More and more stories are coming to light about the operatives who worked in the shadows during the Second World War, and many of them were women. By now most people have heard about Virginia Hall, the famous “Limping Lady” of the OSS, and her exploits, as well as many others. One of the more successful operatives was Betty Pack, who was born in the United States, married a British operative, and would later work for British intelligence and the OSS as a “honeypot” or a “honey trap”—using her beauty to seduce and garner intelligence from targeted sources.

The alluring and seductive Pack, known as the “Minnesota Mata Hari,” was referred to by the OSS chief, General William “Wild Bill” Donovan, as “the greatest unsung heroine of the war.” She would conduct numerous liaisons for the Allied cause, but perhaps none was as big as when she snuck into a Vichy French embassy with her French lover and got into the safe where the codebooks were kept. She wore nothing more than her heels and pearls to throw off the security guards if the two were discovered.

Early Life and Introduction to the Diplomatic Scene

Pack was born Amy Elizabeth Thorpe on November 22, 1910 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her father was a well-known and respected Marine Corps officer. Her mother was the daughter of a Minnesota state senator.

Because of her parents’ connections, she was introduced to the Washington political social scene. Despite Minnesota being as far from that as one would imagine, Pack—known as Betty to her family—took to it like a duck to water.