Saturday, December 11, 2010
Dermot Michael (Pat) O'Neill
Pat O'neill is another one of those rascals from history I would have loved to met and Known. His fighting style and travels around the world were always inspirational to me and I'm sure to many others. Being a Military History buff in general and about the 1st Special Service Force in particular, I thought is was pretty cool that pat trained the soldiers in his own kick and poke form of hand to hand fighting.The Knife(or knives) that pat used to train the 1SSF were the standard M1 Garand Bayonet and(my favorite) the V-42 fighting knife, designed by Colonel Frederick himself specifically for the 1SSF.
I own a V-42 myself and so does my good friend Jager in Montana, whenever I am there we do a bit of practicing with these knives to keep flexible and to stay sharp (pun intended).
I cant seem to locate a picture of pat anywhere on the internet to post here. So, if there is anyone out there with a picture of Pat to share I would greatly appreciate it. I have a film about Pat training the 1st SSF and it shows several good clips of Pat in action, But alas! no pictures.
I have attached below the only info I could locate on Pat from the internet. Im sure there is a lot more out there but right now, Im too lazy to look for it.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
by Carl Cestari & Ralph Grasso
Dermot O'Neill was born in 1905 in County Cork, Ireland. As a teenager he traveled to China, and settled in Shanghai. In 1925, at the age of twenty he joined the Shanghai Municipal Police. This police force comprising of 9000 active and reserve officers was task with bringing law and order to the International Settlement.
While in Shanghai, O'Neill immersed himself in the study of Asian martial-arts. He was a devoted practitioner of japanese judo, as well as several forms of "Chinese Boxing",
these included Tai Chi Chuan, Hsing Yi, and Pa Kua.
O'Neill rose through the ranks of the SMP and was promoted to Detective Sergeant and served as a member and instructor of the famed "Shock and Riot Police" task force of
the SMP. He was also considered by many to be the protégé of William Ewart Fairbairn.
In 1938, O'Neill left Shanghai, and traveled to Tokyo, Japan as head of security for the British Embassy Legation there. During this period O'Neill was awarded the Godan, fifth degree black belt by the kodokan, as well as increasing his martial-arts skills by practicing japanese style "kempo". He left Japan shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and made his way to Australia.
O'Neill came to the United States at the behest and recommendation of WE Fairbairn who was at this time involved with the OSS. O'Neill was slated to work for the OSS, but was sent instead to serve as an instructor with the First Special Service Force, a joint Canadian-US commando unit known as the "Devil's Brigade." When the 1st SSF was sent into action, O'Neill refused to stay behind and declared that since he trained these boys he would damn well fight beside them. He held the rank of Captain and one of his duties included the assignment of being the bodyguard to General Frederick. After the war in Europe was over, O'Neill was tasked with the position of Provost Marshal over Monte Carlo.
As the war with Japan ended O'Neill was sent to Okinawa as a liaison officer. After the war O'Neill served as a consultant on police and security for various Federal agencies, including the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. In the mid-1960s O'Neill located in the Washington, DC area and began work with the International Police Academy there. This organization was funded by the Agency for International Development and was a cover for para-military operations and training run by the CIA. The Church Committee Hearings on Intelligence Activties brought the close of this academy in the early 1970s.
O'Neill was considered a very tough man in his day and had a reputation for not backing down from anyone. His skill in judo was highly praised even at the kodokan. O'Neill had studied under Uchijima, renowned old time kodokan judo instructor. O'Neill was especially known for his grappling skill. The methods of hand-to-hand combat he devised and taught were greatly effective and such was proven in actual battle numerous times. O'Neill greatly influenced military close-combat for both the US Army and Marine Corps.
Dermot O'Neill had been married briefly and had a daughter. He died on August 11, 1985.