Stephanie Czech was born to Polish immigrants in Toledo, Ohio, and was raised only knowing the Polish language and culture. School was rough because at first she did not speak English well, but soon mastered it and continued on to earn a full scholarship to Cornell University where she completed a chemistry degree in 1937.
Stephanie joined the Women’s Army Corps towards the end of World War II and was soon selected for service in the Office of Strategic Services due to her knowledge of Polish culture. She was one of two OSS agents working out of the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.
The strategic services unit sent her into Poland, which was occupied by Russian forces, to gather intelligence on Russian troop movements, on economic data, political data.
Stephanie met and married William Staats Rader who was an Air Force brigadier general who flew missions over Europe and the Pacific during World War II.
Stephanie (Czech) Rader passed away January 21, 2016 at the age of 100 in her Alexandria, Virginia, home. She was finally laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery Jun 1, 2016.
When OSS records were declassified in 2008, it was discovered that Captain Rader was nominated twice for the Legion of Merit. The OSS Society started to lobby the Army, but the award was not granted until U.S. Senator Mark Warner stepped in. She finally was awarded it posthumously on June 1, 2016.
An article in The Hill stated: The Army has approved the posthumous awarding of the Legion of Merit to a female Army veteran who served as an American spy during World War II, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) announced Thursday. Stephanie Rader was officially employed as a clerk at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw during World War II but used her Polish language skills to gather valuable intelligence information on Soviet troop numbers and movements across post-World War II Poland for the Office of Strategic Services, Warner said. Written by Kristina Wong - 05/26/16 11:55 PM EDT Source: The Hill
Among her other awards and decorations, Captain Rader received the Army Commendation Medal, and Women's Army Corps Service Medal.
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Categories: United States Women's Army Corps | Women's Army Corps Service Medal | United States Women's Army Corps, World War II | Women in World War II | World War II Spies | World War II American Spies | Legion of Merit | Army Commendation Medal | United States Army | Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia | Toledo, Ohio | Roll of Honor Military Showcase Profile Nominee | United States of America, Notables | Notables