Thursday, August 14, 2008

Was your grandfather (or grandmother) a Spy?

The Office of Strategic Services personnel list has been released.

Pre-cursor to the CIA, this spy network contained nearly 24,000 individuals.

You can search NARA's OSS personnel files for the names - but it doesn't provide much identifying information, so it's difficult to detect if a match is your relative unless they had a unique name.

I did come up with one result that matched a cousin of my paternal grandmother's, though he had a common surname. Fortunately, the OSS member was in the armed forces, and NARA does include serial numbers with the OSS records, as does their collection of enlistment records. So I was able to confirm that the member of OSS wasn't my cousin. Which is a shame, that would have been a fun thing to find out.

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