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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 10, 1967

MEMORANDUM, CHAIRMAN OF THE STATE SECURITY COMMITTEE ANDROPOV, FOUR AMERICAN SERVICEMEN DESERTERS FROM US INTREPID

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Four American servicemen who deserted in Japan from the US Intrepid as protest against US involvement in the Vietnam War. Andropov recommends that the Soviet Union help the four men come to Europe as part of a propaganda campaign.
    "Memorandum, Chairman of the State Security Committee Andropov, Four American Servicemen Deserters from US Intrepid ," November 10, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118938
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10 November 1967 CC CPSU

The other day, the secretary of the Japanese pacifist organization “Beikheiren” (the “Peace to Vietnam” Committee), Yosikawa Yuiti, appeared at the USSR’s embassy in Japan and said that the organization was giving shelter to four American servicemen - Richard D. Bailey (19 years old), Craig William Anderson (20 years old), John Michael Barilla (20 years old) and Michael Antony Linder (20 years old), who had fled to the port of Yokosuka from the American aircraft carrier, the “Intrepid,” which was operating near the coast of the DRV [Democratic Republic of Vietnam].  The said servicemen stated their disagreement with the aggressive war in Vietnam and requested that “Beikheiren” assist them in traveling to Europe, where, according to them, there are organizations to help American deserters from the army.

“Beikheiren” considers it possible to achieve the transport of the American servicemen out of Japan in order to send them on to Europe illegally on a Soviet steamer.  After sending them away, “Beikheiren” plans to conduct a broad anti-war campaign using the existing materials at their disposal, including the statements of the four deserting American servicemen.

The representatives of “Beikheiren” stated that they plan to carry out the illegal transport of the American servicemen on the Soviet steamer “Baikal,” which leaves Yokohama for Nakhodku on 11 November of this year.  For these purposes, “Beikheiren” will provide the Americans with passes onboard the vessel through their capabilities, and ask that the captain be instructed not to create any obstructions.  

In connection with the fact that the desertion of four American servicemen can be used in a broad propaganda scheme against the USA’s aggression in Vietnam, the State Security Committee considers it expedient to assist their conveyance to the Soviet Union and thence to the European countries where they plan to go.

We ask for your examination.

CHAIRMAN OF THE STATE SECURITY COMMITTEE

ANDROPOV