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    Yves Guillou, aka Yves Guerin-Serac

    Paul L Murphy

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    I was recently able to purchase an amazing group of medals and documents to a real life Dog of War. His real names is Yves Guillou but he was better known as Yves Guerin-Serac. Here is what I got and the bits of his story I have uncovered so far. If anyone out there has more information about him, especially his activites post Korea, please feel free to let me know.

    First up, his medals.

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    A rahter impressive grouping comprising the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, A Croix de Guerre TOE with bronze palm, two gold stars and a silver star, Colonial Medal with EO bar, Korean War Medal, Indochina War Medal, Wound Medal, US Bronze Star Medal with V Device, UN Korea Medal and a Croix de Valeur Militaire with silver star. The eagle eyed among you will notice the lack of a medal for North Africa, and the unusual positioning of the Croix de Valeur Militaire, but there is probably a good reason for that as we will see later.

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    This came with the following insignia. His numbered parachutist wings

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    His French combat diver badge, also numbered on the reverse.

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    His Korean Presidential Unit Citation with his French Battalion beret badge and collar badges.

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    And lastly on the badge front we have his armbadge for the 2nd Infantry Division

    post-1487-045109900 1293286247_thumb.jpg

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    Here is a photo of the man in question. He is the one on the left at this medal parade, it is when he received his Bronze Star Medal.

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    A litle bit about Yves Guillou - He was born on 2nd December 1926 in Roudres, France (Dept C du Nord). He joined the army reserve on 1st March 1947 and his military service number was 15,814.

    From 24th November 1947 to 14th February 1948 he was a student Aspirant at the Cherchell military school and he then completed the reserve officer’s course at the EAABC in Saumer from 23 February 1948 to 26 May 1948. He was promoted to Sergeant on 1st May 1948 and then to Aspirant on 1th June of the same year. He was a platoon commander in the 2 RSA (Regiment Spahis Algerien) from 31th May 1948 to 1st September 1948. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 1st December 1949.

    He was placed on active service from 25th August 1951 and arrived in Korea on 26th December 1951. He was appointed as a Chef de Section, ie platoon commander, on 4th January 1952.

    He was awarded the Croix de Guerre with a Gold Star for the following incidents in early 1952 : -

    A young section commander recently arrived in the battalion, immediately imposed himself with the true qualities of a commander. Distinguished himself during a difficult patrole on 22 January 1952 in front of point 1062 in the Kumhwa region, he approached enemy positions to find out important information required by the commandant. He volunteered for all the dangerous missions and took part in an effective sortie on 11 February 1952 to enable the disengagement of advance post Paektong-Li which was under attack by a particularly aggressive enemy. He lead a detachment of volunteers charged with attacking point 400 to the North West of Kumhwa, strongly fortified by the enemy, and enabled by his sang froid, his courage and his decisive spirit to succeed on a mission that was particularly dangerous and delicate.

    The citation follows : -

    post-1487-072491500 1293286692_thumb.jpg

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    On 24th April 1952 he was wounded by grenade fragments to the right ear at 3am at Chandj Isan in front of point 1062 in the Kumhwa region. He was serving with the 3rd Company of the French Battalion at this time. The events around this resulted in a second award of the Croix de Guerre with Gold Star. The citation reads : -

    He particularly distinguished himself on 1st April 1952 at the head of his detachment during a deep night time patrol, in an unknown area behind enemy lines in the region of 1062 Kumhwa. During the course of a similar raid on 24 April 1952 against the enemy position on 252, the village of Changuisan, Kumhwa, he was wounded when placing his men for the assault on a particularly fortified post. He has succeeded in turning his section into a redoubtable instrument of combat due to his exceptional qualities as a commander and soldier.

    The wound report and C de G citation follows : -

    post-1487-014327900 1293286806_thumb.jpgpost-1487-047795800 1293286822_thumb.jpg

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    We next see him winning a Divisional level Croix de Guerre and he was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Silver Star for the following actions in July and August 1952 : -

    A remarkable officer, he has commanded the 3rd Section of the 3rd Company without respite from January to August 1952, both on the Kumhwa front and that of Ch’Orwon.

    On 16th to 18th July he assured the placing of fortifications on a position that was practically non-existent situated in the Inmong-Myon sector of T-Bone, west of Ch’Orwon. He turned his advance post into an impregnable fortress and dominated his men with his energy and enthusiasm despite the violent bombardments to which his unit was subjected. Charged from 4th to 13th August with the defense of an advanced post situated on point 191, and particularly exposed to the attacks of enemy infantry and artillery, in spite of the intense enemy fire he kept the losses of his section to a minimum due to his excellent fortifications.

    post-1487-027443000 1293286946_thumb.jpg

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    From 6-10th October 1952 the French Battalion was involved in the battle to hold Arrow Head Hill, which they did at high cost. For bravery during this action Guillou was awarded the US Bronze Star Medal with V Device and his citation reads as follows : -

    Second Lieutenant Yves Guillou, Infantry, French Army. Lieutenant Guillou, a member of an infantry battalion, distinguished himself by heroism in action against the enemy in the vicinity of Chorwon, Korea. On the night of 6 October 1952, Lieutenant Guillou’s platoon was occupying defensive positions on a tactically important hill. Without warning, the friendly troops were subjected to a fanatical attack by a numerically superior hostile force. Moving fearlessly through the fire swept area, Lieutenant Guillou directed the defense of the friendly positions as his men fought the foe with grenades, small-arms, bayonets and fists. Frequently endangering his life to evacuate casualties, he so inspired his men that they beat off the hostile attack. The heroism exhibited by Lieutenant Guillou on this occasion reflects great credit on himself and the French Army.

    For the same period he was also awarded a Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm. His citation for this reads as follows : -

    A section commander and magnificent trainer of men, he confirmed this in brilliant fashion during fighting on point 281 from 6th to 20th October in the region of Ch’Orwon, Korea.

    With his section he was designated to assist during the height of the fighting the 1st company of riflemen who were very heavily engaged and in a situation of near desperation, he traversed with elan through a deadly artillery barrage to retake as quickly as possible the trench which was key to battle. He arrived a few minutes before the first assault wave and was immediately isolated by the bombardment, he enthusiastically organised, on the position pounded by the heavy enemy artillery, an effective defense and firing points against a fanatical enemy enjoying powerful numbers. After a night of fighting he recovered an important armament.

    At the extreme limit of fatigue he volunteered to counter attach and search for the bodies of his friends temporarily abandoned on the advance post. He conducted himself without thought of his own safety in order to accomplish difficult missions and was wounded at his post on 20th October 1952 and evacuated. An example of dedication and simplicity in executing his role as a leader at war, as well as courage.

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    On 16th October 1952 he had been promoted to Lieutenant. His wound on 20th October was due to shrapnel from a mortar round and he was wounded in the left thigh.

    He was wounded twice during the war. Guillou received his Korean War Medal in May 1953. He also received the right to wear the Korean Presidential Unit Citation in his personal capacity.

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    On 25th September 1953 Guillou was transferred from being a reserve cavalry lieutenant to a regular army infantry lieutenant with effect from 1st August 1953. Guillou qualified as a parachutist at Pau on 3 September 1953, when a lieutenant in the 1st Company 18 RIPC. His document of 25th September is stamped by the 18th Regiment Infanterie Parachutiste de Choc. On 10th October 1953 he was still at Pau with the 1st Company 18 RIPC and received a license to drive military vehicles heavier than 3 tons but he appears to have transferred to the 1st Company of the 1st BPC (Battalion Parachutist Colonial) soon after this.

    In October 1953 he was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour for his service in Korea. On 22 October 1953 the French Battalion left Korea and returned to Indochina but by then Guillou was serving with the 1 BPC.

    After the signing of the armistice in July 1953, the French Battalion left Korea with 5 French Citations to the Order of the Army, the French Fourragère in the colors of the Military Medal, 2 Korean Presidential Citations, 3 American Distinguished Unit Citations and 1898 French war crosses. Their casualties amounted to 287 KIA, 7 MIA, 1,350 WIA and 12 POW.

    Here is his Parachutist certificate, with the number matching his brevet shown in post #2 above.

    post-1487-075254700 1293287268_thumb.jpg

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    He received the Colonial Medal with Extreme Orient bar in November 1954 as a Lieutenant in the 1st BPC, and the Indochina War Medal in December 1954. In January 1955 he became commander of the 1st Company 1 BPC.

    He appears to have taken part in Operation Castor but the 1st Company did not jump at Dien Bein Phu for the siege. They were the only company of the 1 BPC who did not.

    Here are his certs for the Colonial Medal and Indochina War Medal. He did not receive any bravery awards for Indochina.

    post-1487-068065700 1293287493_thumb.jpgpost-1487-090003300 1293287502_thumb.jpg

    Edited by Paul L Murphy
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    Guillou was promoted to the rank of Captain with effect from 1st April 1959. At this time he was serving in Calvi with the 1 BPC (Battalion Parachutist de Choc), within the 11 Demi Brigade Parachutist de Choc.

    Guillou served in Algeria as part of the 11th Demi Brigade Parachutist de Choc. This unit was an elite parachutist unit which served with the French external intelligence service, SDECE. He was awarded the Croix de Valeur Militaire with silver star in May 1961 with the following citation :

    Commander of a brave commando with a sang-froid on all occasions who distinguished himself in many ways during operations conducted at night. On the night of 16 and 17 April 1961 after having well laid his ground in particularly delicate technical and tactical conditions, he surprised a rebel bivouac at the head of a light group, cut down three rebels, recovered a rifle, two machine pistols and important documents. Thanks to his preparation for the operation and its speed of execution he obtained his results without loss.

    post-1487-071525100 1293287552_thumb.jpg

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    Guillou’s politics was right wing and he was one of the founders of the OAS. He took part in the anti-Gaullist coup in 1962 and fled to Franco controlled Spain after its failure. I suspect this is why he never got the campaign medal for Algeria, and why his Croix de Valeur Militaire is added to the group almost as an afterthought (it is pinned in using the original mounting pin rather than being sewn in like the others.

    Around this time he started to become known by the name Yves Guerin-Serac, instead of his real name. He also used the names Jean-Robert de Guernadec and “Ralph”. The last name was his nickname within Aginter Press (see below).

    He soon moved to Portugal and worked for the Salazar regime, in particular with their secret police and as an instructor with the Portuguese army’s counter insurgency unit, Legiao Portuguesa. He was quoted in Paris Match of November 1974 as saying “The others have laid down their weapons, but not I. After the OAS I fled to Portugal to carry on the fight and expand it to its proper dimensions - which is to say, a planetary dimension."

    In 1965 he founded Aginter Press as a front for a secret anti-communist army with support from both the Portuguese secret police (PIDE) and the CIA. Aginter Press set up training camps in which it instructed mercenaries and terrorists in a three-week course in covert action techniques including hands-on bomb terrorism, silent assassination, subversion techniques, clandestine communication and infiltration and colonial warfare. Italian neofascist Stefano Delle Chiaie also participated in the founding of Aginter Press. "During this period", disclosed Guérin-Sérac, "we have systematically established close contacts with like-minded groups emerging in Italy, Belgium, Germany, Spain or Portugal, for the purpose of forming the kernel of a truly Western League of Struggle against Marxism”. On January 31, 1968, Guérin-Sérac met Pino Rauti, then leader of Ordine Nuovo (he would join again the Italian Social Movement (MSI) the next year). In the '70s he was in contact with Leo Negrelli, former chief press attaché in the Italian Social Republic.

    Aginter Press took part in Italy's “strategy of tension”, a campaign of false flag bombings and an attempted coup d'état organised by the Italian neo-fascists with support from Propaganda Due (P2) and Gladio. It was implicated in the 1969 Piazza Fontana Bombing where a right wing Italian group set off a car bomb and blamed it on anarchists. Guerin-Serac was also viewed as the head of the Portuguese branch of Operation Gladio, a CIA funded plan to create domestic anti-communist cells in Europe who would organise resistance in the event that Europe fell to a Soviet attack.

    Aginter Press is suspected of having assassinated General Humberto Delgado (1906–1965), founder of the Portuguese National Liberation Front against Salazar's dictatorship (prominent historians and several sources also claim Delgado's assassination was performed by PIDE operational Rosa Casaco), as well as anti-colonialist leader Amilcar Cabral (1924–1973), founder of the PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) and Eduardo Mondlane leader of the liberation movement FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique), in 1969 (prominent historians and several sources also claim Cabral's assassination was performed by individuals within Cabral's guerrilla movement, the PAIGC, and Mondlane's death was work of his enemies inside FRELIMO - according to these versions, both assassinations were the result of struggles for power within the independentist movements)

    After the 1974 overthrow of the Salazar regimen in Portugal he returned to Franco’s Spain.

    I have no idea what happened to him after that, or where and when he died. Also apart from the photo of him receiving his Bronze Star I have not been able to find any other photo of him, notwithstanding his notoriety.

    If anyone is able to add any details to what I have above I would welcome it.

    I am sure you will all agree it is an amazing group of medals and documents to someone with whom you would not have wanted to cross swords !

    Edited by Paul L Murphy
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    • 11 months later...
    • 1 month later...

    What an extraordinary piece of postwar history! After Franco's death in 1975, Guillou is believed to have gone to South America, which would have been a logical move for him. As you rightly surmise, Guillou wouldn't have been entitled to the medal for the Algerian "police action" as he deserted from his unit when the OAS putsch failed in 1962. Here is some interesting background material: http://libcom.org/library/strategy-tension The Greek connection is particularly interesting given current events. His main rôle in Indochina, by the way, was as a liaison officer working with the CIA, which might explain his lack of bravery awards for that campaign. It also might explain his suspected links to other western security agencies and his suspected involvement in terrorist outrages attributed to "anarchists" and far-left groups.

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    Aginter Presse est le nom exact (pour Agence Internationale de Presse).

    Dirigée par Jean Brune, la rédaction de l'Aginter Presse avait pour raison d'être de collecter et diffuser au moyen d'une lettre confidentielle à ses abonnés, des informations pertinentes dégagées de l'influence des oligopoles occidentaux d'information et des monopoles de propagande des pays de l'Est. Dénonciation de l'Agit-Prop en provenance de l'Est et information pratique et technique, principalement orientée vers la lutte anti-communiste en Europe, l'Afrique, l'Amérique du Sud mais aussi l'ex-Indochine Française.

    Yves Guérin-Sérac: Le vrai nom du leader de l'Aginter Presse était Yves Guillou, mais on le désignait sous les surnom de Ralph. Tous les membres avaient leur surnom qui servait à parler d'eux. Quant à leurs noms, ils étaient parfois vrais, parfois non.

    Certains membres de l'Aginter Presse ont connu divers baroudeur cités dans le site de l'ADIMAD, dont les traces recoupent des évènements majeurs de l'histoire mondiale du 20 ème siècle [ADIMAD]. Il est possible que Roger Holeindre ait davantage d'infos, ayant visité l'Aginter Presse à plusieurs reprises au cours des années soixante.

    Un jovial quinquagénaire, prénommé 'Bob', apportait à intervalles réguliers, de précieuses valises de fonds, depuis Miami. Il était accompagné de jeunes femmes charmantes qu'il trouvait trop 'hot'.

    Just call him "Ralph"

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    Le juge italien Guido Salvini, chargé de l'enquête sur l'attentat de la piazza Fontana de décembre 1969, expliqua aux sénateurs italiens que les recherches montraient que « Guido Giannettini [un des responsables néo-fascistes suspecté de l'attentat] avait des liens avec Guérin-Sérac au Portugal depuis 1964. Les recherches ont montré que des instructeurs d'Aginter Press (…) sont venus à Rome entre 1967 et 1968 et ont instruit les membres activistes d' Avanguardia Nazionale dans l'utilisation d'explosifs ».

    Le juge Salvini concluait que Aginter Press, « vitrine de la CIA » (Ganser, 2005), avait joué un « rôle décisif dans les opérations de guerre secrète [secret warfare operations] en Europe de l'Ouest et avait commencé les grands massacres afin de discréditer les communistes in Italie».

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    Here you go...

    "When in May 1974 investigators from the Portuguese Armed Forces Movement raided the Lisbon HQ of Aginter Press and its political wing, "Order and Tradition," they discovered Yves Guerin-Serac's last-known forwarding address: Apartado 1682, E1 Salvador."

    You may want to find this book....

    Your man gets a few mentions...


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