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#339419 08/11/2018 05:36 PM
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Not to take up too much space but thought it might like to be shared here. I had posted on the US Militaria Forum but not many saw or seemed interested. For me, the history is something that needs preserved.
The Colt 1903 and Fighting knife belonged to OSS agent Mike Burke. His work is document in 2 books, Cloak & Dagger and The Proust Mission. Also, his career is well documented so hope you enjoy.

coltknife1.jpg (43.39 KB, 85 downloads)
book.jpg (38.32 KB, 84 downloads)
cd1.jpg (39.31 KB, 84 downloads)
Last edited by Tanker; 08/11/2018 05:39 PM.
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More info:

Edmund Michael Burke (August 6, 1916?February 5, 1987) was a U.S. Navy Officer, O.S.S. agent, C.I.A. agent, general manager of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, CBS executive, President of the New York Yankees, the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden.
Early life
Burke was born in Enfield, Connecticut, and attended Kingswood-Oxford School in Hartford, Connecticut. He was awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania playing halfback on the football team. He graduated in 1939 and was given a tryout by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1941.

World War II
After working as a cargo inspector in the New York waterfront, Burke was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy. A chance meeting with head of the O.S.S General William J. Donovan led to transfer to his command. Donovan told him "Anybody who can run back punts the way you can ought to be able to wiggle behind enemy lines?.

Ensign Burke was sent to Algiers in 1942, then Sicily in 1943, and later landing in Salerno in the same year.

Burke was one of the members of the "MacGregor Mission" led by Lt. John M. Shaheen consiting of Burke, John Ringling North[4] and Marcello Girosi, a former New York businessman who had a brother Massimo who was an Italian admiral. The "MacGregor Mission" was responsible for discovering information on Axis weapons.

One of the missions was to smuggle Italian Vice Admiral Eugenio Minisini out of Italy in 1943. Admiral Minisini was in the Engineering section of the Italian Navy and was directing the use of a magnetic firing device for torpedoes.[6] As the American Navy was having problems with their detonators setting off torpedoes this a crucial piece of technology. The four men landed by PT Boat in Capri and brought back Admiral Minisini.

Burke and North were both awarded the Silver Star for their work.

Following the Italian campaign, Burke was parachuted into the Vosges region of France to arm and organise the French Resistance. During World War II, Michael Burke was awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Cross, and the French M?daille de la R?sistance.

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Continuing:
Cloak and Dagger
After the war Burke was recruited by Warner Brothers to be a technical advisor for Fritz Lang's O.S.S. film Cloak and Dagger. Burke had a bit part in the film but it was cut during editing. During the filming he met Henry Ringling North's sister who he later married. During the filming Burke and a fellow OSS agent Andreas Diamond met at Lang's home to discuss various methods of killing someone with your bare hands and were seen rolling around the floor to design a fight scene with OSS methods for the film. A Warner Bros memo records the fact that the fight scene was the only scene that Gary Cooper, who had problems with the scientific dialgoues his character had to say, did well during the film.

C.I.A.
When Burke's screenwriting career didn't pan out he was recruited into the C.I.A. after lunch in the Algonquin Hotel serving in Rome and other parts of Europe for five years. Burke was allowed to use the cover of working for Warner Brothers whilst he was doing various scouting and liaision missions in Europe. Using his experience with French Resistance groups in the War, Burke was given the mission to "Recruit a limited number of refugees, train them as agents and place them clandestinely back on their native soil. There they would seek out any incipient resistance elements that might exist" behind the Iron Curtain.

In 1949 he replaced Robert Low as the American officer in charge of setting up paramilitary and political operations in Albania. Following Albania Burke worked on Polish anti Soviet resistance operations and tested Soviet radar capabilities by using Polish pilots.

Burke served as an intelligence and special operations adviser to John J. McCloy, the United States High Commissioner in Germany, from 1951 to 1954.

Post CIA
Following his CIA career, Burke's brother-in-law and comrade in arms John Ringling North hired him for the [Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as an executive director. Though new to the circus world Burke found himself battling cheating ushers and Jimmy Hoffa's Teamster Union.

CBS
When his friend North hired a manager Burke didn't like, Burke left the big top and met Frank Stanton of CBS. Burke's European knowledge led him to be sent back to Europe to develop television programs, eventually becoming the President of CBS Europe. Burke was summoned back to America as Vice President in charge of Diversification. One of Burke's accomplishments was recommending CBS purchase the rights to the play My Fair Lady.

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His OSS file 80 pages

OSS file.jpg (32.21 KB, 78 downloads)
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Wow that is really cool! How did you happen to come across this Ron? That is an amazing grouping !

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hi ron
man i havnt seen one of these sos pancake turner knives since i bought one from burnie approx 35yrs ago he dealt bussiness out of the north eastern club amityville n.y. that dealt on long island he was a hustler along with his best friend bob mc carthy it just amazed me to think that it was designed for a pancake turner with the rubber o ring to hold the handle to the turner none of these knives or turners were marked in any way the knife itself is design like the britts dirk the fairbank dagger man this is great u.s. ww2 history a james bond file thank you for showing us here this rare piece of u.s. history along with the sos soldiers history have a great day god bless andy militarynut

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Thank you gentlemen for the compliments.

Mike
I happen to get it through a family member. Ron

Here is a pic when filming Cloak & Dagger (Mike's part was cut though!)
For some reason, when I resize the pics, they lose a lot of detail so they are difficult to see.

test pic.jpg (54 KB, 71 downloads)
Last edited by Tanker; 08/11/2018 08:08 PM.
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Here is what the citations for the Proust Mission read.





Michael Burke was born on June 8, 1916, in Enfield, Connecticut. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in June 1939, and worked for the Insurance Company of North America from 1939 to 1942. Burke joined the Office of Strategic Services on May 15, 1942, and entered the U.S. Navy for Officer Training on December 7, 1942, receiving his commission on April 21, 1943. LT Burke served as an operative of the OSS in Europe from April 1943 to March 1945, and left active duty and joined the Naval Reserve on December 5, 1945. He remained in the Naval Reserve until his retirement on October 1, 1965. After leaving active duty, he served as a clandestine operative of the Central Intelligence Agency in Europe from 1949 to 1954, worked as executive director of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, served as Director of CBS Europe, President of the New York Yankees, and President of Madison Square Gardens. Michael Burke died on February 5, 1987.

His Navy Cross Citation reads:

For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty in the performance of outstanding duty in connection with military operations against an armed enemy in enemy occupied territory, from 9 September to 17 October 1944. After having been parachuted behind enemy lines in the Haute-Saone Province, France, Lieutenant (junior grade) Burke led patriot recruits in three actions against an enemy force vastly superior in numbers and arms, and distinguished himself by exceptional heroism and leadership in the capture of forty-eight enemy soldiers, the killing of a larger number, the liberation of forty-three hostages and the capture of quantities of enemy material. He volunteered for and carried out three exceptionally hazardous reconnaissance missions of great value to the attacking United States Forces. In crossing and recrossing the enemy's lines time after time to carry out his brilliant reconnaissance work, Lieutenant (junior grade) Burke displayed utter disregard for his personal safety, inspiring leadership and extraordinary heroism. The heroic conduct throughout this dangerous mission reflects great credit upon himself and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Navy.

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Nice Ron,,,real Nice!!! You get the pieces and all the research / supporting documentation!.. Thats the way!! Great grouping!

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Here is the pilot and crew that dropped them into France on the Proust Mission.

Photo removed at request of poster (better photo loaded).

Last edited by Vern; 08/13/2018 01:52 AM.
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This pic may be better.
The pilot and crew that drops OSS agents. They dropped the MARCEL/PROUST Team

mission pilot test.jpg (83.69 KB, 34 downloads)
Last edited by Tanker; 08/12/2018 10:52 PM.

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