Virginia Hall receives the Distinguished Service Cross, 5/12/1945

“Miss Virginia Hall, an American civilian working for this agency in the European Theater of Operations, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against the enemy.

We understand that Miss Hall is the first civilian woman in this war to receive the Distinguished Service Cross.

Despite the fact that she was well known to the Gestapo, Miss Hall voluntarily returned to France in March 1944 to assist in sabotage operations against the Germans. Through her courage and physical endurance, even though she had previously lost a leg in an accident, Miss Hall, with two American officers, succeeded in organizing, arming and training three FFI Battalions which took part in many engagements with the enemy and a number of acts of sabotage…”

(From the Records of the Office of Strategic Services)

Denied a career in the Foreign Service due to an amputated leg, Virginia Hall would go on to work undercover in France during World War II for British intelligence and later the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS), organizing numerous sabotage operations against German forces. In the memo dated May 12, OSS Director William J. Donovan informs President Truman that she has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross — the only female civilian in the war to receive this honor. After the war she became one of the new CIA’s first female officers.

You can read (and transcribe!) one of Virginia Hall’s Activity Reports in the National Archives Catalog:

Read more on Hall’s career at the CIA’s Spotlight on Women’s History: Virginia Hall


Amnesty International reports that indigenous women in Canada are more likely to die than their non-indigenous counterparts and that they are more likely to die violently. According to the Native Women’s Association of Canada, there have been roughly 1,200 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada since 1980. This would be equivalent to roughly 20,000 cases among all other women. Indigenous women make up roughly 2% of Canada’s population and, according to findings by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, they are four times more likely to be murdered than non-indigenous women. Many view this as stemming from racism, sexism and colonialism. Canada’s federal government, however, rejects calls for a national inquiry into the matter.

Our Sisters In Spirit seeks to explore and answer the question of how a national inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women might be conducted and whether there is a better approach. We need your support to make this happen. As filmmakers interested in social justice, we wish to create awareness and contribute to an open discussion of this issue.

We will travel across Canada and into the United States to speak with victims’ families, First Nations communities, political figures, organizations, artists and individuals from all walks of life.

Your support of Our Sisters In Spirit is critical. Funding will be directed to the costs of travel and accommodation, post-production audio mixing and colour correction, as well as screening and distribution costs.

Director Nick Printup has a background in Aboriginal social service and was raised with traditional indigenous cultural teachings and values. He is personally connected to eight victims through family, friends and community.

Conflict between political parties on this issue and the debate over a national inquiry are ongoing. With an upcoming federal election and inaction on the part of the federal government, there is now an opportunity for change. Together and through Our Sisters In Spirit, the matter can be addressed appropriately as a human rights issue. Now is the time for action.

Many First Nations societies are matrilineal, where women are honoured and held in high regard. As givers of life they are to be protected. Please help us in remembering and protecting our sisters in spirit.

The documentary Our Sisters In Spirit will be produced for release in 2015. You can find our Twitter and Instagram, and PLEASE DONATE to our KICKSTARTER!!! Anything will help us make this film a reality.

C H A P T E R   T H R E E
read chapters one & two and the intro here

During the week, Jude and Connor fell into a routine. Connor slept over more often than not and made breakfast for Jude, Jude would argue that he could take care of himself and that he wasn’t helpless even though he had suffered his first breakup but would take the plate in the end. After breakfast they would go to the living room to watch Netflix, play a video game or just hang out, Connor drawing to his sketchbook and Jude reading his favorite book over and over again.

When their stomachs grumbled, they would order something and go back to hanging out until it was late enough for Jude to feign a yawn and go to bed an hour before Connor. He would steady his breathing and pretend like he was sleeping until he would hear Connor’s steady breathing and he would turn so he would be facing Connor and go try to sleep until the sun starts to climb up the sky.

But the next Wednesday, a catastrophe called Taylor decided it was time for Jude to get out.

It was eight in the evening and Jude was laying on the couch making Connor sit on the floor against the sofa, watching and commenting while Connor drew when someone started to bang on the Adams Fosters front door.

”Jude Adams Foster! Get your perky little butt here!”

Jude smiled when he recognized the feminine voice and walked to the front door, the book he was supposed to read before he got distracted and started to annoy Connor while he tried to concentrate on his drawings, still in his hand and Connor walking behind him. When he opened the door, Taylor grabbed his wrist and pulled Jude out of the house.

”Um. Hi Taylor?”


”Gonna tell me where we are going?”

”Nope. Connor, take a lighter. Meg texted me saying she forgot her’s home.” Taylor shouted over her shoulder and when she got an okay from Connor, she practically pushed Jude into the passenger seat and quickly sat on the drivers seat.

They waited for Connor to sit on the backseat and then they drove away.

”Taylor. Is this going to be something illegal?”

She laughed and glanced at Jude, acting offended. ”Of course not, what do you think of me?”

”You once broke into your own house. I think that answers that.”

”Oh Jude, you offend me deeply!”

All three of them laughed. They joked and were in the middle of laughing at an old memory of Taylor once in eight grade stalking her crush and tripping over a rock so hard the crush saw her and freaked out, when they pulled to a stop. Jude looked around and raised and eyebrow. ”You brought me to the far end of the beach?”

”Yup! Now come on!”

Before Jude could open the door, Taylor pulled it open, dragged Jude out of the car and towards the beach. When Jude felt sand under his feet, he saw seven figures sitting in a circle arguing about something.

He immediately recognized four of them, one of them Charlie with her short red hair and looked at Taylor with a questioning look. She just dragged him to the circle and sat down next to Gabriel who threw a small rock at Meg sitting few teens away from him.

”Shut up Meg, no one likes you anyways!” he said sarcastically and then turned to Taylor. ”Took you long enough. Got the lighter?”

Taylor nodded in Connor’s direction and he pulled the red lighter from his pocket, giving it to Jo. She took it and in no time the pieces of wood in the middle of their circle was lit. While Jo light them on fire, Taylor introduced Jude to everyone he didn’t know. ”So the one with blue hair is Ruby, next to her is Hilly, then Matt and Elliot who should get their shit together and just tell each other how they feel. That’s Eve and last and least,” Taylor said loud enough so the guy on the other side of the circle could her her and flip Taylor off. ”Love ya too Kyle!”

Charlie clapped her hands together to get everyone’s attention.

”Now we can start. So Jude, as everyone else knows, we are playing spin da bottle!” Charlie exclaimed excited and grinned in Jude’s direction.

”Spin the bottle? We’re sixteen, not thirteen,” Jude made a face.

”Oh shut up!” Gabriel said and pointed a finger at Jo. ”Joanna darling, take that app of yours and get us started!”

”Gabe I swear to God…” she muttered but let Gabriel get away with calling her Joanna. When she had the app opened, Jo clicked the screen of her phone to make the bottle spin. The bottle spinned for a moment before it stopped, pointing at Meg sitting on the other side of bonfire.

”Ooh!” they all gasped dramatically and Meg flipped them off, huffing annoyed.

”Come here, I’m not standing up. I just got comfortable,” Jo said and smirked. Meg sighed, but stood up and walked to Jo, leaning down and pressing her lips softly on Jo’s lips and pulled away a second later.

After that the phone moved from person to person counterclockwise and the kisses stayed pretty innocent. But then the phone reached Jude. With his hands shaking only slightly, Jude tapped the pixel bottle and watched it spin. To say that Jude was nervous was a huge understatement: Until this moment, Jude had managed to avoid a kiss. It wasn’t that he didn’t like kissing or was nervous about that, Jude just didn’t like the idea of kissing a stranger. He hoped he would end up kissing Taylor or Charlie, Taylor because she was one of his best friends and they didn’t harbor any more-than-friendly-feelings for each other and Charlie because she was straight as an circle. Kissing either one of those two would be just an innocent kiss on the lips, nothing more.

But of course the universe chose not to listen to Jude and the bottle landed on Connor.

Jude looked up to Connor and saw him twist the hem of his shirt in his hands nervously. Jude swallowed but stood up, walked to Connor and sat next to him, facing Connor’s side profile. Connor turned to face Jude and if Jude wasn’t so lost in Connor’s eyes, he would have noticed how quiet it was all of a sudden. He would have noticed the look Gabriel threw at Taylor and the small smile Charlie had.

Before he could think what this meant for him (since Jude had been you know, pining after Connor for years, even when he was dating Oliver), Jude leaned forwards and pressed his lips on Connor’s lips. It was supposed to be just a chaste kiss, but when Connor placed his hand on Jude’s neck and he felt Connor’s tongue against the seam of his lips, all thought of a innocent kiss flew away. He opened his mouth, letting Connor map the inside of his mouth with his tongue, lost in a world where only Jude and Connor existed until he heard someone whistle and people clap, telling them they definitely won ‘the hottest kiss’ award.

Jude pulled away, knowing his face was probably red as a traffic light, and he scrambled quickly to his feet. “I, um, need to go see… something.”

He turned away from the bonfire and Connor, making his way to the car and trying to not to think about the kiss when the only thing in his head was how it had felt to have Connor’s lips on his and Connor’s hand pulling him closer with the hand placed on the back of his head. Only when Jude reached the car, he remembered that Taylor had the keys and groaned, slumping on the ground next to the car and resting his head to the side of the car.

Why did things have to be so complicated, why couldn’t Jude just stop pining after Connor and be friends with him like they were meant to be? Why did he push all the times Connor gave him that small, personal smile in the back of his mind to be later remembered when he was dreaming of holding Connor close? Why did he want to hold Connor close, to kiss him and hold his hand?

God fucking dammit.

#rondarousey #quoteoftheday #quote #motivation #motivated #mma #bjj #jiujitsu #grappling #wrestling #boxing #kickboxing #muaythai #jiujitsu #mixedmartialarts #gi #nogi #fit #gym #diet #nutrition #fitness #health #oss #success #lifestyle #whatsyourlegacy


#OSS #WW2 #Fairbairn #Smatchet #Combatives

WW2 OSS Smatchet by William E. Fairbairn

The Smatchet and its uses are described in detail by William Fairbairn in the book he authored All-In Fighting available to read here: sword-site.com/thread/649/get-tough-william-fairbairn

This Smatchet measures 16 3/8" overall. 

The blade itself measures 11 1/8" w/ parkerized finish.

A Smatchet is a short, heavy fighting knife/sword 16.5 inches (42 cm) in overall length (including grip). It was designed by knife fighting expert and instructor Capt. William E. Fairbairn during World War II.

Though described in the Office of Strategic Services catalogue as a cross between a machete and a bolo, it was actually based on the Royal Welch Fusiliers Trench Knife of World War I, and was designed as a pure combat knife. It has a broad, leaf-shaped blade sharpened the full length on one side, and from the tip to half of the other side. The entire blade is coated with a dull matte finish to prevent detection at night from stray reflections.

According to Fairbairn, the Smatchet was an ideal close-combat weapon for those not armed with a rifle:

“The psychological reaction of any man, when he first takes the smatchet in his hand is full justification for its recommendation as a fighting weapon. He will immediately register all the essential qualities of good soldier - confidence, determination, and aggressiveness. Its balance, weight and killing power, with the point, edge or pommel, combined with the extremely simple training necessary to become efficient in its use, make it the ideal personal weapon for all those not armed with a rifle and bayonet.”

The Smatchet was used by British and American special forces (Special Air Service and Office of Strategic Services, respectively) during World War II.

In the late 1980s, Col. Rex Applegate licensed a modified version of the smatchet he and Fairbairn designed late in World War II. He called it the “Applegate-Fairbairn Combat Smatchet”.

Read more: http://sword-site.com/thread/1068/ww2-smatchet-designed-william-fairbairn#ixzz3P3NfuvNV

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