They were members of the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS, an early version of the CIA, nearly 24,000 spies who formed the first centralized intelligence agency, to help America fight the Nazis in World War II.
Created by President Franklin Roosevelt, they included historians, actors, lawyers and athletes. They created propaganda, infiltrated enemy ranks,encouraged resistance among foreign troops and other tasks, The Times of London reported.
They included people such as historian and President Kennedy aide Arthur Schlesinger Jr, future Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, Miles Copeland, whose son was the drummer for the band The Police, two sons of Theodore Roosevelt. one son of Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill's grandson.
And Julia Childs, who brought French cuisine to American kitchens. Her job was to help develop a shark repellent to ensure that sharks would not explode ordnance zeroing in on U-boats.
Former CIA Director William Casey cleared the way for the transfer of millions of secret OSS documents to the National Archives when he took over the agency in 1981. The personnel files are the latest to be made public.