Denmark: Secret Smorgasbord at Midnight
Back in uniform after two years of semi-covert work in West Germany and the Netherlands, one day my new boss told me to get back into civilian clothes and fly to Copenhagen. The Ministry of Defense (MOD) Denmark said it had an urgent need to meet secretly with an American intelligence officer who had detailed knowledge of how to construct and secure nuclear weapons storage sites that would meet U.S. standards. Albeit very junior, yours truly happened to be the only officer readily available.
At midnight, a blacked-out Beaver (U6-A) took off for Copenhagen. One of the two U.S. Navy pilots was my next-door neighbor in Frankfurt. He claimed he was on Shore Duty with the U.S. Navy Rhine River Patrol. Not so. Turns out, he was CIA.
Regulations required me to cover my civvies with a flight suit and off we went north into the night. Beavers are very noisy, making sleep barely manageable until a dawn landing at Kastrup International Airport.
With the covert meeting not until after dark, some window shopping out along the Langelinie wharf to see Copenhagen’s iconic "The Little Mermaid" statue took up some time. Then, back along the embankment to Tivoli Gardens in time for a nice lunch and for weaving in and out of the many interesting exhibits and amusement rides checking for surveillance. None detected. Or, they were very good.
After ringing the bell on an unmarked back door at the appointed dark hour, a butler led the way to the office of the Minister of Defense. The Minister of Defense? Yes, yours truly, a very junior American officer was soon shaking hands with the Danish Minister of Defense, a Dane who was not melancholy. In fact, jovial. But still, all business. Then, just the two of us sat down at a big walnut table to pour over the details for Denmark’s first nuclear weapons storage facility.
The Minister of Defense could not have been nicer. (Danish intelligence was very good. So, he probably knew his visitor was of junior rank.) Actually, yours truly was merely the beneficiary of his genuine respect for the back then almighty United States of America.
We worked late into the night. He asked, "Would you like some Smörgȧsbord?" Of course, I said, "Yes!" Shortly, a waiter brought us an array of Danish cold cuts, smoked fishes and cheeses, and some bottles of Carlsberg. As we ate, we continued to discuss what needed to be done before U.S. nuclear weapons could be stored adjacent to Danish artillery and missile batteries.
When he was satisfied he knew exactly what was needed, the Minister of Defense said he would be praising my work to my superiors. Although humbled by his words, I knew he was actually paying tribute to the leadership of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower and to how the U.S. was striving to contain the menace of Sino-Soviet communism. Yes, that was back in the days when the United States of America was truly respected as the leader of the Free World.
Nota bene: No more semi-spook stories. But, now and then, there may be some parachuting and flying stories to be told. Stay tuned.
©2022. William Hamilton.