12 February 2012

Agent Double O Cushing part II

Cushing and his happy band of double agents were sent to Hamburg to receive briefing about their first mission.

He was told that in two weeks time they would be taken by submarine to Panama, there to act as the leader of a team that would destroy the Gatun Dam, an earthwork dam which is a crucal part of the Panama Canal. After completion of this mission he and his team would be returned to Germany once again by  U boat. Cushing pretended to be quite enthusiastic about the mission.

Delighted by Cushing's responcse he was returned to the team's  apartment in Berlin. One evening he called a meeting of the other Irish "double agents" amd proposed that they should go along with the mission as far as Panama. There they would give the Germans the slip, alert the Americans and hope that the US equivalent of the Fleet Air Arm would capture the other saboteurs and also destroy the U Boat,

Within 24 hours he was taken towhat he called the Berlin Naval HQ there to be told that the conversation had been recorded. He was then shoved in a Black Maria and taken straight to Gestapo Headquarters. While other inmates were taken for interrogation or execution, Cushing spent several days in solitary confinement and then several weeks in a segregated compound for several weeks before being sent to Sonderlager A  (Sachsenhausen) with other members of the Irish Brigade. It was there where he met Yakov Stalin....

(See Red Cushing and the Many Deaths of Yakov Stalin).

After Sachsenhausen Cushing spent time in Flossenburg and Dachau before liberation.  Hhe was interrogated quite severely but was released. Unlike other Irishmen who served with the Germans (eg James Brady and Frank Stringer who were serious about their German allegiance and did some serious time after the war)  he was released without any stain on his character. This in itself must indicate that Cushing was indeed acting with the intent to sabotage German attempts to recruit Irishmen. He eventually reenlisted in the British Army marrying a nurse Nagle before serving in Palestine and Cyprus and then Korea (but not in front line service) and Kenya. It is pleasing to report that he continued his carousing in peace time

I know that Red Cushing was alive in the 1980s but I have no idea when he died. Even if his autobiography Soldier For Hire, may have to be taken with a pinch of salt, he was a larger than life character of the sort that makes the world a much richer place.

If any reader knows what happened to Red after he retired from the Army I would be delighted to know.

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