I was looking around on the National Archives' website in their World War II archives and came across Records of the Office of Strategic Services 1940-1946 (RG 226). One of the contents of the records is "Terms, Names, Organizational Abbreviations, and Code Words in OSS Records". On this list is "Jones series" with the explanation saying "Concerns military deception". Does anyone know how this is used?

I searched through the Sources and Methods section for "Jones". I found two mentions in Entry 210. The first, in box 372 may relate, it has "MR. JONES debriefs" in all caps, like the names of operations, so this may be part of the Jones Series, but I don't know. The way the name is listed here, in ALL CAPS, contrasts with how names are written in other records. The entire entry for box 372 says:

Caserta, Italy, SI Branch records relating to missions and agents, including MR. JONES’ debriefs and the LA FONTE Chain (NINO Mission), ca. March 1944 – July 1945, ca. 800 pp. [WN#14355 – WN#14365]

I did find in some documents that capitalize names, but I don't know if these are real or codenames. I did find a footnote on OSS officer Geoffrey M.T. Jones who appeared to have a connection with Italy, but upon further investigation, I learned his area of operations was France.

The second entry appears to be that of the name of a Deputy Calcutta Police Commissioner who "admitted that he alone ordered police to fire on student demonstrations on Thanksgiving Eve, November 29 [1945?]". I find Jones mentioned again in Entry 215 box 7. This time, it appears to be an alias of a German Major.

Next, I find "Jones" mentioned in the "Director's Office Files (Donovan microfilm or Director OSS Official Files) Entries 180A-K" on the microfilm roll list, but these appear to be merely names. First a Harold A. Jones. Then, under roll 60 "Schools and Training", only the last name "JONES" is given as the name of the instructor for "School for Mines and Boobytraps".

Then, I searched the OSS Personnel Files for Jones and 4 pages of names comes up, none of which are digitized so it does me no good.

Then, I realized I could search the OSS files that have been digitized by keyword. Jones brought up 30 documents.. At least some of the documents are more than 100 pages. The first and second were both relating to economic information regarding China. The third was regarding economic information regarding Germany, Switzerland and others. Much of it is French. This made me realize something about all of the 30 documents, except one. They all belong to the "Washington Secret Intelligence and Special Funds Records" series. This leads me to believe they are all regarding economic intelligence, and not military deception.

The only document not belonging the aforementioned series was this one, which goes over assignment and pay changes regarding Julia McWilliams, which is Julia Child's maiden name.

I also did a Google Search for variations of "Jones series, military deception, OSS, world war 2" and I get a couple military manuals on military deception, and a lot of mentions of various book and movie series such as the Indian Jones series, George Palmer-Jones series, Kelly Jones series, and Casey Jones series, among others. Nothing I find seems relevant.

So, the question is, how is "Jones Series" used in the OSS documents? The best answer would include one or more documents that use the phrasing, and if it is not self-evident, an explanation of what it means. For example, are false documents sent to a fictitious "Jones" and given to competing intelligence agencies as a matter of deception? Or is the Jones Series a series of manuals on military deception? Or something else entirely? Thanks for any help.

  • My uneducated guess would be that this is just a codeword, in the same way that "mary jane" or "weed" might be used for marihuana or "heat" for a handgun?
    – Jan
    Feb 12 at 22:01


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