In the summer of 1949, while studying anthropology in Inner Mongolia, Frank Bessac realized that the communists were taking over the area and he had to get the hell out. But he wasn't just any old expat scientist caught in the cold. He'd been a commando during World War II, rescuing American pilots shot down over enemy territory. Also, he'd been a member of the OSS, the forerunner to the CIA. There may have been easy options out, but if anyone relished a trek across hundreds of miles of hostile territory, it was this not-quite-so-nerdy researcher.
Utah beach still reveals its secrets (left) .
On the left hand side is a scrunched up section of a rubberised raincoat and the shoulder loop with button, three parachute buckles one with spring clip, toothbrush, small bottle for water purification tablets. Small buckles and clips off webbing. A silver foil coffee sachet, and a piece of shaped wood possibly from a ship or landing craft. The spring at the bottom is similar to the return spring of a Jeep carburettor.
Omaha beach (right) revealed a surprise. You wouldn't expect to find over five hundred rounds of British 303 ammunition..... Also the side from a telephone wire reel, in the centre a metal handle off a canteen cup, a small round tin of pear jam this was in excellent condition full paintwork ingredients no corrosion. A large chain possibly used for lowering DUKW's and landing craft into the water from ships. The large metal object opened like a banana skin we had no idea but found about twenty or so of them, all identical it was a tube there was no base in it.
Thanks to Ken Lewis for photographs of the finds.