Vera Atkins, CBE (16 June 1908, Bucharest, Romania - 24 June 2000, Hastings, England) was a British intelligence officer during World War II. Atkins was given one of SOE's most sensitive jobs - recruiting and deploying female agents. When the allied victory in Europe was accomplished, she went to Germany. Her self-appointed mission was to investigate the fate of the 118 F section agents who had disappeared in enemy territory. She succeeded in every case except one.
Eileen Nearne joined the Special Operations Executive in Britain as a radio operator. Agent Rose. Two of her siblings also served the SOE. Only 23 years old, Nearne was dropped by parachute into occupied France to relay messages from the French resistance and to arrange weapons drops. She talked her way out of trouble several times, but was eventually arrested by the Nazis, tortured, and sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Yet Nearne stuck to her cover story. She was transferred to a…
Genevieve Feinstein Not every woman in intelligence was a spy as we think of them. Women also played a significant role as cryptanalysts and code breakers. Codes were handled by the SIS or Signal Intelligence Service. Genevieve Feinstein was such a woman and she was responsible for creating a machine used to decode Japanese messages. After WWII, she continued to work in intelligence.
Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, whose code name was "Cynthia" and who later used the name Betty Pack, worked for the OSS in Vichy France. She was sometimes used as a "swallow" who would seduce the enemy to get secret information, and also participated in break-ins. One daring raid involved taking secret naval codes from a locked and guarded room and from a safe within this. She also infiltrated the Vichy French Embassy in Washington DC and took important code books.
Joan Clarke Murray codebreaker at Bletchley Park during World War II, became deputy head of Hut 8 in 1944. Code breaking was almost exclusively done by men during the war. Clarke was paid less than the men and felt that she was prevented from progressing further because of her gender. She was a English cryptanalyst and numismatist ~
Pearl Witherington was one of thirty nine women who parachuted into France to work for the Special Operations Executive, the group tasked by Winston Churchill to ‘set Europe ablaze’. Witherington, once in France, was in constant danger, as was any member of SOE. However, the work Witherington did was of great value to the Allies …
Braver than any man: Revealed for the first time, the awe-inspiring courage of two British sisters who waged a one-family war on the Nazis - and were left with emotional scars that never healed
To escape slavery, light-skinned Ellen Craft disguised herself as a male slaveholder. Her husband, William, who was darker skinned, posed as her slave valet. They successfully traveled to the North, and eventually to England, where they published a narrative recounting their lives as slaves and their daring escape: Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom: The Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery (1860).
Women of extraordinary destiny : Susan Travers (World War II)