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Vera Atkins

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.

Australian spy and French resistance hero Nancy Wake. Australian spy and French resistance hero Nancy Wake has died in London at age 98. Ms Wake's work during the Second World War helped her to become one of the Allies' most decorated servicewomen and led the Gestapo to give her the codename The White Mouse.

Florence Merriam Bailey, the woman naturalist who fought to end the killing of birds to decorate women's hats. Hats off to her!

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.

Incredibly brave Anne Sophie Oestvedt was one of the two women of the four leaders of WWII Norwegian resistance. Going deep undercover to lead thousands of fighters, she even stood next to her father on a tram and never let him know. Hunted by the Gestapo, she evaded capture the entire war. Although her mental & physical health suffered, she finished college in the US post WWII and returned to Norway with her husband, the XU leader Oistein Stromnes (km).

In the final years of World War II, Italian businessman Giorgio Perlasca (1910 - 1992) risked his life by posing as a Spanish diplomat in order to save more than 5,000 Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust. Perlasca, a non-Jew, has been honored for his heroism, courage, and compassion by several nations, including Israel, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and the United States.

Hertha Ayrton studied mathematics at the Cambridge Uni but was not eligible for a degree because of her gender. In 1885 she married physicist William Ayrton & assisted in his experiments on electricity. Her own work on arc lamps was used to improve aircraft searchlights in both world wars. She was the first woman to join the British Institute of Electrical Engineers. She was also the first woman to read a paper in person to the Royal Society, but was refused a fellowship because she was…

Noor Inayat Khan, one of Winston Churchill's elite Special Operations Executive secret agents & was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France, for three months she single-handedly ran a cell of spies across Paris until she was betrayed and captured. For 10 months she was tortured by the Gestapo for information about SOE operations, She never told & eventually executed at Dachau concentration camp on September 13, 1944, aged just 30.

Madge Rutherford Minton was one of the first four women in the United States to graduate from the Advanced Civilian Pilot Training Program. In 1943, she joined the newly organized Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) and was trained to ferry Army aircraft. She was a member of the Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots, the P-51 Mustang Pilots Association, and she served on the board of the P-47 Thunderbolt Pilots Association. She died November 7, 2004 at age 84.