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Under Cover

A spy school hidden in the middle of a Boston suburb

spyschoolPhoto: Cara Brostrom


ou want secret? What’s now a playground filled with laughing kids was once the secret headquarters where spies trained for service in World War II. Now marked with a plaque on the sidewalk most pedestrians overlook, this was the clandestine home of Army Intelligence Espionage and Training Services Counter Intelligence Corps. Some 150 men trained here, most of them from Harvard, Yale, and MIT; CIC agents had to have IQs of at least 120, compared to 110 for officers. The first graduates went to North Africa and Egypt, the second to the Pacific, and the third to France and Germany after D-Day. Agents also spied on domestic“subversives” and worked to put down wartime racial and union disputes.



Under the command of a Boston University-trained former journalist, the World War II-era Boston-based Subversive Squad of the Counterintelligence Corps monitored communists, Germans, Italians, Japanese, pacifists, socialists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and circulated its reports to local law-enforcement agencies.