Rose Mary Kunz appeared in Virginia Fontaine’s diaries on January 19, 1951, but not as a new friend, but as someone flying up to Frankfurt to the Rhein-Main Air Force base to visit Virginia in particular. Rose Mary worked in the Madrid embassy but came to Germany often, always visiting Virginia. We have no information on how or when they first met.
Diary excerpt from January 20, 1951:
“Stopped by at Sylvia’s at noon to say goodbye to Yvonne who drove back to Paris – RM [Rose Mary] bought a nice pork roast for us – and in the afternoon we called on Liz van der Leath [still researching] who was in bed with her John – but she got up and served us coffee and cake – embarrassing moment – in the evening we visited a newly married couple on their wedding night – then last visited Pat and Jo Halbert [still researching] who showed their movies and I fell asleep – RM wanted me to go to Munich the next day but no soap – put RM on the plane Monday AM from there she went to the States.”
Virginia, Sylvia, and Eleanor (wife to Alfred Boerner, Office of Public Affairs, Director of Policy) decided to take a month-long trip to Spain. They visited Rose Mary, who had a beautiful modern apartment, and entertained the ladies with the head consulate John Wesley Jones and other diplomats. In October, she came again to Frankfurt, this time staying with the Boerners who had just seen her in Spain and played golf with her. In Rose Mary’s 1951 Christmas card, she reported buying a new car and was bored, waiting for the winter months to be over; seemingly anxious to be on the road again.
What is odd is that she isn’t on any of the Foreign Service main directories where even the mail and records people are listed. We found one reference to her being on a list to move from Class FSS (Foreign Service Staff) 12 to 11 in the Foreign Service Journal in August 1951. According to Virginia’s diaries, her boss was Mr. Beggs, who also doesn’t appear on any list. However, considering Virginia’s poor spelling and the possibility she misheard the name, her boss may be Russell Gibbs, the Madrid embassy’s budget and fiscal officer, the money person. But no other clues.
Reflecting again on Lara Prescott’s 2019 book ‘The Secrets We Kept”, many women worked in the State Department as furtive couriers and information gatherers during the Cold War in Europe. Considering Rose Mary’s circles of friends who were in the State Department’s upper echelon, working for the budget officer, and her frequent travels, it may not be a stretch to conclude she had a vital role as a spy.
Pre-order “Trusted Eye: Post War-World II Adventures of a Fearless Art Advocate” to read more about Virginia Fontaine’s encounters with Rosemary.