Roald Dahl (shown above) was an RAF flier who was wounded, and unable to fly. He was sent to Washington as an assistant air attache, and became involved with Bill Stephenson (INTREPID) and the group known as British Security Coordination.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Irregulars

The book covers the period that Dahl was in Washington, from 1942 through the end of the war, and details his involvement with a number of people who would later go on to greater fame. These include Ian Fleming, Ivar Bryce, David Ogilvy, and others. It also details Dahl’s romantic involvement with such beauties as Millicent Rogers and Clare Boothe Luce, shown to the left and right respectively.

Dahl’s involvement with the Washington social scene was aided and abetted by a newspaperman named Charles Marsh. Marsh’s mistress, and future wife, Alice Glass, would become involved with a young congressman named Lyndon Johnson. This involvement would last through most of Alice’s five marriages, till she broke off the relationship as a result of the war in Vietnam.

Conant gives a brief synopsis of the post-war lives of Dahl and the other participants, but her main focus is on the war years.

One wishes that she had chosen better photographs of some of the women. While she points out that Rogers was a model, the photograph in the book does not do her justice, nor does one of Luce. The photographs shown here were found on the web. One also wishes that there had been better proof-reading. There were some lapses where words were missing, and some misprints.

This is an interesting, lively book that brings out many details of the BSC effort in Washington.