Lucky Luciano, American Hero?
2008 04 25

By Elliot Feldman | associatedcontent.com

How the Underworld Helped Us Win WWII


Charles "Lucky" Luciano
Two months after Japan's December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, 48 American merchant ships had been sunk in the Atlantic Ocean not far off the United States Eastern seaboard by Nazi U-Boats. This onslaught was said to have officially begun on February 2, 1942, after the French ship Normandie, then the largest ship in the world, caught fire and capsized at New York City's Passenger Ship Terminal. (Note: while the Normandie spread fears of sabotage throughout the country, it was later determined that the fire was caused accidentally by errant sparks from a welding torch.) The ship casualties led to Naval Intelligence suspecting that the Nazis were getting information on Atlantic Ocean ship movements and logistics from domestic sympathizers and spies.

While Naval Intelligence knew that organized crime had controlled the East Coast docks for years, they needed a way to enter that world and ask for help. Intelligence officers first approached gangster Meyer Lansky and asked him to meet with his close friend, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, the undisputed boss of organized crime in the United States. The object of this liaison was for Lucky and Lansky to help recruit informants on the East Coast docks. At that time, Luciano was serving a long sentence at Dannemora Prison in a remote part of New York State, up to 50 years for promoting prostitution. When Luciano agreed to help, the government's Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner of the CIA) granted him unrestricted (and unrecorded) visits at Dannemora from friends, family, and business associates. "Operation Underworld" became the name of the OSS alliance with organized crime in its war effort.

After Luciano and Lansky put the word out on the docks, recruiting thousands of informants, the U-Boat attacks on merchant ships soon stopped. After the government was sure that Lucky had made good on his promise, they moved him from Dannemora Prison (then known as "the Siberia of America") to Great Meadow, a "country club" prison near Albany, the New York state capital.


Calogero Vizzini
Toward the end of the war, "Lucky" Luciano was again approached by Intelligence before the Allied invasion of Sicily. The OSS believed that the mobster's connections on the island of Sicily with Mafia leaders would help funnel Nazi troop movement information to the invading force, General George Patton's Third Division. Luciano, sure enough, was easily able to make contact with Calogero Vizzini, Sicily's Mafia boss. When Patton's Division attacked, Vizzini's men protected the roads from snipers, enabling the invasion's success. At the end of the war, Vizzini was made an honorary Colonel of the U.S. Army.

In 1946, the government rewarded Luciano with a commuted sentence on condition that he then be deported to Italy after release. (Lucky had never been a naturalized American citizen.)

Charles "Lucky" Luciano never returned to the United States, except after death. His body was allowed to be buried at St. John's Cemetery in New York City.

Sources:
"Lucky Luciano", Ron Nichols, Crime Library

Operation Underworld

"Lucky Luciano", Edna Buchanan, Time

"Bad Guys Done Good", Peter Pavia, New York Post

SS Normandie

Calogero Vizzini

Article from: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/
258441/lucky_luciano_american_hero.html



Related Articles
Calogero Vizzini
Calogero Vizzini
Lucky Luciano
Why was 'God's banker' killed?
The Rothschilds and their "Nazi" Pope
Ring of Power (Video)
Hitler's Gestapo Chief Became Top Truman Advisor


Latest News from our Front Page

Extremists to have Facebook and Twitter vetted by anti-terror police
2014 09 30
Theresa May to announce new Extremist Disruption Orders to strengthen counter-terrorism if the Tories win the next general election Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, ...
Scottish Independence: Protesters demand revote
2014 09 30
Pro-independence campaigners gathered outside the Scottish Parliament for the second day in a row, this time to demand a revote of the September 18 referendum. While yesterday’s “Rally For A Revote” saw the return of Saltires and Yes banners to Holyrood, it did not match the turnout for the “Voice Of The People” rally held on Saturday, when up 3000 people ...
Water rationing hits California: limit of 50 gallons per person per day or face fines of $500
2014 09 29
Millions of Californians are about to be hit with strict water rationing -- daily "allocation" numbers that represent the maximum amount of water you’re allowed to use for any purpose. Households that exceed the allocation limit will face stiff fines of hundreds of dollars per violation. "In July, the State Water Resources Control Board passed stage one emergency regulations, giving powers ...
Much of Earth’s Water is Older than the Sun
2014 09 29
Much of the water on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system likely predates the birth of the sun, a new study reports. The finding suggests that water is commonly incorporated into newly forming planets throughout the Milky Way galaxy and beyond, researchers said — good news for anyone hoping that Earth isn’t the only world to host life. “The implications of ...
Did the Vikings Get a Bum Rap?
2014 09 29
A Yale historian wants us to rethink the terrible tales about the Norse. This illustration shows the stereotype of Viking marauders wreaking mayhem, even on clergy. The scene depicts the monastery at Clonmacnoise, Ireland. The Vikings gave no quarter when they stormed the city of Nantes, in what is now western France, in June 843—not even to the monks barricaded in the ...
More News »