The last of a dying breed.
To mislead the Axis into thinking the Allies would invade Greece instead of Sicily, they needed a spy. Living agents are always a risk so instead, they created a fictitious agent out of false documents and a corpse from a morgue in London. It was called “Operation Mincemeat” and I wrote about it once before.
Early morning on the 1st of May 1943, a Spanish fisherman discovered a corpse clothed in British military attire which had washed ashore. Apparently a casualty of an airplane accident at sea, he had a briefcase chained to him. Identified as Major William Martin of the British Royal Marines, the body and the briefcase was demanded by the British Admiralty.
What I find fascinating is this picture of a beautiful young woman who was cast as the fictitious agent’s fiance.
To create a believable fiancée, Cholmondeley wanted a photograph of Pam, so he asked the most attractive girls from the Secret Service to provide the kind of photo which a red-blooded young Marines officer would be likely to carry about his person. It was an open invitation, but Montagu in fact already had a strong candidate in mind — Jean Leslie. Montagu indicated to her that she might be a favoured candidate were she to be interested, and Miss Leslie provided the photo taken the previous summer; she had been swimming in the River Thames near Little Wittenham in Oxfordshire, with a Grenadier Guardsman on leave called Tony and he had taken the above photograph.
To think that this photograph of her at the beach found it’s way into the hands of Hitler and possibly helped in the war.