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Pseudonym: Hedgman, Victor

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Victor S. Hedgman was an alias used by Lawrence Devlin, who was Chief of Station, Leopoldville, Congo, from mid-1960 until mid-1963.
Devlin used the alias of Victor S. Hedgman when giving testimony to the SSCIA (or Church Committee) in August of 1975.


08/21/75: SSCIA testimony of Victor S. Hedgman: Page 2: "Mr. Baron: Would you state your name and address for the record, please? Mr. Hedgman: My name is Victor S. Hedgman. I can be reached at all times at the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Baron: And Mr. Hedgman, isn't it true that Victor S. Hedgman is actually an alias and that we have agreed that you will testify here today under alias? Mr. Hedgman: That's correct. Mr. Baron: And isn't it further true that we have made arrangements with you that your true identity will be recorded on a statement regarding testimony in alias which will be permanently on file at the Central Intelligence Agency for verification purposes? Mr. Hedgman: That's correct..."


08/21/75: SSCIA testimony of Victor S. Hedgman: Page 6: ..."Mr. Hedgman: Mid-1960, yes, I would correct that. From July 6 on until - I can't remember whether it was June or July of 1963 I served as Chief of Station in then Leopoldville, now Kiershasa, Zaire. I was Chief of Station. I then returned to Washington in the early fall, the exact dates I don't recall, of 1963, and I was what is known as a Branch Chief. I was responsible for the eastern half of Africa from 1963 to June of 1965..."

157-10014-10185: THE CONGO

08/22/75: SSCIA Interview and Meeting Summary of Victor S. Hedgeman (Lawrence Devlin): Page 4: "Hedgeman stressed that in this period, 1960-1961, the Congo was fraught with utter confusion; he said that what they were running was a Scotch tape and baling-wire operation. As for paramilitary operations, Hedgeman said they began seriously in the end of 1962 with the arrival of a number of T-6's that he and Ed Gullion had asked for. He said that these aircraft were not intended to be used in combat, but only to reassure the Congolese that the United States was with them and provide them with a bit of black magic. Hedgeman professed that the paramilitary combat missions of 1963, in support of anti-rebel activities, were really quite minor affairs. Some specifics. Hedgeman contended that he had no knowledge of the approval of funding of South African mercenaries and tribal leaders capable of resistance as approved by the 303 Committee. He also said, though, that he had important contact with Mike Hoare mercenaries, they gave no direct or indirect support to them. He also said there was no, repeat no, complicity or support on the part of the CIA in the ouster of Kasavubu by Mobutu in November of 1965. Throughout the conversation, Hedgeman interspersed the most hair-raising tales of his and his daughter's brushes with death in their dealings with unruly mutinous Congolese, ranging from being placed before two different firing squads during one day and his evening as the selected victim of a hit contract given by the Union Miniere. As for CIA employees who might testify well, should the Committee handle the Congo issue in executive session, Hedgeman recommended Edward Korn-Patterson, Bronson Tweedy, and Glen Fields."


Chief of Station, Congo: Fighting the Cold War in a Hot Zone by Larry Devlin (2008): "Larry Devlin arrived as the new chief of station for the CIA in the Congo five days after the country had declared its independence, the army had mutinied, and governmental authority had collapsed. As he crossed the Congo River in an almost empty ferry boat, all he could see were lines of people trying to travel the other way -- out of the Congo. Within his first two weeks he found himself on the wrong end of a revolver as militiamen played Russian-roulette, Congo style, with him. During his first year, the charismatic and reckless political leader, Patrice Lumumba, was murdered and Devlin was widely thought to have been entrusted with (he was) and to have carried out (he didn't) the assassination. Then he saved the life of Joseph Desire Mobutu, who carried out the military coup that presaged his own rise to political power. Devlin found himself at the heart of Africa, fighting for the future of perhaps the most strategically influential country on the continent, its borders shared with eight other nations. He met every significant political figure, from presidents to mercenaries, as he took the Cold War to one of the world's hottest zones. This is a classic political memoir from a master spy who lived in wildly dramatic times."

John Newman • MFF • Bill Simpich

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