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Press Release


          Ellen Glasser, President of the Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano, DD, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, announced that a special event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion and the role Benson House played in this historical event will take place Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 10:30AM at Camp DeWolfe, 408 North Side Road, Wading River, New York.

          Just weeks after the December 7th Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the FBI began using Benson House, a wooden frame house located at Camp DeWolfe, as a top-secret radio site transmitting and receiving encoded messages with the German Abwehr in Hamburg who believed that they were secretly communicating with their espionage agents in the New York area. Working with US and British deception specialists, FBI radio operators continuously transmitted a blend of accurate and false information to the Germans from January 1942 until the end of the war in Europe in May 1945.

          In the spring of 1942, Benson House played a pivotal role in President Roosevelt's decision to pursue development of the atomic bomb. A year later, in the summer of 1943, FBI operators began radioing bogus reports designed to freeze German forces in place in northwest Europe to prevent their redeployment to strengthen the Italian and Eastern Fronts. As 1944 approached, the Benson House deceivers shifted transmissions, this time to a carefully calibrated stream of truths and fabrications designed to confuse German military leaders about the size and disposition of Allied forces in Great Britain, together with the
time and place of the actual invasion. It also sent false information to the Japanese about American advances in the Pacific.

          During the ceremony on June 7th, a bronze plaque affixed to the side of Benson House will be dedicated.

          Glasser said, "Bishop Provenzano and I thank the Suffolk County Historical Society for its assistance in organizing this event. The Society and the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island have come together to recognize and acknowledge the quiet, but important, work done at Benson House. We do so in connection with this solemn 70th anniversary because it is fitting to shine a spotlight on the American heroes who risked all when they stormed the beaches at Normandy. In telling the story of Benson House, we celebrate our hard-earned freedoms, and we honor the memory of all the patriots, both here and abroad, who worked and sacrificed to end the war.

          Camp DeWolfe is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and offers a residential summer camp program for all youth ages 7-17 years old.

          The event at Benson House is open to the media and tours of the facility will be available.

Media Contact: Joe Valiquette
347-989-6625 (mobile)

CLICK HERE to read news article Wading River retreat house was FBI disinformation operation in World War II published by Newsday.

FBI agent Richard Millen, who set up the Benson House radio site in Wading River. The Benson House in Wading River was an isolated transmission location, where agents pretended to be Nazi spies during World War II. (Credit: Suffolk County Historical Society)

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