Eugene Franklin Coleman

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Eugene Franklin Coleman was an American citizen who maintained a covert relationship with Soviet Naval Military Intelligence (Naval GRU) during World War II.

Coleman was an electrical engineer working in New Jersey for an RCA laboratory that developed devices to assist in radio navigation for high-altitude aerial bombardment. Venona project transcripts indicate that Coleman was an important Soviet agent. According to one cable Coleman was writing the manual for precision equipment. Coleman also was involved in recruiting activities on behalf of Soviet Naval GRU. Coleman provided information on four other Communist engineers working for various Defense contractors, including background information. Naval GRU asked the KGB in Washington to check up on these potential recruits because of its limited staff.

Coleman is the subject of six Venona messages. In August 1942 the Naval GRU sent a query to the Comintern asking for any information it had about Coleman; it described him as an employee for a telephone company and a Communist. Decrypts show naval GRU was still considering his recruitment in early 1943 and made a decision to recruit Coleman go in July 1943.

Coleman was never subpoenaed to testify before an investigating U.S. Congressional Committee.

Venona

Eugene Franklin Coleman cover name in Soviet intelligence, and as deciphered by Venona project cryptographers, is CARTER. Coleman is referenced in the following Venona decrypts:

704 Naval GRU Washington to Moscow, 1 April 1943; 1934 Naval GRU Washington to Moscow, 11 August 1943; 1969 Naval GRU Washington to Moscow, 13 August 1943; 2933 Naval GRU Washington to Moscow, 14 November 1943; 115 Naval GRU Moscow to Washington 20 January 1943; 1194 Naval GRU Moscow to Washington 10 July 1943.

References

  • Investigative administration, Main Naval Staff, USSR Navy to Dimitrov, 15 August 1942, Archive of the Dimitrov Secretariat of the Comintern, RTsKhIDNI, 495-74-478.
  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), pgs. 188, 292.
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