“Hoping that I may be of real service

Dec. 2, 1918—The signing of the armistice treaty and a flu outbreak in Baltimore were temporary setbacks to Marguerite Harrison’s quest to become a spy. With the end of fighting in Europe, Marguerite feared she had lost her chance to become a spy. But Military Intelligence Division Director Marlborough Churchill had other ideas.

He wanted to send her to Europe after all. His plan was to have her provide intelligence information that would help guide the peace talks in Versailles.

She would travel undercover as a Baltimore Sun journalist who was in France to show homesick troops a movie the newspaper had made about their friends and families back in Maryland. Once overseas, Marguerite would slip into Germany and observe the social, economic and political conditions in Berlin.

The night before she left Baltimore, Marguerite typed a letter to her commanding officer informing him of her plans to go to New York and obtain visas for the trip abroad.

She ended her letter: “Hoping that I may be of real service and assuring you that I feel very deeply the honor and responsibility of the work the War Department has given me to do.”

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