She parachuted out airplanes, bicycled 500 km. through opposition-held territory, and killed Nazis using just her bare hands! But, before Nancy Wake, nicknamed “The White House,” became landed on the Gestapo’s most wanted list, she was a spunky girl from a broken home, growing-up in New Zealand.
Nancy Grace Augusta Wake was born August 30, 1912 in Roseneath, Wellington, New Zealand. After the collapse of her parents’ marriage, and a childhood lacking maternal affection, she ran-away to explore the globe. Residing in London, Nancy smooth-talked a newspaper executive into employing her, and was dispatched to Paris as a roving correspondent.
A reporter by day, and bon vivant by night, Nancy met, and married, French playboy-industrialist Henri Fiocca. Following the onset of the Second World War, and the Nazis’ invasion of Paris, she and her husband joined the French Resistance. She became a courier, secreting communications and food to opposition groups in Southern France, and aided refugees, run-away POWs, and downed Allied pilots escape France.
Eventually, the Nazis wised-up to her clandestine activities, and Nancy was put on the Gestapo’s most wanted list, with a 5-million franc bounty on her head. They dubbed her “The White Mouse,” for her ability to elude capture. Ultimately, Nancy fled to England, joining Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE). There, her continued leadership, intelligence, and general bad-assery led her Nancy to become one of the Allies’ most decorated servicewoman.
To read more about Nancy’s exploits as a British agent, check-out these History, Bitches approved sources:
The History Bitch
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