The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » William Archer Glenn

"Certainly the challenge was...not to make the mistake that a lot of intelligence people make and this is, expect the other fellow to think the way you do." (Video Interview, 4:38)

   William Archer Glenn
Collection image
William Glenn [2003]
War: Cold War; Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army; Navy
Unit: Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC); Naval Air Training Command; VQ-1 (Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron); Naval Test Center; Commander Special Intelligence Operations Unit; Carrier Division (CCD 3); Naval Investigative Service
Service Location: Fort Holabird, Maryland; Austria; Germany; also: Atsugi, Japan; Patuxent River, Maryland; Pacific; Korea; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Vietnam; California
Rank: Officer Special Agent; Commander
View Full Description

After a brief stint working counter-intelligence in the Army in mid-1950s Vienna, William Glenn took a job with the Office of Naval Intelligence. In 1962, he was working at NASA shortly after the Berlin Wall was erected, and he was called to active duty in the Navy. Glenn went on to become an intelligence officer as well as a test pilot, doing two tours of duty in Vietnam plus assignments along the DMZ in Korea and stateside, where he was involved in, among other cases, investigating the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (51 min.)
 Other Materials
»Biographical Information of William A. Glenn
More like this
»Intel:In the Field
»Cold War Dispatches: Service Stories from 1947-1991
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
His duties when stationed in Vienna in the mid-1950s, working against Soviet intelligence efforts; some minor gun battles; being tailed by enemy agents; basic rules of staying ahead in intel work. (03:54) Going to work for NASA working on security for first astronauts; discovered in talking with John Glenn that they were related; recalled to active duty when the Berlin Wall went up; making a career out of the Navy by going into training programs. (04:07) Working as a test pilot; one of the planes was designed to discourage travel along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam; learning to do target analysis; working on contingency plans for returning Vietnam POWs and cleaning up mines in Haiphong. (02:40)
His five and a half year tour of duty in Vietnam, beginning in 1963; monitoring John Glenn's splashdown; problems with managing the course of the war from Washington. (03:31) Second tour of duty in Vietnam as part of the carrier division staff. (01:29) Intelligence Watch Officer for Commander of the Pacific; dealing with shoot-down of Korean airliner; Chief of Indications & Warning Center in Korea; dealing with 3 or 5 shooting incidents a week around the DMZ (02:40)
How his wife summed up the appeal of his work. (01:14)  

Home » William Archer Glenn
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us