Talk:Bonner Fellers

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What a despicable human being[edit]

How on earth is this man celebrated in any capacity? Lord knows how many British deaths he caused by his careless anglophobic rants over 'encrypted' radio. One would be forgiven for thinking the man wanted the British to lose so that North Africa could be seen as an all out US victory. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.232.112.2 (talk) 14:29, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Yamato Dynasty Reference[edit]

Do we really want the reference from "The Yamato Dynasty" by Sterling and Peggy Seagrave to stand? That book has been soundly panned and frequently debunked as a "conspiracy theorist" book and not particularly accurate.

Jrhoadley 18:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Although I understand that the book is a load of barmy old cack,[1] the cite itself seems fairly modest and uncontroversial, and tallies with e.g. this. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 18:04, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


OPERATION BLACKLIST[edit]

The Wikipedia article on Fuminaro Konoe, the prime-minister of Japan preceding Tojo, reports the following about Bonner Fellers:

"After the beginning of the American occupation, Konoe served in the cabinet of Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni, the first post-war government. ...[he] refused to collaborate with Bonner Fellers in "Operation Blacklist" to exonerate Hirohito and the imperial family of criminal responsibility..."

This 'report' indicates Fellers was involved with a matter which obviously requires a report on his website, and this I have done in order to clarify what OPERATION BLACKLIST might be. If you know, please address this question on both the Fellers and Konoe websites.75.6.228.6 (talk) 22:42, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Do you mean field intercept unit 621 ?[edit]

"it was not until the British overran a German intelligence gathering unit in the First Battle of El Alamein 

in July 1942 that the source of the leak was identified"

If, as I suspect, you mean the capture of field intercept unit 621 at the first battle of El-Alemain during the assault on the tel el Eisa salient, this was captured by the Australian 9th Div not the British.


Sources Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). Johnston, Mark; Stanley, Peter (2002). Alamein: The Australian Story. South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-551630-3 at page 66

Barr, Niall (2005) [2004]. Pendulum of war: the three battles of El Alamein. London: Pimlico. ISBN 0-7126-6827-6.

121.210.249.190 (talk) 11:26, 2 May 2013 (UTC)dave121.210.249.190 (talk) 11:26, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

About Bonner Fellers[edit]

I was going through a file cabinet and came across a letter my father Frederick D. Sulcer, a relative of Bonner Fellers, wrote in 1996. My father was writing to one of my cousins, who had a college assignment to learn about the Great Depression and WW2. Excerpts from the letter pertaining to Bonner Fellers:--Tomwsulcer (talk) 14:59, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

...The highest ranking "relative" was my father's[1] distant cousin and friend, Bonner Fellers. Bonner also came from Ridgefarm, Illinois, where he was, like everyone else in town, a Quaker. Quakers call themselves Friends. All our Ridgefarm relatives went to the Friends Meeting House. To understand how far Bonner, and indeed Henry D.[2], rose from humble beginnings, you need to know a little about the town and our relatives who still live there. Ridgefarm was, and probably still is, a tiny town in central Illinois a few miles from Georgetown, which is on the way to the city of Danville located on the eastern side of the state. Ridgefarm is close to the Indiana border which is why folks in town would drive to Lodi, Indiana, for picnics and once sent their children (Henry D. Sulcer, my father, was an example) to Indianapolis for high school. ...

Back to Bonner. He was a Fellers, related to the Castles and the Fletchers who originated in Ridgefarm. They were not a rich family but did unusual things. Bonner's brother or cousin Marion started a nudist colony in the patch of dense willows at the end of a wash on the old Sulcer farm. Another brother or cousin rose in the diplomatic service. I mainly remember this because his daughter, a stunning brunette named Nancy Fletcher Choremi, married a Greek, later divorced him ... But, back to Bonner. He may have been a dandy when he was young but when I knew him, he didn't look or act the part of a high ranking bigwig. He was short, pear-shaped and jovial. Unlike many Quakers who have been conscientious objectors in our wars, driving ambulances and changing bed pans, he went to West Point. Rising in the Army to the rank of Brigadier General, he taught math at the Academy, served in the Philippines and became acquainted with Manuel Quezon, their first president, as well as a disciple of Douglas MacArthur.

Bonner was regarded by the Sulcers as a minor celebrity. They visited him at West Point where Bonner arranged for my sister, Eleanor (Aunt Teen) to be squired to a cadet ball, an exciting experience for a shy high school girl with glasses, braces and no boy friends back home.

Actually, Bonner had an exciting career which I heard talked about as a kid. When Quezon and MacArthur came through Chicago in the Thirties on a ceremonial tour, my father, Henry, got invited down to Union Station to meet him. I think Henry, who was in advertising, was a sort of minor celebrity to Bonner, too.

After World War II, Bonner wrote a book called Wings for Peace which was about the difference air power would make in future wars. It was a pity he was born and rose to prominence in the Army before the Air Force was created.

He and his wife, Dorothy, and daughter, Nancy, retired to Washington, a swarming political, military and social anthill where the family had a house near Rock Creek Park. Bonner served for a time as military advisor to the Republican National Committee, pushed hard for GOP hopeful Robert Taft who campaigned and lost against the popular General Eisenhower, whom Bonner loathed. My older brother Hap had picked up the fact that Bonner was once flirtatious ... as Hap put it. I suspect this was true but when I knew him he was merely charming. His daughter, Nancy, an extremely good looking ... brunette, was dating young William Buckley, who had just written God and Man at Yale which I read but remember little of except it was a conservative manifesto-ish book. As a young bachelor Army officer myself, stationed at nearby Fort Belvoir, Virginia, I took Nancy out a couple of times... The most interesting memory I have of visiting Bonner is his courtesy in introducing me around the GOP national committee office and taking me as a guest to the Army Navy Country Club with the family for a Saturday night dance. Many military officers from all the services were there. They wore dress uniforms as the Korean War was in full swing. At midnight or one o'clock the orchestra struck up "Good Night Ladies" and everyone hurried to have a last dance. Then came the "Star Spangled Banner" with all at full attention, and those in uniform, saluting. At the end, everyone in the room screamed at the top of their lungs. I couldn't make out what was said. Nancy told me they were yelling "Go Army!" or "Go Navy!" or "Go Air Force!" -- all at the same time.

Bonner appears as a character in a book about the war in North Africa before America got deeply involved. The British under General Alexander were fighting the Germans and Italians under the command of the desert fox, General Erwin Rommer. I believe the book and later the movie were called The Keys to Rebecca. Also in the book about MacArthur called American Caesar. Bonner, who I met many years after the war, never told me the story but I pieced it together from other war books, movies, etc. It was a bizarre true story.

Now you should realize that Bonner was what he called "a political Neanderthal." As far as I know, he always was. Deeply patriotic, pro-air power, pro-states rights, pro-MacArthur, anti-government, anti-communist, anti-income tax and, of course, anti-British. It seemed a perverse fate had assigned him (a Major or Colonel at the time) as the official American Army "observer" with the Allied Forces in North Africa. Bonner was a brainy officer, a good military strategist and gifted writer.

He wrote many confidential dispatches describing how badly the British were being beaten by Rommel and how inept the British generals were. These conclusions were meant only for the eyes of American Army officials in Washington so Bonner carefully radioed them in cipher, using the U.S. State Department's Black Code which he, and all the other American officials, believed was absolutely private.

What happened next is that the English, through the person of Winston Churchill talking to his wartime buddy, Franklin Roosevelt, asked that Bonner Fellers be relieved of his assignment -- immediately. Bonner was shocked. What had happened? It was not until years later that anyone would tell him.

The Germans had cracked the U.S. State Department's Black Code, the very one Bonner was depending on to keep his reports confidential. They were intercepting Bonner's radio dispatches full of critical comments about our British allies. The Germans gleefully recorded these dispatches using their then-unbroken "Enigma" code and radioed them to Berlin. The situation could have gone on for weeks except for one happening.

By a remarkable coincidence, at this exact moment, the British cracked -- became able to decipher -- the German code. They did this by a carefully planned raid on the French coast in which they seized a decoding machine called "Enigma" intact and then cleverly covered their tracks, planting fragments that made it appear the Enigma had been completely destroyed. The Germans didn't know their codes were compromised. The Americans didn't catch on for a long time.

Again, by coincidence apparently, the first dispatches the British intercepted and decoded with the captured Enigma machine were Bonner's nasty remarks about the Brits. They couldn't tell the Americans why Bonner was persona non grata without revealing their code breaking of everybody's secret ciphers. So they simply said get rid of the SOB, or words to that effect, a message Winston passed to Franklin, and which the latter complied without asking any questions.

Bonner found himself back in the States. He wired his old mentor, MacArthur, who had no love for the British himself. Mac invited Bonner onto his staff in the Pacific where he planned several combat operations, including an almost bloodless surprise parachute drop on Rabaul, New Guinea.

While teaching at West Point, long before the war, Bonner had written a white paper about the psychology of the Japanese soldier. At that time, he had never been in Japan and to my knowledge never seen one. It was based on library research only. Sort of a peacetime exercise. Few in the US Army in the years after World War I cared about the orient. Europe had been the focus of attention. Bonner's paper gathered dust until well into World War II when Bonner became MacArthur's psychological warfare consultant. The white paper was resurrected and became the basis of several Army manuals that were widely used....<pAs I said, we had a paucity of professional military men in the family. So it was natural to me to turn to seek out Bonner to advise me on how to handle my military service when I was suddenly drafted for Korea...

— Frederick D. Sulcer, relative of Bonner Fellers, in letter, November 1997
  1. ^ Note: Frederick Sulcer's father => Henry Durham Sulcer
  2. ^ ie Henry D. Sulcer

Just wanted to include this information in case people find it interesting.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 14:59, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Post-war Japan / Family Link[edit]

His cousin was married to a Japanese diplomat. This is an important connection to be aware of. He was one of the very few Americans on General MacArthur's staff with a direct family connection to the Japanese. (The only other one I am aware of was William Sebald, With MacArthur in Japan.)Starhistory22 (talk) 08:18, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

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