101 Veterans, Inc.
OSS Detachment 101 veterans operating independently from OSS-101 Association, Inc., in cooperation with Texas A & M University and the U.S. Department of State.
"Project Old Soldier"
A crop substitution program planting corn, buckwheat, wheat, potatoes and other vegetables to replace the white poppy (opium).
September 1996 to present
Northern Shan State, Myanmar (Burma)
$530,000 funded by U.S. Department of State
101 Veterans, Inc., working through American and Kachin veterans who were former members of OSS Det. 101, American-Kachin Rangers in WWII.
Project Old Soldier started in September 1996. It was successful early on because of the mutual respect between the Americans and the Kachins honed in WWII. This friendship and respect goes back even earlier than 1942. In the late 1840s, American Baptist Missionaries gave the Kachins the beginning of a literature and a language in printed form.
In the Northern Shan State, the Kachins live among many other ethnic groups. They speak highly of their history and trust with the Americans, and it was relatively easy to recruit other farmers from all ethnic groups in the villages - Shans, Chins, Burmans, Karens, Palaungs, Was, and even Chinese.
To stop the growing and use of opium in an area which, in 1996, was supplying 60% of the opium being shipped to the U.S.
The value of 2.2 lbs. of raw opium in Myanmar is $75.00. The value of cut heroin, made from this opium, on the street in the U.S. is $1.4 million.
To pay back a debt of gratitude to the Kachins and other hill tribes living in Northern Myanmar who helped fight the common enemy in WWII.
First Year - 1997
Formed agricultural cooperatives in five villages in Kutkai township with a minimum of twenty farmers in each village. Villages were 2 to 10 miles from the Kutkai township. Completed two demonstration farms where nine varieties of corn and many different vegetables were tested. Hired and trained farm agents to live in each village. The village provides housing and food.
Tested the soil and the growing of many other vegetables. Tested the growing of a second winter crop - buckwheat.
Hands-on agricultural expertise and supervision provided by Texas A&M. Corn production was raised from 30 baskets per acre average to 60 baskets per acre average. (1 basket=approx. 1 bushel)
Second Year - 1998
Formed agricultural cooperatives in 25 villages in the Kutkai township. Villages were 2 to 36 miles from Kutkai. Increased the size of the demonstration farm.
Formed agricultural cooperatives in five villages in the Namtu township. Villages were 2 to 6 miles from Namtu. Increased the size of the demonstration farm.
Tested the growing of many other vegetables. Established a stall in the Kutkai market from which homegrown vegetables were sold weekly.
Each village involved in the project planted a second winter crop (buckwheat, wheat, or potatoes).
The project included over 700 farmers on 1,000 acres in 1998.
Corn production was raised from 60 baskets per acre average to 80 baskets per acre average. Maximum yield was 140 baskets per acre.
Project Old Soldier's method of supervising, training, and working directly with the farmer in the field helped to reduce, and in some cases, eliminate the growing of white poppies (opium) and further raised the quality of life, with a minimum of manpower, money and supplies under difficult conditions.
A number of members, under the direction of Pete Lutken, have taken this project and given it a strong personal commitment. Committee members have spent months away from their families in the field in Burma.
The translation of the book Where There Is No Doctor (a village health care handbook) into Jingpaw (Kachin) is actively being pursued by members of the OSS-101 Association. It is intended that, after translation of the latest version, the book will be distributed to as many Kachin villages as possible.
Chairman Pete Lutken
Via a committee made up of Sam Spector, Dennis Klein, and Marjorie Luce, the Association is working on the development of a web page that will contain a section for a bulletin board (with all entries via Marjorie Luce), a list of current projects, history, and accomplishments of Detachment 101 and the Association, the roster of members as of 1945, perhaps a list of present day members of the Association, and a list of deceased and lost members.
A committee chaired by A. C. Ellis, with Joe Lazarsky, Samuel Halpern, Allen Richter, Dan Mudrininch (and others to be enlisted as required) are developing suggestions for the implementing Detachment 101 Association support for a Det. 101 exhibit within the CIA. To date, suggestions are:
Late winter, early spring 1942 (February-May). The period during which Det. 101 was planned and launched. Exhibit to include pictures of President Roosevelt, Generals Marshall, Donovan, and Stilwell, with an Intel-type brief describing plight of Allied effort in southeast Asia and decision to establish OSS effort in the China Burma India theater. A description of the efforts by General Donovan and Colonel Goodpaster to persuade General Stilwell to accept an OSS Unit. Statement of the critical situation in Burma and Stilwell's (Northern Combat Area Command) requirement for intelligence and guerilla operations assistance following his retreat from Burma.
Mid-March to late April 1942. Exhibit to show formative stages of Det. 101. Stateside selection of personnel, training and training areas; selecting and training allied agents in India; launching of initial operations teams from India and North Burma. This exhibit to show operation training sites, development of first agent R/S communications set and its testing and operation.
Det 101 Organization Chart with description of each major component and pictures of key personnel. Emphasis on Administration/Support; Operations: Intelligence and Indigenous personnel and administrative elements.
Operations exhibit to describe operations staff at rear headquarters, field operations to include guerilla, intelligence and adjacent support to 14th Army and Northern Combat Area Command Units, i.e. Merrill's Marauders and Mars Task Force. In addition, this exhibit should include air operations, personnel in/ex filtration air re-supply and medical evacuation operations.
This will be a hardware exhibit to include samples of weapons and demolitions material, i.e. small arms, heavy support weapons, sabotage items, etc.
This exhibit should be a tribute to the indigenous people who fought, were wounded, and died with us. The Kachins, Shans, Gurkas, Anglo-Indians, Chinese, and Burmese.
The Association has taken on the responsibility of placing a memorial to Detachment 101, USA Kachin Rangers; Merrill's Marauders; Mars Task Force; 10th Air Force at Myitkyina in north Burma. The memorial is to be known as the Ray Peers monument. If possible, the Association will establish a soccer field or playground to go with the monument.
As of June 8, 2001. We have just heard from our contact in Yangon that we have an acre of land set aside for our proposed monument and playground. The map shows it about 100 meters from the Kachin Manau Shedung and a bit further to the New Kachin Cultural Museum that will shortly be under construction. It is also located quite near a middle school and high school, all in Myitkyna. Plans to seek the Yangon government approval is also in the works. The American Embassy people, especially the Defense Attache is certainly carrying on for us.
Upon completion of the monument to be dedicated to USA Kachin veterans and
Detachment 101 veterans the Myanmar military government forbid placing the
in Myitkyina and only allowed Detachment 101 Association to errect a playground there. The completed monument (see opening page of the oss-101.com web page) was moved to the United States Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar where it will remain until permission is granted to place it on the Kachin meeting grounds in Myitkyina.
A second (but slightly smaller) copy of the monument is currently under construction for
display in Washington D.C. and a limited number of desk size monuments are being made for
purchase by Detachment 101 veterans and for gifts to those who helped produce the original
The Association has arranged for teachers to visit three
Kachin orphanages in Myitkyina for the purpose of teaching
orphans English and Burmese. Over 70 orphans take
courses on a daily basis.
Association funding has been arranged for
clinic acceptance of WWII Kachin veterans in need of such
services. Presently the Clinic is only available in Myitkyina
All comments and suggestions should be made to John Dempsey at email@example.com