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Flight Nurse Second Lieutenant Reba Z. Whittle began her fortieth medical evacuation flight on September 27, 1944.

The pilot inadvertently flew into Germany from France where Whittle’s C-47 was shot down in the vicinity of Aachen. In the crash Whittle sustained non-life threatening injuries. The Germans held her as a prisoner of war at the Hohemark Hospital section of the DULAG LUFT IX prison of war camp where she assisted as a nurse, working with other captured Allied medical personnel treating POWs.

Whittle was put on a boxcar and sent to Switzerland where she was repatriated on January 26, 1945.

Lieutenant Whittle was the only American woman held as a POW by the Germans in WWII.

ADDENDUM:  While researching OSS operations for Snow Sticks, I discovered Ms. Gertrude Sanford Legendre, a senior staff member of the London OSS operations office, was sent to France, and was given a WAC Lieutenant cover identity. She and a group of other OSS staffers wandered across the German lines and were captured. Her story to the Gestapo was that she was a member of the Red Cross.

Very interesting full story at "The Socialite Spy Who Played So Dumb She Outsmarted the Nazis."

Lt Whittles history and her diary as a prisoner of war are recorded in an Army War College Paper by LTC Mary E.V. Frank, AN.

 

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