Behind the Iron Curtain

World War II spy disguised as simple military wife finally recognized with posthumous award

1940's photo of U.S. Army Capt. Stephanie Rader. (YouTube)

Stephanie Czech Rader spent decades pretending to be merely a clerk working at the U.S. embassy in Poland during World War II, traveling the countryside in her spare time before meeting and marrying a big shot U.S. military commander. But what Rader was really doing on her trips around Poland was far more intriguing — and dangerous. Rader was actually an employee at the Office of Strategic Services, an early version of the CIA. She’d been recruited for her Polish language skills, and was tasked with reporting on Soviet troop movements and couriering sensitive documents to and from her bosses. Rader, in fact, was a spy, one of more than 4,000 women who worked for the OSS, about a third of the agency. In 1946, the OSS recommended her for the Legion of Merit, but the recommendation was never acted upon. Until now.

1940's photo of U.S. Army Capt. Stephanie Rader. (YouTube)

1940’s photo of U.S. Army Capt. Stephanie Rader. (YouTube)

In 2008, historians learned of Rader’s work and began lobbying for her to finally receive the award. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia joined the campaign, and last week the U.S. Army announced it would honor Rader, who died in January at the age of 100, with the award posthumously. She was honored with the award Wednesday during funeral services with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

See more about Rader’s service in the video below:

Read the full story at the The Associated Press.

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