List of female SOE agents

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The following is an incomplete list of female agents who served in the field for the Special Operations Executive during World War II.

Name SOE Section Nationality Born-Died Awards Notes
Lorraine Adie French British 1916-2013 Married American OSS agent Miles Copeland, Jr.
Francine Agazarian French British 1913–1999 MiD Wife of Jack Agazarian
Juliane Aisner French French 1919-1980s
Vera Atkins French Romanian/British 1908–2000 LdH, CdeG F Section Intelligence Officer and Assistant to Maurice Buckmaster
Dorothy Baden-Powell Part Norwegian British 1920- Took the "Baden" in 1956
Lise de Baissac French Mauritian 1905–2004 Sister of SOE Agent Claude de Baissac
Madeleine Barclay French French 1911–1943 KIA aboard HMS Fidelity
Yvonne Baseden French British 1922-? MBE, LdH, CdeG
Yolande Beekman French Swiss 1911–1944 MiD KIA at Dachau concentration camp
Helen Thormann-Bierer French 1885-?
Denise Bloch French 1916–1945 KCBC, LdH, CdeG KIA at Ravensbrück concentration camp
Andrée Borrel French French 1919–1944 CdeG KIA at Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp
Sonya Butt French British 1924-2014 MBE, MiD Married fellow SOE agent Guy d'Artois
Muriel Byck French British 1918–1944 MiD Died in service of meningitis at Romorantin Hospital
Blanche Charlet French British 1898-1985 MBE
Marie Thérèse Le Chêne French French
Yvonne Cormeau French British 1909–1997 MBE, LdH, CdeG
Madeleine Damerment French French 1917–1944 KIA at Dachau concentration camp
Elizabeth Devereux-Rochester French British 1917-1983? LdH, CdeG
Alix D'Unienville French Mauritian 1919-2015 MBE, LdeH, CdeG
Yvonne Fontaine French French 1913–1996 MdlRF
Virginia Hall French American 1906–1982 MBE, DSC (USA) Post war worked for the CIA
Mary Katherine Herbert French British/Irish 1903–1983 First WAAF Officer to join the SOE
Ginette Julliane French French
Noor Inyat Khan French Russian/Indian 1914–1944 GC, MBE, CdeG, MiD KIA at Dachau concentration camp
Marguerite Knight French British 1920- MBE, CdeG Known as Peggy
Phyllis Latour French British 1921- MBE, CdeG
Madeleine Lavigne French French unk-1945
Cecily Lefort French British 1900–1945 CdeG, MiD KIA at Ravensbrück concentration camp
Vera Leigh French British 1903–1944 KCBC KIA at Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp
Eileen Nearne French British 1921–2010 CdeG, MBE Known as "Didi". Sister of SOE agents Jacqueline & Francis Nearne
Jacqueline Nearne French British 1916–1982 MBE Sister of SOE agents Eileen & Francis Nearne
Sonia Olschanezky French Russian/French 1923–1944 KIA at Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp
Patricia O'Sullivan French British/Irish 1918–1994 CdeG, MBE WAAF
Eliane Plewman French British 1917–1944 KCBC, CdeG KIA at Dachau concentration camp
Anne Robertson 1920-
Lilian Rolfe French British 1914–1945 MBE, CdeG, MiD KIA at Ravensbrück concentration camp
Diana Rowden French British 1915–1944 MBE, CdeG, MiD KIA at Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp
Yvonne Rudelatt French French 1897–1945 Died in service of typhus at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
Odette Sansom French British 1912–1995 GC, MBE, LdH Also known by the surnames "Hallowes" and "Churchill"
Krystyna Skarbek French Polish 1915–1952 GM, OBE, CdeG Better known by her nom de guerre Christine Granville
Violette Szabo French British 1921–1945 GC, CdeG KIA at Ravensbrück concentration camp
Hannah Szenes Yugoslavia Hungarian 1921–1944 KIA in Budapest
Nancy Wake French Australian 1912-2011 GM, LdH, CdeG Known by her code name "White Mouse"
Anne-Marie Walters French British 1923–1998 MBE, CdeG
Winifred Watkins Intelligence 1939-1946 British 1916-? Known as 'Betty'
Odette Wilen French British 1919-2015 Codename "Waitress"; Field name "Sophie"; married Santiago Strugo Garay, head of the Spanish escape network.
Pearl Witherington French British 1914–2008 MBE, CBE, CdeG


Note Description Explanation
CBE Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Commander of the British order of chivalry.
CdeG Croix de guerre 1939–1945 French military decoration created on September 26, 1939, to honour people who fought with the Allies against the Axis force at any time during World War II
DSC Distinguished Service Cross (USA) US gallantry medal awarded for active operations against the enemy
FANY First Aid Nursing Yeomanry British independent all-female unit active in both nursing and intelligence work during the World Wars. SOE Agents who were FANY officers are highlighted in khaki.
GC George Cross The highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom. It is highest gallantry award for civilians as well as for military personnel in actions which are not in the face of the enemy or for which purely military honours would not normally be granted.
GM George Medal The second highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom It awards civilian gallantry in the face of enemy action and brave deeds more generally.
KCBC King's Commendation for Brave Conduct British commendation to acknowledged brave acts by civilians and members of the military in non-warlike circumstances during a time of war or in peacetime where the action would not otherwise be recognised by an existing award
KIA Killed in Action A casualty classification generally used by militaries to describe the deaths of their own forces at the hands of hostile forces.
LdH Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur French order that is the highest decoration in France.
MBE Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Member of the British order of chivalry.
MiD Mentioned in Despatches An official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which is described the person's gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy.
WAAF Women's Auxiliary Air Force SOE Agents who were WAAF officers are highlighted in light blue.
WRNS Women's Royal Naval Service SOE Agents who were WRNS officers are highlighted in silver.

See also[edit]