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“Undercover Girl” to be honored as a Virginia Woman in History

Lake Ridge resident Elizabeth “Betty” Peet McIntosh, 97, a former OSS and CIA intelligence agent, will be honored as one of the 2012 Virginia Women in History. Sandra G. Treadway, Librarian of Virginia, will recognize McIntosh on Wednesday, Feb. 29 during a 2 p.m. ceremony at Westminster at Lake Ridge, where the retired agent now lives. McIntosh is being recognized for her work as intelligence agent with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II, according to a news release.

“McIntosh worked in the Burmese, Chinese, and Indian theaters where she helped produce false news reports, postcards, documents, and radio messages designed to spread disinformation that would undermine Japanese morale during the war,” the release explained. She was one of the few women assigned to Morale Operations during the war because of her fluency in Japanese. The OSS was the U.S. wartime intelligence agency whose ranks included actress Marlene Dietrich and chef Julia Child.

After the war, McIntosh worked on assignments for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Voice of America, the State Department, and the United Nations. In 1958 she joined the Central Intelligence Agency, successor to the OSS, where she worked until her retirement in 1973. 

She wrote a memoir of her OSS experiences, published in 1947 as Undercover Girl. She also wrote two children’s books, Inki (1957) and Palace under the Sea (1959). Her book Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS (1998) describes the adventures of the brave women who served in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II.

RSVPs to the recognition ceremony are requested at 703-496-3440 by Feb. 24.  The award presentation will be in the Potomac Room at Westminster at Lake Ridge, 12191 Clipper Drive, Woodbridge.

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