Unbound. Small but important archive of material related to Elizabeth P. MacDonald, a World War Two spy who worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in India and China. Included is her coverless spiral bound scrapbook; her confidential travel orders; a photo of OSS agents in China including Director William “Wild Bill” Donovan; a first edition of her memior, *Undercover Girl*; and a later Inscribed photo of her meeting with President Bill Clinton. Overall about very good with moderate wear to the scrapbook pages edge and some dampstaining; mailing creases on her travel orders, and a near fine copy of her book in very good, chipped dustwrapper.
Elizabeth MacDonald was a member of the OSS, the precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), operating out of New Delhi and Calcutta in India and later at the OSS China headquarters in Kunming during World War II. Her background made her an ideal candidate for the OSS. While making small talk with an Army major at an agriculture exhibit she was covering for the Scripps Howard News Service, she mentioned that she grew up in Hawaii, had lived in Manilla, spoke fluent Japanese, and was a newspaper reporter, the officer immediately pulled three application blanks from his briefcase and offered her an opportunity “to make a great contribution to the war effort [even though] he couldn’t explain the type of work because it was secret.”
This archive consists of material from shortly before and after MacDonald's recruitment by the OSS, as documented by her 38-page scrapbook-photo album filled with ephemera and photographs of friends and her life in Hawaii and the Philippines between 1939 and 1942. Included are her confidential travel orders, dated 11 July 1944, to establish a propaganda campaign. In her memoir, MacDonald recounts that when the adjutant “handed [her these] mimeographed orders marked ‘Confidential’ . . . to travel 15,000 miles at government expense,” he advised her to “be at the airport half an hour before take-off. . . . And don’t lose your orders. Sew ‘em into your corsets or something.”
Once in Kunming, China, MacDonald helped establish the OSS Morale Operations offices that originated and managed propaganda campaigns designed to demoralize and confuse Japanese soldiers in the field and Japanese civilians at home. She led the effort that created false newspaper reports, forged postcards and letters, faked radio broadcasts, and concocted rumors that were intentionally spread to Japanese spies. A 5” x 4” snapshot laid into the scrapbook shows a group of OSS servicemen including Major General William “Wild Bill” Donovan, the director of the OSS and Father of American Intelligence.
An interesting collection of original materials from a female OSS spy during World War Two.