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Julia Child dished secrets before she made sauces

By Emily Morgan

August 14, 2008 at 5:31pm

The late Julia Child mastered the art of French cooking, but that wasn’t the extent of her foreign involvement.

The legendary chef is one of several high-profile figures who were involved with the undercover World War II intelligence agency, called the Office of Strategic Services.

Yesterday, the National Archives released the names of Americans who worked as civilian and military spies for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II.

Along with Child, other spies for the OSS include former Chicago White Socks catcher Moe Berg, Godfather actor Sterling Hayden, and author Thomas Braden who penned Eight is Enough, the book that inspired the popular 1970s television series.

In addition, the OSS employed Quentin and Kermit Roosevelt (sons of Teddy), and Miles Copeland, the father of The Police drummer, Stuart Copeland. Former Supreme Court justice Arthur Goldberg and son of Ernest Hemingway, Jack Hemingway, were also involved in the operation.

The National Archives released the full documents for the first time that identify the extensive spy network as well as personnel records that number approximately 750,000 pages.

The OSS is known as America’s first intelligence agency. At its peak in 1944, the OSS employed 13,000 men and women. The agency was disbanded in 1945, and was for the most part assimilated into the Central Intelligence Group, which later became the CIA.

Spies for the OSS were credited with spreading propaganda, infiltrating enemy ranks, and creating resistance in foreign troops.

Julia Child, who at 6′2″ was denied entrance to the Navy because of her height (the Navy said she was too tall), applied to become involved with the OSS after Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941.

Child first worked as a research assistant and file clerk and later put her efforts into a project to develop shark repellent to stop sharks from setting off underwater mines. She was then stationed in Sri Lanka where she met her husband, Paul Cushing Child, a fellow OSS agent.

Child received an award for her service when the war ended.

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