The Paris Operation of Reseau Francois-Shelburn

Note that much of the detail here has been superceded by the book "Express Delivery" - click here for details
This page updated 24 Sept 2019
Visitors to Plage Bonaparte near Plouha in Brittany may notice that the French memorials refer to reseau Francois-Shelburn. Few English or Americans will know who or what the name Francois refers to. Many readers will be familiar with the MI9 Shelburn escape line which used Royal Navy Motor Gun Boats to bring evaders from Plage Bonaparte to Dartmouth in Devon but what you may be less familiar with is the French organisation in Paris which brought the majority of these men together, fed and sheltered them, until it was time to send them to Brittany.
The reseau of logeurs and guides in Paris was organised by a man whose name doesn't appear in any of the Shelburn evaders' escape reports he was M Paul Campinchi aka Francois. For the majority of Parisian logeurs and guides, their chef de reseau was Francois few of them had ever met Lucien Dumais and they only heard the name Shelburn long after the war was over.
The story of the Paris end of the Francois-Shelburn organisation is far from simple or yet complete. Many of the people who worked with Francois are also associated with other organisations but trying to compartmentalise them into discrete groups is pointless. Evaders were collected from several different groups and areas and the only thing they have in common (for this story) is their being in Paris prior to moving to Brittany for evacuation by sea. Details of the activities in Brittany will be written separately. Other evaders handled by the group in Paris were taken across the Pyrenees to Spain but whether they should be credited to Francois-Shelburn (or any other organisation) is not an issue here.
Fortunately for the convenience of this article, the Shelburn evaders can be grouped into each of the five Bonaparte evacuations there being very little interaction between the parties and so that's how this story will be told. Note that I have not included details of the subsequent Crozier operations.
Lucien Dumais and Ray Labrosse arrived in Paris on 19 November 1943. They made their planned contact with Lucienne Bodin and Suzanne Bosniere but tragically both women were arrested two days later. The only option left for Dumais was to try Ray Labrosse's friend from the Oaktree mission, Paul Campinchi. This wasn't quite as easy as they hoped as Campinchi had been forced to move house following a visit to his home at 19 rue des Ursins by the Gestapo the previous September. However they were able to meet him and convince him that their security would be a lot better than that of his previous British contact. Once that was agreed, Campinchi took charge of everything in Paris, including temporary accommodation for the two Canadians at his new home in rue Nicolet.
Evaders had obviously been passing through Paris long before the Shelburn operation began but from November 1943, some of them were taken on by the Francois-Shelburn network. I have a list of helpers that I am confident can be credited to reseau Francois and used that list as an indication of where the evader became part of the Francois-Shelburn operation.
The following accounts are based around the evaders' escape reports. There are variations in the quality and accuracy of the reports and some of those differences are hard to reconcile. Some helper names and addresses have been added or corrected from additional sources but there are others mentioned that I have not been able to identify so far ...
Incidentally, Dumais says in his 1975 book 'The Man Who Went Back' that the first Bonaparte operation was planned for 15 December 1943 and that fifteen evaders were brought to Plouha ready for the embarkation. When that operation was cancelled nine days later due to bad weather, he says the evaders were dispersed throughout Brittany to wait for the next moonless period, beginning 28 January but I have found no evidence of any Shelburn evaders being sent to Brittany that early.
Paul Campinchi organised reseau Francois into specialist equipes (groups). Henri Dubois (equipe Henri) organised the guides and Marie-Rose Zerling (equipe Claudette) organised the safe houses, and there were others responsible for security, making false papers (Dr Jean Albert Peiffert) and providing food and clothing for the evaders. Not mentioned (or known) by any of the evaders were Mme Olga l'Hoir Sivry who provided Campinchi with his headquarters at her home at 6 rue Nicolet, or the various addresses that Ray Labrosse used to send his radio messages to London, including 1 rue Dante where Marguerite Larue, who had worked with Campinchi at the Prefecture de Police, regularly allowed Labrosse to use her fifth floor apartment.
SIS/MI9 Operation Bonaparte 1 - 29/30 Jan 1944
Sgt Norman B Cufley (1728) and Sgt John Harvey (1729) were crew on board Halifax JD247 which crashed near Moy-de-l'Aisne the night of 18/19 November 1943. They were sheltered with the Chauny-Dromas organisation until 30 November when they were taken via Auneuil to Paris by Gilbert Thibault along with Sgt John Lowther (#2335) (who went on to Switzerland ) and Sgt Robert Griffiths (1744) (who crossed the Pyrenees in January). In Paris they were sheltered by Marguerite Schmitz at 87 rue Rochechouart then with Robert Roques at 7 rue Chaligny before moving to stay with Jeanne Huet at 48 Avenue du President Wilson. On 19 January, they were interrogated by Captain Hamilton (one of the many aliases used by Lucien Dumais) who passed them on to a guide who took them by train to St Brieuc and Plouha.
Mme Marguerite Schmitz was a 55 year old divorcée who had been sheltering evaders since July 1943. Most of the evaders came from Gilbert Thibault (aka Gilbert - chief of réseau Alsace) and were passed on to Madeleine Grador or John Carter (Julien/Jules) in Lyon. In January she was contacted by Marie-Rose Zerling (Claudette) who wanted somewhere to shelter a Norwegian evader and so Mme Schmitz became part of the Francois organisation. It was Mme Schmitz who introduced Gilbert to Claudette who in turn, introduced Gilbert to Paul Campinchi (Francois).
T/Sgt Andrew F Hathaway (#346) was the top-turret gunner of B-17 42-31215 which was lost on 26 November 1943. Hathaway bailed out and landed near Beauvais (Oise) and walked south towards Paris. He was sheltered in Pouilly - where he mentions M Valliant (sic Vaillant query) - and then for 16 days at Franconville (Ile de France) M Cozé - where he was visited by a man from the organisation (small with black eyes and moustache) who took him into Paris on about 20 December. In Paris he met Marie Therese Labadie and a doctor who had previously visited him at Franconville with an English-speaking woman. Taken to stay with Miss McCarthy on rue Sainte-Anne and then to an English woman called Beata (query) for three days before Marie Therese Labadie took him to her home at 12 rue du Pontcel in Luzarches where he met Sidney Casden (#355). Hathaway was with Casden after that ...
Miss McCarthy was Miss Elsa Janine McCarthy (aka Jeanne Rose) a 55 year old English teacher from Cork.
2/Lt Sidney Casden (#355) was the bombardier of B-17 42-30058 which crashed near Etampes on 26 June 1943. Casden spent four months sheltered by August Brila at 99 rue Marechal Joffre, Le Perreux-sur-Marne before being moved to stay with the Courtet family at 6 rue Nouvelle Monceau. It was not until about 28 November that he seems to have been taken on by the Francois network when Marie Therese Labadie and Miss McCarthy took him to the Gare d'Austerlitz and handed him over to Cecile Magnial at 75 rue du Moulin Vert. Next day Maurice Bidaud took him to his garage in Juvisy-sur-Orge. Casden slept in a hotel next door (with Edmond, an escaped POW) for three nights during which time Mme Bidaud went into Paris and returned to tell Casden that the organisation (sic) had been caught and that Marie Christine had been arrested. Maurice Bidaud sent him to stay with wine merchant André Lefevre (also in Juvisy) where three other American airmen - Otto Bruzewski (#320) William Howell (#328) and Norman Schroeder (#329) - were just leaving for the Pyrenees with the Bourgogne escape line. Meanwhile, Marie Therese moved Casden to her home at Luzarches, collecting Andrew Hathaway (#346) on the way, where the two airmen stayed for the next three weeks. On 10 January, a striking blonde woman called Nell took Casden and Hathaway to stay with Mme Schmitz at 87 rue Rochechouart where they met Walter Dickerman (#354) F/O Norman W Maybee RCAF, S/Sgt Paul R Saunders and the suspicious Norwegian. On 17 January, they were visited by Madeleine Dupre (who had worked with John Carter) and others. They also were visited by Marie-Rose Zerling (Claudette) and on 18 January, she took them to be interrogated by Captain Hamilton (Dumais) before going on to the station where they were joined by a girl, a young man and an elderly man and took a late train for St Brieuc where Maybee and Saunders were arrested by a French gendarme working with the Germans. They arrived at Plouha in the afternoon of 19 January.
Marie Christine was Mme Lucienne Christine Bodin - arrested with Suzanne Bosniere and Marie Betbeder-Matibet on 21 November 1943.
Marie-Rose Zerling (aka Claudette) lived with her parents at 12 rue St Ferdinand in Paris at weekends but was a biology teacher at Valenciennes during the week - where she also worked for the local organisation. Having spent a year at Wellesley College in Boston, she spoke excellent English. When her chief was arrested, Claudette took three months sick-leave from the school and moved back to Paris. Following a wave of arrests (and releases through lack of evidence) she moved in with her aunt, Marcelle Hiaux, at 87 Boulevard de Courcelles in December 1943 and worked full time with the organisation. Claudette (who also knew Ray Labrosse from the days of Oaktree) joined Paul Campinchi in November 1943 he describes her as his principale collaboratrice and was responsible for the safe houses of reseau Francois in Paris.
Nell (aka Mme Antoine) was Mme Helene Gill (née Feodossief - born May 1917 in Petrograd). She worked for John Carter (Julien/Jules) until he was arrested in early January at Pamiers while taking evaders S/Sgt William D Edwards, S/Sgt Charles E Crippen and 1/Lt Hilbert W Philippe from the B-17 42-30604 Badger's Beauty V to Lavelanet.
S/Sgt Walter J Sentkoski (#348) was the top-turret gunner of B-17 42-3306 Phoenix which was lost following a mid-air collision with another B-17 and crashed near Sainte-Marie-Kerque (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) on 15 August 1943. Sentkoski was sheltered at Frelinghien near Armentieres - where he was soon joined by his navigator Joe Birdwell (#471) (Bonaparte 3) and then on 10 September by James King (#343) ...
S/Sgt James A King (#343) was the tail-gunner of B-17 42-29530 which was shot down near Saint-Martin-au-Laert (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) on 27 August 1943. King was sheltered in the St Omer area until 10 September when he was moved to Frelinghien where he met Sentkoski and Birdwell ...
On 28 October, they met Marie-Rose Zerling (Claudette) in Armentieres and she took them to Valenciennes to stay with Emil Ducarne at Villereau, near Le Quesnoy (Nord) until 26 November when she took them to Paris. They stayed overnight with Claudette's parents at 12 rue St Ferdinand before King was taken to stay with Mme d'Hespel at 7 rue Maspero and Sentkoski to the 5th floor apartment of Mme Lucienne Mansienne at 10 rue de Geoffroy-Marie for three weeks before rejoining King at 7 rue Maspero. Sentkoski also spent 12 days with Genevieve Robin at 3 rue de la Cité Universitaire before Claudette took him back to rue Maspero. On 19 January, Sentkoski and King left for St Brieuc and Plouha with Richard Smith (#349) and Morton Shapiro (#353).
Mme d'Hespel was the comtesse Bertranne Marie d'Hespel (widow of the comte Bertrand d'Hespel) a 24 year old medical student at the Necker Hopital des Enfants Malades in Paris. She was recruited in November 1943 by compte Bernard d'Havrincourt and Mary-Rose Zerling and became a logeur for equipe Claudette (and later equipe Yvon) as well as a convoyeur to Brittany for equipe Henri. In June 1944, shortly after the departure of a group of evaders, her home was raided. Questioned by the Gestapo, she was released for lack of evidence.
On 30 December 1943, the B-17s 42-30674 Destiny's Tot, 42-29963 Judy, 42-5997 Heaven Can Wait and 42-31173 Maid to Please, and the B-24s 42-7548 Bull O' The Woods, 42-63973 and 42-7588 were among the many USAAF aircraft lost returning from a raid to Ludwigshafen.
1/Lt Richard M Smith (#349) 2/Lt William H Booher (#350) T/Sgt Alphonse M Mele (#351) and S/Sgt Jerry Eshuis (#352) were pilot, co-pilot, radio operator and ball-turret gunner of the B-17 42-30674 Destiny's Tot which crashed at Campremy, north-east of Beauvais. The four men were helped by the organisation in Saint-Just-en-Chaussee (Oise) before being taken to Paris on 10 January where they stayed two days with Mme Rose Coulon at 204 Boulevard Pereire. Then they were moved to stay with Albert Poncelet at 24 Boulevard des Capucines and his step-son Pierre. While they were at Boulevard des Capucines, the evaders were interrogated by Jacky du Pac and Joe Birdwell (#471) who delayed his own departure from Paris to work with the organisation, helping to check the identities of US airmen. Later Birdwell returned with Marie-Rose Zerling (Claudette) and on 18 January she took them to Montparnasse station. They collected Morton Shapiro (#353) on the way and met Lucien Dumais before being put on a train to St Brieuc and Plouha.
Albert Poncelet, along with his wife Madeleine, was the concierge at 24 rue des Capucines. Raymond Henrion (who lived at 14 rue Duphot) owned one of the apartments and he allowed the organisation to use it as required.
Jacky du Pac was Jacques Henri du Pac de Marsoulies. Born 1915 in Saigon, he was multi-lingual and often interrogated evaders to confirm their identities. He was introduced to Paul Campinchi in March 1943 by Val Williams (of Oaktree) but only did occasional work for Campinchi at that time. Following the arrest of Marie-Rose Zerling in February 1944, his main responsibility with Francois became working on the link between Paris and Gilbert Thibault's réseau Alsace in l'Oise. Always well dressed, Jacky would sometimes present himself as English and is often referred to by evaders as a British Intelligence Officer.
2/Lt Morton B Shapiro (#353) was the navigator of B-24 42-63973 which was shot down by fighters and crashed south-east of Soissons. Shapiro landed in the Foret de Compiegne and was soon helped. Next day he was taken to Paris and arrangements were made for him to stay with Jacques Aude (a French artillery lieutenant who spoke some English) at 28 rue Georges Sand. A few days later he was visited by Marie-Rose Zerling (Claudette) and Joe Birdwell. Also visited by another girl who brought 2/Lt George Padgett who was staying with 2/Lt Joe Burkowski. After five days with Jacques Aude, Claudette took Shapiro to stay with Mme Gabriele Maron at 121 Ave Mozart where he was visited by Captain Hamilton (Lucien Dumais) and also Joe Birdwell who told him that Claudette had gone to collect five airmen but they'd already been caught. She had brought Sgt Paul Saunders USAAF and F/O Norman Maybee RCAF back with her and delivered them to Mme Mansienne at 10 rue de Geoffroy-Marie. On 19 January, Claudette arrived with Richard Smith (#349) to take Shapiro to St Brieuc and Plouha.
S/Sgt Paul R Saunders (waist-gunner on B-17 42-30033 Little America) and F/O Norman W Maybee RCAF (401 Sqn Spitfire) were arrested on 19 January 1944 at St Brieuc station. 2/Lt George C Padgett (bombardier of B-17 42-29937) and 2/Lt Joseph Burkowski (navigator of B-17 42-9893 El Diablo) were arrested 2 February 1944 at Toulouse station.
S/Sgt Walter E Dickerman (#354) was the tail-gunner of B-17 42-31173 Maid to Please which was shot down by fighters and crashed near Hénonville (Oise). Dickerman bailed out just north of Beauvais and was helped on landing. Four days later the local organisation took him into a nearby village where he stayed with a man who ran a garage. His helpers were unsure of Dickerman's identity (he had no dog tags or escape kit with him) until he was questioned by an Englishman who accepted his story. Dickerman was moved to another village (probably Auneuil) where he was visited by Gilbert Thibault. Dickerman was then driven in a delivery truck to Beauvais where he was given identity papers before being taken by a new guide by train to Paris. He stayed with Mme Schmitz at 87 rue Rochechouart for eleven days and met the suspicious Norwegian (Olaf/Fred) who was staying with her. He was also visited by Marie-Rose Zerling (Claudette). On 19 January, Dickerman met Paul Saunders and Norman Maybee and that evening Claudette took him to stay ovenight with Marguerite Schmitz at rue Rochechouart. Next morning, Mme Schmitz took Dickerman to the station where he met William Booher (#350) Alphonse Mele (#351) and Jerry Eshuis (#352) and they took the train to St Brieuc and Plouha.
It is not clear who Olaf Hansen (aka Fred) really was but Claudette first encountered him in October 1943 when she was asked to collect him from Gaston Lepine at Sebourg, just outside Valenciennes. Olaf's story of being a Norwegian working for the BBC and escaping from a camp near Hamburg sounded unlikely and Claudette passed her suspicions on but apparently received approval of Olaf from her superiors. After taking King (#343) Sentkowski (#348) and Birdwell (#471) to Paris, she returned to collect Olaf who was subsequently lodged with her parents at rue Ferdinand, with Mme Wallerant at 87 Boulevard de Courcelles, with Mme Mazilier at 15 rue Montrosier, Neuilly-sur-Seine and finally with Marguerite Schmitz at 87 rue Rochechouart.
Sgt Fred T Schmitt (#344) and Sgt John L Sullivan Jnr (#345) were gunners on the B-24 42-7588 which crashed at Montaure in Upper Normandy. They bailed out near Rouen, met up on the ground and stayed together throughout. Schmitt whose report is almost illegible - mentions Roger (about 26 years old, 5 ft 7 inches, 135 lbs, bad complexion, dark wavy hair) and Jacques (about 22 years old, 5 ft 9 inches, 155 lbs, long light coloured wavy hair, good looking, dressed very well). Taken to Paris on about 12 January where Carlos (query) took them to a lady's apartment, then to another house where they met Donald Heskett (#347). Another Jacques (5 ft 9 inches, thick head, thin lips, high forehead, thinning hair, round shouldered) mentioned as taking them to a doctor's house near the Seine and Madeleine (medical student, pale complexion, spoke English). Interrogated by a stocky man with a moustache (Dumais query). Met John Morgan (query) (about 5 ft 4 inches, black hair and beard) and taken to the home of Yves (query) see Heskett (#347).
1/Lt Donald J Heskett (#347) was the pilot of B-24 42-7548 Bull O' The Woods which crashed between Compiegne and Soissons (Oise). His report is almost illegible but he bailed out and landed near Soissons and was helped before being taken to Paris on about 19 January. Mentions Robert brother-in-law of Marius Vaillant (query) at 6 rue de Maubeuge - and 144 rue Saint-Denis (Jacques query see Schmitt). On about 20 January, Marie-Rose Zerling (Claudette) collected him, Schmitt (#344) Sullivan (#345) and one other (John Morgan query) from Jacques' place and took them all to the station and a train to St Brieuc.
SIS/MI9 Operation Bonaparte 2 - 26/27 Feb 1944
The first group of Francois-Shelburn evaders were taken by train to St Brieuc where they changed to the little train for Plouha but soon after their departure, the railway from St Brieuc to Plouha was closed to public traffic and so the evaders were taken further west to Chatelaudren or Guingamp.
F/Sgt Leon J G Harmel (1807) was the pilot of Spitfire AD314 which crash-landed near Abbeville on 20 December 1943. Harmel (who was Belgian) was sheltered in Paris by friends of his father's and moved in with his cousin, M Mardon, a jeweller on rue Aristide Briand, Levallois-Perret. A previous shelterer, Mme Gaucher made contact with Rene Loiseau who on 24 January, moved Harmel to stay with Marguerite Di Giacomo at 5 rue Baudin, Levallois-Perret. Jacky du Pac came to visit and on 11 February, Lucien Dumais arrived to interview Harmel. On 13 February, Jacky du Pac took him to stay with Albert Poncelet, the concierge at 24 Boulevard des Capucines. On about 23 February, Marcel Cola took Harmel to Montparnasse station where he was handed over to M Dussy (query) who took him and American escaper Lee Gordon (#434) to Guingamp.
Rene Alfred Loiseau was 21 years old, about 5 ft 7 inches tall, with light coloured hair and blue eyes. He had served briefly with the French navy but been demoted after refusing to fire on the allies in North Africa . His mother Suzanne had been helping evading Frenchmen since 1940 her husband was blinded in the First War and Rene had helped by taking some of them across the demarcation line to southern France. One of Mme Loiseau's lodgers was Jacky du Pac and in November 1943 he recruited Rene to help him convoying military evaders. Rene's activities were already known to the authorities and so he had moved across the road from his parents' apartment to live with Marguerite Di Giacomo, who he subsequently recruited into the Francois organisation along with her next door neighbour Yvonne Latrace.
Marcel Gustave Leonce Cola (aka Yvon) was a 36 year old widower who lived at 12 rue Piccini and worked as a Ford Motor Company executive. Cola was brought up in Canada and the US and is often described by evaders as French-Canadian. He joined reseau Francois in November 1943 to work as a guide under his friend Henri Bois taking evaders to Brittany and in January 44 he resigned his position at Ford to work full-time with the organisation. With his fluent English and knowledge of North America, he also took on the job of interrogator and following the arrest of Marie-Rose Zerling, became chief of equipe Yvon under Paul Campinchi. Always well-dressed and with a superficially similar physical description to Jacky du Pac, it is possible to confuse the two men from some of the evader reports.
S/Sgt Lee C Gordon (#434) was the ball-turret gunner of B-17 41-24623 which was shot down over Wilhelmshaven on 26 February 1943. Gordon was captured and sent to a series of POW camps. After some particularly ingenious but ultimately unsuccessful attempts, he escaped from Stalag VIIA (Moosburg) in October. He made his way to St Nicolas-du-Port, just south of Nancy (Lorraine) where he was helped by an organisation (Marie-Claire query) and Gordon reached Paris in November. No further details found - apart from almost drowning in the failed reseau Dahlia attempt to sail the Jouet-des-Flots from Douarnanez to England the night of 3-4 February - before he was interrogated by Jacky du Pac and M Dussy (query) took him and Leon Harmel (1807) from Paris to Guingamp where they missed their guide and the two airmen got drunk in a bar ...
2/Lt Louis Feingold (#419) and 2/Lt Warren C Tarkington (#420) were navigator and bombardier of B-17 42-30674 Destiny's Tot. They landed near Saint-Just-en-Chaussee (Oise) where they were helped by Jean Crouet head of the organisation there. They spent the night of 30 December in Crouet's chateau on rue d'Amiens before being moved to stay with Leon and Idamir Hary, bakers on rue de Paris, until 3 January. After returning to Jean Crouet for a day, they were moved to stay with Georges and Helene Rousseau, also on rue de Paris. On 6 January, they were taken by truck to Clermont where they stayed with Gaston and Odette Legrand, and Odette's son Edmond Sauvage at rue du Chatellier and met Edward Donaldson (#460) (Bonaparte 3). During their stay they visited Mlle Bernadette (query) every other evening. On 8 January, they were joined by Donaldson's pilot 2/Lt Glen Camp, navigator 2/Lt James Cooper and gunner Sgt Neelan Parker (#461) (Bonaparte 3). On 20 January, Mlle Bernadette told them that four could leave next day and Feingold, Tarkington, Donaldson and Parker were chosen. With Lucien Leclercq patrolling in his car they walked to the station but the train only got as far as Creil. They got separated into two pairs at Creil but were reunited on 22 January and Edmond Sauvage took them to Noailles by train and then by car 10 kms to the farm house of Robert and Marthe Eckert on rue Mignon. On 24 January, they were driven by truck to Auneuil where they stayed with their guide Gilbert Thibault. On 26 January, they were joined by Sgt Ray Reeves (#729). On 27 January they were driven to the station to be taken to Paris by Gilbert Thibault and a barber. They took the Metro to stay with Mme Schmitz at 87 rue Rochechouart where they met 'Olaf' and Typhoon pilot F/Sgt Richard W Aitken-Quack. They spent the day there and Tarkington soon told Gilbert Thibault that he thought Olaf was an imposter - and Aitken-Quack agreed. That afternoon (at about five o'clock) Marie-Rose Zerling (Claudette) took Parker and Donaldson to stay with Bertranne d'Hespel at 7 rue Maspero. She returned in the evening at seven to collect Feingold and Tarkington and take them to stay with Mme Jeanne-Henriette Kocera-Massenet at 10 rue Ernest Renan. Claudette told them that she was going to the north of France and would be back on 8 February. Later that evening Claudette also delivered Ray Reeves to Yvonne Diximier at 8 rue Jean Moréas.
F/Sgt Richard Aitken-Quack was the pilot of 609 Sqn Typhoon JP924 which was shot down on 1 December 1943. I don't know anything about his evasion apart from him being sheltered by Robert Eckert in Noailles (Oise) and being passed on to Marguerite Schmitz by Gilbert Thibault.
Feingold and Tarkington stayed with Mme Kocera-Massenet and her son Jean for four weeks. On 14 February, Jean Kocera-Massenet and his friend Raymond Mauret (both convoyeurs with equipe Henri) brought Robert Fruth (#462) and Harold Vines (#457) (both Bonaparte 3) into Paris and Feingold and Tarkington saw them for half an hour before they were moved to stay with Anita Lemonnier in another apartment in the same block. On 16 February, Feingold and Tarkington were interrogated by Marcel Cola who said he was their new contact man since Claudette had been arrested following Olaf's escape (sic) from Mme Schmitz. He knew nothing about Parker, Donaldson, Reeves or Aitken-Quack but Mme Schmitz had also been arrested. Marcel Cola returned on 21 February to take their pictures. Feingold and Tarkington left Paris the evening of 24 February Jean Kocera-Massenet took them to the station where they met Raymond Mauret who had brought Mike Olynik (#431) and James Quinn (#433) (query see below) and they all took a train to Guingamp.
At two o'clock in the morning of 5 February, ten soldiers and civilians came to 87 rue Rochechouart and arrested Madeleine Schmitz, Richard Aitken-Quack and Olaf/Fred. They were taken to 101 Avenue Henri Martin and the horrors of the Masuy gang where Mme Schmitz was tortured for information. Meanwhile the Germans set up a trap (souriciere) at her apartment which resulted in the capture later the same day of Marie-Rose Zerling. The arrest and torture of Marie-Rose Zerling led to other names being found and a series of consequent arrests followed including Mme Jeanne Huet who had sheltered Cufley and Harvey in January.
Madeleine Schmitz was condemned to death on 26 April 1944. She was held at Fresnes and only ill health prevented her deportation to Germany. She was freed with the liberation of Paris. Marie-Rose Zerling was condemned to death on 28 April 1944 and deported to Germany. She was repatriated to France on 4 August 1945.
Contrary to the opinions of some of the evaders, Mme Schmitz was not convinced that Olaf/Fred was a German agent and believed that she was actually denounced by an associate of her ex-husband Marcel Schnerb himself arrested on 7 February. The fact that Mme Wallerant, one of Olaf's lodgers, was apparantly not arrested and that the first questions asked of Mme Schmitz were about her ex-husband, would seem to support this.
Anita Lemonnier was the 31 year old sister of actress Meg Lemonnier. Anita and her mother Marie Suzanne Lemonnier (both of whom spoke English and German) sheltered many evaders in their apartment at rue Ernest Renan, on the same block as Mme Kocera-Massenet. Anita was also one of the guides who took evaders from Paris to Brittany.
S/Sgt Mike Olynik (#431) was a waist-gunner on B-17 42-3348 Dottie J III which crashed near Nancy on 18 October 1943. Tarkington (#420) says he met Olynik (and James Quinn) at Montparnasse station but I have found no mention of Paris in Olynik's MIS-X report which is almost illegible anyway ...
2/Lt James A Schneider (#432) was bombardier and T/Sgt James N Quinn (#433) the radio operator of B-17 42-29895 Black Swan which was shot down on a raid to Bordeaux on 30 December 1943 and crashed near Bannalec (Brittany). Schneider evaded for a few days until helped by a local organisation and joined by Quinn at some stage. Quinn evaded in Brittany where he was involved in several adventures. Tarkington (#420) says he met Quinn (and Mike Olynik) at Montparnasse station but I have found no mention of Paris in Quinn's MIS-X report.
With the first two Bonaparte operations running so well, and the numbers of evaders ever increasing, Dumais decided to try and fit three evacuations into the next moonless period.
SIS/MI9 Operation Bonaparte 3 - 16/17 Mar 1944
Sgt Dennis Brown (1848) was the flight engineer of Lancaster ND461 which crashed near Gournay-en-Bray (Seine-Maritime) on the night of 27/28 January 1944. Brown was sheltered in Gournay-en-Bray by a M Ballet before being taken to stay in his Paris apartment with his wife and daughter. Brown stayed two weeks during which time he met several members of the local organisation. Then a woman took Brown to stay two nights in another house about two miles away before being taken to a Metro station where he was passed on to two other women who took him to stay at a bootmaker's shop at 18 rue Daumesnil, Vincennes (address of Lucien Plumereau of Equipe Yvon) with Pierre and Hannah, for four weeks. Whilst there he was visited by the English-speaking M Gerard who lived opposite where Brown was staying. Brown was interrogated by Jacky du Pac and two weeks later Cola moved Brown to stay with Jean Charles Pradal and his dog Tout Suite at 6 Villa Auguste Blanqui, 44 rue Jeanne d'Arc where he met Charles Creggor (#470) and spent the night of 13/14 March. The following morning M Pradal took Brown and Creggor to Montparnasse station where they were handed over to Jacky du Pac who passed them on to a young man who took them to Brittany .
Jean Charles Pradal is described by Creggor (below) as an old gentleman (he was born 1898) with a very long beard and although he had helped Frenchmen escape to the country, he had never sheltered Americans before. Marcel Cola (Yvon) says that M Pradal never hesitated to shelter evaders whenever he was asked but had to leave his apartment in July 1944 to avoid arrest by the Gestapo.
Sgt Charles W Creggor (#470) was a waist-gunner on B-24 42-7548 Bull O' The Woods and he bailed out and landed near Pasly (just outside Soissons). He was helped next day by a man who said he had taken Stanley Langcaskey (#691) (Bourgogne) to Paris the previous day and on 3 January, Creggor was taken via Compiegne to Paris himself. Creggor was taken to a lawyer's office on the third floor of an apartment building near the Palais Royal. The lawyer was a man of medium build, with dark hair, round face, aged about 30. His wife about 30, brown eyes and hair, slim build - seemed to work there and that evening, Creggor was taken to stay ovenight with Mme Alexandre at 11 bis rue Valentin Hauy. Next day a tall, attractive, dark-haired, fair complexioned woman of about 26 visited she was apparently connected to the French Embassy in Madrid. That evening a young woman called Rivoir (about 19 years old, small, thin, dark blonde) took Creggor to the apartment of M et Mme Chautagaut at 5 rue Jeanne d'Arc, Ivry-sur-Seine. M Chautagaut was a lawyer at the Banque de France and had sheltered some American airmen the previous autumn. That same evening, Creggor was taken by Rivoir to Jean Charles Pradal at 44 rue Jeanne d'Arc. Creggor stayed ten weeks with M Pradal during which time he was visited and questioned by Jacky du Pac. Shortly before he left, Jacky du Pac brought Sgt Dennis Brown (1848) to join him and on the evening of 14 March, Creggor and Brown were taken to Montparnasse station and put on a train to St Brieuc and Chatelaudren.
On 7 January 1944, the 567 BS B-24 Liberators 42-63977 Los Angeles City Limits and 42-40747 Heavy Date, and the 328 BS B-24 42-7614, were returning from a raid on Ludwigshafen when they were shot down by fighters south of Paris. T/Sgt Harold R Vines (#457) from Los Angeles City Limits bailed out and landed near Pithiviers (Centre). 2/Lt Shirley D Berry (#456) 2/Lt Manuel M Rogoff (#455) and S/Sgt Russell L Paquin (#458) from Heavy Date landed near the little village of Egry, about 15 kms south-east of Pithiviers. S/Sgt Robert K Fruth (#462) from 27614 landed some distance away but was soon helped and taken to Egry on 14 January where he found Berry, Rogoff and Paquin and was joined by Vines three days later.
Rogoff, Berry and Paquin were all helped soon after landing and taken to Pierre Charie, son of the maire at Egry. They were joined by Fruth four days later and on 17 January, by Vines. On 14 February, the five airmen were taken to Puiseaux (Raymond Bourdois query) where they were given ID cards, and then on to Paris in three groups Rogoff then Vines with Fruth and Berry with Paquin - each with their own French guide one of whom was Jean Kocera-Massenet.
Rogoff (whose face had been badly burnt) was taken to stay with Maurice Cavalier and Jean Pivet at the Lycée Saint Louis, 44 Boulevard Saint Michel where he was joined a week later by Bill Spinning (#477). Berry and Paquin were taken by Marcel Cola to stay with Mme Schneegans at 62 Rue Tiquetonne. Vines and Fruth were taken to stay with Anita Lemonnier and her mother Marie at 2 rue Ernest Renan ...
Mme Schneegans was Genevieve Delphine Schneegans (nee Vernianjal) 33 years old, whose husband (who was later arrested by the French government for smuggling) had left her in January 1944. She was recruited by Maurice Cavalier - with whom she is thought to have been having an affair - and shared her home at 62 Rue Tiquetonne with Mme Olympe Vasseur (nee Strouken).
2/Lt William H Spinning (#477) was the bombardier of B-17 42-29863 Kentucky Babe which was damaged by flak at Frankfurt before being shot down by fighters over France on 11 February 1944. Spinning bailed out near Abbeville and was sheltered close to his landing point before being taken to Paris on 14 February. He was sheltered with M et Mme Lanxiaurs at 44 rue du Chateau and interrogated by Marcel Cola. Spinning was there for a week until Jean Pivet took him to stay with Maurice Cavalier and his wife at the Lycee St Louis, 44 Boulevard St Michel where he met Manuel Rogoff (#455) ...
Vines and Fruth stayed with Anita Lemonnier until Sunday 12 March when Jean Kocera-Massenet took them to Montparnasse station where they joined Edward Donaldson (#460) Neelan Parker (#461) Charles Winkelman (#468) and Joe Birdwell (#471) to be taken by train to St Brieuc and Chatelaudren.
Spinning and Rogoff stayed at the Lycee St Louis until Monday 13 March when they were joined by Shirley Berry (#456) and Russell Paquin (#458) and all four evaders were taken by Jean Pivet and a woman (described as old) to Montparnasse station where they were joined by William Campbell (#473) and Frank Moast (#474). The woman passed them over to two other guides who took them by train to St Brieuc and Chatelaudren.
2/Lt Edward J Donaldson (#460) was the bombardier and Sgt Neelan B Parker (#461) a waist-gunner of B-17 42-29963 Judy. Donaldson met up with Louis Feingold (#419) and Warren Tarkington (#420) (both Bonaparte 2) at Clermont and then with his own navigator 2/Lt Jarvis H Cooper, pilot 2/Lt Glenn E Camp and waist-gunner Parker in early January. The organisation sheltering them could only take four men and on about 21 January, Donaldson, Parker, Feingold and Tarkington were taken by train to Creil. A few days later, Gilbert Thibault and a barber took them from Creil to Paris. A blond man then took the whole party by Metro to Mme Schmitz at 87 rue Rochechouart where they met English Typhoon pilot F/Sgt Richard W Aitken-Quack and the supposed Norwegian Fred/Olaf. Marie-Rose Zerling (Claudette) arrived the same day and made them fill out a questionnaire then took Donaldson and Parker to stay with Bertranne d'Hespel at 7 rue Maspero. While they were there they were told that Fred had escaped from Mme Schmitz and contacted the Gestapo. With their connection to the organisation apparently lost, Bertranne d'Hespel contacted Marie-Franz (Marie-France Geoffroy-Dechaume) who knew Marcel Cola who came with Marie-Franz and two men, took their photographs and supplied them with ID papers. They were also visited by Lucien Dumais. The following Sunday (12 March) Bertranne d'Hespel took Donaldson and Parker to the Gare Montparnasse - where they joined Harold Vines (#457) Robert Fruth (#462) Charles Winkelman (#468) and Joe Birdwell (#471) - and were passed on to another guide who took them by train to St Brieuc and Chatelaudren.
2/Lt Charles B Winkelman (#468) was the pilot of B-17 42-30035 Torchy which was hit by flak and fighters on the morning of 3 September 1943 on a raid to Chartres and the crew bailed out. Winkelman evaded for eight days until reaching a farm near Montlhery (about 20 kms south of Paris) where he was sheltered for three months before being taken into Paris on 23 December. He had various adventures there, being moved around and helped by people from more than one organisation until 5 February when Mathilde Glob took him to 21 rue des Batignolles where she lived with her husband Henri Tronville who was the concierge. Winkelman stayed at rue des Batignolles until Sunday 12 March when Milly Geoffroy-Dechaume brought Marcel Cola to question him and then took him to the apartment at 2 rue Ernest Renan where Harold Vines (#457) and Robert Fruth (#462) were staying with Anita Lemonnier. Next day they were all taken to the Gare Montparnasse and put on the evening train to St Brieuc and Chatelaudren.
2/Lt Joseph A Birdwell (#471) was the navigator of B-17 42-3306 Phoenix, lost on 15 August 1943 when its tail was cut off in a collision with another B-17 over the Pas-de-Calais. The crew bailed out and Birdwell was helped immediately on landing. Birdwell had a particularly interesting time in Pas-de-Calais before meeting Marie-Rose Zerling (Claudette) at Armentieres.
Birdwell seems to have an equally interesting time in Paris but sadly his MIS-X report is almost illegible. On 28 November, Claudette took Birdwell, James King (#343) and Walter Sutkowski (#348) to Paris where they stayed overnight at her house at 12 rue St Ferdinand. Next day, King was moved to stay with Bertranne d'Hespel at 7 rue Maspero and Birdwell met Acelino (query) who took Sentkowski to stay with Mme Mansienne at 10 rue de Geoffroy-Marie. Birdwell stayed at Claudette's house for three weeks. Mentions a general's widow at 15 rue Montrosier, Neuilly. Moved to Mme Vve Marie Louise Dacremont's apartment at 12 rue de Dobropol on the Sunday night before Christmas and stayed there for a week alone. With Claudette's aunt away for the weekend, Birdwell moved to stay in her apartment with Claudette at 87 Boulevard de Courcelles. Later to stay with Louise Fournier (married to First War veteran Edward Fournier now RCAF in England ) at 10 rue Claude Debussy. Birdwell went with Claudette to identify Morton Shapiro (#353) because the Brit IO (probably referring to Dumais) was out of town at rue Georges Sand and also to Boulevard Pereire to check William Booher (#350) and Jerry Eshuis (#352). Says he expected to leave Paris on 15 January but due to the escape from Brittany of two prisoners they wanted to check on one English with a broken foot (Val Williams) and one Russian who had arrived in Paris, he stayed behind to check they weren't working for the Germans. On about 20 January, Birdwell was moved to stay with Louise Mansienne at 10 rue Geoffroy-Marie ...
2/Lt William T Campbell (#473) was the bombardier and S/Sgt Frank J Moast (#474) top-turret gunner of B-17 42-37815 Miss Lace. On 26 November 1943, the aircraft was badly damaged by flak and fighters near Paris and the crew bailed out.
Campbell was helped soon after landing near Claye-Souilly (Ile de France, just east of Paris) and sheltered with Lucien Bontemps. On Monday 6 December, Roger (ex-French navy submariner) (Roger Asselineau query) and another man took Campbell by bus to a Metro station in Paris. He was met by Maurice Thomasset and a blonde woman who took him by Metro to Issy-les-Moulineaux and walked to an apartment at 21 rue Ernest Renan (the same street as Mme Kocera-Massenet, Anita Lemonnier, M Lacroix and Mme Moissonier) where Campbell stayed with Henri Robert. On Christmas Eve, Henri Robert and Thomasset's son Claude took him to the Thomasset home at 96 Avenue Victor Hugo, Aubervilliers where Campbell stayed for just over eight weeks, during which time he was joined by his TTG Sgt Frank Moast (#474) ...
Maurice Thomasset was arrested at his home on 31 March 1944 and sent first to Fresnes then Compiegne before being deported to Germany on 17 August 1944. He was liberated from Buchenwald on 11 April 1945 and repatriated to France a week later.
Moast landed near Charny (about 6 kms north-east of Claye-Souilly) and was picked up at once. He was sheltered overnight before being taken to Paris to stay with Dr Francis Tribulet, a throat and lung specialist, at 101 rue de Prony. Moast stayed there for three days before the doctor took him to an apartment on rue Piccini (the same road as Marcel Cola) where he stayed with the doctor's mistress Mlle Helene Laurencet. Moast stayed with Mlle Laurencet for nine weeks during which time the doctor brought a man from Rouen who told Moast he would get him to England by boat, although this plan fell through. Then the same Roger who brought Campbell to Paris took Moast to a café in Aubervilliers where he met William Campbell (#473) and joined him at 96 Ave Victor Hugo ...
On Sunday 20 February, Campbell and Moast were taken to stay with Albert Poncelet at 24 Boulevard des Capucines where Albert was the concierge and kept evaders in his apartment on the top floor. Leon Harmel (1807) (Bonaparte 2) was there when they arrived but soon left for Brittany. Campbell and Moast stayed for three weeks, during which time Marcel Cola came to take their photographs. On Wednesday 13 March, Cola and a woman took them to Montparnasse station and put them on a train to St Brieuc and Chatelaudren with Bill Spinning (#477) Manuel Rogoff (#455) Shirley Berry (#456) and Russell Paquin (#458).
On 8 February 1944, B-17s 42-40020 Good Pickin and 42-29633 were returning from a raid to Frankfurt when they were brought down over Oise. Many of the crewmen were helped by the local organisations and five of the evaders were taken to Francois-Shelburn in Paris. B-17 42-37984 (Shevchik) was on the same mission but aborted after flak and fighter damage over Luxembourg and the aircraft was abandoned over France. Of the ten crew, only one was captured - the other nine evaded successfully, one to Freteval, two with Bourgogne and six with Francois-Shelburn.
S/Sgt Everett E Stump (#463) was top-turret gunner and Sgt Carlyle A Van Selus (#464) was ball-turret gunner of the B-17 42-37984. Stump landed at Auchy-la-Montagne (Oise) where he was helped immediately and directed to a nearby barn. On the way he collected his pilot Milton Shevchik (#527) (Bonaparte 5) and was later joined by co-pilot James Thorson (#528) (Bonaparte 5). That evening they were taken into a house and later saw their tail-gunner Francis Higgins (#825) (Bourgogne) and radio-operator Robert Sidders (#1056) (Freteval) at another house nearby. The following night Stump, Schevchik and Thorson were moved to Crevecoeur-le-Grand where Stump stayed with a school-teacher Henri Villette and his wife Severine on rue de Grandvilliers, Shevchik with Georges Dubois and Thorson with Alexandre and Albertine Dizambourg on rue de Breteuil. They were told to pick a partner for the onward journey. The group were joined by William Hoffman (#530) (Bonaparte 5) - Higgins and Sidders were also there - and then on 16 February, by Van Selus (#464) who had also been sheltered nearby. On 18 February, Stump and Van Selus were driven to Beauvais along with George Buckner (#539) (Bonaparte 5) and that evening went to Ons-en-Bray (about 10 kms west of Beauvais) where they met 2/Lt Dean Tate (#467) ...
Sgt Carl W Mielke (#465) was the tail-gunner on B-17 42-40020 Good Pickin and he landed on the roof of a house at Thiescourt near Lassigny (Oise) (about 20 kms north of Compiegne) belonging to a member of the local organisation (Rosa Delnef at rue Mélique query). Mielke was soon joined by 2/Lt Dean Tate (#467)...
T/Sgt William C Lessig (#466) was the top-turret gunner of B-17 42-29633 and he landed in a field and started walking south, spending the first night in a clump of bushes. Next day he was helped and that evening taken to 2/Lt Dean Tate (#467) ...
2/Lt Dean W Tate (#467) was the bombardier of B-17 42-29633 and he landed near Lassigny (Oise) and was helped immediately. He was taken to the house where Carl Mielke (#465) was staying and they were joined by his TTG William Lessig (#466) that evening. A few days later they were taken by a man called Maurice by train to Creil and the following morning went on to Beauvais where they stayed (with Lucien Revert query) in a wine shop on rue de Clermont. On 16 February, a lawyer (Gilbert Thibault query) drove them and David Warner (#540) (Bonaparte 5) - to an inn at Ons-en-Bray where they joined Everett Stump (#463) Van Selus (#464) and George Buckner (#539) (Bonaparte 5) ...
On the morning of 20 February, Tate, Stump, Van Selus, Mielke and Lessig walked about two miles to a farm house (Maurice Duval query - and sons André and Pierre and daughter Rolande). They were told that about 30 Americans were being sheltered at Beauvais and 40 more at Crevecoeur-le-Grand. A British IO (Jacky du Pac - query) came and interrogated them to make sure they were genuine evaders. On 10 March, Tate, Stump, Van Selus, Mielke and Lessig were taken to Beauvais station where Rene Loiseau and Georges Fleury's son Alain, took them by train to Paris.
Because their rail journey was delayed by sabotage and they arrived at Gare du Nord after curfew, they had to spent the night on another train in the station. Next morning they took the Metro then walked two blocks to a five story apartment building where Stump, Van Selus and Mielke stayed with Marguerite Di Giacomo at 5 rue Baudin, Levallois-Perret taking their meals next door with Yvonne Latrace, while Tate joined Lessig and stayed across the street with Rene Loiseau's parents at 4 rue Baudin. On Wednesday 13th March, they received papers from Marcel Cola which allowed them to travel in the Zone Interdite and Rene Loiseau took them to Montparnasse station for the train to St Brieuc and Guingamp.
Marguerite Di Giacomo (aka Margot) was 38 years old, about 5 ft 4 inches tall with dark hair. In addition to sheltering evaders in her apartment, she also collected some of them from Oise. Margot lived next door to Yvonne Latrace, 34 year years old, about 5 ft 3 inches tall with blonde hair and blue eyes. Both women's husbands were POWs in Germany. Rene Loiseau lodged with Margot although his parents lived directly opposite at 4 rue Baudin. Evaders often stayed in Yvonne's apartment during the day while she was working at the Philippe restaurant on rue Daunou but spend the night in Margot's apartment. NARA lists 35 evaders (not all Shelburn) who were housed by Marguerite Di Giacomo.
The B-17s 42-31380 and 42-39784 Cabin in the Sky were also on the 8 February raid to Frankfurt but they were shot down over Normandy.
T/Sgt Kenneth P Christian (#472) was the radio operator of B-17 42-39784 Cabin in the Sky which crashed about 8 kms south-east of Cherbourg. Christian was helped on landing and sent to Evreux where he met Philip Capo (#459) ...
2/Lt Philip A Capo (#459) was the co-pilot of B-17 42-31380 which apparently lost fuel after being hit by flak over Germany. The crew bailed out and the aircraft crashed near Pont-Audemer. Capo landed south-west of Rouen and was sheltered near his landing site by various (named) people and taken by train to Evreux where he was joined by Kenneth Christian (#472). They reached Paris on 13 March and stayed one night with a woman called Annie (about 35 years old). They were given new ID cards by Marcel Cola before a French girl and a man called John who worked at the Ford Motor Company (Jean Vaina query) took them and John Amery (#469) on the 10.45 train (on Wednesday 15 March - query) to Guingamp.
Sgt John T Amery (#469) was the top-turret gunner of B-17 42-5997 Heaven Can Wait which was shot down by fighters returning from Frankfurt on 30 December 1943 and crashed near Monthois in the Champagne-Ardennes. Amery bailed out and landed close to the crash site and although aided at various stages, he basically walked alone for seven days to Paris before finding help in a café. Avery was taken to the apartment of Jacques La Forte (police inspector, wife Mariette and three helpers, Paul, Andre and William Edwards) at 31 rue Charlot, Paris III. Avery stayed there from 5 January to 11 February and was treated by Dr Roget (or Roger). Also met Claude Jolly, another police inspector who was arrested by the Gestapo on 11 February. M Guy (sports commissioner, head of the local organisation, now in Algiers) came to check Avery's identity. (When the Germans raided M Guy's office, he went underground in Paris and when he left, La Forte took over from him). On 4 February, Jacques La Forte received a phone call saying that a guide had been arrested with all of Avery's papers on him and so Avery was hidden in the roof of La Forte's apartment building. On 11 February, Avery was moved to stay with Andree Buizzone (query) on rue d'Alsace, Clichy and stayed two weeks before returning to La Forte's home for several weeks. Finally La Forte contacted Joe Lucian (query) who put him in touch with Marcel Cola who interrogated Avery and came on 14 March to say Avery would be leaving the following night. M et Mme La Forte and M Roger (coiffure, La Forte's lieutenant, along with a Mme Suzanne who worked for Roger) took Avery to Montparnasse where Marcel Cola pointed out his guides who took Avery onto the train. Philip Capo (#459) and Kenneth Christian (#472) were brought in by a man and a woman and they travelled together to St Brieuc where they changed trains for Guingamp.
SIS/MI9 Operation Bonaparte 4 - 19/20 Mar 1944
Operation Bonaparte 3 seems to have taken most of the evaders being sheltered in Paris by reseau Francois. With the next evacuation from Plage Bonaparte scheduled for just three nights later followed by another four nights after that - subsequent evaders brought into Paris could be moved on to Brittany with the minimum delay.
2/Lt Clyde C Richardson (#497) was the navigator of B-17 42-3285 Marie Ellen which was shot down on 29 January 1944. He landed near Le Cateau-Cambresis (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) where he was helped before being passed to the Chauny-Dromas group where he joined his pilot Francis Hennessy (#496) ...
1/Lt Francis P Hennessy (#496) was the pilot of B-17 42-3285 Marie Ellen. He landed near Chauny and was helped by the Chauny-Dromas organisation until 14 February when Alfred Logeon took him and his navigator Clyde Richardson (#497) to Creil. They were interrogated by Jacky du Pac and joined in Creil by Elmer Risch (#498) Paul Dicken (#500) and William Scanlon (#501) ...
T/Sgt Elmer D Risch (#498) was the top-turret gunner of B-24 42-7548 Bull O' The Woods which was shot down on 30 December 1943. Risch landed a few kilometres south-east of Chauny and was helped by the Chauny-Dromas group until 14 February when Jean Chevalier took him, Paul Dicken (#500) and Richard Schafer (#499) by train to Creil. On 8 March, they were joined by Bill Scanlon (#501) ...
S/Sgt Paul F Dicken (#500) was a waist-gunner on the B-24 42-63973 which was shot down on 30 December 1943. Dicken landed east of Laon and walked to a farm where his journey was arranged. Dicken was sheltered locally until 5 February when he was passed on to Bob Pique of the Chauny-Dromas organisation and joined his pilot Richard Schafer (#499) in Chauny ...
2/Lt Richard F Schafer (#499) was the pilot of B-24 42-63973. He broke his leg landing near Chiry (south of Noyon) and was picked up by a 25 year old Frenchman who took him to a house where he was given civilian clothes and taken by truck to Chauny. Schafer was visited by fellow pilot Francis Hennessy (#496) and joined by his own waist-gunner Paul Dicken (#500) who moved in with him. On 13 February, Jean Chevalier came from Creil and took Schafer and Dicken to the station where they met Dr Jacques Boury and his daughter Jacqueline who brought Elmer Risch (#498) and Alfred Logeon and they took the train to Creil. From 13 February to 17 March Schafer stayed with Armand Wiamont and his wife at 5 rue Ribot in Creil while Dicken stayed with Paul and Marguerite Toussaint at 13 rue Charles Somasco. Whilst at Creil, Schafer and Dicken met Hennessy again plus Clyde Richardson (#497) Bill Scanlon (#501) Earl Wolf (#487) and Leonard Bergeron (#488) ...
S/Sgt William J Scanlon (#501) was a waist-gunner on the B-17 42-37984 - same aircraft as Stump and Van Selus (Bonaparte 3) and Shevchik, Thorson and Wall (Bonaparte 5) - which was shot down on 8 February 1944. Scanlon was unconscious when he landed near Beauvais and wandered in a daze until he was picked up by local men and taken to the home of a gendarme in Beauvais where a doctor visited him. Scanlon was quickly taken by car to Creil and Dr Debray (reputedly the third-best surgeon in France) attended to him and gave him civilian clothes before taking him to hospital. Scanlon was then sheltered with Marcel and Renée Gérardot at rue Henri Pauquet in Creil where he stayed (ill but recovering) until 21 February when he was moved to various other homes in Creil and joined Elmer Risch (#498) before they were taken to Paris ...
2/Lt Robert O Lorenzi (#489) 2/Lt Robert L Costello (#490) 2/Lt Paul R Packer (#491) and S/Sgt Edward J Sweeney (#492) were from the B-17 42-31325 which was shot down over Pérennes (Oise) on 8 February 1944. They were helped and sheltered in l'Oise - see Tail End Charlie article and interrogated by Jacky du Pac before being brought to Paris by Rene Loiseau ...
1/Lt Earl J Wolf Jnr (#487) was co-pilot and S/Sgt Leonard F Bergeron (#488) a waist-gunner on the B-17 42-31388 which was damaged by flak over Germany and finished off by fighters over France to crash near Campremy (Oise) about 20 kms north-east of Beauvais - on 11 February 1944. Wolf was helped immediately on landing near Saint-Just-en-Chaussée and joined by Bergeron (who landed near Clermont) a few days later. Their reports are almost illegible but they travelled together at least some of the time, were sheltered with Raymond and Germaine Stubert at rue Henri Paquet in Creil for three weeks and are mentioned by others ...
On Thursday 16 March, Lorenzi, Costello, Packer and Sweeney plus Wolf, Bergeron, Richardson and Schafer were brought from Creil to Paris. They travelled in two groups Lorenzi and crew with Rene Loiseau and the other four with Genevieve de Poulpiquet (aka Gilberte). The two groups joined up again at the Gare du Nord. Schafer and Richardson were taken to stay with Bertranne d'Hespel at 7 rue Maspero and the others with Margeurite Di Giacomo (Margot) and Yvonne Latrace at 5 rue Baudin, Levallois-Perret.
The comtesse Genevieve de Poulpiquet (born 1905) began her resistance work when she and her husband Cesare sheltered F/Sgt Albert Wright (895) in their home of Chateau de Trefy at Quemeneven, Finistere in February 1942. They also sheltered five US airmen from the B-17 41-24584 SUSFU before they were passed on to Louis Nouveau of the PAO and all arrested with him in February 1943. The Chateau de Trefy was raided in March 1943 but Genevieve was not at home when the Germans arrived. Warned before she could return, she went to Paul Campinchi in Paris. After working briefly with Oaktree, she went into hiding with Campinchi until the creation of the Francois-Shelburn network where she worked as a courier.
On Friday 17 March, Rene Loiseau and Genevieve de Poulpiquet brought Hennessy, Risch, Dicken and Scanlon from Creil to Paris and delivered them to 5 rue Baudin, Levallois-Perret where they briefly met Lorenzi, Costello, Packer and Sweeney who had stayed there the night before. That evening, Rene Loiseau took Lorenzi, Costello, Packer, Sweeney, Wolf and Bergeron by Metro to Montparnasse station where he handed them over to Henri Bois who had their train tickets and who in turn handed them on to their two guides for the journey to St Brieuc and Chatelaudren.
On Saturday 18 March, Rene Loiseau took Hennessy, Risch, Dicken and Scanlon by Metro to Montparnasse where they joined Richardson and Schafer, and their guides Charles Rouet and Marie-France Geoffroy-Dechaume, who took them by train to St Brieuc and Chatelaudren.
SIS/MI9 Operation Bonaparte 5 - 23/24 Mar 1944
F/O Graham C Brickwood (1854) force-landed his Mustang AM188 near Cayeux on 29 January 1944. He was soon helped and taken to Friville-Escarbotin (Somme) where he stayed for seven weeks during which time he met Russell Barnlund (1859) and Kenneth Lussier (1860). On 18 March, the three evaders were taken by train to Abbeville, where they stayed overnight because the line had been bombed, then to Paris. They were taken to an apartment at 18 rue Demarquay (query) then after lunch at a restaurant, to spend the night in a house near Montparnasse station with a couple and their two children. On 20 March, their guide returned and took Brickwood to Genevieve Schneegans at 62 rue Tiquetonne where he met Keith Sutor (#536) and Kenneth Woodhouse (1858). Brickwood and Sutor stayed the night and had their photographs taken. On 22 March, they were taken to Montparnasse station and joined a party of six men. They were given ID cards and put on a train to Guingamp.
P/O Ronald W Daniel RAAF (1855) was the pilot and only survivor of Halifax HR985 which was shot down by a night-fighter on 11/12 November 1943. Daniel landed near Echauffour (Lower Normandy) and was helped by various people and organisations until 22 February, when Marie Therese Auffray took him to Paris and her home at 21 rue Gazan. About a week later, Daniel became ill and was visited by Dr Simone Huguet and on 12 March, Daniel went to stay in her apartment at 90 Avenue Mozart. On 17 March, Mme Jules Henry moved him to 7 rue Maspero where he stayed with Bertranne d'Hespel until leaving for Guingamp three days later.
F/O Kenneth B Woodhouse (1858) abandoned his Spitfire MJ119 on 16 March 1944, baled out and landed near Le Fay-St-Quentin (Oise) just east of Beauvais. He was soon picked up Maurice Rendu and hidden with his elderly parents M et Mme Wilfred Rendu in Le Fay-St-Quentin where he found two American evaders already being sheltered. On 18 March, the three evaders were driven away, collecting three more US evaders en route to Rochy-Condé, where they met a seventh airman evader. Later that same morning they were all driven to Beauvais and in the afternoon, all seven (one of the Americans was wounded) were taken by train to Paris, arriving at the Gare du Nord that evening. Woodhouse was moved from place to place but eventually wound up with Genevieve Schneegans and Olympe Vasseur at rue Tiquetonne where Woodhouse met Keith Sutor (#536). Next day Woodhouse was taken to the Lycee St Louis where he met Maurice and Marguerite Cavalier and was introduced to Russell Barnlund (1859) and Kenneth Lussier (1860). Maurice made Woodhouse a set of ID papers before he was taken to the station where he met up with Barnlund, Lussier, Soutar and the wounded American again. A new guide (possibly Mireille Catherine Herviec) took them by train to St Brieuc and Guingamp.
F/O Russell E Barnlund (1859) and Sgt Kenneth E Lussier (1860) were crew of Lancaster DS845 on a raid to Augsburg the night of 25/26 February 1944 when the engines began to fail and the aircraft was abandoned near Abbeville. Barnlund came down near Escarbotin where he was helped and taken to St Blimont. Lussier came down near Chepy and was picked up a local man and taken to St Blimont and then Escarbotin where he met Barnlund and their journey was arranged. On 17 March, they were taken to meet Paul Brickwood (1854) and next day all three were taken to Abbeville for one night then on to Paris with a M Rouen. They went to an apartment belonging to a woman named Bertha then to a café near Montparnasse station and on to a flat belonging to a married couple, where they spent the night. Next day, Barnlund and Lussier were taken to stay with Maurice Cavalier at the Lycee St Louis while Brickwood went to Genevieve Schneegans at 62 rue Tiquetonne. At 0700 on 21 March, they were taken to Montparnasse station where they met four USAAF evaders and two guides a boy and a girl who took them by train to Guingamp.
1/Lt Milton L Rosenblatt (#520) was the co-pilot of B-24 42-7501 Bing's Big Box which was shot down by fighters on 21 January 1944 during a raid against V1 rocket sites in the Pas-de-Calais. The aircraft crashed near Beaussault in Upper Normandy and Rosenblatt, who landed nearby, was soon helped and the following day his journey arranged. Rosenblatt's MIS-X report mentions being taken by car to Beauvais and passing through Creil but the notes scribbled by the interviewer are almost illegible. He seems to have met up with some of the evaders from Tenabuv at Auneuil.
On 11 February 1944, the B-17 42-31099 Tenabuv was returning from a raid to Frankfurt when it was attacked by fighters. The crew bailed out and the aircraft crashed 9 kms south-east of Forges-les-Eaux (Seine-Maritime). Three of the crew were captured but the other seven men evaded successfully, six of whom were passed on to reseau Francois-Shelburn.
2/Lt Robert V Laux (#521) was the pilot and 2/Lt Phlemon T Wright (#522) the navigator of Tenabuv. Their combined MIS-X report says they joined up after a few days and their journey was arranged but the Appendix C notes by their interviewer are almost illegible. They mention Gilbert Thibault (who was with them as far as Beauvais) and Rochy-Condé where they met Milton Rosenblatt (#520) but I haven't managed to decipher much more of any relevance.
Sgt Thomas J Glennan (#523) was left waist-gunner on Tenabuv and he landed near Amiens. Glennan was helped immediately, hidden, given civilian clothes and soon taken to a farm where he joined his radio operator Abe Helfgott (#524). Glennan had been shot through the foot before bailing out and required medical attention and so a doctor attended to his wounds. Three days later the farmer took Glennan and Helfgott to another farm where they joined Phlemon Wright (#522) Rudolf Cutino (#525) and Richard Hamilton (#526). Put into two cars, Glennan, Helfgott and Wright were taken to Auneuil where they met Gilbert Thibault and went first to his house (on rue de St Leger) and then next door where the family of three kept a shop. They stayed for two days then Glennan and Rosenblatt (#520) (who had been sheltered nearby) (with Joseph and Marthe Roget at the hamlet of Le Croquet, near Troussures query) were taken by a gendarme named Alphonse Rouillard and one of Glennan's previous shelterers to Bresles (east of Beauvais). Glennan stayed four weeks with Alphonse and his family in his apartment at the police barracks while an elderly English woman staying next door (her daughter was married to another gendarme) acted as his interpreter. A doctor attended to him regularly and he was frequently visited by the Mayor of Bresles. After two weeks, Helfgott joined him and during the third week, they were moved to stay with Louis and Marguerite Marin at rue de la Place, Rochy-Condé where they found Milton Rosenblatt (#520) Robert Laux (#521) and Phlemon Wright (#522) and were interrogated by Jacky du Pac. On 18 March, they were taken by truck to Beauvais where they picked up more Americans (including Cutino and Hamilton) and were put on a train to Paris. In Paris the Americans were taken to a lady's apartment - probably Yvonne Latrace at 5 rue Baudin - where they found Jacky du Pac waiting. After dinner, the Americans were split up Glennan and Rosenblatt stayed in this apartment for two nights and had new photographs taken and received new ID cards. Then to another apartment, whose occupant, a lady probably Marguerite Di Giacomo - also at 5 rue Baudin - had gone to Beauvais to collect more Americans, where they stayed the night with two other Americans. Next morning they were taken to the station but Glennan and Helfgott had to return to the apartment (Laux and Wright were there) for more photographs. Glennan, Helfgott, Laux and Wright then left by train for Guingamp.
Sgt Abe A Helfgott (#524) was the radio operator on Tenabuv and he also landed near Amiens. Helfgott was helped immediately by various people until he finally made his way to a place near Aumale where he declared himself to a woman in a café. She arranged for Helfgott to be taken to a farm where he was joined by injured waist-gunner Thomas Glennan (#523). Helfgott's story is the same as Glennan up to where he, Glennan and Phlemon Wright (#522) were taken to Gilbert Thibault at Auneuil. While Glennan stayed with Alphonse Rouillard at Bresles, Helfgott and Milton Rosenblatt (#520) were taken to stay with Louis and Marguerite Marin in Rochy-Condé and then with Gaston and Odette Legrand at rue du Chatellier in Clermont before Gaston took Helfgott by motorcycle back to the gendarmerie at Bresles where Glennan was staying ...
Sgt Rudolf Cutino (#525) was the right waist-gunner on Tenabuv and he was helped soon after landing. That evening he joined ball-turret gunner Sgt Richard C Hamilton (#526) at a farm near Conteville (NW of Beauvais) where they stayed for five days. Whilst they were there, they met two Frenchmen who had helped Wright (#522) Glennan (#523) and Helfgott (#524) and who confirmed their identities. They were sheltered for a month in a house on the outskirts of Beauvais (with Charles and Ginette Choux query) before being taken to the railway station where they joined Glennan and Helfgot and four French guides took them to Paris where they went in separate groups to a sixth floor apartment. Their photographs were taken and Cutino and Hamilton stayed in another apartment in the neighbourhood (same building or perhaps opposite chez Loiseau at 4 rue Baudin query) before rejoining Glennan and Helfgot. Milton Rosenblatt (#520) was also brought there. Next morning (18 March) Cutino, Hamilton, Glennan and Helfgot were taken to the station by two women. They were turned over to a new guide (Frenchman, 22 years old, blond, blue eyes, lived in Paris) (Rene Loiseau - query) who took them onto the train where they met Russell Barnlund and Kenneth Lussier and four Americans and another guide (French girl, 24 years old, blonde, spoke English) and went to Guingamp.
1/Lt Milton V Shevchik (#527) was the pilot of B-17 42-37984. He was helped upon landing in a field near Domeliers (Oise) and soon joined by his engineer Everett Stump (#463) (Bonaparte 3) and then by their co-pilot James Thorson (#528). Whilst at Domeliers, they were taken to see their radio operator Robert Sidders (#1056) (Freteval) and tail-gunner Francis Higgins (#825) (Bourgogne) who were sheltered in another house in the same village. Their identities were checked by Gilbert Thibault who arranged to have them taken to Crevecoeur-le-Grand (between Amiens and Beauvais) next day. Stump stayed with a school-teacher named Henri and Séverine Villette at rue de Grandvilliers, Thorson with Alexander and Albertine Dizambourg at rue de Breteuil and Shevchik with Georges and Marcelle Bourgois at rue de La Rochefoucault from 9 to 18 February. During that time William Hoffman (#530) arrived in the village with four more members of his crew - George Buckner (#539) David Warner (#540) S/Sgt Harold Buckner and Sgt Marion Knight. On 18 February, Gilbert Thibault took Shevchik, Hoffman, Thorson and Wall (and Buckner and Warner query) to Beauvais where they stayed at Saint Just-des-Marais with a coal dealer called Vifcain. On 23 February, one of the men who had visited them at Crevecoeur moved them to stay with Lucien Revert at 24 rue de Clermont in Beauvais Ray Reeves (#729) who had been brought back from Paris following the arrest of Claudette was also staying there. Shevchik and Thorson stayed several weeks in Beauvais and were wondering if they were being helped by competent people but about a week before they left Jacky du Pac came from Paris and questioned them. On 16 March, Gilbert Thibault and a short man collected Shevchik and Thorson in a truck and drove them to Clermont where they stayed with Georges and Rachel Fleury at 25 Chemin de Mouy and met John Bernier (#537) and David Helsel (#538). On 18 March Jacky du Pac took Shevchik, Thorson, Helsel and Bernier to Paris ...
S/Sgt John F Bernier (#537) was the ball-turret gunner and S/Sgt David G Helsel (#538) a waist-gunner on B-17 42-29633 (the same aircraft as Lessig and Tate see Bonaparte 3). They were found soon after landing and taken to a farm house between Compiegne and Monchy-Humieres (Picardy) with Gaston and Henriette Vervel and family brothers Jacques, Jean and Pierre plus two sisters on rue de Gournay. They were sheltered overnight and given food, clothes and 1,000 francs each. Next day they were visited by the curé Francois Le Pévédic from Francieres (Compiegne) (about 5 kms SW of Monchy-Humieres) who gave Jacques the key to his priestery. Next morning they were taken to the priestery at Francieres and locked in for the day. Next day Henri Doisy, wife Simone and 14 year old son Philippe came and took them to their estate on Grande Rue, Cressonsacq where they stayed three weeks before being taken back to Le Pévédic. On the third day, Jacky du Pac came from Paris and interrogated them. Next day Henri Doisy took them by camionnette to the estate of Georges Fleury where they stayed for two weeks. On the twelfth day Milton Shevchik (#527) and James Thorson (#528) joined them and on Saturday 18 March, Jacky du Pac came and took the four Americans by train to Paris ...
Jacky du Pac took them to a hotel in Levallois-Perret where they were joined by Robert Laux (#521) and they all went around the corner to 5 rue Baudin where they found Yvonne Latrace, Marguerite Di Giacomo and Rene Loiseau with a group of Americans including Francis Wall (#529) who had been with them at Crevecoeur. Shevchik and Thorson stayed one night at the hotel and next day returned to Yvonne's apartment. The following evening (Monday 20 March) Rene Loiseau took Shevchik and Wall to Gare Montparnasse where they met other members of their party - six Americans in all with Rene Loiseau as their guide to Guingamp.
Rene Loiseau would usually pass his evaders over to Henri Bois at Montparnasse station but on this occasion he went with them and Bertranne d'Hespel to Guingamp where they were passed on to Mathurin Branchoux.
Bernier and Helsel stayed on with Yvonne Latrace. Shevchik left on the Monday night with Wall and next day Glennan and Helfgot were brought to Marguerite's apartment next door. Marguerite took Laux, Glennan and Wright while Jacky du Pac took Bernier, Helsel, Helfgot and Thorson to Montparnasse. Marcel Cola came to the station and gave orders and papers to an oldish man (5 ft 10 inches, ruddy complexion, greyish hair, white moustache, blue eyes) who took the seven Americans by train to Guingamp.
2/Lt James M Thorson (#528) was the co-pilot of B-17 42-37984. He landed about 5 kilometres east of Domeliers and was soon helped and joined his pilot Milton Shevchik (#527) and engineer Everett Stump (#463) (Bonaparte 3). They were taken to Crevecoeur-le-Grand where Thorson was sheltered by Alexandre and Albertine Dizambourg on rue de Breteuil Alexander was a foreman of a textile factory - before being taken to Beauvais to stay with M Vifcain. When Shevchik and Wall left Paris for Brittany on 20 March, Thorson stayed an extra day at 5 rue Baudin because he didn't have a passport photograph.
Sgt Francis C Wall (#529) was a waist-gunner of B-17 42-37984. He was helped soon after landing, taken to Crevecoeur-le-Grand and sheltered with a couple called Gaston and Jeannine where he was visited by Shevchik and most of the rest of his crew. After a week Wall was moved to stay with James Thorson (#528) and they were together as far as Beauvaisis. On 26 February, Wall and William Hoffman (#530) were moved to a house in the country at Marseille-en-Beauvaisis where they stayed with WW1 veteran Joseph Lesueur, his wife Marguerite and son Albert (and wife Jeanne) for 23 days. On 18 March, Wall and Thorson were taken to Paris where they stayed at 5 rue Baudin. Wall left Paris for Guingamp on 20 March with his pilot Milton Shevchik.
S/Sgt George P Buckner (#539) was the top-turret gunner and Sgt David Warner (#540) a waist-gunner on B-17 42-31387. Their report is almost illegible but Buckner and Warner were soon together and made their way to Crevecoeur-le-Grand where a woman in a bakery shop (Odette Hanniet) took them to stay with André and Simone Cocuelle and their two children at Place de l'Hôtel de Ville for ten days. The man who took pictures for their ID cards also took them, along with Francis Higgins (#825) (Bourgogne) and Robert Sidders (#1056) (Freteval) to Beauvais. It was Gilbert Thibault who took them, their navigator William Hoffman (#530) Francis Wall (#529) and two others to Paris. In Paris, Buckner shared with Hoffman and Wall at rue Baudin until they were moved next day by a Belgian woman. Met a French Canadian (probably Marcel Cola) and had pictures taken. Mentions Bertranne d'Hespel and 7 rue Maspero, Paris XVI ...
2/Lt William H Hoffman III (#530) was the navigator of B-17 42-31387. Hoffman was helped soon after landing and stayed with Justin and Germaine Lefranc on rue de Clermont in Crevecoeur-le-Grand. He was taken to see Shevchik, Thorson, Wall and Scanlon also saw S/Sgt Sidders and Sgt Higgins (all from Shevchik's aircraft) who were safe but did not make the journey with him. The last two days were spent with André and Simone Cocuelle at Place de l'Hotel de Ville - André ran a garage and was the local organisation chief. On 18 February, two men took Hoffman, Shevchik, Thorson and Wall in a truck to stay with an old couple named Rousse, then Hoffman and Wall were moved to stay at Marseille-en-Beauvaisis with 84 year old farmer, Joseph Lesueur and family. They stayed there for 24 days and during that time were visited by Shevchik and Thorson and also Rudolf Cutino (#525) and Richard Hamilton (#526). Hoffman was taken to Paris with George Buckner (#539) and David Warner (#540) and on 23 March, Hoffman (at least) was taken to Montparnasse station. Hoffman was in a party of evaders taken by Bertranne d'Hespel and a young French doctor to St Brieuc and Guingamp on the same train as Milton Rosenblatt (#520) Cutino and Hamilton.
1/Lt William B Lock (#531) was the pilot and S/Sgt Charles H Mullins (#532) a waist-gunner on B-17 42-31175 Trudy returning from Oschersleben on 11 January 1944 when the aircraft caught fire and the crew bailed out over Holland. Lock landed about 15 miles north of Deventer (Overijssel) and found help the next day. He was passed from one helper to another and on 16 January, joined Mullins who was sheltered nearby. On 3 February, they were taken to Brussels where they met RAF navigator F/Lt Sydney Smith (LIB/1522) from 78 Sqn Halifax JN974 and five Americans : B-24 pilot 2/Lt Donald C Schumann (41-28593) B-17 co-pilot 2/Lt William J Koenig (42-30142) his engineer T/Sgt Kenneth Shaver (#675) tail-gunner Sgt John R Buckner and 2/Lt Clayton David (#674) - along with a Dutch escaper called Jack. On 9 February, Mullins, Smith and Schumann left for Paris followed by Lock, Schafer, Buckner and David two days later. Both groups were taken to an Electric Technical School somewhere to the south-west of the city, south of the Eiffel Tower. On 26 February, they were walked south out of Paris in pairs: Lock with Mullins (#532) Smith with Schumann David (#674) with Shaver (#675) Buckner with Koenig. Lock and Mullins lost contact with the other six from that point when they were taken about 10 kms from Paris to the village of Longjumeau then on to Champlan and then to Saulx-les-Chartreux. A man came from Paris (possibly Marcel Cola or Jacky du Pac) to interrogate them - lots of detail but almost impossible to decipher except that they stayed with a wine merchant and his family until 22 March when they were taken to Montparnasse and put on an early morning train to St Brieuc and Guingamp with Alfred Coffman (#533) Robert Rujawitz (#534) Keith Sutor (#536) and Graham Brickwood (1854).
2/Lt Alfred T Coffman (#533) was the co-pilot of B-17 42-40025 Touch The Button Nell. The aircraft was damaged on a raid to Nancy on 6 February 1944 and three officers bailed out before pilot, 2/Lt Henry Putek, returned the aircraft to the UK. Coffman claims no knowledge of leaving the aircraft, only regaining consciousness in mid-air and pulling his rip-cord before landing near Chamblay-Bussieres, Meurthe-et-Moselle (query). He was helped almost immediately and his journey arranged. The Appendix C of his MIS-X report is virtually illegible but he seems to have met Robert Rujawitz (#534) in Paris ...
T/Sgt Robert J Rujawitz (#534) was the radio operator of B-24 42-100345 which crashed near Fricourt (Somme) on 2 March 1944. Rujawitz landed near Walloy-Baillon about 25 kms north-east of Amiens and was helped immediately. The Appendix C of his MIS-X report is almost illegible but some details can be found in "Les avions allies de la RAF et de USAAF tombes dans la region de Roye". On 4 March, Rujawitz reached Curchy where he was sheltered overnight with Jean Baptiste d'Hautefeuille, his wife Lucie and their daughter Elisabeth. The next day Lucie d'Hautefeuille took him to Paris and delivered him to 97 rue des Petits-Champs where he was passed on to an evasion network. Rujawitz seems to have met Alfred Coffman (#533) in Paris ...
Les avions allies de la RAF et de USAAF tombes dans la region de Roye (2002) Eric Abadie, Norbert Greuet and Jan Van Laere published by Cercle Maurice-Blanchard, Mondidier (Somme)
S/Sgt Robert H Sweatt (#535) was a waist-gunner on B-24 42-41013 Trouble which was attacked by fighters on 7 January 1944. Sweatt bailed out south of Chartres - the aircraft crashed between Bouville and Bonneval (Centre) - and Sweatt landed close to the crash-site. He was soon picked up and sheltered with the Dupont family (father, mother, two sons and two daughters) in their farm house for five days before moving to another farm with Lucien Duneau (a bicycle mechanic and organisation member) at Montboissier with father, mother and two girls, Huguette and Odette. During this time he was visited by a man described by Sweatt as a sheriff who gave him an ID card. On 1 February, the sheriff took Sweatt to the station and passed him over to another Frenchman and his wife and they took him to a laundry in south-east Paris until 17 February. Whilst there, he was interrogated by a dark, slightly bald French captain who spoke English. On 17 February, a man called Roger (35-40 years old, spoke English) and a garage mechanic called Maurice came to see him they said they would radio England and took him to Maurice's house (along with wife Vivienne around Neuilly-sur-Seine) in north-west Paris where Sweatt stayed until 20 March. That night Maurice and Roger took him to Montparnasse station where they met the French captain again who said Sweatt could not be moved that night. The following night, Maurice took him to Montparnasse again where Sweatt met Woodhouse (1858) Brickwood (1854) Shevchik (#527) and his gunners, and other Americans and they took the train to St Brieuc and Guingamp.
S/Sgt Keith W Sutor (#536) was the tail-gunner of B-24 42-40747 Heavy Date and the last man to jump from the doomed aircraft on 7 January 1944. Sutor landed near Sully-la-Chapelle at Nibelle (Loiret, Centre) and was soon helped by a man who took his parachute. He then walked for five days before being picked up near la rue du Pont aux Moines, Donnery (just east of Orleans) and sheltered by a wood-cutter and his wife at their home in Mardié. A miller named Marcel Germain moved Sutor to another house in Mardié where he stayed with an electrician named Marceau Jovilet (ex-POW and ex-French navy). Next day Pierre Berault moved him a couple of miles south to stay with a man named Charteret and his family for a week. Then Sutor was moved to Pierre Berault's house back in Mardié for three days before moving back with the Germain family for 32 days during which time a doctor removed a bullet from Sutor's back. On 22 February, Sutor was moved to Nibelle to stay with the man who took his parachute and had previously helped two other airmen. Next day a French doctor took him to Pierre Charrié at Egry where he stayed two hours before Raymond Bourdois (a grocer) his wife Huguette and a man with a cane took him to Raymond's house in Puiseaux. There he was visited by a pharmacist who showed him a motion piction of Rogoff (#455) Berry (#456) and Paquin (#458) (all Bonaparte 3). Sutor stayed in Puiseaux until 10 March, when Pierre Charrie took him to Paris and delivered him to a dentist (aged about 35, 5 ft 7 inches tall, black hair, thin body and face). The dentist took Sutor to stay with Genevieve Schneegans and Olympe Vasseur at rue Tiquitonne where he met Maurice Cavalier (of the Lycee St Louis). On 15 March, Kenneth Woodhouse (1858) joined him briefly at Mme Schneegans but he was taken away again that afternoon by the dentist. That same day Sutor was joined by Graham Brickwood (1854). On 22 March, Marcel Cola took Sutor and Brickwood to the Gare Montparnasse and put them on a train to St Brieuc and Guingamp.
Following the completion of the fifth Bonaparte evacuation, further Shelburn operations were suspended and evaders brought to reseau Francois in Paris were either sent to the Pyrenees or the Foret de Freteval. Royal Navy MGB operations did continue to the Breton coast but that's another story ...
Special thanks to the following people without whom this article would never have been written :
Daniel Droniou and Jeanne Huot (Paul Campinchi's daughter) for sharing their research of Paul Campinchi and reseau Francois for their new website at
Dominique Lecomte for so freely sharing his extensive research of resistance in the Oise and for picking up so many of my early mistakes
Heather Steele of the for sharing the helper files she unearthed at NARA during her research of Shelburn for a new book about Robert Sweatt
Rene Loiseau who answered so many questions put to him by Daniel and Dominique on my behalf
Mary Spinning Shier and Patti Campbell Marcellus for sending me copies of their fathers' personal accounts
and Edouard Reniere who checked through everything again and found too many of my later mistakes - as usual ...