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Famous Canadian Spies

As a spy, I stay in this chicken disguise so that no one will learn my true identity. I can give you one clue; I am a proud Canadian, like several remarkable agents from history that have interesting links to Canada. You probably haven't heard of these two Canadian spies: 

Peggy Taylor joined the French Free Forces during World War II and became a paratrooper and a spy, dedicated to driving the German invaders out of her country. She reported that she never left home without her lipstick and her revolver. Once she went on a cycling tour of the Normandy coast and would blow kisses at the German soldiers, all the while collecting information about the number of troops and equipment they had, which she passed on to her colleagues in the resistance. It is said that her information helped influence the date of the D-Day invasion. In 1955, she moved to Canada to be closer to her family. She worked as a stenographer for the Canadian government. Her best advice for spies: “Never make a parachute drop in high heels.”

William Stephenson was born in Winnipeg in 1896. He joined the Canadian army during World War I and later became a flying ace as a pilot of Sopwith Camel biplanes as part of the Royal Flying Corps. After that, he moved to England where he invented one of the first systems for transmitting photographs using radio waves. During World War II he was tasked with establishing the British Security Coordination (BSC), which oversaw all intelligence activities in the Western hemisphere. One of his later intelligence innovations was the creation of Camp X in Whitby, Ontario – the first North American training school for spies. There are some who suggest that Stephenson may have been the inspiration Ian Fleming’s most famous fictional spy – James Bond.

For now, this is agent double-egg seven, Cluckminster Fuller, signing off.

Read on for last week's transmission, "How to Remember Your Passwords." Visit our feature exhibition, Top Secret: License to Spy, to learn about more famous, real-world spies. The exhibition closes September 5, 2016.