From Mary Previte:
The names on this letter include Captain Willis Georgia, who was not a member of the DUCK MISSION. Rescuer Jim Hannon has told me that letter was posted and when he saw the name of Willis Georgia included with the liberators on this letter, Hannon was angry enough to cross the name out. With great disdain, Hannon tells me that Willis Georgia was someone (possibly a publicist) Major Staiger allowed to stay in Weihsien from one of the other American planes that stopped in -- possibly Lt. Colonel Bird's controversial EAGLE MISSION.
Some of the publicity ("Public information") efforts on these missions stirred huge controversy. Colonel Bird was the deputy director of OSS/CHINA. According to THE OSS IN CHINA, Bird -- "ever publicity-conscious and eager to gain fame by 'liberating Korea single-handedly'," violated very specific orders and took along a reporter and photographer when the EAGLE MISSION went to liberate a POW camp in Korea. When Japanese turned Bird and the EAGLE MISSION away from
In listening to the stories from men on our team, I get a sense that they believed Colonel Bird wanted to save face from his failure in
No way was Major Staiger going to let Bird take over the Weihsien operation -- especially after Bird had failed to liberate the POW camp in
Back in Chungking, while Bird was telling General Wedemeyer how dangerous the attempted rescue of prioners in Korea had been, the reporter's story was broadcast worldwide about the first encounter of the Americans with the Japanese in Korea -- including photographs and information about the Japanese entertaining the Americans with beer and sake. General Wedemeyer was embarrassed and outraged -- especially that Bird took a reporter and a photographer along on the failed rescue mission, but no medical supplies or food for the POWs.