The Dinner Party

2011 January 27
by Pat DiGeorge

Update: Most of this post has been updated, thanks to a new photograph I received in 2013.  Please see “The Dealers” dine at Tattersall Restaurant, written on March 27, 2014.

In May 2010 I posted this wonderful picture as one of several, hoping to learn the identities of the party goers.

Since that time I have made the acquaintance of Thaddeus C “Ted” Borek, an internee who force landed in Sweden on May 13, 1944. Ted worked with my father, Herman F. Allen, at the American Legation. Under the direction of the Assistant Military Air Attaché they took care of the needs of the American internees.

Ted was at this dinner party and identified several of the attendees for me. Others I have guessed at from photographs. The event was organized by Herman. This comes as no surprise to me. Our Dad has been the social director of every organization he has joined.

The party was paid for by the American Minister Herschel V. Johnson as recognition and thanks to the group who had been taking care of the American internees and their planes.  It was held upstairs, sometime in the fall of 1944, on the second floor of a catering hall, the name of which is written in the lower right hand corner of the photo.

Notable is the presence of Bernt Balchen sitting next to Herman. Bernt was the Norwegian-American explorer who worked closely with the American Legation and the OSS during the war. He headed “Operation Sonnie,” the aircrews that flew the B-24 Liberators back and forth from Sweden to Leuchars Airbase in Scotland. Herman’s group made arrangements with Balchen’s when the internees were to be flown back to England.

The Dinner Party 1944 in Stockholm, Sweden

“The Dinner Party” 1944 in Stockholm, Sweden

The Guests

1. Herman F. Allen – worked under Lt. Col Felix M. Hardison, Military Air Attaché and Maj. Arthur Conradi, Jr., Asst. Military Air Attaché. His job was to take care of the needs of the interned flyers.

2. Bernt Balchen – see my post here.

3. Minister Herschel V. Johnson (identified by me from another photo I have)

4. Maj. Arthur Conradi, Jr., Asst. Military Air Attaché.

5. Captain Robert L. Robb—Asst. Military Attaché

6. Thaddeus C. “Ted” Borek—Internee who worked with Herman Allen under Conradi.

7. Robert M. Munson—Uncertain identification from another photo. Interned pilot.

8. Patrick J. “Pat” Mahon —Uncertain identification from another photo. Not an internee. Worked in the Military Air Attaché’s Internee Section

9. Worked with Herman at Legation— not sure of his name. (per Ted Borek)

10. Charles W. “Smitty” Smith—Interned pilot of the Liberty Lady.

11. “Tex” – worked with Herman at Legation. (per Ted Borek. Not sure of his name but he hailed from Texas.)

12. Guy L. Shafer—Interned pilot; worked in the Military Air Attaché’s Internee Section

13. Major Harley L. Robertson– (head is to the right of the #) Assistant to the Military Air Attaché.

14. William T. Carlson—Bill Carlson was with OSS Stockholm as head of X-2 (counterespionage.) His cover was as a diplomat with the American Legation. He would have been here at Herman’s invitation since they were close friends. And because Bill Carlson never missed a party.

I would love to have feedback and additions to my Guest List.  Please comment or email me directly at pat@libertyladybook.com.

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  1. 2011 January 28
    Joy permalink

    great work on the ids, I hope you are able to get all the rest of them!

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