Behind enemy lines, networks were established to rescue downed air personnel as well as agents whose covers had been blown.

Maria Gulovich

  • Operated out of Baňská Bystrica; fled with Czechoslovak army staff when German units overtook the town.
  • En route to Hungarian border, spent two months in Tatra Mountains region.
  • Group consisted of Gulovich, members of the Czechoslovak army staff, British and American intelligence teams, downed Allied fliers, partisans, and other refugees.
  • Acted as translator after capture by agents for the KGB (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics intelligence service).
  • During interrogation, maintained OSS cover: they were conducting an American military mission tasked with rescuing downed Allied fliers and aiding the Slovak rebellion.
  • With help from US and British authorities, organized a successful escape attempt.
czechoslovakia map
Czechoslovakia
Photo Credit: MSN Encarta

Click on image for larger view

Advancements in technology and communications during the war enhanced the effectiveness of American intelligence. Women were a part of these developments and discoveries.

  julia mcwilliams child world war II
Julia McWilliams Child
Photo Credit: Julia Child and Linda McCarthy

Julia McWilliams Child (1912-2004)

  • Wanted to enlist in the WACs or WAVES; at 6’2’’, was considered too tall for military service.
  • Worked in OSS Research and Development branch while assigned to OSS Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
  • Helped invent a highly effective shark repellent for OSS amphibious missions; later used for manned spaceflight missions, which required ocean landings.
  • Received the Emblem of Meritorious Civilian Service for her work supervising the Registry of the OSS Secretariat in China.
  • Developed what she jokingly called the “Top Secret twitch”—a nervous reaction to the many super-sensitive documents for which she had been responsible.
  • After World War II, created and starred in "The French Chef" PBS television series.

 

 

 

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