With his privileged upbringing – he was born to a wealthy French family, educated by private tutors, and grew up as a teenager around 1930s Hollywood– Rafael Hirtz might have found a way to coast through World War II. Instead, he volunteered for the fledgling Office of Strategic Services, even after he was told that field operatives had only a fifty percent chance of survival. He started his service in the Army Signal Corps as an Infantry paratrooper where he parachuted behind enemy lines in France twice and once with the Chinese 2nd Commandos in China. Hirtz’s last three years were spent with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the Operational Forces of the OSS. Hirtz worked on three intelligence missions abroad, using his ability to speak fluent French in service to his adopted country.
We honor you, Rafael Hirtz.
(#Repost @Veteran’s History Project)