Virginia Hall left her Baltimore home in 1931 to enter the Foreign Service and went to work for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) when Hitler was building toward the peak of his power in Europe. She was assigned to France, where she helped the Resistance movement, escaped prisoners of war, and American Allied paratroopers. By 1942 she was considered so dangerous to the Gestapo that she had to escape over the Pyrenees mountains—on an artificial leg, no less. When she got to England, she was reassigned to France by the OSS, disguised as an old peasant woman. She helped capture 500 German soldiers and kill more than 150, while she sabotaged Nazi communications and transportation. Hitler's forces were hot on her trail, however, and her daring intelligence activities and indomitable spirit defied the expectations of even the Allies until the very end of the war.
Her story was ignored for more than fifty years, and this book now brings Virginia Hall's story to patriots young and old.
The founder of Courage Concepts, an organization that cultivates courage in women, Pearson provides workshops and keynotes for corporations and organizations. She and her husband split their time between her idyllic little home town on the shores of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago. And she still climbs trees!
"A great, true, spy tale."--Grand Rapids Press
Praise for Judith Pearson's Belly of the Beast: A POW's Inspiring True Story of Faith, Courage, and Survival aboard the Infamous WWII Japanese Hell Ship Oryoku Maru"An inspiring look at one of WWII's darkest hours."--James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers"Captures an experience almost too terrifying for words. To follow one man's ordeal in a Japanese torture ship is to travel through the bowels of hell."--Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking"[A] searing tribute."--Senator John McCain"Recommended for any public library with readers interested in World War II."--Library Journal