- Camp X
Camp X was the unofficial name of a Second World War
paramilitaryand commandotraining installation, on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontariobetween Whitby and Oshawa in Ontario, Canada. The area is known today as Intrepid Park, after the code name for Sir William Stephenson, founder of the Special Operations Executiveand its successor, MI-6.
Camp X was established
December 6, 1941by the British Security Coordination's (BSC) chief, Sir William Stephenson, a Canadian from Winnipeg, Manitobaand a close confidante of Winston Churchilland Franklin Delano Roosevelt.cite book |title= Camp X |author= Eric Walters |coauthors= |year=2002 |publisher=Puffin Canada |location= |isbn= 0-14-131328-5|pages=229] The camp was originally designed to link Britain and the United States at a time when the US was forbidden by the Neutrality Actto be directly involved in World War II.After the attack on Pearl Harbor and America's entrance into the war, Camp X opened for the purpose of training Allied agents from the Special Operations Executive, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and American Office of Strategic Servicesto be dropped behind enemy lines as saboteurs and spies.
Camp X was jointly operated by the BSC and the Government of Canada. The official names of the camp were many: S 25-1-1 by the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police(RCMP), Project-J by the Canadian military, and STS-103 (Special Training School 103) by the SOE (Special Operations Executive), a branch of the British intelligence service MI-6.
Camp X trained over five hundred Allied units of which 273 of these graduated and moved on to London for further training. Many secret agents were trained here. The Camp X pupils were schooled in a wide variety of special techniques including silent killing, sabotage, partisan support & recruitment methods for resistance movements, demolition, map reading, skilled use of various weapons, and
One of the unique features of Camp X was Hydra, a highly sophisticated telecommunications centre. Given the name by the Camp X operators, Hydra was invaluable for both coding and decoding information in relative safety from the prying ears of German radio observers. The camp was an excellent location for the safe transfer of code due to the topography of the land; Lake Ontario made it an excellent site for picking up radio signals from the UK. Hydra also had direct access via land lines to
Ottawa, New Yorkand Washington, D.C.for telegraphand telephonecommunications.
Legend has it that the trainees included
Ian Fleming, later famous for his James Bondbooks, though there is evidence against this claim. [cite book | author = Chancellor, Henry | year = 2005 | title = James Bond: The Man and His World | publisher = John Murray | id = ISBN 0-7195-6815-3] The character of James Bond was supposedly based on Sir William Stephenson and what Fleming learned from him.
In the fall of 1945 Camp X was used by the RCMP as a secure location for interviewing
Sovietembassy cypher-clerk Igor Gouzenkowho defected to Canada September 5and revealed an extensive Soviet espionage operation operating in the country.
There are no longer any buildings from Camp X on the site located on Boundary Road in Whitby, Ontario. All that indicates the site is a four flagged Monument with a plaque indicating it as the former site.
* "Inside Camp X " by Lynn Philip Hodgson, with a foreword by Secret Agent Andy Durovecz (2003) - ISBN 0-9687062-0-7
* [http://www.campxhistoricalsociety.ca Camp X website]
* [http://www.camp-x.com Camp-X Student's resource]
* [http://webhome.idirect.com/~lhodgson/camp-x.htm Camp X Teachers' and Students' resource]
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