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"Our group trained them, sent them back with telegraphic equipment, and they would wire intelligence to us." (Video Interview, Part 1, 23:35)

   William Spoelhof
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William Spoelhof [2002]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
Service Location: Washington, DC; England; Belgium; Netherlands
Rank: Lieutenant Senior Grade
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William Spoelhof, an American-born college professor whose parents had emigrated from Holland, retraced their path during World War II as a member of the OSS. After extensive training stateside in all things Dutch, he journeyed to London, then Paris, and finally Brussels, where his office contacted Dutch partisans for undercover work in their occupied homeland. Eventually, he followed the Allied armies into Holland and Germany, continuing to gather intelligence on German activities and plans.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (9 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: video(1) | 
Download: video(2) (95 min.)
»The Life of Dr. William Spoelhof
More like this
»Intel:In the Field
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (9 items)
His first job in intelligence, preparing handbooks on Dutch life. (02:26) Flying over the English Channel shortly after Glenn Miller's plane disappeared; life in liberated Paris; getting lost on the way to Brussels. (03:41) His duties in Brussels, working from information he had gleaned from Dutch refugees to London; sending Dutch back into their homeland to spy on the Nazis. (03:10)
His whereabouts during the last days of the war. (05:18) Homecoming from the war; meeting people who claimed they had been in the Underground. (00:54) How his background in academics prepared him for intelligence work. (01:19)
Intelligence gathered during the Battle of the Bulge indicated Germans wanted to recapture Antwerp; who they got their information from. (02:35) Fearing capture, making plans to burn all their papers. (00:44) Seeding clues as to his location in his correspondence to his family; how his experiences in the war shaped him; using his faith to strengthen his courage. (03:51)

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  October 26, 2011
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