An American hero whose contributions during World War II were kept secret for decades is being recognized with one of our nation's highest awards.
Patricia Warner, 98, of Lincoln, was recognized and surprised with the presentation Tuesday of a Congressional Gold Medal by Rep. Katherine Clark.
During the war, Warner was listed as a secretary in Spain. Her real job, however, was with the Office of Strategic Services, which was the predecessor to the modern Central Intelligence Agency.
Warner's true assignment was to communicate with the French underground in order to get downed American pilots out of the Nazi-occupied country.
"Somehow, I was in all of that, but I wasn't really in any danger. I don't want to take any credit for it," she said.
Warner said she joined the OSS as a way of avenging the death of her husband, who was killed during the early days of the war while serving aboard the U.S.S. Duncan. He died less than a year after they were married.
After her service, which also included OSS postings in New York, Washington and London, Warner earned a B.A. from Barnard College in 1949, turned down a Fulbright Scholarship in 1951 in order to marry her second husband, earned a certificate in learning disabilities from Tufts University in 1975 and an M.A. in independent studies, specializing in eating disorders, from Lesley College in 1985.
Warner was mother to six children, including one from her first marriage.
One of her sons helped plan Tuesday's surprise, Clark's office said. Warner had been unaware that she was eligible for the award under a collective honor bestowed upon OSS veterans by Congress in December 2016.
Original story here.