Nancy Wake, New Zealand born and SOE (Special Operations Executive) trained, was one of the few female agents who received wide acclaim for her WW 2 accomplishments. She was honoured with medals by Britain, France and the U.S. governments.
Early on, Nancy Wake decided that she was not going to sit at home while the men went off to war. Between 1940 to 1943 she helped hundreds of Allied airmen escape to neutral Spain. She became known as the White Mouse by the Germans due to her capacity to evade them.
In 1943 she was almost caught and fleeing to Britain she began training with the SOE. In 1944 she was parachuted into France with a team; she became the liaison between the SOE and Maquis groups. In 2005,
Celine, who I interviewed for the Invisible Women Podcast, told me that she and Nancy Wake were still good friends, they had trained together and did similar work in France. She commented that Nancy was a high-spirited risk taker being responsible for the organisation of over 1500 agents/resistance cell workers in WW 2.
Also see this New York Times article (which may be behind a pay wall).
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