Virginia Hall was a tenacious, strategic and adventuresome WW 2 agent. Being American born, wealthy and having studied languages in Europe, she freely travelled during the early war years doing reconnaisance for UK’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) in France.
Like Liliana (IW Episode 3) a wireless operator, Hall was also in Lyon in 1941. By 1942 however, and due to Hall’s various successes, the Germans began searching for her in earnest referring to her as “Artemis”. She had to flee France and crossing the Pyrenees with a prosthetic leg was exceptionally difficult. Once back in London she retrained as a wireless operator. Although the SOE didn’t believe it was safe for her to return to France, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) (now in London with the U.S. having joined the war) approved her request.
You can read more about Virginia Hall and her contributions here. Her espionage life is documented in the movie, A Call to Spy. It was especially unusual for women to be celebrated for their espionage accomplishments but for her many successes she was awarded the U.S. Distinguished Service Cross, the UK’s Order of the British Empire (Civilian) and France’s Croix de Guerre. Postwar Virginia Hall took a desk job with the CIA but hoped to be in the field again. Like many exceptional undercover field agents, her skill set was not oriented to desk work. She was never given the opportunity to return.
Merci. Vraiment que de femmes exceptionnelles.
Vos commentaires donnent envie d’aller creuser les vies de ces femmes.
Je vais partager auprès de ma famille et ami(es).