A movie provides cover for Harrison’s mission

115th Infantry Division
Soldiers from the 115th Infantry Division. Courtesy of portraitsofwar.com.

Marguerite Harrison’s mission for the Military Intelligence Division had the full support of her editors at the Baltimore Sun, who provided cover for her operation. Harrison traveled with newspaper credentials to France under the pretext that she would write feature stories and show a movie the Sun had made for Maryland troops. The film, “Miles of Smiles,” showed the wives, children and girlfriends of the soldiers waving and holding up signs for their loved ones.

Harrison showed the movie numerous times to the homesick troops. Sometimes the buildings where she showed the film could not accommodate all of the soldiers, and so they stood in the pouring rain peering through the windows in hopes of getting a glimpse of their loved ones.

Shortly before Christmas 1918, Harrison learned of the sudden death of her father, Bernard Baker. Returning home to grieve was not an option. Instead, Harrison threw herself into her work, writing several feature stories for the Baltimore Sun. Then, shortly after New Year, she slipped into Berlin.

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