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Following her husband's combat death in 1942, Patricia Warner signed up as an officer with the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA.
On Tuesday, the Lincoln resident was honored for her service as a spy for two years during World War II.
U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Warner, who said it was a welcome surprise to an exciting month: She just turned 98.
Warner was pretty covert about her duties overseas in Spain, but she did recall Tuesday coordinating with European resistance groups through Morse Code.
According to Clark's office, the OSS was collectively honored in 2016 with a Congressional Gold Medal, but Warner was unaware that she was eligible for the award. So with the help of Warner’s son, Clark secured the medal.
Clark emphasized the important role servicewomen played in national security.
"They were good at their jobs and really surprised a lot of people at how effective they were at gathering information and being a part of the resistance," she said.
During the war, Warner says her main mission was to pose as a secretary while she used Morse Code to secretly pass on information to help American pilots avoid being shot down or get out from behind enemy lines.
Warner's son, Chris, added that his mother would schmooze German soldiers for information.
"She was young and beautiful and I think she was meant to hang around parties and see what she could pick up," he said.
After the war, Warner earned a bachelor's degree from Barnard College in 1949, and a master's degree from Lesley College in 1985.
This article was originally published on May 28, 2019.
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