Behind The Lines With Krutz And Corcoran: A Driver And Tour Officer With The United States Military Liaison Mission

Charles Krutz & Ed Corcoran


SGT Charles Krutz and LTC Ed Corcoran served together in the United States Military Liaison Mission (USMLM) in East Germany from 1972 to 1974. During a career that spanned 1961 to 1982, Ed Corcoran, an Ordnance Officer, served two tours in Korea, in 1965 and 1977, and one tour in Vietnam, in 1969 when he was stationed in Bear Cat. Charles Krutz entered the military in 1970, and served as both an Infantryman and as a Scout before being assigned as a driver for the USMLM. They frequently worked together as a Driver and Tour Officer, patrolling East Germany to keep an eye on the Soviets and East Germans during the height of the Cold War. A tour generally involved driving over 700 kilometers throughout the American Sector in East Germany (the British and French also had sectors they patrolled. The Soviets had their own liaison teams patrolling West Germany for the same purpose). During his time as a Tour Officer, Corcoran developed Operation Sand Dune, which involved USMLM personnel rooting through Soviet and East German trash to determine if anything of intelligence value had been thrown out, or to make assumptions based on analysis of the trash. They also began tracking vehicle registration numbers to be able to more accurately identify Soviet military units. In order to create a more accurate picture of Soviet and East German military activities, they began sharing intelligence with allies to get more value out of what the teams were gathering. They discuss some of their more interesting experiences, including the time John Behny’s boot was shot by a sentry, and the importance of a good skid plate on their vehicles. At the end of the interview, they talk about what service in the United States Military Liaison Mission means to them.


conflicts Cold War
topics Camaraderie Intelligence USMLM United States Military Liaison Mission Teamwork
interviewer David Siry
date 29 April 2017


name Charles Krutz & Ed Corcoran
institution William & Mary / Washington & Lee
unit United States Military Liaison Mission (USMLM)