Virgina Hall
American Spy
World War II

From Spy Book, The Encyclopedia of Espionage

American journalist who was an agent for the British SOE and the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. She later served in the CIA.

Hall was a European correspondent for The New York Post when World War II began. She volunteered to work for the SOE before America's entry into the war. Early in 1942 she ran an SOE safe house in Lyons. Although she had a wooden leg, she became a courier, carrying messages between members of SOE networks. She was known by two code names: Diane and Renee.

In March 1944, as SOE and French Resistance forces began preparations for the Allied invasion of Normandy, she helped to form the first OSS network in France. What neither the SOE or OSS knew was that, through treachery by double agents, the German Abwehr knew her identity and her previous work for the SOE. but she was not betrayed, and her preinvasion mission succeeded.

After the war, when the OSS was disbanded, she remained in intelligence, joining the OSS's successor, the CIA. She served as a senior intelligence officer in Latin America.

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