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  CAMP X  
  Collection - Richard Brisson - Collection  


Throughout its existence, Camp X was shrouded in secrecy. Staff and trainees, as well as local residents knew of it as "the camp" or Camp X. British Security Coordination referred to it as "the farm" (which was a term adopted by the OSS (predecessor to the CIA) for their Virginia installation.

In reality, this magnificient 275-acre property, which had been acquired from the Sinclair family by Sir William Stephenson's Canadian office in 1941, was the site of the most arcane wireless and special training facilities ever constructed in North America, up to that time.

It became operational under the UK's Strategic Operations Executive (SOE) designation STS (Special Training School) 103, on 6 December, 1941, one day before Pearl Harbour. In the sense that it was a link in the world-wide chain of SOE training schools, Camp X was of international importance. In the sense that it was a Canadian operation, under the aegis of MI-6 chief of operations in the western hemisphere, William Stephenson, a Canadian, it is a major part of a unique Canadian historical legacy, which exemplifies the traditional cooperation between our major founding nations. No fewer than 500 persons were trained there, including scores of French-Canadians, who were ideally suited for service in SOE's F-Section. Numerous other ethnic groups were represented as well, both in the composition of the staff, and that of trainees.

In official records, it was, and is still referred to by the National Defence Act File No. S25-1-1. Officers, staff and agents alike were given a security pass and bracelet, bearing the operational code S25-1-1.

Many publications have been published on Camp X and vary in terms of their degree of being factual. Some of these are listed below for your consideration. The more notable of these are the 4 publications (25-1-1) from the very first Camp X Miliary Museum Society which thrived in the late 1970's. Most of the artifacts collected at that time were preserved by Robert Stuart who later had a museum at the Oshawa Airport displaying these and aviation artifacts.


Image Link
Description
Comments / Questions
Additional Web Information and Photos
British Security Coordination (BSC) Badges
Click for larger photo
Source: Personal Collection
British Security Coordination (BSC) Badges - circa 1944. Purchased in 2006. Sir William Stephenson was the head of BSC in New York during WW-II and up to 1947. Here is a Wikipedia entry on BSC.

A set of these badges sold in November 2013 for over $2200 USD - here is the actual eBay listing (if still there as eBay makes these links unavailable 90 days after the auction close).
Journal of the Camp X Military Museum Society
Click for larger photo
Source: Personal Collection
Journal of the Camp X Military Museum Society - First issue November 1978. First issue of the original Camp X Military Museum Society - Vol. 1 No. 1. Frank Pickersgill featured on the cover. Here is a Wikipedia entry on Frank Pickersgill.
Journal of the Camp X Military Museum Society
Click for larger photo
Source: Personal Collection
Journal of the Camp X Military Museum Society - Second issue February 1979. Second issue of the Camp X Military Museum Society Journal- Vol. 1 No. 2. Sir William Stephenson and his wife Lady Mary are featured on the cover. Here is a Wikipedia entry on Sir William Stephenson.
Journal of the Camp X Military Museum Society
Click for larger photo
Source: Personal Collection
Journal of the Camp X Military Museum Society - Third issue August/September 1979. Third issue of the Camp X Military Museum Society Journal- Vol. 1 No. 3. A cloak and dagger scene is featured on the cover. One piece in this journal is one on the movie "A Man Called Intrepid" which is accompanied by a transcribed interview with David Niven who portrayed Stephenson in the movie. Here is a Wikipedia entry on David Niven.
Journal of the Camp X Military Museum Society
Click for larger photo
Source: Personal Collection
Journal of the Camp X Military Museum Society - Fourth issue 1980.
Fourth issue of the Camp X Military Museum Society Journal- Vol. 1 No. 4. Sketched profile of Sir William Stephenson featured on the cover. There is an interesting excerpt in this issue:

25-1-1 Decrypted

Throughout its existence, Camp X was shrouded in secrecy. Staff and trainees, as well as local residents knew of it as "the camp" or Camp X. British Security Coordination referred to it as `the farm', a term which was adopted by OSS, for their Virginia installation.

In reality, this magnificient 275-acre property, which had been acquired from the Sinclair family by Stephenson's Canadian office in 1941, was the site of the most arcane wireless and special training facilities ever constructed in North America, up to that time.

It became operational under SOE designation STS (Special Training School) 103, on 6 December, 1941, one day before Pearl Harbour. In the sense that it was a link in the world-wide chain of SOE training schools, Camp X was of international importance. In the sense that it was a Canadian operation, under the aegis of MI-6 chief of operations in the western hemisphere, William Stephenson, a Canadian, it is a major part of a unique Canadian historical legacy, which exemplifies the traditional cooperation between our major founding nations. No fewer than 500 persons were trained there, including scores of French-Canadians, who were ideally suited for service in SOE's F-Section. Numerous other ethnic groups were represented as well, both in the composition of the staff, and that of trainees.

In official records, it was, and is still referred to by the National Defence Act File No. S25-1-1. Officers, staff and agents alike were given a security pass and bracelet, bearing the operational code S25-1-1.

We therefore dedicate this record of their achievements, to the men and women who served an honourable cause, with distinction, under the sponsorship of BSC/SOE/OSS, both in the field, and in support roles here and abroad.


Here is a Wikipedia entry on Sir William Stephenson.




  CAMP X  
  Support Organizations and Educational Resources  


Image Link
Description
Comments / Questions
Additional Web Information and Photos
Camp X Historical Society
Click for larger photo
Source: www.campxhistoricalsociety.ca
The Camp X Historical Society website does not appear to be accessible since May/June 2013 - for the moment, using the link via the Wayback Internet Archives. In existence since about 2000, the Camp X Historical Society is based in the Whitby-Oshawa area. Its current president is Ally Ramsay who can be reached at (905) 239-3722. Please click on the image on the left or on this link to the former Camp X Historical Society website.
Article in DND's Maple Leaf Publication
Click photo to reach link
Source: www.forces.gc.ca
Article on Camp X History in Maple Leaf publication Issue Vol.10 No. 19 dated 20 June 2007. Featured article titled "Camp X - Canada's Secret Spy School". Please click on the image on the left or on this link to reach the DND / Maple Leaf publication article.
Robert Stuart Aeronautical and Camp-X Collection
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Source: www.realontario.ca
Robert Stuart Aeronautical and Camp-X Collection.
The museum was once located at 1000 Stevenson Rd N, in Oshawa (near the airport). Here are photos of some of the exhibits from my visit in the summer of 2002:
The museum ceased operations in 2010. A small number (about 8 to 10) of key Camp X artifacts were acquired by Canada's War Museum in Ottawa. For further details, please see this Toronto Star article published on November 22nd 2010. The museum had been managed and operated by Robert Stuart's daughters - Lois and Deirdre Stuart.
Slide Show on Camp X
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Source: gcmcknight.webng.com
Online audio presentation on Camp X. Good introductory presentation supported by many quality photographs of historic sites and key players with respect to Camp X. Please click on the image on the left or on this link to this presentation deck.




  Robert Stuart Camp X Collection - Summer 2002  
  Oshawa Airport, Ontario, Canada  






  CAMP X  
  Related Publications and Books  


Image Link
Description
Comments / Questions
Additional Web Information and Photos
Letter from William Stephenson to Jack Bassil
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Source: Ralph Cameron
Letter from Sir William Stephenson to Jack Bassil - Dated 25 February 1946.
Written by Sir William Stephenson, this letter sent to Jack Bassil recognizes his valued contributions with British Security Coordination during WW-II as well as best wishes in future work with the closing of BSC in New York. Mr. Bassil was a BSC/Camp-X agent in Montevideo, Uruguay.

The actual letter was given to his long-time friend Ralph Cameron who shared a scan of it (Nov 2013). Jack Bassil passed away on 21 March 2012.

 
Wild Bill and Intrepid
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Source: Personal Collection
"Wild Bill and Intrepid" - 1996. Authored by Thomas F. Troy, the book contains 252 pages and has the following entry:

Was the Central Intelligence Agency solely an American accomplishment, the work of Colonel William J. ("Wild Bill") Donovan, as CIA tradition has held? Or was it in fact established through the workings of William S. Stephenson - the legendary "Intrepid", who directed British Intelligence in the United States during World War II? In this gripping book, a former staff officer and analyst at CIA unveils the true story of the birth of CIA ...
 
Camp X
Click for larger photo
Source: Personal Collection
"Camp X - Canada's School for Secret Agents 1941-45" (327 pages) - Canadian Edition - 1986. Written by David Stafford and published by Lester & Orpen Dennys Publishers. On the back dust jacket:

"Camp X was the first secret agent training school in North America. Established in Canada by the British, it was designed to help the Americans learn the arts of [the shadow] war .... For more than two years all three countries used it to train secret agents and others in the arts of clandestine war .... By the time it closed down in 1945, the school had trained some five hundred students. Many became secret agents, spies, or guerilla fighters in enemy-occupied Europe and Asia. Some became spy-catchers in the United States or Canada. Others were sent to Central or South America to counter Nazi espionage and subversion against materials and shipping vital to the Allied war effort. Still others who worked at the Camp's HYDRA radio station transmitted some of the most sensitive intelligence material to pass between secret services on both sides of the Atlantic ....

[This book tells] the true story of Camp X ... one of the most intriguing tales of covert Allied co-operation to have come out of the undercover battles waged by the secret armies of the Second World War."
 
Camp X
Click for larger photo
Source: Personal Collection
"Camp X - OSS, "Intrepid", and the Allies' North American Training Camp for Secret Agents, 1941-1945" - American Edition - 1987. Authored by David Stafford, the book contains the following entry:

Camp X was the first secret-agent training school in North America. Located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, half-way between Oshawa and Whitby, the camp trained spies and guerilla fighters in the techniques of clandestine warfare ... Stafford has obtained previously inaccessible files from SOE archives in London; newly released documents from OSS operational files in Washington and the Military Archives in Ottawa; and personal diaries and letters. He has talked to the decision-makers as well as the men and women in the field, who give us eyewitness accounts ...
 
Camp X
Click for larger photo
Source: Personal Collection
"Camp X - SOE and the American Connection" - British Edition - 1986. Authored by David Stafford, the book contains the following entry:

Camp X was built to teach Americans the British arts of secret war. Hidden on the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario, it was a crucial link between the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS), predecessor of the CIA ... The author also examines some powerful myths about Camp X. He reveals the true part played in the story of Sir William Stephenson - the man called "Intrepid" - and examines in detail Ian Fleming's claim that Camp X provided him with the raw material for his James Bond novels.
 




  CAMP X  
  Vintage Photographs  






Camp X Historical Society
        
Camp X Historical Society

Since 2008, Sheila and Richard have been proud sponsors of the Camp X Exhibit at the Military Communications and Electronics Museum in Kingston, Ontario.



If you have questions or suggestions, please email Richard at his spytools@sympatico.ca email address.

Any content (original photos or text) which is displayed herein is for the strict viewing and educational enlightenment for those who visit this website. Other sites can link to content of this website or parts therein and must do so with appropriate and clear accreditation. The whole or any portions of photos and/or text herein or local to this website (i.e. which extend from www.campx.ca) must not be copied nor reproduced without the explicit consent of the author Richard Brisson at his spytools@sympatico.ca email address.



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