The Counter Intelligence
Corps During World War II
As a result of the Delimitations Agreement of 1939, the counterintelligence
system was centralized under three agencies. The task assigned to
the US Army covered both the Military Establishment and a large
percentage of the munitions industry. The primary counterintelligence
effort was the organization of a security system, which would prevent
access of hostile agents to our facilities.
Countless security surveys were made. Safeguards were developed,
and identification systems were established. Thousands of personnel
investigations were conducted, and, as these proceeded, steps were
taken to place persons whose loyalty was in question on work where
they could not injure our war effort.
There were individual cases of sabotage and these, of course, became
the immediate subject of intensive investigation. A few saboteurs
and spies were captured and convicted. Even in cases where investigation
failed to uncover the perpetrator, exhaustive investigation resulted
in the development of better security measures.
A special effort was made to safeguard military information. Counter
Intelligence Corps personnel operated the security system for the
headquarters that planned the North African campaign. In many cases
where the Counter Intelligence Corps found improper safeguarding
of military information, strategic plans were changed or revoked.
The outbreak of World War II called for an immediate increase in
the authorized strength of the Corps of Intelligence Police. The
total strength of the Corps was set at 1,026 noncommissioned officers,
and all its members then in the Enlisted Reserve Corps were ordered
to active duty "with the least practical delay." The War
Department then set out to produce a well-staffed and well-trained
organization for this branch of intelligence work.
On 13 December 1941, a letter from the office of the Adjutant General
officially changed the name of the Corps of Intelligence Police
to the Counter Intelligence Corps, to be effective 1 January 1942.
This was a change in name only. However, many organizational changes
were made during the first two years of existence of the Counter
Intelligence Corps on the basis of lessons learned from field experience.
At the outset of the war, there were many Military Intelligence
Division officers supervising the Corps of Intelligence Police who
were not experienced in their duties. The War Department early recognized
this deficiency, and constructive steps were taken immediately.
All officers selected for duty with the Counter Intelligence Corps
had to be cleared by the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, before serving
with the Corps. Furthermore, commanders of all Corps Areas, Departments
(except the Philippine and Hawaiian Departments), and Base Defense
Commands were directed to submit without delay to the Assistant
Chief of Staff, G-2, a roster of all commissioned personnel on duty
with the Corps of Intelligence Police.
In order to provide the most proficient and experienced counterintelligence
commissioned personnel to supervise the activities of the Counter
Intelligence Corps, it was recommended that "a complement of
commissioned officers be specifically authorized for the Counter
Intelligence Corps." It was also deemed advisable to increase
the commissioned strength of the Corps to 543 in field and company
grades and to bring the total non-commissioned strength to 4,431.
A tentative plan of organization for Counter Intelligence Corps
detachments to serve with tactical and headquarters units down to
and including divisions was also drawn up. In outline, the detachments
were to be composed in the following manner:
5 Enlisted men
11 Enlisted men
49 Enlisted men
17 Enlisted men
28 Enlisted men
In addition, Counter Intelligence Corps Head-quarters, the Training
School, the Washington Field Office, and the Replacement Pool were
authorized officer and enlisted vacancies.
At this time, each service command was given a temporary and permanent
allotment by the Adjutant General. The temporary allotment was to
cover procurement when an overseas detachment was to be activated,
the men therein to be transferred from the service commands. When
men were transferred from the service commands for this purpose,
the temporary allotment for the new detachment was reduced by the
Adjutant General and the new detachment simultaneously set up.
In October 1942, the system of temporary allotments to the service
commands was discontinued, and all such allotments were transferred
to the War Department Reserve Pool. This Reserve Pool was then apportioned
among the service commands for procurement purposes. When a tactical
detachment was activated, an allotment was provided from the service
commands as before, and the apportionment of the War Department
Reserve Pool decreased by the grades of the men transferred.
It was anticipated early in 1942 that the constant loss of men
in service commands, because of the demands of overseas units, would
seriously hamper operations. Consequently, on 14 May, the corps
areas (service commands) were directed by Military Intelligence
Section to submit a list of special agents considered "key
personnel" with a brief explanation of the positions these
men held. Because of a tendency on the part of the corps areas to
include a large number of men on such listings, it soon became necessary
to limit "key personnel" in the corps areas to 10 percent
of the total personnel in each command.
German Agents with their radio
equipment captured by the
Army Counter Intelligence Corps in France during the second World
In April 1943, it was determined that since all Counter Intelligence
Corps personnel were chargeable to War Department overhead, they
should be assigned to the War Department and attached to the various
service commands for administrative purposes. Consequently, the
allotments to the service commands were rescinded, and two months
later the allotments to the theaters of operations were rescinded.
In September 1943, TM 30-215, "Counter Intelligence Corps,"
set forth a T/O (table of organization) basis for assignment of
personnel to the theaters of operations. The balance of the Counter
Intelligence Corps personnel was to be assigned to Army Ground Forces,
Army Service Forces, and other utilizing units.
The increase in personnel made it necessary to expand the Counter
Intelligence Corps administrative machinery to meet the new demands.
In December 1942, the office of the Chief, Counter Intelligence
Corps, was divided into six sections: Supply, Operations, Fiscal,
Plans and Training, Personnel, and Army Air Forces Liaison.
The procurement and training of Counter Intelligence Corps personnel
for overseas duty became the primary mission of the office of the
Chief, Counter Intelligence Corps. Demands for assignment of Counter
Intelligence Corps detachments, both to units scheduled for immediate
departure to overseas duty and for units already in combat in the
theaters of operations, were steadily increasing. To meet these
demands and to facilitate training, the War Department, on 29 October,
1942, instructed all Bases, Departments, and Service Commands (except
the Ninth) to establish preliminary Counter Intelligence Corps training
schools in their respective commands.
CIC trainees in a class to
learn to identify Japanese insignia rank in 1942.
During the years 1942-1943, agents of the Counter Intelligence
Corps made thousands of loyalty investigations on military personnel
and civilians assigned to duties requiring access to classified
material. The transfer of certain investigative functions from the
Military Intelligence Division to the Provost Marshal General in
October, 1941, did not relieve the Corps of the duty of investigating
personnel already in military service who were working with classified
material. Typical examples of such personnel were cryptographers;
certain Signal Corps personnel in other types of work; Military
Intelligence personnel (civilian and military); and, of course,
as a large part of the last mentioned category, potential Counter
Intelligence Corps personnel.
The forms used and the extent of the investigations varied in accordance
with War Department and Service Command policy. Investigations of
prospective Counter Intelligence Corps personnel were always exhaustive.
Loyalty investigations, which involved no suspicion of disloyalty,
consisted of an examination of personal history, education, employment,
and associations. Each subject of a personnel investigation was
required to complete a Personal History Statement. In each personnel
investigation, a check was made of the local police, the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the
Military Intelligence Division Files. Copies of each memorandum
report were sent to the Service Commands interested, the Military
Intelligence Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Investigations of military personnel suspected of disaffection,
espionage, treason, sedition, sabotage, or of violations of AR 380-5,
"Safeguarding Military Information," were reported on
War Department Form CIR 1 (Counter Intelligence Report No. 1). This
form contained a summarization by the investigating agent, a detailed
outline of the subject's personal background, and a recommendation
for disposition of the subject in accordance with the purpose of
The Service Command Counter Intelligence Corps detachments were
divided into several field offices, each having investigative responsibility
for a certain geographic area of the Service Command. In certain
less populated areas, single representatives were used and designated
as resident agents. In metropolitan field offices with many agents,
the personnel operated in separate sections and squads under the
direction of special agents of proved experience and ability. These
sections performed specific types of investigations. Agents became
specialists in one type of investigation, developed local contacts
of value in their particular field, and accumulated a general knowledge
of organizations and individuals in the area considered subversive
or of questionable loyalty.
CIC arrested thousands of Nazis
after the allied occupation of Germany.
In this photo, German leaders are being tried at Nuremberg.
Exclusive of background investigations, the largest volume of investigations
consisted of disaffection cases. Disaffection has been defined as
a state of mind indicating a lack of affection for the US Government.
Such cases usually concerned persons with German, Italian, or Japanese
In the field of suspected sabotage and espionage, the Counter Intelligence
Corps performed investigations, which often employed the use of
technical investigative equipment. The Counter Intelligence Corps
mission in the zone of the interior was not as dramatic as that
of federal agencies, which apprehended espionage agents. The efforts
of the Counter Intelligence Corps, however, denied access to vital
industrial plants and to highly secret military installations to
many persons whose loyalty to the United States was dubious. What
damage these persons might have wrought on the war effort is only
a matter of conjecture.
In the fall of 1943, the Inspector General conducted an extensive
examination of Counter Intelligence Corps activities in the Service
Commands. The resultant recommendations brought about a reorganization
of the Corps both in its activity in the Service Commands, and in
foreign theaters. Of special import was the suggestion that Counter
Intelligence Corps personnel "
be specifically procured
and trained for utilization in theaters of operation; that they
be so utilized that Counter Intelligence Corps activities within
the Zone of Interior be performed by the Security Intelligence Corps
of the Provost Marshal Gen.'s Department."
In an attempt to make the administration of the Counter Intelligence
corps more definitive, the Deputy Chief of Staff, on 25 November,
1943, directed that certain recommendations made by the Inspector
General be carried out. These included the following:
(1) Two changes in basic policy:
(a) The Counter Intelligence Corps was to be utilized, with certain
limited exceptions, in theaters of operations.
(b) Personnel of the Corps were to be released from War Department
overhead assignments, distributed on a T/O basis, with G-2 exercising
no command function over the Corps.
(2) Three specific continuing responsibilities relative to the
Counter Intelligence Corps charged to the Assistant Chief of Staff,
G-2, War Department:
(a) The establishment of policies and over-all supervision of
(b) Coordination of the procurement and shipment of Counter Intelligence
(c) The administration of specialized training prior to assignment
of Counter Intelligence Corps personnel to theaters of operations.
(3) Certain specific actions relative to the Counter Intelligence
(a) The Counter Intelligence Corps Headquarters in Baltimore,
Maryland and the Counter Intelligence Corps Staging Area were
to be eliminated.
(b) G-2, War Department, in collaboration with the three major
commands, and G-3, War Department, were to submit for approval
a plan for procurement of Counter Intelligence Corps personnel.
(c) Counter Intelligence Corps units were to be organized on
a T/O basis included in troop quotas.
(d) Command channels were to be used and command responsibility
(e) Shipment of Counter Intelligence Corps personnel overseas
was to be in accordance with approved requests of theater commanders.
(f) Basic training of counterintelligence personnel was to be
provided by Army Service Forces.
(g) Counter Intelligence Corps specialized training was to be
given by Military Intelligence Division at Camp Ritchie, Maryland.
(h) Counter Intelligence Corps personnel in permanent detachments
of Service Commands were to be transferred for assignment to those
Service Commands by 31 December 1943.
Since the future Counter Intelligence Corps mission would be entirely
overseas, it was necessary to administer the program of the Counter
Intelligence Corps and train and procure the personnel especially
for that purpose. The largest source of personnel, the Service Command
detachments, was no longer available, thereby necessitating a new
method of procurement. The office of the Chief, Counter Intelligence
Corps, in Baltimore Maryland, was discontinued, and the Counter
Intelligence Section of the Counter Intelligence Group, Military
Intelligence Service, handled all administration. The staff of this
office was much smaller than it had been in the office of the Chief,
Counter Intelligence Corps.
CIC photographed captured spies
for identification purposes.
After a period of training and reorganization, the
Counter Intelligence Corps was sent to the combat zones. It was
here that the real value and meaning of the Corps became known to
combat commanders. The record and achievements of Counter Intelligence
Corps personnel brought added prestige to the Corps and to the Armed
Forces of the United States.
On 14 December 1943, War Department Circular No. 324 transferred
the counterintelligence functions within the zone of the interior
to the Provost Marshal General. The investigative functions hitherto
performed by the Counter Intelligence Corps and those of the Provost
Marshal General were consolidated, and it was directed that these
functions be performed by a single staff agency under each Service
Command. This agency was later designated the Security and Intelligence
Since the Counter Intelligence Corps was no longer to be the organization
conducting investigations of espionage and sabotage cases of the
Military Intelligence Division in the continental United States,
it was necessary that the responsibility for discharging these functions
be placed with the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, and
designated areas. The assignment of Counter Intelligence Corps personnel
to the Service Commands, where they became part of the newly formed
Security and Intelligence Division under the jurisdiction of the
Provost Marshal General, was also provided in War Department Circular
324. The assignment of personnel from War Department overhead to
the using commands with instructions to activate under T/O&E
30-500 was an entirely new concept for the Counter Intelligence
Corps, and great administrative difficulties attended this change
On 22 May 1944 an organization within the Military Intelligence
Section replaced the office formerly known as the Counter Intelligence
Corps branch of the Military Intelligence Section with the title
of the Counter Intelligence Corps Section. A G2, War Department
Policy Staff was created. This staff was responsible for policy
decisions on intelligence functions, including the Counter Intelligence
Corps. No important alterations in policy or duties accompanied
this redesignation. However, since the function of the Counter Intelligence
Corps Section was considered to be of an administrative and operational
nature rather than a true staff function, on 1 August 1944 the Section
was transferred from the control of the General Staff, War Department,
to the Army Service Forces.
By this time the Counter Intelligence Corps had operated successfully
overseas in every combat area and had obtained a troop basis of
4,308. These were allocated in the following manner:
Theaters of Operation, Base Commands, and other overseas
|Army Ground Forces in United States
Army Air Forces in United States and Air Transport Command
The overseas allotments increased as additional Army Ground Forces
units were trained and shipped to combat. Counter Intelligence Corps
detachments were assigned to their respective units and became an
integral part of divisions, corps, armies, overseas administrative
commands, theater headquarters, and of the A-2 Sections of the Air
Force commands and installations.
On 1 December 1944 the Counter Intelligence Corps became a separate
branch of the Intelligence Division of the Army Service Forces.
Under the Army Service Forces the policy of assigning all Counter
Intelligence Corps detachments to using units was continued. The
only Counter Intelligence Corps detachments working within the zone
of the interior were those units specifically allowed to do so by
the War Department.
The administrative difficulties that were met in the early days
of the Counter Intelligence Corps were paralleled by an equally
difficult task of procuring desired personnel. On 21 October 1942
the power to initiate Counter Intelligence Corps personnel investigations
was placed within the Service Commands. The commands were also empowered
to assign and transfer personnel as Counter Intelligence Corps agents
in the grade of corporal, and as Counter Intelligence Corps clerks
in the grade of private first class. Control over the assignment
and transfer of Counter Intelligence Corps special agents, the promotion
of personnel from the rank of agent to special agent, and all matters
concerning the assignment or transfer of commissioned personnel
remained with the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, War Department.
A backlog of investigations to be conducted on prospective Counter
Intelligence Corps personnel developed during this period. Until
June 1943, Counter Intelligence Corps agents and clerks had been
recruited by the theater commanders in overseas areas on the same
basis as in the Service Commands. However, on 26 June, the allotments
to theaters were discontinued. TM 30-215, "Counter Intelligence
Corps," published 22 September 1943, limited the responsibility
for procurement and assignment of officers and special agents to
the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, War Department, and of agents
and clerks to the Director of Intelligence in the Service Commands
within the zone of the interior. All Counter Intelligence Corps
personnel procured in theaters of operations were to be approved
by the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, War Department.
As an aid in spotting potential Counter Intelligence Corps personnel,
the classification "301 Investigator" was introduced into
the Army classification system early in 1942. The names of all men
under this classification were referred to the office of the Chief,
Counter Intelligence Corps, for review and selection of prospective
personnel. Men who were given the classification of "312 Stenographers"
were also brought to the attention of this office so that from this
group suitable clerks might be procured. When the procurement of
Counter Intelligence Corps personnel was decentralized to the Service
Commands in October, 1942, the names of men in the 301 and 213 classification
were reported directly to the Service Commands by the reception
centers. During 1942 and 1943, the office of the Adjutant General
furnished the office of the Chief, Counter Intelligence Corps, extracts
from qualification cards on all linguists inducted into the Army.
The largest percentage of Counter Intelligence Corps agents was
obtained from personnel already in the Army. At the reception centers
newly inducted personnel with basic Counter Intelligence Corps qualifications
were interviewed by Counter Intelligence Corps agents to determine
their suitability for assignment to Counter Intelligence Corps duty.
Civilian and government organizations, which employed investigators,
were requested to submit information concerning former investigators
in their employ who had been inducted into the military service.
In the early days of the organization of the Counter Intelligence
Corps, men occasionally applied for admission to the Corps prior
to their induction into the Army. If application was approved, they
were immediately "tabbed" and shortly thereafter transferred
to the Counter Intelligence Corps. This method was not widely used
because it resulted in personnel being transferred into the Corps
without basic military training. Lack of basic training later proved
to be a handicap to those agents when they were assigned to tactical
To meet the demands for qualified men, recommen-dations were accepted
from Army post intelligence officers, Counter Intelligence Corps
personnel, and any other military personnel who knew of men with
basic Counter Intelligence Corps qualifications. All commanding
officers throughout the Army were encouraged to submit names of
men with the basic qualifications for Counter Intelligence Corps
In the early recruitment, emphasis was placed on investigative
or legal experience. Later, men with adequate education, good character,
and loyalty were accepted even though they had neither legal nor
investigative experience. Some linguists were procured, but this
qualification was not an exclusive one. Men were drawn from all
types of civilian occupations, and the Counter Intelligence Corps
became an organization that included representatives of virtually
every profession and nationality. In spite of the fact that most
of these men worked as corporals or sergeants, the organization
obtained outstanding men. The lure of the word "intelligence"
and the prospect of working in civilian clothes was tempting bait;
but, if the men of the Corps had not been carefully selected, their
records in the war would have been less impressive. Counter Intelligence
Corps men have always relied upon their own initiative. This has
been borne out by the nature of their work in the United States
and, to an even greater extent, by the record they have made in
For the most part, men selected for the Counter Intelligence Corps
were well suited for their tasks, but one major weakness in the
recruiting program was very noticeable; not enough emphasis was
given to procuring and training linguists. The problem of obtaining
men fluent in French, German, Italian, Japanese, and other foreign
languages was made more difficult because of War Department policy,
which directed that no persons of close foreign background would
be assigned to or retained in the Counter Intelligence Corps. Many
naturalized Americans, both in and out of the Army, were fluent
in several languages, but the Counter Intelligence Corps was unable
to use this source of language personnel because of this strict
policy. When the war in Europe came to an end, the Army was faced
with the overwhelming task of procuring a large number of men fluent
in foreign languages. These necessities brought a quick reversal
of policy, and, thereafter, close foreign relations alone ceased
to be considered sufficient to disqualify a man for the Corps.
The rank of the agent was at best a partial secret within the Army.
Counter Intelligence Corps men were instructed to conceal their
actual rank by using the term "agent" or "special
agent." Concealment of rank in the zone of the interior was
not too great a problem since agents worked in civilian clothes.
The average civilian respected Counter Intelligence Corps credentials
and was not concerned with the actual rank of the bearer.
When his mission was changed from the zone of the interior to foreign
theaters of operations, the Counter Intelligence Corps agent, in
some cases, wore the military uniform indicting his status. This
factor was a disadvantage in dealing with officers of the US Army
and officers of the Allied Forces. The low rank of the leaders of
some detachments often had a hampering effect, especially in their
relationships with allied services in the theaters and with coordinate
agencies of the United States. In many theaters this difficulty
of rank was overcome by the adoption of a uniform similar to that
of war correspondence which showed no rank.
Duquesne Spy Ring
On January 2, 1942, 33 members of a Nazi spy ring headed by Frederick
Joubert Duquesne were sentenced to serve a total of over 300 years
in prison. The FBI brought them to justice after a lengthy espionage
investigation. William Sebold, who had been recruited as a spy for
Germany, was a major factor in the FBI's successful resolution of
this case through his work as a double agent for the United States.
A native of Germany, William Sebold served in the German Army during
World War I. After leaving Germany in 1921, he worked in industrial
and aircraft plants throughout the United States and South America.
On February 10, 1936, he became a naturalized citizen of the United
Sebold returned to Germany in February 1939, to visit his mother
in Mulheim. Upon his arrival in Hamburg, Germany, he was approached
by a member of the Gestapo who said that Sebold would be contacted
in the near future. Sebold proceeded to Mulheim where he obtained
In September 1939, a Dr. Gassner visited Sebold in Mulheim and
interrogated him regarding military planes and equipment in the
United States. He also asked Sebold to return to the United States
as an espionage agent for Germany. Subsequent visits by Dr. Gassner
and a "Dr. Renken," later identified as Maj. Nickolas
Ritter of the German Secret Service, persuaded Sebold to cooperate
with the Reich because he feared reprisals against family members
still living in Germany.
Since Sebold's passport had been stolen shortly after his first
visit from Dr. Gassner, Sebold went to the American Consulate in
Cologne, Germany, to obtain a new one. While doing so, Sebold secretly
told personnel of the American Consulate about his future role as
a German agent and expressed his wish to cooperate with the FBI
upon his return to America.
Sebold reported to Hamburg, Germany, where he was instructed in
such areas as preparing codes messages and microphotographs. Upon
completion of training, he was given five microphotographs containing
instructions for preparing a code and detailing the type of information
he was to transmit to Germany from the United States. Sebold was
told to retain two of the microphotographs and to deliver the other
three to German operatives in the United States. After receiving
final instructions, including using the assumed name of "Harry
Sawyer," he sailed from Genoa, Italy, and arrived in New York
City on February 8, 1940.
The FBI previously had been advised of Sebold's expected arrival,
his mission, and his intentions to assist them in identifying German
agents in the United States. Under the guidance of Special Agents,
Sebold established residence in New York City as Harry Sawyer. Also,
an office was established for him as a consultant diesel engineer,
to be used as a cover in establishing contacts with members of the
spy ring. In selecting this office for Sebold, FBI Agents ensured
that they could observe any meetings taking place there.
In May 1940, a shortwave radio transmitting station operated by
FBI agents on Long Island established contact with the German shortwave
station abroad. This radio station served as a main channel of communications
between German spies in New York City and their superiors in Germany
for 16 months. During this time, the FBI's radio station transmitted
over 300 messages to Germany and received 200 messages from Germany.
The successful prosecution of the 33 German agents in New York
demonstrates Sebold's success as a counterespionage agent against
Nazi spies in the United States. Of those arrested on charges of
espionage, 19 pleaded guilty. The 14 men who entered pleas of not
guilty were brought to trial in Federal District Court, Brooklyn,
New York, on September 3, 1941, and they were all found guilty by
a jury on December 13, 1941.
The activities of each of these convicted spies and Sebold's role
in uncovering their espionage activities for the Reich follow.
Born in Cape Colony, South Africa, on September 21, 1877, Frederick
Joubert Duquesne emigrated from Hamilton, Bermuda, to the United
States in 1902 and became a naturalized United States citizen on
December 4, 1913. Duquesne was implicated in fraudulent insurance
claims, including one that resulted from a fire aboard the British
steamship Tennyson that caused the vessel to sink on February
18, 1916. When he was arrested on November 17, 1917, he had in his
possession a large file of news clippings concerning bomb explosions
on ships, as well as a letter from the Assistant German Vice Consul
at Managua, Nicaragua. The letter indicated that "Capt. Duquesne"
was "one who has rendered considerable service to the German
When Sebold returned to the United States in February 1940, Duquesne
was operating a business known as the "Air Terminals Company"
in New York City. After establishing his first contact with Duquesne
by letter, Sebold met with him in Duquesne's office. During their
initial meeting, Duquesne, who was extremely concerned about the
possibility of electronic surveillance devices being present in
his office, gave Sebold a note stating that they should talk elsewhere.
After relocating to an Automat, the two men exchanged information
about members of the German espionage system with whom they had
been in contact.
Duquesne provided Sebold with information for transmittal to Germany
during subsequent meetings, and the meeting which occurred in Sebold's
office was filmed by FBI Agents. Duquesne, who was vehemently anti-British,
submitted information dealing with national defense in America,
the sailing of ships to British ports, and technology. He also regularly
received money from Germany in payment for his services.
On one occasion, Duquesne provided Sebold with photographs and
specifications of a new type of bomb being produced in the United
States. He claimed that he secured that material by secretly entering
the Dupont plant in Wilmington, Delaware. Duquesne also explained
how fires could be started in industrial plants. Much of the information
Duquesne obtained was the result of his correspondence with industrial
concerns. Representing himself as a student, he requested data concerning
their products and manufacturing conditions.
Duquesne was brought to trial and was convicted. He was sentenced
to serve 18 years in prison on espionage charges, as well as a 2-year
concurrent sentence and payment of a $2,000 fine for violation of
the Registration Act.
A native of Germany, Paul Bante served in the
German Army during World War I. He came to the United States in
1930 and became a naturalized United States citizen in 1938.
Bante, formerly a member of the German-American Bund, claimed that
Germany put him in contact with one of their operatives, Paul Fehse,
because of Bante's previous association with a Dr. Ignatz T. Griebl.
Before fleeing to Germany to escape prosecution, Dr. Griebl had
been implicated in a Nazi spy ring with Guenther Gustave Rumrich,
who was tried on espionage charges in 1938.
Bante assisted Paul Fehse in obtaining information about ships
bound for Britain with war materials and supplies. Bante claimed
that as a member of the Gestapo, his function was to create discontent
among union workers, stating that every strike would assist Germany.
Sebold met Bante at the Little Casino Restaurant, which was frequented
by several members of this spy ring. During one such meeting, Bante
advised that he was preparing a fuse bomb, and he sub-sequently
delivered dynamite and detonation caps to Sebold.
After entering a guilty plea to violation of the Registration Act,
Bante was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and was fined $1,000.
Max Blank came to the United States from Germany in 1928. Although
he never became a US citizen, Blank had been employed in New York
City at a German library and at a book store, which catered to German
Paul Fehse, a major figure in this case, informed Germany that
Blank, who was acquainted with several members of the spy ring,
could secure some valuable information but lacked the funds to do
so. Later Fehse and Blank met with Sebold in his office. They told
Sebold that Blank could obtain details about rubberized self-sealing
airplane gasoline tanks, as well as a new braking device for airplanes,
from a friend who worked in a shipyard. However, he needed money
to get the information.
Blank plead guilty to violation of the Registration Act. He received
a sentence of 18 months' imprison-ment and a $1,000 fine.
Alfred E. Brokhoff, a native of Germany, came to the United States
in 1923 and became a naturalized citizen in 1929. He was a mechanic
for the US Lines in New York City for 17 years prior to his arrest.
Because of his employment on the docks, he knew almost all of the
other agents in this group who were working as seamen on various
Brokhoff helped Fehse secure information about the sailing dates
and cargoes of vessels destined for England. He also assisted Fehse
in transmitting this information to Germany. Also, another German
agent, George V. Leo Waalen, reported that he had received information
from Brokhoff for transmittal to Germany.
Upon conviction, Brokhoff was sentenced to serve a five-year prison
term for violation of the espionage statutes and to serve a two-year
concurrent sentence for violation of the Registration Act.
In September 1934, German-born Heinrich Clausing came to the Unite
States, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1938. Having served
on various ships sailing from New York Harbor since his arrival
in the country, he was employed as a cook on the SS Argentine
at the time of his arrest.
Loosely associated with Franz Stigler, one of the principal contact
men for the spy ring, Clausing operated as a courier. He transported
micro-photographs and other material from the United States to South
American ports, from which the information was sent to Germany via
Italian airlines. He also established a mail drop in South America
for expeditious transmittal of information to Germany by mail.
Clausing was convicted and was sentenced to serve eight years for
violation of espionage statutes. He also received a two-year concurrent
sentence for violation of the Registration Act.
Conradin Otto Dold came to the United States from Germany in 1926.
He became a US citizen in 1934 under the Seamen's Act. Prior to
his arrest, he was Chief Steward aboard the SS Siboney of
the American Export Lines.
Dold was related to people holding high positions in Germany and
was closely associated with other members of the espionage group
who worked on ships sailing from New York Harbor. As a courier,
Dold carried information from Nazi agents in the Untied States to
contacts in neutral ports abroad for transmittal to Germany.
Dold was sentenced to serve ten years in prison on espionage charges
and received a two-year concurrent sentence and a fine of $1,000
for violation of the Registration Act.
After leaving Germany for the United States in 1925, Rudolf Ebeling
became an American citizen in
1933. He was employed as a foreman in the Shipping Department of
Harper and Brothers in New York City when he was arrested.
Ebeling obtained information regarding ship sailings and cargoes,
which he provided to Paul Fehse for transmittal to Germany. He also
furnished such information to Leo Waalen, who delivered the material
to Sebold for transmittal.
Upon conviction, Ebeling was sentenced to five years in prison
on espionage charges. He also received a two-year concurrent sentence
and a $1,000 fine for violating the Registration Act.
Richard Eichenlaub, who came to the United States in 1930 and became
a citizen in 1936, operated the Little Casino Restaurant in the
Yorkville Section of New York City. This restaurant was a rendezvous
for many members of this spy ring, and Eichenlaub introduced several
new members into the group.
Eichenlaub reported to the German Gestapo and often obtained information
from his customers who were engaged in national defense production.
Through Eichenlaub, dynamite was delivered to Sebold from Bante.
Having entered a plea of guilty for violation of the Registration
Act, Eichenlaub was sentenced to pay a fine of $1,000 and to serve
18 months in prison.
A native of Germany, Heinrich Carl Eilers came to the United States
in 1923 and became a citizen in 1932. From 1933 until his arrest,
he served as a steward on ships sailing from New York City.
Eilers made a trip from New York to Washington, D.C. to obtain
information for Germany from the Civil Aeronautics Authority. His
mission, however, was unsuccessful.
At the time of his arrest in New York City by Customs authorities
in June 1940, he had in his possession 20 letters addressed to people
throughout Europe. He also had books relating to magnesium and aluminum
alloys, which had been sent to him by Edmund Carl Heine, one of
the principal espionage agents in this group.
Upon conviction, Eilers received a five-year prison sentence on
espionage charges and a concurrent sentence of two years' imprisonment
and a $1,000 fine under the Registration Act.
In 1934, Paul Fehse left Germany for the United States, where he
became a citizen in 1938. Since his arrival in this country, he
had been employed as a cook aboard ships sailing from New York Harbor.
Fehse was one of the directing forces in this espionage group.
He arranged meetings, directed members' activities, correlated information
that had been developed, and arranged for its transmittal to Germany,
chiefly through Sebold. Fehse, who was trained for espionage work
in Hamburg, Germany, claimed he headed the Marine Division of the
German espionage system in the United States.
Having become quite apprehensive and nervous, Fehse made plans
to leave the country. He obtained a position on the SS Siboney,
which was scheduled to sail from Hoboken, New Jersey, for Lisbon,
Portugal, on March 29, 1941. He planned to desert ship in Lisbon
and return to Germany.
However, before he could leave the United States, FBI agents arrested
Fehse. Upon arrest, he admitted sending letters to Italy for transmittal
to Germany, as well as reporting the movement of British ships.
On April 1, 1941, Fehse was sentenced on a plea of guilty to serve
one year and one day in prison for violation of the Registration
Act. He subsequently pleaded guilty to espionage and received a
prison sentence of 15 years.
A native of Germany, Edmund Carl Heine came to the United States
in 1914 and became a naturalized citizen in 1920. Until 1938, he
held various positions in the foreign sales and service departments
of Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Motor Corporation. His employment
took him to the West Indies, South America, Spain, and Berlin, Germany.
Heine was closely associated with Dr. Hans Luther, former German
Ambassador in Washington, D.C. and Prince Louis Ferdinand of Berlin.
Heine sent letters from Detroit, Michigan, to Lilly Stein, one
of the German spies Sebold was instructed to contact. The letters
contained detailed technical data regarding the military, aircraft
construction, and various industries. He also wrote to aircraft
companies to obtain information about their produc-tion, number
of employees, and the time required to construct military planes.
After obtaining technical books relating to magnesium and aluminum
alloys, Heine sent the materials to Heinrich Eilers. To ensure safe
delivery of the books to Germany in case they did not reach Eilers,
Heine indicated the return address on the package as the address
of Lilly Stein.
Upon conviction of violating the Registration Act, Heine received
a $5,000 fine and a two-year prison sentence.
In 1924, Felix Jahnke left Germany for the United States, where
he became a naturalized citizen in 1930. Jahnke had attended military
school in Germany and had served in the German Army as a radio operator.
Jahnke and Alex Wheeler-Hill secured the services of Josef Klein,
a radio technician, in building a portable radio set for Jahnke's
apartment in the Bronx. Jahnke used this radio to transmit messages,
which were intercepted by the FBI, to Germany. He also visited the
docks in New York Harbor to obtain information about any vessels
bound for England.
After pleading guilty to violation of the Registration Act, Jahnke
was sentenced to serve 20 months in prison and to pay a $1,000 fine.
Gustav Wilhelm Kaercher came to the
United States in 1923, becoming a citizen in 1931. He served in
the German Army during World War I and was a former leader of the
German Bund in New York. During visits to Germany, he was seen to
have worn a German Army officer's uniform. At the time of his arrest,
he was engaged in designing power plants for American Gas and Electric
Company in New York City.
Kaercher was arrested with Paul Scholtz, who had just handed Kaercher
a table of call letters and frequencies for transmitting information
to Germany by radio.
As a result of his guilty plea to charges of violating the Registration
Act, Kaercher received a $2,000 fine and a prison sentence of 22
A native of Germany, Josef Klein came to the United States in 1925;
he did not become a citizen. Klein, a photographer and lithographer,
had been interested in the building and operation of shortwave radio
Klein constructed a portable shortwave radio transmitting and receiving
set for Felix Jahnke and Axel Wheeler-Hill. When he built the radio
set, Klein knew it would be used for transmitting messages to Germany.
Upon conviction, Klein received a sentence of five years' imprisonment
on espionage charges and a concurrent sentence of two years' imprisonment
under the Registration Act.
Born in Germany, Hartwig Richard Kleiss came to this country in
1925 and became a naturalized citizen six years later. Following
his arrival in the United States, he was employed as a cook on various
Kleiss obtained information for Germany, including blueprints of
the SS America that showed the locations of newly installed
gun emplacements. He included information about how guns would be
brought into position for firing. Kleiss also obtained details on
the construction and performance of new patrol torpedo boats being
developed by the US Navy, which he submitted to Sebold for transmittal
Kleiss had originally chosen to stand trial. However, after cross-examination,
he changed his plea to guilty on charge of espionage and received
an eight-year prison sentence.
Herman W. Lang
Herman W. Lang came to the United States from Germany in 1927 and
became a citizen in 1939. He was one of four people Sebold had been
told to contact in the United States.
Until his arrest, a company manufacturing highly confidential materials
essential to the national defense of the United States had employed
Lang. During a visit to Germany in 1938, Lang conferred with German
military authorities and reconstructed plans of the Norden bomb
sight from memory.
Upon conviction, Lang received a sentence of 18 years in prison
on espionage charges and a 2-year concurrent sentence under the
A native of Arkansas, Evelyn Clayton Lewis had been living with
Frederick Joubert Duquesne in New York City. Miss Lewis had expressed
her anti-British and anti-Semitic feelings during her relationships
with Duquesne. She was aware of his espionage activities and condoned
them. While she was not active in obtaining information for Germany,
she helped Duquesne prepare material for transmittal abroad.
Upon a guilty plea, Miss Lewis was sentenced to serve one year
and one day in prison for violation of the Registration Act.
Rene Emanuel Mezenen, a Frenchman, claimed
US citizenship through the naturalization of his father. Prior to
his arrest, he was employed as a steward in the transatlantic clipper
The German Intelligence Service in Lisbon, Portugal, asked Mezenen
to act as a courier, transmitting information between the United
States and Portugal on his regular trips on the clipper. He accepted
this offer for financial gain. In the course of flights across the
Atlantic, Mezenen also reported his observance of convoys sailing
for England. He also became involved in smuggling platinum from
the United States to Portugal.
Following a plea of guilty, Mezenen received an eight-year prison
term for espionage and two concurrent years for registration violations.
Having come to the United States from Germany in 1929, Carl Reuper
became a citizen in 1936. Prior to his arrest, he served as an inspector
for the Westinghouse Electric Company in Newark, New Jersey.
Reuper obtained photographs for Germany relating to national defense
materials and construction, which he obtained from his employment.
He arranged radio contact with Germany through the station established
by Felix Jahnke. On one occasion, he conferred with Sebold regarding
Sebold's facilities for communicating with German authorities.
Upon conviction, Reuper was sentenced to 16 years' imprisonment
on espionage charges and 2 years' concurrent sentence under the
Born in the Bronx, New York, Roeder was a draftsman and designer
of confidential material for the US Army and Navy.
Sebold had delivered micro-photograph instructions to Roeder, as
ordered by German authorities. Roeder and Sebold met in public places
and proceeded to spots where they could talk privately.
In 1936, Roeder had visited Germany and was requested by German
authorities to act as an espionage agent. Primarily due to monetary
rewards he would receive, Roeder agreed.
Roeder entered a guilty plea to the charge of espionage and was
sentenced to 16 years in prison.
A German native, Paul Scholz came to the United States in 1926 but
never attained citizenship. He had been employed in German book
stores in New York City, where he disseminated Nazi propaganda.
Scholz had arranged for Josef Klein to construct the radio set
used by Felix Jahnke and Axel Wheeler-Hill. At the time of is arrest,
Scholz had just given Gustav Wilhelm Kaercher a list of radio call
letters and frequencies. He also encouraged members of this spy
ring to secure data for Germany and arranged contacts between various
Upon conviction, Scholz was sentenced to 16 years' imprisonment
for espionage with 2 years' concurrent sentence under the Registration
George Schuh, a native of Germany, came to the United States in
1923. He became a citizen in 1939 and was employed as a carpenter.
As a German agent, he sent information directly to the Gestapo
in Hamburg, Germany, from this country. Schuh had provided Alfred
Brokhoff information that Winston Churchill had arrived in the United
States on the HMS George V. He also furnished information
to Germany concerning the movement of ships carrying materials and
supplies to Britain.
Having pleaded guilty to violation of the Registration Act, Schuh
received a sentence of 18 months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Erwin Siegler came to the United States from Germany in 1929 and
attained citizenship in 1936. He had served as chief butcher on
the SS America until it was taken over by the US Navy.
A courier, Siegler brought microphotography instructions to Sebold
from German authorities on one occasion. He also had brought $2,900
from German contacts abroad to pay Lilly Stein, Duquesne, and Roeder
for their services and to buy a bomb sight. He served the espionage
group as an organizer and contact man, and he also obtained information
about the movement of ships and military defense preparations at
the Panama Canal.
Subsequent to his conviction, Siegler was sentenced to 10 years'
imprisonment on espionage charges and a concurrent 2-year term for
violation of the Registration Act.
Born in Germany, Oscar Stabler came to this country in 1923 and
became a citizen in 1933. He had been employed primarily as a barber
aboard transoceanic ships.
In December 1940, British authorities in Bermuda found a map of
Gibraltar in his possession. He was detained for a short period
before being released.
A close associate of Conradin Otto Dold, Stabler served as a courier,
transmitting information between German agents in the United States
and contacts abroad.
Stabler was convicted and sentenced to serve five years in prison
for espionage and a two-year concurrent term under the Registration
Heinrich Stade came to the United States from Germany in 1922 and
became a citizen in 1929. Stade had arranged for Paul Bante's contact
with Sebold and had transmitted data to Germany regarding points
of rendezvous for convoys carrying supplies to England.
Following a guilty plea to violation of the Registration Act, Stade
was fined $1,000 and received a 15-month prison sentence.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Lilly Stein met Hugo Sebold, the espionage
instructor who had trained William Sebold (the two men were not
related) in Hamburg, Germany. She enrolled in this school and was
sent to the United States in 1939.
Lilly Stein was one of the people to whom Sebold had been instructed
to deliver microphoto-graph instructions upon his arrival in this
country. She frequently met with Sebold to give him information
for transmittal to Germany, and her address was used as a return
address by other agents in mailing data for Germany.
Miss Stein pleaded guilty and received sentences of 10 years' and
2 concurrent years' imprisonment for violations of espionage and
restriction statutes, respectively.
In 1931, Franz Stigler left Germany for the United States, where
he became a citizen in 1939. He had been employed as a crew member
aboard United States ships until discharge from the SS America
when the US Navy converted that ship into the USS West Point.
His constant companion was Erwin Siegler, and they operated as
couriers in transmitting information between US and German agents
abroad. Stigler sought to recruit amateur radio operators in the
United States as channels of communication to German radio stations.
He had also observed and reported defense preparations in the Canal
Zone and had met with other German agents to advise them in their
Upon conviction, Stigler was sentenced to serve 16 years in prison
on espionage charges with 2 concurrent years for registration violations.
A seaman aboard ships of the United States Lines since his arrival
in this country, Erich Strunck came to the United States from Germany
in 1927. He became a naturalized citizen in 1935.
As a courier, Strunck carried messages between German agents in
the United States and Europe. He requested authority to steal the
diplomatic bag of a British officer traveling aboard his ship and
to dispose of the officer by pushing him overboard. Sebold convinced
him that it would be too risky to do so.
Strunck was convicted and sentenced to serve 10 years in prison
on espionage charges. He also was sentenced to serve a two-year
concurrent term under the Registration Act.
Waalen was born in Danzig while that city was under German domination.
He entered the United States by "jumping ship" in about
1935. He was a painter for a small boat company, which was constructing
small craft for the US Navy.
Waalen gathered information about ships sailing for England. He
also obtained a confidential booklet issued by the FBI, which contained
precautions to the taken by industrial plans to safeguard national
defense materials from sabotage. Waalen also secured government
contracts listing specifications for materials and equipment, as
well as detailed sea charters of the US Atlantic coastline.
Following his conviction, Waalen was sentenced to 12 years in prison
for espionage and a concurrent 2-year term for violation of the
A German native, Walischewski had been a seaman since maturity.
He became a naturalized citizen in 1935. He became connected with
the German espionage system through Paul Fehse. His duties were
confined to those of courier, carrying data from agents in the United
States to contacts abroad.
Upon conviction, Walischewski received a five-year prison sentence
on espionage charges, as well as a two-year concurrent sentence
under the Registration Act.
Else Weustenfeld arrived in the United States from Germany in 1927
and became a citizen 10 years later. From 1935 until her arrest,
she was a secretary for a law firm representing the German Consulate
in New York City.
Miss Weustenfeld was thoroughly acquainted with the German espionage
system and delivered funds to Duquesne, which she had received,
from Lilly Stein, her close friend.
She lived in New York City with Hans W. Ritter, a principal in
the German espionage system. Her brother, Nickolas Ritter, was the
"Dr. Renken" who had enlisted Sebold as a German agent.
In 1940, Weustenfeld visited Hans Ritter in Mexico, where he was
serving as a paymaster for the German Intelligence Service.
After pleading guilty, Else Weustenfeld was sentenced to five years'
imprisonment on charge of espionage and two concurrent years on
charge of registration violations.
Axel Wheeler-Hill came to the United States in 1923 from his native
land of Russia. He was naturalized as a citizen in 1929 and was
employed as a truck driver.
Wheeler-Hill obtained information for Germany regarding ships sailing
to Britain from New York Harbor. With Felix Jahnke, he enlisted
the aid of Paul Scholz in building a radio set for sending codes
messages to Germany.
Following conviction, Wheeler-Hill was sentenced to serve 15 years
in prison for espionage and 2 concurrent years under the Registration
Born in Germany, Zenzinger came
to the United States in 1940 as a naturalized citizen of the Union
of South Africa. His reported reason for coming to this country
was to study mechanical dentistry in Los Angeles, California.
In July 1940, Zenzinger received a pencil for preparing invisible
messages for Germany in the mail from Siegler. He sent several letters
to Germany through a mail drop in Sweden outlining details of national
FBI agents arrested Zenzinger on April 16, 1941. Pleading guilty,
he received 18 months in prison for violation of the Registration
Act and 8 years' imprisonment for espionage.