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Women in Intel: Virginia Hall

The Courage and Daring of "The Limping Lady"

“Miss Hall displayed rare courage, perseverance and ingenuity; her efforts contributed materially to the successful operations of the Resistance Forces in support of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in the liberation of France.”

~ President Harry Truman, Citation for Distinguished Service Cross awarded to Virginia Hall, 1945.


Her life reads like a spy novel. From overcoming the loss of her leg to working clandestinely behind enemy lines for the OSS, she’s a true American hero.

Who is this brave woman? Some knew her as "Marie Monin," "Germaine," "Diane," "Camille," and even "Nicolas," but we know her as Virginia Hall.

During WWII, Virginia organized agent networks, assisted escaped prisoners of war, and recruited French men and women to run safe houses—staying one step ahead of the Gestapo, who wanted desperately to apprehend “The Limping Lady.”

For her courage and ingenuity, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross—the only civilian woman to be so honored.

Virginia then went on to become one of only a handful of senior women in CIA’s clandestine service until her mandatory retirement in 1966 at the age of 60. And she did it all despite having a prosthetic leg, which she named Cuthbert.

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Posted: Mar 21, 2019 12:28 PM
Last Updated: Mar 21, 2019 12:28 PM