How one man’s engineering job helped the U.S. in a time of grief

When asked about his time in the war, Dale Falce did not have a problem telling of the gadgets that he had built during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Mr. Falce was twenty-three when he was drafted into the war. After basic training, a commander discovered Mr. Falce had a degree in electrical engineering and gave him a job as an electrical engineer. Mr. Dale Falce made and designed clandestine listening devices. He says his job was to “make the material needed for our country” and is proud to help the U.S. have “superiority over gathering information” the people of the U.S. can remain free.

At the age of twenty-one, Mr. Dale Falce received a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and worked as an engineer for two years. When Mr. Falce was drafted, at the age of twenty-three, he went to basic training in Fort Gordon outside of Augusta, Georgia. Mr. Falce said, “I spent sixteen weeks there before being stationed at Fort Holabird in Baltimore, Maryland for the rest of the two years required.” He says he was glad to be doing something he was good at instead of having a rifle put into his hand.

As an electrical engineer, Mr. Falce had a job that required him to meet commanders, generals, and other engineers so he could get more information on how to build these special devices. Mr. Falce says one of the most powerful moments, in helping the army intelligence core, was when he had mandatory meetings in the War Room of the Pentagon. These meetings focused on technology-related improvements and what was expected for new designs. Mr. Falce states, ” I thought that was really unique because not everyone had the chance to go into the War Rooms of the Pentagon and have a meeting.”

Mr. Falce worked in an electric laboratory and designed clandestine listening devices. Mr. Falce stated, “I actually built transmitters and they would transmit whatever was spoken in that room to a receiver that was maybe two rooms away and our agents would sit in that room and listen to what was going on.” Mr. Falce also stated, ” I had to design it so it had a frequency that only our people knew.” Meaning that the frequency had to be outside of the communication band making sure no one tuning into a radio stumbled upon it.

Not only did Mr. Falce make the designs and structures for these listening devices, but he even got to use his own design and model. The Commander of the Fort sent a group of three men to evaluate how “secure” the school was because many top-secret files were used to train and teach lessons. The team was made of an electrical engineer, a lock expert, and a trained photographer of documents that pretended to be the maintenance team. In the end, the team showed all the files they had taken. The Commander went ballistic and changed all the rules making the whole Fort stricter. Mr. Falce says he was happy he did that because if a team of untrained spies could get that much information so could a group of real spies.