As Alvin... mentioned, the reference to needing a pencil is used twice: by Jeremy Kemp when finding his name not on a list, and asked "verbatim" by George Peppard when handed the large book of research documents by the top scientist at the rocket facility.
TCM just showed it, and it still stands up as a great spy/war film, with some license thrown in with factual elements. Great effects and played straight by an outstanding cast.
BTW, Hogan's Heroes, when depicting sabotage or bombings of industry taking place in an episode, often used some of the "boilers" exploding footage depicted in this film's climax.
A pyro film favorite. Three and a half out of four stars, easy.
I'm watching it right now and there's another pencil reference that hasn't been mentioned.
Early in George Peppards' portion of the movie, while in the basement of the hotel during an air raid, he winds up standing next to a poster of Hitler and asks his fellow spy, "Anyone have a pencil?" With the implication being that he might want to write something on the poster (perhaps graffiti it as is typically done w/ pictures of people one doesn't like.)
I believe this instance is the one the OP is referring to; it was the most comic of the pencil references in this film. But there certainly are a number of them, eh?
It is a good day to die. May you go to the Hall of Heroes, Michael.
It seems like the people involved with this movie really had a thing for pencils... it kind of makes you wonder... but like the man said, sometimes a pencil is just a pencil...
THIS SPACE FOR RENT.