Platoon Comd. Halina Bala-Rueger was born on 13 May 1921 in Starowiskitki near Warsaw. The Bala family was Polish-Hungarian. Halina Bala, possessing a Hungarian passport, is able to travel on German trains. In 1940-41, after receiving Polish Red Cross training, she works as a nurse. As a courier for the Home Army HQ Information and Propaganda Bureau, she distributes underground press. Together with her brothers, Władysław and Stanisław, she completes a clandestine course in photojournalism. During the Rising she serves as liaison (code name “Małgosia”) to reporters and filmmakers as well as a photojournalist. She makes photographs with a Leica camera from Allied air drops. In 1944 she is appointed to the rank of platoon commander and awarded the Silver Cross of Merit with Swords. After the capitulation of Warsaw she is held captive in the German camps of Lamsdorf, Mülhberg and Altenburg. Bala later joins the Women's Army Auxiliary Service in France. After the war she emigrates to Great Britain and then to the United States. She married Press War Correspondent, Leszek Rueger, and settles in California. || Photo: Sylwester Braun "Kris"