“Women are good. They’re more devious,” says Doris Bohrer, 88, a former World War II OSS operative, as she bemoans the scarcity of women in her field. But a couple of years ago fate brought her together with a fellow female operative, Elizabeth “Betty” McIntosh, 96, at Prince William County Retirement Community in Virgina decades after their services.
They were two of the few women in Morale Operations at the time. Always referred to as “girls,” the women were often neglected in such a male-dominated environment. Bohrer explains, “We had no privacy. Down the hall, there was a bathroom with no running water. We couldn’t bathe or do our hair well. The guys all had their own rooms.”
After OSS was disbanded in 1945, both women were hired by the CIA, and McIntosh wrote a memoir of her experience, Undercover Girl in 1947. McIntosh has sworn to never disclose the work she did with the CIA, but Bohrer explains that she worked in the CIA’s Frankfurt station, writing intelligence reports, later serving in Washington as the deputy chief of counterintelligence.
After the war they weren’t able to talk with many people about their experiences; “People weren’t interested in hearing any war stories. First off they probably didn’t believe us.” But now they’ve found one another, they always have someone to reminisce and recount their adventures with, and The Washington Post describes them as “nearly inseparable.”