Jane Wallis Burrell — First CIA Officer to Have Died While in Service [Declassified : Eagle & Swastika]

“Jane Wallis Burrell was in the OSS from 1943-1945, and was a case officer in X-2 in France and Germany. She segued into the SSU, the CIG, and then the CIA, and was recognized as the first CIA officer to have died while in service.”

The OSS Society — August 27 2018

On January 6, 1948, Jane Burrell was killed in an airplane crash while on official travel, at Gonesse, France, on a flight from Brussels to Le Bourget Airfield, (outside of Paris, France).

August 29 2018 — The OSS Society honors the historic accomplishments of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II predecessor to the CIA. A declassified CIA document — released in 2003 — indicates that Burrell was part of a team hunting for the NAZI gold. Why the OSS society is tweeting about Burrell now is itself a bit of a mystery! Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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“We know nothing about Jane’s activity at the time of her death. She was returning from a trip to Brussels on January 6 — traditionally the end of the Christmas season—and despite speculation that she was on an operational mission, the limited documentation sheds no light.”

The First CIA Officer To Die in the Agency’s Service

CIA news & Information

UPDATE (April 20 2022) — The story of Jane Wallis Burrell is fascinating. The CIA claims to know nothing about Jane’s activity at the time of her death. Let us see if we can help…

Mrs. Burrell was recruited from her Washington R&A Pictorial Records Section into X-2 London in December 1943 by James R. “Jimmy” Murphy, head of X-2. Her intial posting was SHAEF Counter-Intelligence with an office in Norfolk House. By the spring of 1944, she was a part of Ryder Street X-2 and then transferred to Paris in November where she worked with SCU Unit 105 with Charles Michaelis and Lord Victor Rothschild. In May 1945 she and Michaelis were transferred to Munich SCI, 12th AG.

In 2003, Kevin Conley Ruffner — a CIA historian — wrote a report titled: “Eagle and Swastika: CIA and Nazi War Criminals and Collaborators.”

The introduction reads:

“Eagle and Swastika: CIA and Nazi War Criminals and Collaborators examines the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazis and their collaborators after World War II. It details the Agency’s assistance to various US Government investigations, primarily by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) and by the General Accounting Office (GAO), of dealings with Nazis from the 1970s to the present day. The study recounts the Agency’s long involvement with Nazis — first as an enemy in World War II, then as a quasi-ally in the Cold War, and finally as the subjects of criminal investigations and prosecutions by Federal officials.”

According to a footnote [N° 39, page 21], it would appear that Mrs. Burrell was part of a team hunting for the NAZI gold.

According to Michaelis, Spitz “persuaded Schwend that his best chance would be to confess his activities with the RSHA and to cooperate with us.” [Footnote about Burrell]

As an act of good faith, Schwend agreed to turn over to OSS all of his “hidden valuables.” Capt. Eric W. Timm, X-2’s chief in Munich, and Capt. Michaelis accompanied Spitz and Schwend to a remote location in Austria in July 1945 where Schwend uncovered 7139 pieces of French and Italian gold, which he had buried only days before the end of the war.

Stay tuned!

Nazis In The CIA

During the Cold War the CIA recruited high-ranking Nazis as agents for their operations against leftists and Communists across the globe. They infiltrated the top echelons of the German government and used Nazi treasures, allegedly lost in WW2, to finance these operations. For the first time, this film unveils how ruthlessly the CIA used the war criminals of the Third Reich for its purposes.

END of UPDATE

“What many CIA history buffs don’t know is the 1st CIA officer to die while working for the Agency was also a woman: her name was Jane Wallis Burrell. She was returning to Paris from a trip to Brussels (1948) when the flight she was on crashed.”

CIA Tweet (March 22 2019)

Jane Wallis Burrell: The First CIA Officer To Die in the Agency’s Service

Jane Burrell at Smith College

Jane Burrel was born on 22 Sep 1911 in Dubuque, Dubuque County, Iowa, USA. She is buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum in Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA.

On January 6, 1948, an Air France DC-3 from Brussels crashed on approach to the Le Bourget airport near Paris, killing all five crew members and 10 of the 11 passengers.

Jane Burrell in Beuerberg, Germany. June 30, 1945.

Among the dead was a young woman who, press reports said, was either a clerk or a courier. She was neither.

Jane Burrell was a CIA officer, and her death—only 110 days after CIA was officially established the previous September—makes her the first CIA officer to die while employed by the Agency. (…)

We know nothing about Jane’s activity at the time of her death. She was returning from a trip to Brussels on January 6 — traditionally the end of the Christmas season—and despite speculation that she was on an operational mission, the limited documentation sheds no light. An official US spokesman at the time said Jane had been on vacation.

Jane was never a candidate for a Star on CIA’s Memorial Wall because the Wall commemorates Agency employees who died in specific circumstances, and deaths from crashes of commercial aircraft have generally not qualified.

Burrell in Berkeley Square — London (29 April 1944)

At the same time, her service with CIA and its predecessor organizations was honorable and deserves to be remembered. [CIA Website]

Our Lovely Jane ~ XAIPE [Rejoice]

The Salzburg Connection

Helen Clark MacInnes (October 7, 1907 – September 30, 1985)was a Scottish-American author of espionage novels.

She and her husband immigrated to the United States in 1937, when he took an academic position at Columbia University in New York, while retaining his role in the British MI6, for foreign espionage.

MacInnes published her first novel during World War II, and her early novels are all based in that setting. Later she wrote more about characters within the context of the Cold War.

The Salzburg Connection is a 1972 American thriller film directed by Lee H. Katzin, starring Barry Newman and Anna Karina . It is based on a 1968 novel by Helen MacInnes.

Plot — After a chest is brought up from the bottom of an Austrian lake, the diver, Richard Bryant (Patrick Jordan), is found murdered. Bill Mathison (Barry Newman) is an American lawyer on vacation in Austria. He stops by a photography shop to meet with a man who is compiling a book of photographs of Austrian Lakes, as a favor to the publisher, and meets the photographer’s wife Anna (Anna Karina). The photographer has disappeared. Mathison gets caught up in trying to find the chest recovered by Bryant. It is revealed to contain a list of former members of the Nazi party who could be embarrassingly connected to current United States politics.

An American woman, Elissa Lang (Karen Jensen), pretending to be a recent college graduate on a European tour, is also after the chest, on behalf of an underground group of surviving Nazis. They all end up fighting for their lives, as well as for possession of the chest, along with a group of CIA agents. ( Wikipedia )

REFERENCES

The Mystery of Jane Wallis Burrell: The First CIA Officer To Die in the Agency’s Service — CIA news & Information

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Jane Wallis Burrell — First CIA Officer to Have Died While in Service

Jane Wallis Burrell — First CIA Officer to Have Died While in Service [Declassified : Eagle & Swastika]

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