Once a spy in WWII, a 94-year-old finally got his medal

For decades, Al Besser’s work as a spy during WWII went largely unrecognized. Not anymore.


For decades, Al Besser’s work as a spy during World War II went largely unrecognized. Until recently, when he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his service.

"It brings back a lot of memories, and it makes me feel how very, very lucky I am to be here," Besser said. "I mean, there were so many others that deserve honors that were in much more peril than I was."

Besser, 94, was a spy in the Office of Strategic Services, a precursor to the CIA. He was stationed in Asia, where he gathered intelligence behind enemy lines and worked alongside local forces to undermine Japan.

He received the medal in a surprise ceremony that was put together with the help of his wife.

"My wife has done a lot of things but she really pulled this one off," Besser said.