More than 70 years after he served in World War II, a Eugene-area veteran, former spy, and retired English professor has received Congressional recognition.
At the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse, 96-year-old George Wickes stood before several dozen people as Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio presented him with a medallion.
“…with our incredible gratitude for your extraordinary service, the Congressional Gold Medal.” (APPLAUSE, FADE)
Wickes was honored for his time with the Army, and the Office of Strategic Service, the predecessor to the CIA. Wickes was a cryptographer in French-occupied Vietnam from 1943 to 1946. He says an American military intelligence unit was a fairly new concept.
WEB EXTRA: SEE DEFAZIO PRESENT MEDAL TO WICKES
“They had special ops, and a good deal of action on the ground. So it was quite important, yes. We didn’t have any kind of intelligence like the British had.”
During his Vietnam term, Wickes’ commanding officer was killed, and he got involved in a firefight with guerrillas. He also interviewed independence leader Ho Chi Minh.
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