The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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626 Sargent Avenue    Location Map

'A Man Called Intrepid'

Location: SE corner Sargent & McGee; West Face

Occupant: Royal Canadian Legion #1

District: West End

Neighbourhood: Daniel McIntyre

Artist(s): Dave Carty

Year: 2014

Sponsors: West End BIZ, Take Pride Winnipeg!, North American Lumber


A detailed walkthrough of the Mural, by Artist Dave Carty:

William Stephenson was born and raised in Winnipeg Manitoba. He originally enlisted in Winnipeg's light infantry on January 12, 1916 to fight overseas in WW1. He later joined the RFC to become a fighter pilot. Beginning on the upper left of the Mural there are two Sopwith Camels flying. William Stephenson flew in flight "B" of the 73rd squadron with the RFC. Stephenson fought with distinction over the course of the war and became an Ace with 12 confirmed victories by the war's end, no small feat as the then common rotary engine used in aircraft created instability in flight. The entire aircraft engine rotated causing what is known as "gyroscopic precession" or a twisting torque when revved. Considerable "athleticism" or experience was required just to fly one of these planes. The colours of the aircraft in the Mural are specific to the 73rd squadron- having a blue cowling, blue wheel discs, two narrow white bands on the fuselage cockade (originally they had three but was changed to two in March of 1918) as well as the distinctive "olive/drab green" on the rest of the plane. Over the course of the war Stephenson flew five different Camels. The Mural depicts only three as follows: the first, with him, was B7302 in which he attained most of his victories, then C8296 and D6476.

After the war Stephenson returned to Canada for a few years and resided in Winnipeg's west end at 988 Ingersoll St. Here he and a friend started the short lived company, Stephenson-Russell Ltd (as illustrated by the company logo on the bottom left of the Mural). The company failed and Stephenson subsequently moved to Great Britain to begin a long and prolific career as an entrepreneur/industrialist.

Beside the Stephenson-Russell logo is a Patent document with a rendering of an invention by he and a friend. This was a wireless photo transmission device. This device is believed to be the precursor to television and the transmission of. Above this is a German Enigma machine. This apparatus was crucial to the daily encrypted communications for the German war machine. The lettering to the immediate right of the Enigma is the code that was used throughout the entirety of the Second World War. This rendition is a quote taken from a speech delivered by Sir William in Toronto in 1954. It reads as follows: ``I beg to give you my belief that the most powerful force in the world remains what it has always been: the human soul attached by faith to its creator``. The Enigma translation was achieved through an on-line Enigma Simulator. Below this is a view of Bletchley Park, where the code breaking activities of WW2 took place. South of Bletchley Park is the type; "Shepperton Studios`` Stephenson had acquired a substantial interest in this famous British film and sound stage. He had already involved himself in radio industry with the General Radio Company of Great Britain; therefore it seemed a natural next step to follow his extensive business portfolio with a film / sound stage company. It was here that the unique talents of the film industry were utilized via the implementation of ``Operation Overlord``, ``Operation Bodyguard`` and ``Operation Fortitude``. Within these operational maneuvers specific plans of deception were organized and carried out to misguide the Germans on allied military tactics. A number of bogus airfields, army camps and communications were enlisted to confuse the Germans of allied military strategies. Scenic artists and carpenters were employed to build fake aircraft, tanks (as depicted in the Mural) and other armoured equipment that would be deployed in particular arenas of war. As well fake communications were sent out on a regular basis all in a ploy to deceive the enemy. At one point in the war, a deceased homeless person dressed as a high ranking military officer was set adrift in the Mediterranean (Operation Mincemeat) with a briefcase secured to his body filled with misleading secret documents. Stephenson once said: ``Nothing deceives like a document``.

In the middle of the Mural is a tall Art Deco architectural style building. This was the building in which Stephenson ran his covert enterprise from the 36th floor of the Rockefeller Centre in New York City. He was put in charge of all intelligence in the western hemisphere (and covertly Europe as well because of his day to day involvement with Churchill and Roosevelt). His initial task was to change American sentiment on their isolationist view toward the war in Europe. He had numerous people under his employ including the advertising genius David Ogilvy, said to be the father of modern advertising. It can be therefore deduced that modern advertising is essentially based on deceit and deception.. Stephenson, under much secrecy, created STS 103 or what is more commonly known as Camp X. This was the very place where spies were born. Built on the shores of Lake Ontario close to present day Oshawa it was a camp dedicated to the training of an allied spy network for the war. Camp X, as well, housed a telecommunications receiver/sender "Hydra" that, along with an ingenious device invented by another Canadian that worked for Stephenson, Benjamin deForest (Pat) Bayly, called the "Rockex" machine would decode and recode messages from Europe and abroad. This was a crucial component in aiding the war effort for the allies. Commander Ian Fleming, assistant to the chief of Naval Intelligence is said to have trained at Camp X. Camp X is illustrated to the right of a seated Roosevelt and Churchill. There are two Supermarine Spitfire's flying aside the portrait of Stephenson. This was an aircraft that played decisive roles in air victories over the German Luftwaffe. It was also designed and built by one of the many companies that Stephenson had major interests in.

Below the Spitfires are three gentlemen, two seated being Roosevelt and Churchill whom William Stephenson knew well and standing is Commander Fleming of the Royal Navy. Fleming would later go on to write the ever popular James Bond 007 Spy novels. Beside Fleming Roosevelt and Churchill is the first movie version of James Bond, Sean Connery with his gadget-loaded 1964 Aston Martin DB5- iconic of what Stephenson had become. Below the car is the crest for STS103 or Camp X and the actual entrance guardhouse for the camp. Above in the middle right are letters wafting through the air referring to code that was being transmitted by both sides during the war. The smaller type below Shepperton Studios makes reference as follows; ENIGMA - the enigma machine, BLETCHLEYPARK- Bletchley Park where code breaking was done, MAGIC/PURPLE- German and Japanese encryption code names, COLOSSUS- The world's first electronic digital computer for code breaking at Bletchley Park, ULTRA - Code name for broken German Code, STS 103- Special Training Station in Oshawa or Camp X, HYDRA- Telecommunications centre (with the Rockex machine) at Camp X for coding and decoding communications. The larger type going by and past Stephenson are read as follows; BSC British Security Coordination- Stephenson's envelope organization in the western hemisphere. WW2- World War Two, WSS48000- William Samuel Stephenson with his WW2 code number 48000, STATIONM Station in Toronto where fake documents were produced, MI6 MI5- British Intelligence, ROCKEX- Cypher machine used in Stephenson's office in the Rockefeller Centre, Camp X, London and Washington, SIS- Secret Intelligence service (as MI6 MI5), SOE- Special Operations Executive (as MI6 MI5), OSS - Office of Strategic Services (American- became CIA after the war), CIA- Central Intelligence Agency (after the war in which Stephenson played a major role in starting), FBI- Federal Bureau of Investigation (many became secret agents for the war effort), LORENZCODE- type of German code (used by Hitler), FISH- Bletchley Park code for enemy teleprinter stream cypher.

Arising from Roosevelt, Churchill and Fleming is Sir William himself, a stately portrait of a man known as ``Intrepid``. He is qualified by the collection of medals he attained during the first and second world wars as well as the "Order of Canada" honour. The large background flag beside Sir William is the original Canadian Red Ensign. It was used between 1868-1965, with a few minor variations in between. Finally to the lower right are three more insignias. The first is the Canadian Expeditionary Force badge of WW1, the second is of the BSC or British Security Coordination, the covert umbrella organization representing all the British intelligence agencies; MI5, MI6, SIS, SOE. PWE. These were all run out of the Rockefeller Centre in New York City. Stephenson was in charge of all operations for the BSC (publicly known as the British Passport Control Office) in North and South America and its counterparts, as well as its duties and underlings in Europe specific to the war effort. The last insignia is that of the CIA formerly the Office of Strategic Services. Stephenson played a key role in the creation of the CIA after the war.

With his connections in the industrialized world and political clout with the likes of Churchill and Roosevelt, Stephenson was able to create an organization that helped to eventually break the backs of the Nazi regime in Europe and Japanese tyranny in the Pacific. It is said that Stephenson`s endeavours were the inspiration for Fleming`s James Bond novels. Fleming himself said that; "James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is... William Stephenson".