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Albert Peter Dewey (1916-September 26, 1945), shot by accident. by Viet Minh troops on September 26, 1945. Dewey was the first Americanmarker fatality in Vietnammarker, killed in the early aftermath of World War II.

Early Life and Education

Col. Dewey the younger son of Congressman Charles S. Dewey and his wife Marie Suzette de Marigny Hall Dewey was born in Chicago and educated in Switzerland at Institut Le Roseymarker, St. Paul's School marker, Yale Universitymarker (where he studied French history and was a member of the Berzelius Secret Society along with friends such as William Warren Scranton, later Governor of PA.), and at the Law School of the University of Virginiamarker.

Newspaper Work

After his graduation from Yale in 1939, Dewey worked as a journalist for the Chicago Daily News in its Paris bureau.

Battle of France

While reporting on the German invasion of France for the Daily News, Dewey became more directly involved in the war.In May 1940, during the Battle of France, Dewey enlisted as a lieutenant in the Polish Military Ambulance Corps with the Polish army fighting in France. Following the defeat of the French army, Dewey escaped through Spain to Portugal, where he was, for a while, placed in an internment camp.

Marriage and Family

On August 1, 1942, while still a Second Lieut., he married Nancy Weller. The couple had one child, a daughter, Mrs. Nancy (Charles) Hoppin.

Office of Strategic Services

Col. Dewey was a member of the United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS), an adviser to the Viet Minh forces in the war against Japanmarker, and head of the local OSS Special Operations Branch (SO).

Dewey had been working with the Viet Minh for the repatriation of 214 Americans at two Japanese camps in Saigon captured by the Japanese and held in Vietnam during the last days of World War II, code named Project EMBANKMENT. His mission was accomplished but the plane taking him out did not arrive as planned at Tan Son Nhut International Airportmarker. He was shot in the head while returning from the airport by Viet Minh soldiers. The Viet Minh afterward claimed that their troops mistook him for a Frenchman after he had spoken to them in French. His body was never recovered.


Dewey is not listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorialmarker in Washington, D.C.marker because the Defense Department has ruled that the war officially started, from a U.S. perspective, on November 1, 1955, after the U.S. took over following the French defeat at Dien Bien Phumarker.

Dewey's name is listed on the American Battle Monuments Commission's website on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery and Memorialmarker as "Major Albert P. Dewey".

Dewey is also commemorated in a side chapel in Bayeux Cathedralmarker

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