the archives. This was a monumental work, as she described in the prologue of her summary, “The Spy Catchers,” years later:
“The original compilation of more than one million words resulted from research of the records of approximately 300 CIC Detachments operating in a total of more than 60 countries … during a period of 33 years. An estimated 25,000 CIC Agents were involved in activities which were recorded in some way or other … It was necessary to comb the files of every Army Records Depository, study the pages of every Army Group, Army, Corps and Division to find references to activities of CIC, quite often at times amounting to one brief sentence in several pages of hastily typewritten notes of the activity of that one day for that unit. Volume after volume of correspondence files kept by the G-2 and by various CIC units also were studied page by page as were many volumes of Monthly and Periodic Intelligence Summaries. In addition to the study of all these documents, many persons were interviewed and nearly 100 collateral reference books read or screened.”

Encompassing 30 volumes, much of this history was classified, but it remains the most comprehensive historical account of a major portion of the Military Intelligence story. Years later, after she retired from the Army and much of the history had been declassified, Bray condensed the history and wrote a manuscript entitled “The Spy Catcher: CIC in Combat in World War II.”

Ann Bray left the Army at the rank of major in 1963. She died of emphysema in 1976, but she managed to complete the first draft of “Spy Catchers,” even though she was restricted to bed, on oxygen, and had to dictate the text. She was inducted into the MI Hall of Fame in 1989.

Special Agent Major Ann Bray had a fascinating career and left a lasting legacy. She was a pioneer for women in the field of counterintelligence, as well as for all women in the military. Her nominator and fellow Special Agent, Chief Warrant Officer Ann McDonough, explained in a letter to the Hall of Fame committee that while Bray had served 20 years on active duty, her initial service had been in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, or WAAC. In 1963, women were not given credit for time served as WAACs. Ann found this unjust and fought to have the law changed. With the help of her brother, Congressman Bill Bray, she was successful. There is no doubt she truly earned her nickname of “First Lady of Counterintelligence.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Cyber-Security-Scout-Article-06OCT2014

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

U.S. Army graphic by Lawrence Boyd “You Are the First Line of Defense.” That is the message those who are responsible for the defense of the Army’s networks wants to get out to the rest of the Army during National Cyber S...
 
 

Depression awareness showcased during month of October

Stand To! In observance of October as National Depression Awareness Month, the U.S. Army will join several organizations across America to inform the public about the signs and symptoms of depression. The public will learn the importance of seeking treatment and will be provided information about the availability of free online anonymous behavioral health screenings....
 
 

Robin Williams — could someone have helped?

I haven’t been able to talk about it until now, but I was really angry that Robin Williams committed suicide. I have been a fan of Williams since the Mork and Mindy days and always admired how much he had going for him. I knew he had problems, but somehow never considered that suicide could...
 

 
DoD

DOD recognizes commitment to prevent sexual assault

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department Wednesday honored exceptional groups and individuals from each military component who contributed an innovative idea or approach to positively impact sexual assault prevention and response programs. The Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award recognizes Service members and DOD Civilians whose work in support of service members has been particularly notew...
 
 

Trick-or-treat hours set for Fort Huachuca Oct. 31

Fort Huachuca Halloween trick-or-treating will take place Oct. 31 from 6 – 8 p.m. for children under 14. Children 9 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Standard access requirements for the installation remain in effect. This includes the requirement that everyone 16 and over entering the installation provide a valid picture identification and...
 
 

VA processes more than 1.3 million veterans’ claims in FY14

WASHINGTON — More than 1.3 million veterans received decisions on their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation and pension claims in fiscal year 2014 — the highest number in VA’s history, surpassing last year’s record-breaking production by more than 150,000 claims. This second year of record-breaking production comes as VA continues to transform the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin