Walter F. Junkins

From the JFA March 2002 Newsletter

Walter Fredric10 Junkins (William Lawford9, William Pierre8, Charles Edward7, William6, John5, John4 (Captain), Alexander3, Alexander2, Robert1)

Walter "Walt" Fredric Junkins, a JFA Director, was born 1919 in Boston, MA and began his post-high school days being employed by the New York, New Haven & Hartfield Railroad as a Machinist Apprentice, working in the Back Shop on locomotives.

At the same time, he started his military career by enlisting in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. In 1938, Walt transferred to the United States Marine Corps Reserve and was assigned to Charleston Navy Yard, Boston. On November 8, 1940, Walt was called to active duty and assigned to C Company, 5th Marines, Quantico, VA.

He was honorably discharged on January 21, 1941 to support his family after his mother became unemployed. Up to this time, Walt had not been involved in the law enforcement field. After his discharge from the Marine Corps, he returned to his job with the railroad. On May 18, 1943 he was drafted into the U.S Army. After his basic traininig at Camp Shanks, NY, he was assigned to A Co. 796 MP Bn. His battalion was transferred to the Military Police School at Ft. Custer, MI, where he received basic military police training and criminal investigation training.

In March 1944, he was transferred to Southampton, England where Walt performed town patrol duties for the next three months. Walter then served under General George Patton, in the Third United States Army as a military policeman. When the war ended, he was serving in Vienna, Austria.

In March 1946, Walt returned to the United States and was discharged, however, he now had military blood in his veins and enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve. A year later, he was discharged and called to active duty in the U.S. Army and assigned as an investigator at the Branch, United States Disciplinary Barracks, New Cumberland, PA.

In September 1947, Walt was once again on his way to Europe where he was assigned as the Operations Officer of the 478th Det., Bad Homburg, in Occupied Germany. Only eight months later he was reassigned to the 10th CID, New York City. In 1949, Walt was reassigned to the 17th CID Brooklyn Army Base and he was detailed TDY to the 16th CID, at Fort Dix, NJ to work a narcotics case.

In 1948, Leonard Keeler had patented what became popularly known as the "lie detector," now known as the polygraph instrument. This law enforceement tool received widespread publicity and Walt and his partner, Jack Whalen, both recognized its practical applications. They were investigating a larceny of a Hi-fi recorder stolen from the Service Club. They developed a suspect, a street-smart kid, who was quite evasive during his interrogation. They discussed a newspaper article about the lie detector with their suspect and asked him if he was willing to take a lie detector test. He agreed. Walt and Jack set about constructing their own version of a lie detector.

They obtained an orange crate, covered it with a green cloth and mounted a red light bulb in the center of the box. They then attached two strings to the bulb fixture and the second funtional "Lie Detector" had been built. They placed it in the interrogation room and seated the suspect in front of it and instructed him to hold one string in each hand. They informed him that if he told a lie, the bulb would light. Next, they asked him, "Did you steal that Hi-fi recorder?" When he replied "No," Jack turned the light on.
the suspect readily confessed and took them to the pawn shop where he had disposed of the stolen property.

Walt's career as a CID agent came to an end in 1950 when he was discharged from the U.S. Army and called to active duty as a 2nd Lt. assigned to the 59th MP Co., 3rd Inf. Div., Korea. He remained in war-torn Korea for 19 months. Walt returned to the U.S. in 1952 and served as Provost Marshal in New Cumberland, PA. In 1954, Walt was again assigned to Germany as the Commanding Officer of 793rd MP Bn., Grafenwoehr, Germany.

In 1957, Walt returned again to New Cumberland, PA as Adjutant. In 1959, he was assigned duties a Commanding Officer, Co. B, 716th MP Bn., Ft. Dix, NJ. A year later he was on the move again, this time to assume duties as Chief, Physical Security Division and Assistant Provost Marshal, Ft. Monmouth, NJ.

Walter Junkins, a war veteran who participated in the Battle of the Bulge and the Korean War retired in the grade of Major from the Army on March 30, 1963 after serving his country for more than 24 years on active duty and more than 3 years on reserve duty.

After his military retirement, Walt became a Narcotic Agent for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for two years. From 1965 to 1967 he was Administrator of Rest Haven, a medical hospital, in York, PA. From 1967 to 1972, he was the Assistant Director, General State Authority. From 1972 until December 1978, he was the Director of the Bureau of Standards, Commonwealth of PA.

Although his days of military and civil service had come to an end, in 1978, Walt obtained his Pennsylvania Private Detective License and went into business for himself, naming his business "Professional Investigative Services."

Walt met his wife, Jean, in 1944 after his transfer to her hometown of Southampton, England. They stayed in contact and after Walt returned to the U.S., he invited Jean for a visit. Walt, smooth talker that he is, talked Jean into marrying him during her visit and on June 28, 1947 they tied the knot. Walt and Jean have one son, Philip, a Federal employee who works as an aircraft inspector at Patuxent Naval Station, MD.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License