didn't need the radar for this ground attack mission anyway.
Just look out the canopy," he said. The Chinese and North
Korean truck drivers were not afraid of one airplane in the
sky and just drove down the roads with full headlights.
Naturally, a few trucks turned their headlights off when they
saw the airplane's machine guns fl ashing as my pilot strafed
them. We had an uneventful mission, thank goodness.
A year later, another OEG analyst who had been assigned
to do research for the Marine Air Group in Korea asked if he
could go on a night attack fl ight. He was not so lucky. The
Chinese must have installed machine guns on some trucks
and they managed to hit the F7F-2N which was at low altitude
strafi ng them. My friend, Dr. Irving "Spike" Shaknov (MIT '43)
was in the radar operator's seat. The plane was shot down and
crashed in enemy territory. No one knew whether or not the
pilot or Spike had been killed or captured. The Navy and the
Marines were very upset that an OEG civilian had been killed
or captured on a Marine combat mission. The Navy asked
Spike's parents not to tell anyone about the incident for fear
that if Spike had been captured and was a prisoner he might
have been taken to Russia by the Chinese for interrogation
because he knew lots of secrets.
The Navy ordered the OEG to stop all of us analysts from
fl ying on combat missions.
The Korean War fi nally ended about eleven months later.
There was a formal exchange of prisoners which lasted several
days. The South Koreans released about 10,000 North Korean
and Chinese soldiers from Prisoner of War stockades. The
North Koreans released about 5,000 American, British and
Turkish prisoners of war. Spike's pilot, U.S. Marine Captain
"Chief" Flynn (Native American) was released on the very
last day of the prisoner of war exchange.
When Captain Flynn was being debriefed, he told the
Marine intelligence offi cer debriefer that he did not know for
certain, but he thought that Spike had been killed. He said,
"After the plane had been hit by antiaircraft fi re, I rolled the
plane upside down, pressed the switch to have an explosive