US trained Alaskans as secret `stay-behind agents’

The plan was to have citizen-agents in Alaska ready to hide from the invaders

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline
Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

WASHINGTON (AP) — Early in the Cold War, there were fears Russia might invade and occupy Alaska — then a U.S. territory.

So Washington recruited and trained fishermen, bush pilots, trappers and other private citizens across Alaska for a covert network to feed wartime intelligence to the military.

That’s what newly declassified Air Force and FBI documents show.

One FBI memo said the U.S. military believed it would be an airborne invasion involving bombing and the dropping of paratroopers.

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover teamed on a classified project — code-named “Washtub” — with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

The plan was to have citizen-agents in Alaska ready to hide from the invaders.

The citizen-agents would find their way to survival caches of food, cold-weather gear, message-coding material and radios.

 

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