Larry Cook fought Soviets as Army counterintelligence agent
November 11, 2015
After Korean War broke out in June 1950, Larry Cook decided to enlist in the U.S. Army rather than wait to be drafted under the Selective Service Act.
"I joined because I knew I was going anyway," he said.
He signed up in 1952 and headed off to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, for 16 weeks of basic training before being sent to Maryland for Army counterintelligence school.
As a part of the Cold War, U.S. Army counterintelligence agents like Cook were stationed around the world to monitor the activity of the Soviet Union. Communist Chinese troops had already entered the war by the time Cook enlisted, and the Cold War had potential to get very hot in East Asia.
Cook said he and his classmates from counterintelligence school were split up when they arrived in Japan shortly before the war ended in 1953. One half of the plane was sent to Korea, and the other half stayed in Japan.
"I was lucky," Cook said.
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Because of his seat on the plane, Cook would fulfill his military duties in Japan. Some of his friends who served on the Korean peninsula did not survive the war.
One night, Cook was sent on a very unusual assignment. There had been reports of a Soviet submarine surfacing at night in Tokyo Bay and Cook was ordered to investigate.
Under the cover of darkness, Cook made his way to the middle of Tokyo Bay in a 14-foot rowboat. He was equipped with a rifle but said he didn't think it would do him much good against a submarine.
"I think I'm the only one to hunt a sub with a carbine," Cook said.
Thankfully, there were no submarines that night. Cook returned to the States in 1955 after three years of service as an Army counterintelligence agent. In 1963, he and his wife Pat moved to Craig with their children, Scott and Kristie.
“I’m proud of him and everybody who has served to protect our country,” said Scott. “They were brave people.”
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