×
Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Books Photos Videos Others Reference FAQ About
     

World War II Database


Donovan's Memorandum to Truman Regarding Virginia Hall

12 May 1945

ww2dbase

12 May 1945


MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT:

Miss Virginia Hall, an American civilian working for this agency in the European Theater of Operations, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against the enemy.

We understand that Miss Hall is the first civilian woman in this war to receive the Distinguished Service Cross.

Despite the fact that she was well known to the Gestapo, Miss Hall voluntarily returned to France in March 1944 to assist in sabotage operations against the Germans. Through her courage and physical endurance, even though she had previously lost a leg in an accident, Miss Hall, with two American officers, succeeded in organizing, arming and training three FFI Battalions which took part in many engagements with the enemy and a number of acts of sabotage, resulting in the demolition of many bridges, the destruction of a number of supply trains, and the disruption of enemy communications. As a result of the demolition of one bridge, a German convoy was ambushed and during a bitter struggle 150 Germans were killed and 500 were captured. In addition Miss Hall provided radio communication between London Headquarters and the Resistance Forces in the Haute Loire Department, transmitting and receiving operational and intelligence information. This was the most dangerous type of work as the enemy, whenever two or more directions finders could be turned in on a transmitter, were able to locate the transmittal point to within a couple of hundred yards. It was frequently necessary for Miss Hall to change her headquarters in order to avoid detection.

Inasmuch as an award for this kind has not been previously made during the present war, you may wish to make the presentation personally. Miss Hall is presently in the European Theater of Operations.

William J. Donovan
Director

ww2dbase



Source: United States National Archives
Added By: C. Peter Chen

Photographs

William DonovanWilliam Donovan





Share this article with your friends:

 Facebook  Reddit
 Twitter  Digg
 Google+  Delicious
 StumbleUpon  


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code
 

 

Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Donovan's Memorandum to Truman Regarding Virginia Hall
Associated Figure(s):
» William Donovan
» Virginia Hall

Donovan's Memorandum to Truman Regarding Virginia Hall Photo Gallery
William DonovanWilliam Donovan


Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935