When I first heard the name George Washington Bacon mentioned there was very little information about him available until I started to make some inquiries. Eventually, some interesting people began to get in touch with me. George Washington Bacon was the real deal and it’s high time that people learn about who he really was. Spending most of his life in the shadows, I found references to George by name or by his callsign in over a half dozen books but without the help of several sources who wish to remain anonymous this background about George and his life would not have been possible. Presented in four parts, I hope that this article does justice to George, both the man and the Soldier. -Jack
George Washington Bacon shook his head.
Crammed into the back of a door-less gray Land Rover, the mercenaries accelerated, sliding across the muddy road as it twisted through the Angolan jungle. As a veteran of MACV-SOG recon missions into Cambodia and having worked as a CIA Para-Military Officer in Laos, George would have known that something was wrong. Fellow mercenary, Gary Acker, had voiced his uncertainty as they raced to link up with another FNLA patrol. George clutched a 9mm Uzi submachine gun while Acker manned a German MG42 machine gun. The Portuguese driver was about to lose control of the vehicle until Douglas “Canada” Newby ordered him to slow the hell down.
“Canada bought most of us another minute of life,” wrote Gary Acker.
In 1976 the Cuban and Soviet sponsored FAPLA was engaged in a vicious war of attrition against the CIA sponsored FNLA. It was a proxy war fought by the world’s two superpowers in which little quarter was shown by either side. The CIA was never actually in it to win it, rather they were simply trying to deny the Soviets an easy victory. If the Russians wanted Angola, they were going to bleed for it.
George would have understood the precarious situation they were in. FAPLA was once again on the offensive and he had just finished prepping a bridge with TNT explosives for demolition in order to delay the enemy advance.
FNLA recruiting drives in England and the United States had signed up a number of adventurers to fight in Angola. Some were qualified for the work having had military experience in the US Marines, British Paras, or SAS. George Washington Bacon was in a category all his own writes British safe-cracker and mercenary David Tompkins, “Another recruit was George Bacon, a political science major and holder of the CIA’s second-highest award, the Intelligence Star. He was considerably overqualified for the work; he should have been a CIA station chief in Kinshasa, not a grunt in Angola.”
But there was more to George Bacon. Much more.
Rounding a bend in the road, with the vehicle barely under control, the Land Rover ran right into the back end of a stake bed truck, the Land Rover’s hood actually going under the bed of the truck before they came to a halt. Acker spotted a Soviet BRDM armored vehicle, suddenly realizing that they had just crashed into the rear end of a Cuban FAPLA convoy.
In seconds, the Land Rover was being turned into a sieve by enemy gunfire.