About William H. Stevenson - Distinguished journalist and war correspondent and the author of 17 books
William Henri Stevenson was born in London England , on June 1st 1924. His father was employed by Marconi for later duties at Bletchley handling traffic with anti-Nazi agents in Europe. His French mother taught Oxford students to master appropriate French dialects to serve in the Resistance.
Stevenson began writing stories for The Boy Scout magazine at age 12, became a King Scout at 16, and a bicycle courier for government agencies in London during The Blitz. He wrote his first book, SARKA THE SEAGULL, at age 16. This was published by Leicester Press, UK, in 1942
He took pilot training in the Fleet Air Arm at 17 and qualified as a pilot at the Service Flying Training School at Kingston, Ontario, Canada. During SFTS training, he flew Harvard trainers to nearby Camp X, the secret training camp for agents, run by William Stephenson, codenamed INTREPID, chief of British Security Co-ordination (BSC) set up by Winston Churchill with headquarters in New York. From 1943, Lieutenant Stevenson was a Royal Navy pilot. He flew most operational planes, from old Swordfish to Sea-Spitfires, Corsairs and finally Hellcats with spy cameras to cover Japanese held territory.
He broke new ground as a post-WWll reporter, foreign correspondent and war correspondent. His non-fiction books include the first non-communist account of Maoist China and its activities in neighbouring UK- dominions, and novels based on current history which were best-sellers in the UK and North America. A Man Called Intrepid, was on the New York Times best seller list for a year (joined for most of that time with his singular “instant” book Ninety Minutes at Entebbe, which was serialized in the New York Times and other newspapers around the globe,) A Man Called Intrepid was translated into thirteen languages including Mandarin. It and Ninety Minutes at Entebbe were made into feature films. A Man Called Intrepid was also made into a television mini-series.
As a Fleet Air Arm carrier pilot during WWII, his final Royal Navy service was in aerial reconnaissance. He had come to the attention of Sir William Stephenson, (Intrepid,) Chief of WWII British Security Co-ordination, while training in Canada as a pilot and continued as a voluntary intelligence agent after World War Two for World Commerce, formed by Intrepid. He returned to Canada to work as a Toronto Star reporter while also cooperating with Sir William in the transfer to Canada of highly sensitive wartime intelligence documents from BSC headquarters in New York (during the war, the US State Department objected to a “foreign intelligence service” – BSC - operating on US soil and it was necessary to discreetly remove BSC records to Canada.) His voluntary post-war association with Sir William Stephenson continued throughout his journalistic career in many parts of the world of special interest to the UK government and its allies. (Korea, Maoist China, Taiwan, French Indochina and North and South Vietnam, the Mideast Pakistan, India and Africa. In Malaysia during the “confrontation war’ with Indonesia, he wrote for the UK’s Near & Far East News Agency (NAFEN), part of the UK Foreign Office Intelligence & Research Department (IRD) in the hostile territories of Indonesia/Borneo. In Africa he also worked for IRD while a news correspondent. From Kenya, he joined other observers of the 1965 war between Pakistan and India. In Egypt, on the eve of the Suez crisis, he reported an exclusive story that made front-page headlines throughout the world. He had followed a series of clues that led to Cairo and the un-masking of Dr. Johannes von Leers, an escaped Nazi war criminal, working in the UAR as chief of an anti-Israeli propaganda unit. Stevenson got a confession from the former Nazi and as a result was expelled from Egypt.
He has written 18 books, some of which, in addition to those already mentioned, were made into feature films and television series. He has also written, produced, and reported many feature-length TV documentaries.
Very few matched Stevenson’s skill in finding, investigating and persuading key players in historic events to reveal their views. His best selling works have educated millions of people about events, organizations and people which changed the course of history and provide lessons in responsible democracy for the present and the future. Add to that his personal courage and initiative in exposing Nazi war criminals who pursued their manic beliefs while operating post-war under misleading labels, and his discovery in Spain of a police photograph which proved to be that of the mother of Trotsky’s assassin: It was when he displayed this photograph to the assassin, otherwise claiming to be a Canadian, that the assassin’s attempt to claw Stevenson to the floor of a Mexican police cell proved the true identity of Trotsky’s killer (and publicised Stalin’s school for assassins). Blending his writing and reporting skills to disclose otherwise unknown realities, Stevenson’s published record speaks for itself.