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March 16, 2021 38 min

What do John Ford, Moe Berg, Julia Child and Nelson Eddy have in common? They all stepped away from their respective careers during WWII and joined a newly formed organization called The Office of Strategic Services a.k.a. the OSS. In short, they were spies for a group that was the forerunner to both the CIA and the Army’s Special Forces. From Julia’s special recipe for shark repellent, to John Ford’s undercover training films for secret agents, to Moe’s training of Slavic-American recruits to go on parachute drops into Yugoslavia, and Nelson Eddy’s “singing tour” of the Middle East, these extraordinary individuals risked their lives and their careers to secretly serve their country during its time of crisis.  But for the OSS, would the Allies have even won the war?  It's certainly a question worth asking and a great reason to dig a little deeper into this secret organization that only officially existed during WWII.

Books

  • Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs: The Unknown Story of the Men and Women of World War II's OSS by Patrick K. O’Donnell
  • OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Central Intelligence Agency by Richard Harris Smith
  • The OSS and Ho Chi Minh: Unexpected Allies in the War against Japan by Dixee Bartholomew-Feis 
  • James Bond: Original Series (14 Books) by Ian Fleming
  • Film

  • Casablanca (1943) with Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains & Paul Henreid
  • The Conspirators (1944) with Hedy Lamarr, Paul Henreid & Peter Lorre
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