Intrepid Woman: Betty Lussier’s Secret War, 1942–1945
Intrepid Woman: Betty Lussier’s Secret War, 1942–1945, Betty Lussier, 2010, ISBN 978-1-59114-449-6, 222 pp.
Betty Lussier is quite the woman, aviator and intelligence officer.
She flew as a ferry pilot for Great Britain’s Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during World War II. Her recounting of training as well as flying all manner of aircraft is as exciting as it is educational. Adventures, near misses, tragedy and boredom—her writing has the reader vicariously experience them all.
Alas for Betty Lussier, but not the United States, the ATA reneged on its promise to allow their female pilots to ferry flight on the continent after the invasion of Europe. She did not wish to remain well behind the front and took the opportunity to join in a newly formed agency—the OSS, forerunner of the CIA—to get there. Lussier does so well to have readers experience her life at the time. The confusion, adventure, rolling up spy rings, how Nazi Germany operated spies in recently lost territories—the details only a person who was there can know.
Betty Lussier has an exciting life and her trials and triumphs during the 1942–1945 years are premier. Her writing style flows in a smooth and lively though intimate style making her book a wonderful one for readers of nearly all levels.