Many women served as undercover field agents. The work was not without great risks: if caught, they faced torture, prisoner camps, even death.

Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, AKA “Betty” Pack (1910 - 1963)
  • Code name “Cynthia.”
  • Participated in an OSS “black bag” job—secret entry into a home or office to steal or copy materials.
  • Acted as a “swallow”—a female agent employed to seduce people for intelligence purposes.
  • Became the case officer for and the lover to Charles Brousse, an agent-in-place.
  • Infiltrated the Vichy French Embassy in Washington, D.C., with the aid of Charles Brousse; secured information and cipher books needed for the invasion of Vichy French North Africa.
Betty Pack
Betty Pack
Photo Credit: Captain Barbara A. Wilson, USAF (Ret.)
Virginia Hall
Virginia Hall receiving the
Distinguished Service Cross

Photo Credit: Linda McCarthy and Lorna Catling
virginia hall passport
Hall's passports
Photo Credit: CIA Museum
Click image for a larger view

Virginia Hall (1906 - 1982)

  • Civilian spy with wooden leg; known as the “Limping Lady of the OSS.”
  • Often disguised as an old peasant women; conducted major clandestine operations in occupied France.
  • Known by the Gestapo as “one of the most dangerous Allied agents in France.”
  • Directed guerrilla missions by the French Resistance targeting German communication and transportation lines.
  • Supervised and trained three battalions of French commandos for D-day, June 6, 1944.
  • Her team was responsible for killing 150 German soldiers and capturing 500 others.
  • First female civilian to receive the Distinguished Service Cross.







Copyright © 2007 National Women's History Museum.