ANNE GREENE here. I’m giving a copy of the first book in my WW11 series, Women of Courage, ANGEL WITH STEEL WINGS, to one person who leaves a comment answering the question at the end of this blog.
And today I’m delving into the life of America’s foremost lady spy, Virginia Hall.
Virginia Hall was born on April 6, 1906 in Baltimore, Maryland. She came from a privileged family and attended colleges at Barnard, Radcliffe, the Sorbonne in France, and Konsularakademie in Vienna. She had a gift for learning languages and took a job as a clerk at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey, hoping to eventually become a diplomat.
But in 1933, Virginia lost part of her leg in a hunting accident and used a wooden prosthesis. As an amputee, she could no longer work in the foreign service, so she drove an ambulance for the French Army. When the Vichy government took over they sent her to England. She volunteered for England’s newly founded spy ring, the SOE. They returned her to Vichy-controlled France where she worked with the Resistance until the Nazi takeover. She escaped to Spain through the mountains, on foot with an artificial leg!
During the next several years she worked with the underground Resistance by providing maps to Allied forces for drop zones. She found safe houses, trained French Resistance forces, and reported enemy movements. Smart Virginia avoided the Gestapo that penetrated many of the resistance networks.
America’s newly formed Office of Strategic Services (OSS) recruited her, and sent her back into France.
The Germans named her one of their most wanted spies. The Nazi secret police distributed wanted posters throughout Vichy France, calling her an unknown woman with a limp. So, Virginia taught herself to walk without a limp and used disguises to escape their attempts to capture her.
After the war, Virginia said in an interview, "In 1943 I joined General Donovan's Office of Strategic Services for more adventures with the French Resistance. I became proficient in Morse code and radio operation, which made me invaluable. During the day, I appeared to be a milkmaid. However, at night I directed the Resistance Forces under me in acts of sabotage and guerilla warfare. I relayed important information from haylofts via my radio to London. I always kept ahead of the Gestapo, whose leaders knew of me and wanted me captured. I never gave them the opportunity. At the war's end, my country rewarded my efforts with the Distinguished Service Cross in 1945, the only female civilian in the war to receive this nation's highest military honor after the Medal of Honor!"
Virginia helped pave the way for women in America's intelligence network. Virginia worked for the OSS through its transition to the CIA. She retired to a farm in Barnesville, Maryland, in 1966, where she lived until her death in 1982.
She is known as World War II's most heroic female spy.
QUESTION: Do you admire the women who served at the risk of their lives for our country as much as I do? And/or Do you know any of these heroic women?
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer and about gutsy heroines. She writes both historical and suspense novels. She and her hero husband, Army Special Forces Colonel Larry Greene, have visited twenty-five countries. A visit to Scotland resulted in her award-winning Scottish historical romances, Masquerade Marriage and Marriage By Arrangement. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. Her Women of Courage Series spotlights heroic women of World War II. The first book, Angel With Steel Wings, is available on Amazon. The second series, Handcuffed In Texas with the first book, Holly Garden, PI, Red Is For Rookie, now available on Amazon. Anne makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. To learn more of Anne, visit her at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. She writes a novel teaching class on her blog www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com
Anne loves to hear from her readers. Buy Anne Greene books at http://www.amazon.com.