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Vera Atkins

Vera Atkins was born Vera Maria Rosenberg in Bucharest, Romania, on 16th June, 1908. Her family emigrated to England in 1933 but after a couple of years moved to France. She enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris to study modern languages before attending finishing school at Lausanne. The surname 'Atkins' was her mother's maiden name which she adopted as her own.

In May 1940 she returned to England and in February 1941 she joined the French section of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Although she remained a civilian and had no military rank she was officially the section's intelligence officer while serving as assistant to section head Maurice Buckmaster.

When the allied victory in Europe was accomplished, she was commissioned as squadron leader in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), and went to Germany. Her self-appointed mission was to investigate the fate of the 118 F section agents who had disappeared in enemy territory. She succeeded in every case except one.

In 1987 she was appointed Commandant of the Légion d'honneur.

She retired to Winchelsea, Sussex and died on June 24, 2000, aged 92.

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