George Racey Jordan (January 4, 1898 – May 5, 1966) was an American military officer, businessman, lecturer, activist, and author. He first gained nationwide attention in December 1949 when he testified to the United States Congress about wartime Lend-Lease deliveries to the Soviet Union, in the process implicating Harry Hopkins and other high officials in the transfer of nuclear and other secrets to the USSR.
Jordan, who usually went by his middle name Racey, was born in New York City on 4 January 1898, and attended New York University. According to his own writings, he enlisted in 1917 and was sent to Kelly Field, Texas, and served as a corporal in the U.S. Army Air Service in France with the 147th Aero Squadron under Captain Eddie Rickenbacker‘s 1st Pursuit Group. After the war he worked in private business as a sales and advertising executive. The New York Times wrote that Jordan was advertising manager for several brewing companies in New York at various times. In 1949, he was assistant to the president of the American Pacific Industrial Corporation. Newly remarried, he said that he had an apartment in the city, another home in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and a ranch near Bremerton, Washington.
One year too young for the age exemption, in 1942 Captain Jordan returned to the service. On account of business experience, he was assigned as a Lend-Lease control officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps, with rank of captain. In 1942, Jordan oversaw deliveries of aircraft and other supplies at the Newark, New Jersey airport. With the opening of the ALSIB route via Alaska, Major Jordan was transferred to Gore Field, Great Falls, Montana, the last air transshipment station within the United States. In both locations, he interfaced primarily with Colonel Anatoli N. Kotikov of the Red Army. The two became friendly and Kotikov warmly recommended Jordan’s promotion. There was no indication that Jordan impeded Soviet activities, but he maintained careful records and often questioned the particulars of shipments.
Jordan later said he became alarmed at the extraordinary amount of supplies and unusual diplomatic immunity cargo going through Great Falls, Jordan began spying by keeping a detailed “diary” (actually three ledgers) in which he registered all he could discover about the Lend-Lease cargo. He claims that several times he cut open (without authorization) large numbers of “black suitcases” – sealed Soviet diplomatic cargo carried aboard aircraft being flown to the Soviet Union (Soviet crews taking over the aircraft at Fairbanks). When he advised superiors about the extraordinary nature of the cargo, he was repeatedly told to remain quiet. Major Jordan was noted for maintaining good relations with Red Army officers, and by his own account was more of a problem for lax and incompetent U.S. officers.
In 1944, Major Jordan returned to business, and although he had a sideline as a public speaker, he attracted little attention until 1949 when interest in Soviet nuclear espionage was at its peak. After President Harry Truman announced the first Soviet atomic bomb test, Jordan consulted his ledgers. He found that uranium, heavy water, other nuclear weapons related materials, and related schematics and papers had gone through Great Falls to the USSR. Jordan served in the Air Corps on United Nations duty from 10 May 1942 to spring 1944, being discharged from the service on 4 July 1944. At that time he did not understand the nature of many nuclear-related cargoes.