The Breiz-Izel
There were many boats that left Brittany for England during the war, some of which included evading aircrew among their passengers. The two boats in this story are the Jeanne and the Breiz-Izel.
This page posted 28 Dec 2015 - updated 15 Feb 2016
Sometime in late November 1943 (shortly after his return from London), Georges Broussine received a message from Paul Campinchi, asking for an urgent meeting. Broussine already knew Campinchi from the early days with Val Williams of Oaktree. After Williams' capture, Campinchi had left his Paris apartment at 19 rue des Ursins but not given up the business of recovering downed aircrew. They arranged to meet in a milliner's shop on rue Saint-Honoré and Campinchi arrived accompanied by a young man. The young man wasn't introduced by name but Broussine was reminded of a Breton friend that he had trained with in London named Guy Vourc'h – and later questioning revealed this to be his brother Yves.
Yves Vourc'h, who was still living in Plomodiern with his family – all of whom were also active resistants – told Broussine a story about a BCRA agent who had been parachuted into France to organise an escape line from Brittany for downed aircrew. With the help of the agent's family, an operation was set up to take aircrew back to England from Treboul harbour (Douarnenez) on board a vessel called Jeanne. Tragedy struck (on 11 October) when the agent recognised the French traitor Roger Leneveu in a Rennes cafe. In the ensuing confrontation, Leneveu shot the agent in the stomach – a wound from which he subsequently died. The loss of the agent and the money that he had promised to fund the operation, meant the whole plan would have to be abandoned unless an alternative source of funds could be found.
Broussine had no doubt that the agent was his friend from London, Jean-Claude Camors (who had parachuted back into France in July) and Broussine says that he felt a moral obligation to him. He agreed to put up the necessary funds (300,000 francs) and made Yves Allain, himself a Breton, responsible for assessing the situation and coordinating the operation. Broussine also says that his one condition was that all the evaders that Bourgogne had at the time should be included and that Bourgogne would be responsible for getting them to the embarkation point.
With Yves Vourc'h making all the arrangements and a young man named Yves Le Guillou as captain, the operation was scheduled for the night of 24-25 December 1943, surely a time when German surveillance might be relaxed enough to allow a ‘discrete' departure. In the days leading up to Christmas, Yves Allain and Pierre Le Berre duly brought a total of fourteen aircrew evaders to Douarnenez ready for the departure - but other events were also taking place ...
In early December, Broussine was visited by Vals de Gomez, a Spanish republican colleague of Jean Olibo in Perpignan. De Gomez brought a young French naval lieutenant who had come from London (in June), a Breton who said he was responsible for organising an escape route by sea for downed aircrew. Like Yves Vourc'h, he declined at first to give his name but again, Broussine made the connection, this time through a friend at the faculté de médecine named Maryvonne Le Henaff - she came from Quimper and this young man, another Yves, was her brother. Broussine met Yves Le Henaff again a few days later at Le Henaff's mother's apartment where Le Henaff, having learned about the proposed operation at Christmas, asked Broussine to cancel it on the grounds that it could compromise his own projects. What the young lieutenant probably didn't mention was that he worked jointly for the British MI9 and the French Algiers based DST (Direction de la surveillance du territoire). Broussine explained that he had made too many promises and commitments to cancel at that late stage and Le Henaff apparently accepted Broussine's reasoning.
Yves Le Henaff (along with Victor Salez) and his Dahlia organisation had already carried out three successful evacuations by fishing vessels from Douarnenez – the Moise on 23 August, whose passengers included Sgt Cecil Bell (#85) - Ar'Vorlac'h on 17 September with evaders Sgt Sydney Horton (1409) Sgt Robert Parkinson (1410) and 2/Lt John George (#102) - and La-Pérouse on 2 October with evaders S/Sgt James Cimini (#106) and Sgt Michael Zelenak Jnr (#107) - as well as Victor Salez himself - on board. Le Henaff (aka Fanfan) had also arranged the Lysander Operation Oriel that collected Sgt Vic Matthews (1559) in November.
While Le Henaff may have accepted the situation, it seems quite possible that others did not ...
“On the morning of the day of departure, the situation, up to then favourable, deteriorated drastically. Le Guillou received an anonymous letter threatening to denounce him to the Germans if the Jeanne left port. Moreover, one of his comrades told him that, according to one of his friends, the Germans already knew about the operation. All this was very worrying. However, throughout the day nothing happened to confirm this news and we learned later that it was untrue. In any case this was the reason why, in spite of the reserves of the owner of the vessel, it was decided, under the influence of the representatives of Bourgogne who were there, to take no notice of these terrible suspicions. During the night, the passengers for the Jeanne, including our airmen, embarked without mishap. The Germans did not intervene. However, it was quickly seen that access to the petrol reservoir on the dock was unusable, the feeder valve had been blocked. Also the engine itself was not working, probably sabotaged. So we had to give up the operation and the intended passengers had to disembark.”
The reasons for this apparent sabotage have been investigated and debated ever since – was it the result of disaffected fishermen at Douarnenez who knew their livelihoods were at risk if another vessel were known to have escaped from their harbour, or was it the action of the group surrounding Yves Le Henaff who felt they had the exclusive right to operations from the port? Perhaps we'll never know but the end result was the same – the ‘Jeanne' operation was cancelled. However, rather than return the evaders to Paris, they were sheltered in various homes in and around Douarnenez ...
After the failure of the Jeanne operation, a fisherman named Gabriel Cloarec offered the use of his new boat, the Breiz-Izel (a twelve tonne, flush-decked, single-masted pinnace, launched in 1931). This time it was Yves Le Guillou (Noel Yves Marie Le Guillou – born Christmas Day 1910) who organised the operation while Yves Vourc'h bought the boat, using the same 300,000 francs that Broussine had provided for the Jeanne. The Breiz-Izel duly sailed from Treboul harbour, in the early hours of 22 January 1944, arriving at Falmouth in Cornwall some thirty-six hours later, with about thirty people, including the fourteen airmen, on board.
In his book, Broussine describes the circumstances of the departure of Breiz-Izel as “truly acrobatic” and says that “Luck was on our side on that night but it required the utmost coolness, determination and skill of the captain, Gabriel Gloarec to carry it out. His success was all the more enhanced by the fact that one of the members of Le Guillou's group had received a new anonymous letter at the end of December. Its author, who was apparently well informed, threatened that any new attempt at evacuation by boat would have not only Le Guillou and his wife arrested, but also Mme Vourc'h and her son Yves, as well as other members belonging to the group. Le Guillou did the same to this letter as the last one (which he had ignored). The threat of denunciation was not carried out, even though it is true Mme Vourc'h and one of her daughters, Anne-Marie (Ailly), a child at the time, were interrogated and threatened by the Germans.”
The fourteen airmen evaders were Royce Fidler (1717) Leslie Woollard (1718) Russell Jones (1719) John Carleton (1720) Harry Horton Jnr (#330) Edward Sobolewski (#331) Thomas Moore (#332) Robert Giles (#333) Carroll Haarup (#334) Ardell Bollinger (#335) Leonard Kelly (#336) Joseph Kalas (#337) Dwight Fisher (#338) and James Armstrong (#339).
Sgt Royce Fidler (1717) was the rear gunner of 100 Sqn Lancaster LM333 (Preston) which was on the way to Berlin on the evening of 23 August 1943 and crossing the Dutch coast when they were hit by flak and the aircraft abandoned – Fidler was the only successful evader. Fidler landed in a field near Ossenzijl (Overijssel) and after hiding his parachute and flying gear, began walking south. The following day, Fidler met two men who recognised his uniform as that of a British airman and soon arranged to have it exchanged for a suit of overalls. After being given a meal, Fidler was taken by bicycle to an unnamed village where he stayed until 26 August when he was taken over by an organisation of young Dutchmen avoiding work in Germany and his journey arranged.
On 26 August, a Dutchman named Peter van der Hurke, who worked for the Germans as a black market controller, took Fidler to the nearby village of Meppel where Fidler was sheltered by Protestant pastor Willem van Nooten and his family at Zuidende 53. Van Nooten had apparently sheltered a Canadian airman previously with the full knowledge of the local Police Chief who warned them whenever the Germans came to the village searching for Dutch youths. Fidler reports the arrival of F/O Herbert H Penny (1560) to the house on 2 September.
Sgt Leslie C Woollard (1718) was the mid-upper gunner of 617 Sqn Lancaster JB144 (Knight) which was damaged whilst attacking the Dortmund-Emms canal on the night of 15-16 September 1943 and abandoned over Holland. The pilot was killed and two other crew captured but navigator P/O Harold S Hobday (1603) and front-gunner F/Sgt Frederick E Sutherland (1604) crossed the Pyrenees together in November, and wireless operator P/O Robert G T Kellow (1597) and bomb aimer F/O Edward C Johnson (1639) were helped by Comete, crossing into Spain in October and December respectively.
Woollard landed near Den Ham (Overijssel) and after hiding his parachute and Mae West, walked for two hours before hiding in a ditch near a farmhouse. Next morning, he approached the farmhouse where he was taken in and given food while a girl from the house, fetched a local doctor who passed him on to an organisation. Two days later, Woollard was sent to Miss Frouke De Vries at 3a Prins Hendrikstraat in Meppel. On about 1 October, Woollard was moved to the Van Nooten home at Zuidende 53, where he joined Royce Fidler and Herbert Penny.
Early on the morning of 15 October, Van der Hurke and another Dutchman, took Fidler, Woollard and Penny by bicycle to Zwolle to catch a train to Baarle-Nassau where their Dutch guides left them. They were joined at Baarle-Nassau by an American airman (S/Sgt Paul F Shipe (#237) from B-17 42-3227) and the local Chief of Police led the four men across the frontier into Belgium. That afternoon, he took them by bus to Turnhout, tram to Antwerp and finally by train to Brussels. The Police Chief delivered them to a flat where a fat lady (name not given), her daughter and son-in-law lived. The son-in-law took them to a fish-shop where there was a store of clothes and shoes for evaders and they met one of the heads of the organisation - about 50 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, well built, clean shaven, with thin dark hair – possibly Felix (Charles Gueulette). They stayed in a house attached to the fish-shop where they were photographed for identity cards. Next day, Penny and Shipe left (both later helped by Comete) and Fidler and Woollard were moved to a flat (no name or address) for two days before moving back to the flat by the fish-shop. The following day, Fidler and Woollard were taken to a Brussels suburb where they stayed with Maurice and Yvonne Olders at 187 rue des Tanneurs. About a week later, they were moved to stay overnight with an elderly Englishwoman (no name) and on about 22 October, a Belgian guide took them to Ghent where they stayed the night with a policeman. Next day, they were taken to Tournai from where an English-speaking guide took them across the frontier to Tourcoing in France and handed them over to a French ex-army captain and his son. They were collected by Gilbert Virmoux and a Frenchwoman called Denise (both identified as members of the Bordeaux organisation) and taken via Lille to Paris. They stayed in Virmoux's apartment at 41 rue Saint-Merri, Paris IV from 24 to 28 October when Virmoux took them and two or three Frenchmen to Quimper (Finistere).
At Quimper, Fidler and Woollard joined “about 30 Americans” who were then sorted out and sent to different houses to await a boat. Fidler and Woollard stayed with the head of the organisation, a Frenchman called Fanfan (Yves Le Henaff) who had been sent from England with a French-Canadian radio operator. The intended departure date was between 4 and 6 November but on 6 November they heard that the boat would not be leaving after all. The evaders were returned to Paris in groups and it was Fanfan himself who took Fidler and Woollard and delivered them back to Gilbert Virmoux's flat. They were told there would be a three-week delay before the organisation could arrange their departure for Spain and meanwhile, on 13 November, they were taken to the Chateau de la Fortelle (near Marles-en-Brie, Seine-et-Marne) where they “and fourteen or fifteen others” – all Americans except for one Englishman, Sgt Anthony A J Reynolds (1835) - stayed for three weeks, toughening up for the Pyrenees by hiking in the woods, chopping down trees and playing volley ball.
Fidler and Woollard returned to Paris on about 4 December, going back to Gilbert Virmoux's flat with 2/Lt James Armstrong (#339) and 2/Lt Andrew Lindsay (#389) - who they knew as Andre. As there was only one room, Woollard and Armstrong slept downstairs in a flat belonging to M et Mme Le Callonec. On about 11 December, Gilbert Virmoux and Denise (Mlle Denise Lenain of 12 Ave d'Orleans, Paris XIV – query) took the four airmen to Carcassonne along with W/O Russell Jones (1719) and S/Sgt Edward Sobolewski (#331). At Carcassonne, Virmoux failed to find his next contact and knowing no-one else in the town, took the party on to Quillan (Aude) in the foothills of the Pyrenees, where he believed his contact lived. Still unable to find him, Gilbert and Denise booked the group into a hotel for the night and the next day, they all returned to Paris once more. After another week at Virmoux's flat, Fidler and Woollard were moved to another (unspecified) address to stay two nights with an unnamed elderly couple. On 24 December, they comment that they changed from Bordeaux to the Burgundy organisation and new French guides took them to Quimper (again) and Douarnenez, where they arrived on Christmas Day. They say there were about forty people, including twelve (sic) Americans and two other British airmen (Jones and John Carleton) and at eleven-thirty that night they all walked in stockinged feet down to Treboul harbour ...
WO2 Russell A Jones RCAF (1719) was the navigator of 431 Sqn Halifax LK967 (Passant) which was returning from Frankfurt in the early hours of 26 November 1943 and somewhere near Arras when they were hit by flak and the aircraft abandoned. P/O Pierre Bauset RCAF (2517) (see below) and Sgt Raymond F Nelson (1746) also evaded successfully – Nelson crossing the Pyrenees from Bidarray in December.
Jones landed in a field near a town that he thought was called St Mesmin (Saint-Mesmin, Aube). His bomb-aimer, P/O Pierre Bauset (2517) landed close by and they hid their parachutes in a stream before setting off through what was left of the night. After resting in a wood, they saw a man with a cart and Bauset, who was from Montreal and spoke fluent French, approached him. The farmer immediately recognised Bauset as an Allied airman and told him that Germans were searching for his crew. He also pointed out that Bauset could catch a train for Paris from the station at the next village. Before reaching there, another man took them in for the night, fitted them out with civilian clothes and gave them train tickets. Early next morning, they took the train to Paris where Bauset was able approach various people until finally getting directions to the Red Cross. Officially no help was available there but a girl overheard their conversation and led them an address where their journey was arranged.
The address (12 rue d'Arras, Paris V) was that of a priest named Michel Louis Riquet. After a meal, Abbe Riquet brought two secretaries who gave the airmen identity cards but on deciding that their issued photographs weren't suitable, took the two men to a shop to have their photographs taken again. Later that day, they were taken to a building opposite the University of Paris where there was a lecture in progress. After about an hour, the two were separated, Bauset was taken to room upstairs while Jones joined newly arrived American evader Harry Horton (#330) (see below) in another, very small, upstairs room. Jones says that Bauset stayed with a lady whose name sounded something like Mme Barrage (Mme Baron of 2 Place de la Sorbonne) who told them they were in the hands of the Bordeaux organisation. She also said that the first woman they had met in the building – about 45 years old, well built, dark hair – was the chief of this organisation (other evaders refer to her as Mlle Bourgeois). She also spoke no English, which is presumably why Bauset was asked to stay with the organisation as an interpreter, which he did until 18 January 1944 when he left Paris for Switzerland.
On about 11 December, a girl called Denise took Jones and Sobolewski by train to Carcassonne. On the train they joined Royce Fidler (1717) and Leslie Woollard (1718) and two Americans, James Armstrong (#339) and Andrew Lindsay (#389) – and their other guide Robert (sic) Virmoux. As already related, they failed to find their contact at Carcassonne or Quillan and returned to Paris.
On their early morning return to Paris, Denise took Jones and Sobolewski to her flat for the rest of the day before moving them to stay with Mlle Christiane Braillard (query). Four days later, a young girl (believed to be a student) moved them to another address and told them they were being transferred to the Burgundy organisation. Before leaving Paris (for the second time) Jones and Sobolewski were taken to a church where they joined Fidler, Woollard and other members of the party being taken by train to Quimper and Douarnenez ...
Sgt John D H Carleton (1720) was mid-upper gunner of 620 Sqn Stirling EE905 (Frost) which was shot down on the way to Remscheid in the early hours of 31 July 1943 and crashed near Willerzie (Namur). Carleton was the only successful evader – W/O Frederick J Frost (LIB/683) bomb-aimer Sgt John L Snelling (LIB/240) and engineer Sgt Ronald B Spencer-Fleet (LIB/1041) were captured (with others) in Paris on 18 September by the Belgian-born infiltration agent Prosper Dezitter.
Carleton landed on an island in the river Meuse near Givet (Ardennes) close to the Belgian border. He buried his parachute then used his Mae West to float down and across the river. He got out of the river near a graveyard and on finding he had sprained his ankle, spent the rest of the night in a vault. Next morning, after stripping off and drying his clothes in the sun, he crawled his way into an orchard where he was spotted by a young boy and his mother who told him that someone would come and fetch him. That evening, the same boy brought a man and together they walked to the Belgian village of Hastiere-Lavaux (Namur) from where Carleton's journey was arranged.
On 3 August, Carleton (who is referred to as Irish and known as Paddy to some of the Americans) was taken to Brussels where he met Sgt Anthony Reynolds (1835). They stayed in Brussels a day and night and on 5 August, were moved to Liege. They stayed in a food shop for two days until receiving news that the local organisation chief had been arrested. Carleton was taken to stay with a police commissioner in the suburb of Beyne-Heusay while Reynolds was sheltered by Mme Anna-Marie Aelens on Boulevard de la Constitution. After about a month with the police commissioner, Carleton was moved to Ans where he stayed with garage-owner Joseph Alexander. Two weeks later, he was taken back to Liege where he joined several American evaders – including S/Sgt William P Kiniklis (#508) and his waist-gunner S/Sgt Ernest C King (who was later captured on his way to Switzerland) - being sheltered by baron Marcel de Ruyter and his pregnant wife Mariette at 52 Quai Orban.
On about 20 October, a man called Pierre took Carleton and Kiniklis by train to Brussels where they were interrogated by a member of the Felix organisation (perhaps Felix himself) and that night, a Belgian guide took the two airmen to Ghent where they stayed overnight with their guide. Next day, they were passed on to another man who led them across the frontier into France and walked them to Tourcoing where they stayed overnight with a policeman. Next day, they were moved to 27 rue Gambetta where they were sheltered by insurance agent Fernand Van Aerde and his wife Celeste. Carleton and Kiniklis stayed with the Van Aerdes for about seven weeks, being joined after about three weeks by F/Lt Ian Covington (1707) and 2/Lt Stanley Alukonis (#321).
On about 7 December, a young boy called Henri took all four airmen to Paris where they were met at the station by three women. The party was split and one of the women (described by Carleton as being very mannish looking, severely dressed, and with short Eton-cropped hair) took Carleton and Kiniklis to the flat of a young girl. Next day, they were moved to the home of a policeman - his home seemed to be some sort of Customs House with an engine running all the time. Three days later, they were taken to a church where they were separated. Kiniklis went to Gilbert Virmoux's flat at 41 rue Saint-Merri, while Carleton was taken to 75 Avenue d'Italie, where he was sheltered with the Belleville family. Four days later, Carleton was returned to the church where he rejoined Kiniklis and met Royce Fidler and Leslie Woollard ...
For some reason, when the rest of the group were taken to Quimper and Douarnenez, Kiniklis was returned once more to Gilbert Virmoux's flat on rue Saint-Merri, where he was joined by Covington and Alukonis a few days later. Kiniklis left Paris on about 19 January 1944 with Sgt Anthony Reynolds (1835). They and Sgt Douglas J Farr (#509) crossed the Pyrenees from Pau later that month. Covington and Alukonis were passed to the Comete organisation and they also crossed the Pyrenees to Spain in January.
S/Sgt Harry H Horton Jnr (#330) and S/Sgt Edward F Sobolewski (#331) were the waist-gunners of B-17 42-3227 (381BG/534BS) (Forkner) which was on the way to Schweinfurt on 17 August 1943 when they were attacked by fighters and the aircraft abandoned over Holland. Two other crew also evaded successfully – TTG S/Sgt Paul F Shipe (#237) (mentioned earlier) was brought back by Comete, and pilot 1/Lt Hamden L Forkner (#2192) who was sheltered in Maastricht with Justine Pinkas at Brusselseweg 120 until liberated in September 1944.
Both men landed safely near Limburg, although Horton sprained his ankle quite badly when he came down in an orchard. Both were soon helped by local people who disposed of their parachutes and flying equipment and the following night, they were brought together and their journey arranged. Unfortunately Sobolewski's statement (which is in the jumbled pages of Horton's file – there doesn't seem to be one for Horton) is a set of scribbled notes by his interviewer (Donald Emerson) but I think they stayed in Holland for about two months before being taken through Belgium to Ghent - with Otto Bruzewski (#320) and Thomas Moore (#332) - crossing the border to Tourcoing (following the Felix route) and on to Paris.
They were met at the station by a tall woman with black hair, a dark complexion and prominent buck teeth (Mlle Bourgeois) who took Horton and Sobolewski to a room opposite a school, three blocks from the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Three days later, Horton and Sobolewski were separated and sheltered at different apartments.
Sobolewski was taken to No 2 Place de la Sorbonne where he met a “hefty” woman who spoke no English – he says that Moore (#332) was upstairs. Sobolewski stayed on the third floor with Mme Baron (who had been married to an Englishman) for four days. On 28 October, Sobolewski was reunited with Horton and they joined Otto Bruzewski (#320) and Thomas Moore (#332) for the trip to Quimper (see earlier), before returning to Paris on about 6 November.
Sobolewski says that when he returned to Place de la Sorbonne, he stayed two weeks with Jones the Canadian and Pierre (Bauset) before a “beautiful girl from the Bordeaux organisation” came to tell them they were going to the Pyrenees. Sobolewski tells a very similar story to Jones of Denise taking him and Jones to the station where they joined Gilbert Virmoux, Armstrong, Lindsay, Fidler and Leslie, another Englishman (Woollard) and going to Carcassonne. Having failed to find their guide there, they had to wait for the little train to Quillan. Still failing to find their guide, they returned to Paris where Sobolewski and Jones stayed with Christiane Braillard (query) at 7 rue du Plaix (rue du Plat d'Etain - query) for four days. Apparently, Ms Braillard worked for the Germans and her mother was a collaborator. Ms Braillard seemed to think they were going to the Pyrenees and it was Denise's sister (query) who took Sobolewski and Jones to a church where they met Armstrong (#390) and some other Americans. Sobolewski and Jones then spent five days at another address where Genevieve Soulié visited and told them they were now in the Burgundy organisation.
I think that when Horton returned from Carcassonne and Quillan, Gabrielle Wiame took him and Thomas Moore (#332) to Montreuil where they were sheltered by Jeanne Delapray and her daughter at 71 rue Beaumarchais. They stayed at Montreuil, waiting to go to the Pyrenees, until Genevieve Soulié came to see them just before Christmas ...
T/Sgt Thomas R Moore (#332) was the radio operator of B-17 42-3225 Chug-A-Lug Lulu (381BG/535BS) (Disbrow) which was returning from Schweinfurt on 17 August 1943 when they were attacked by fighters and the aircraft abandoned over Belgium. Three other crew also evaded successfully : top-turret gunner T/Sgt Otto F Bruzewski (#320) and tail-gunner S/Sgt William P Kiniklis (#508) (see earlier and below) and ball-turret gunner Sgt Joseph J Walters (#224) who was helped by Comete and crossed the Pyrenees in October.
“I hit in the middle of a sugar beet field and thought that I was in Germany. Some farmers came running at me with pitchforks in their hands. There was not time to hide any place, so I stayed where I was. They came and took my parachute. They talked French but at that time, I could not tell French from German. They kept repeating “Belgique, Belgique” so I decided that I must be in Belgium. A number of people came up and they all grabbed me and kissed me, a most embarrassing welcome. One man told me to go so I followed him to an apple orchard. There we came upon a man and my helper left quickly. This man had a dictionary and told me to surrender. I refused. I saw that he had no gun and that he was no bigger than I so I was quite prepared to fix him up in case he wanted to help me to surrender. When he did not interfere with me, I ran away and managed to find the man with whom I had first been. He took me to a gully to hide, and I found one of my crew members (Kiniklis) there already. That night, a girl brought us waffles and a boy brought us some other food. We were moved to a place where our journey was arranged.”
Moore and Kiniklis were taken to Liege and a priest's house where they joined their ball-turret gunner Joseph Walters (#224) and B-17 42-3435 tail-gunner S/Sgt Kenneth Fahncke (#225). On about 20 August, the four evaders were taken to stay with Charles Kremer and his wife in Liege, and the following day, their top-turret gunner Otto Bruzewski (#320) and waist-gunner S/Sgt Ernest King arrived.
Bruzewski (#320) reports Charles Kremer taking him and Moore to Brussels and Ghent on about 22 October. They went on to Moucron, following the route used by the Felix organisation, and across the frontier to Tourcoing. They were then passed onto a new guide who took them by a train to Paris where they were sheltered by a student organisation in an apartment near Odeon station (Paris VI). On 28 October, Bruzewski and Moore were taken to Quimper, along with Harry Horton (#330) and Edward Sobolewski (#331) and (as mentioned earlier) returned with them to Paris on 6 November. Moore's own report ends with him meeting Horton and Sobolewski, apparently in Brussels.
Following an aborted attempt to cross the Pyrenees from Quillan later that month with 2/Lt John Heald (#357) and S/Sgt Floyd Terry (#382), Otto Bruzewski left Paris on about 18 December by train for Perpignan, crossing the Pyrenees with Captain George Millar (1716) in early January 1944.
T/Sgt Robert C Giles (#333) and T/Sgt Carroll F Haarup (#334) were the radio operator and ball-turret gunner of B-17 42-30604 Badger's Beauty V (100BG/350BS) (Helstrom). They were returning from Frankfurt on 4 October 1943 when the navigator realised they were so far off course (although still in formation) that he didn't have maps to cover them. They were also about to run out of fuel and the aircraft was landed (wheels up) south of Caen in Normandy at about one-thirty in the afternoon.
The ten-man crew split into small groups: pilot Capt Harold B Helstrom with navigator 1/Lt Harold H Cuttice - co-pilot F/O Hubert E Trent (#2218) with bombardier 1/Lt Hilbert W Philippe - LWG S/Sgt Joseph Shandor (#373) with tail-gunner S/Sgt Charles E Crippen and top-turret gunner S/Sgt William D Edwards - and Giles and Haarup with waist-gunner S/Sgt Thomas R Mezynski (#374).
Philippe, Crippen and Edwards were helped by the John Carter organisation but captured with Carter at Pamiers in January 1944 - see Article. Shandor had been with them in Lyon but travelled in a different group to Pamiers - he was taken across the Pyrenees to Andorra later that month. Trent was also taken to Lyon in January but following the news of Carter's arrest, went on to Switzerland in February.
“With heavy flak being poured up at us, we made three runs on the target. Two fighters were seen and called out but they did not attack our element. As far as we know, there was no damage to the aircraft when we left Frankfurt to return to base. We were back in France when the navigator said we were off course and that his maps did not cover the area which we were flying. Our fuel tanks were reading zero and we had to let down. Other ships were leaving formation as we dropped through clouds to find we were over water. There was land ahead of us. The navigator asked for a QDM but every station tried was busy. The pilot said it didn't matter because we were going to crash-land. We thought we were coming down in England until tracers from machine-gun fire were seen off the wing."
"After the crew had taken crash positions in the radio room, the pilot made a beautiful belly-landing. Previous to this, all extra weight had been thrown out of the ship but the secret equipment had not been destroyed. Within a few seconds, Frenchmen appeared from all directions. The order was given immediately for all equipment to be destroyed. During the next fifteen minutes each man was busy with his own job. The bombardier could speak some French and it was he who learned we were a few kilometers south of Caen. There were no Germans in the immediate vicinity but they would be there before long, the French said. When we offered our heavy flying equipment to the Frenchmen they wouldn't take it. The bombardier opened several chutes and draped them over the engine nacelles but the plane would not catch fire. The Frenchmen were motioning us all this time to leave quickly and let them destroy the plane."
"The pilot told us to split any way we wanted. We got everything we needed from the plane, changed into GI and low-cut shoes, drew straws to decide with whom we would travel, then held a last minute conference to orient ourselves before choosing the best direction for travel. A young boy had brought overall maps of France to the plane with him and after studying this, the navigator said we should go south-east. The pilot and navigator walked south across the field and then changed their direction so that they were walking north. The co-pilot and bombardier followed a minute later in a general south-east direction. Sgts Crippen, Shandor and Edwards were behind them but at the other end of the field when we started south-east with Sgt Mezynski. In the wooded and hilly countryside, our small groups quickly lost sight of each other."
"We were dressed in light summer flying jackets, flying coveralls and green fatigues. For warmth, we had kept our blue heated suits beneath the coveralls."
"We crossed some fences and ran through several fields with the other three sergeants not yet out of sight. To give them a chance so that we should not all be clustered together, we crawled into some bushes and got out our maps. While discussing the situation, the bombardier and co-pilot stumbled upon us. There was another hasty farewell and good luck spoken with them before they went on south-east. We stayed in the bushes a little longer making our plans. We decided to stay together as long as possible, walk south-east and look for help along the way. If necessary we would walk to Spain because we had heard at Group of that being done. Leaving the bushes, we filled our water bottles, checked our compasses and started walking.”
After walking for several hours, the three evaders came to a small village where they approached a woman in an isolated farmhouse. They told her that they were American airmen and she gave them food and some clothes that had belonged to her young son and only fitted Giles. She refused their offer of payment and told them there were no Germans in the immediate area. They spent their first night in France in some stocks of fodder. After some days of walking and living off whatever they could find, they met a Frenchman who helped plan a route south via Alencon and Chartres to cross over the demarcation line. He guided them to the railway station at Bellou but would go no further and so it was Haarup (using mainly sign-language) who bought them a third-class family ticket for the two o'clock train to Vernay. It soon became obvious that local people recognised them as evaders – a woman at the station passed them a pack of sandwiches and a man managed to convey the message that they were to watch and follow him when he got off the train. Giles comments that the only person on the train who didn't seem to know who they were was the German soldier at the other end of their carriage. Soon after leaving Argentan, Haarup began to feel sick and in desperation, they left the train at L'Aigle. Not knowing what else to do, they started walking out of the town and after about five kilometres, approached an isolated house where they declared themselves to the owner. After a night sleeping in a shed, they set off on their fifth day of walking and reached a village with a railway station. The line was abandoned but there was still a station-master who gave them sandwiches, a map and directions to Chartres. That afternoon, they stopped at a farmhouse where they were taken inside where they had their first warm-water wash and shave since landing but were not allowed to stay the night. They got as far as Saint-Maurice-les-Charencey (Orne) later that evening by which time Haarup had become very ill indeed and so they looked for a Catholic church. They finally knocked on the door of the only house with a light on – and from there, their journey was arranged.
The house belonged to a shoemaker who seemed very happy to see them but his wife wouldn't let them stay there. Then an older man (who owned a garage which serviced German cars) took them to his house. He called a doctor for Haarup (not named but possibly Dr Pierre Heuze) who arrived with his nephew (who spoke some English) and after checking their identities, assured them they were in safe hands – this was late Saturday, 9 October 1943.
Giles, Haarup and Mezynski stayed a week in Saint-Maurice-les-Charencey while the doctor's nephew went to Paris to try an contact an organisation. Meanwhile, the doctor's wife bought them new clothes and the shoemaker repaired their shoes. The following Saturday (16 October) they were taken by truck for a short drive to a chateau (assume Chateau de Champthierry) where they stayed for the next two weeks, spending much of their time in bed, being waited on by the family servant. While they were at the chateau, they were told that the doctor and two school-teachers had been arrested and that both the local priest and the next-door neighbour of the old man with the garage, were collaborators.
On 27 October, the same truck-driver came with three other men and drove them to the outskirts of Verneuil-sur-Avre where they stayed two nights in a house on the main road. On 29 October, a man claiming to be in French Intelligence told them they would be leaving that night and later that evening, a woman who spoke English took them to the station (where the three men from the truck acted as guards while tickets were acquired) and then by train to Paris.
Giles, Haarup and Mezynski followed their woman guide onto the Metro for two stops before walking to 19 Avenue d'Orleans where they were sheltered by Simone Levavasseur in the apartment above her chocolate shop, La Petite Chocolatiere. They were told they would only be there for a week but they actually stayed five weeks following the news that the head of the organisation (Madeleine Melot) had been arrested. Simone then told they would be passed to another organisation and that they would leave on 5 December. Whilst they were there, they met Simone's daughter and Simone's fiancé George (query) who came for dinner several times – he owned a shop where they had their photographs taken for new ID cards – and a dentist who supplied much of their food. At the end of the third week, they were visited by Genevieve Soulié who took their names and ASNs - and also Olga Christol, the person who was supposed to take them out on 5 December with her Organisation Todt. On 9 December, Genevieve came and told them that the Germans were looking for Simone and they should all leave immediately. Simone refused to go because of her family but Simone's friend, Mme Boy took Mezynski to her apartment at 9 rue Ernest Cresson and a young girl took Giles and Haarup to Olga Christol's apartment at 4 rue Edouard Quenu. Unfortunately there was no-one there so they were taken to stay overnight at Mme Boy's as well. Next day, Olga Christol collected Giles and Haarup from Mme Boy - she took Giles to stay with theatre manager Germaine Hairaux at 5 Avenue d'Orleans, and Haarup back to her own apartment.
Mezynski stayed on with Mme Boy until 19 December when he was taken to the station to join a group of evaders, including John Dougherty (#358) Herbert Dulburg (#390) and Robert Sheets (#394), who were on their way to Perpignan and the Pyrenees – which they crossed to Vilajuiga later that month.
While Giles was staying with Germaine Hairaux, he met American actress Dorothy Tartiere and was visited by the dentist (and his wife) who supplied food to Simone Levavasseur. On 21 December, Giles was moved back to join Haarup at rue Edouard Quenu. They were supposed to follow the same route as Mezynski but when Paul Christol took them to a rendezvous at a church, they couldn't find anyone. Finally they were approached by a man who, having ascertained their identities, took them to another church where they joined Irishman John Carleton (1720) before moving on to a park where they found Genevieve Soulié. She pointed out the man they were to follow and he took them, Russell Jones (1719) Harry Horton (#330) and Thomas Moore (#332) by train to Quimper and Douarnenez ...
Sgt Ardell H Bollinger (#335) S/Sgt Leonard J Kelly (#336) and S/Sgt Joseph M Kalas (#337) were the radio operator, left waist-gunner and ball-turret gunner of B-17 42-3459 Jolly Roger (384BG/546BS) (Higdon) which was on the way to Rennes on 23 September 1943.
“At 1730 hours we made landfall over France and picked up our escort two minutes later. Eight minutes later, four FW 190s attacked, setting our number 3 engine on fire and starting a fire in the radio room. We left formation and the order to bale out was given. The action had not taken more than twenty seconds."
"The right waist-gunner was trying to salvo (sic) the waist door. I went to help him and together we got it away. Sgt Kelly had gone to help Sgt Kalas climb out of his ball-turret and put on his chute. The tail-gunner jumped first, followed by the right waist-gunner. I was next before Sgt Kelly and Sgt Kalas. We were out of the plane around 22,000 feet and each man opened his chute almost immediately. I counted seven chutes; looked around to find the plane and saw it once more, smoking but in level flight and while I watched, it exploded in mid-air."
"I had about eighteen minutes in the air, most of which time was taken up with manoeuvring the chute and trying to remember how to land without breaking a leg. I recalled Sgt Brown (E&E No 52) of my Group who had returned after being shot down and remembered the first thing he had done was to join up with a crew member and go in hiding for a day."
"I landed in a pasture and before I could release the chute, a girl ran up to me with her mother and father not far behind her. They motioned that I should run quickly and from their gestures, understood that they would take care of my chute. I left them and headed in the direction of Sgt Kelly who landed a few seconds before I was down. While I was hopping towards him on an injured leg, another girl ran up and gestured that an injured comrade had fallen nearby. I went with her and found our bombardier (2/Lt Lawrence E Johnston) unconscious and badly wounded. While I was trying to help him, Sgt Kelly and Sgt Kalas joined us. In ten minutes of hitting the ground we were all together.”
Their report doesn't specify but they landed somewhere close to Plouguenast, about 25 kilometres due south of Saint-Brieuc. They say that the French were so concerned about Lt Johnston that they sent him to hospital at Loudeac where, it was later reported, he died of his injuries.
Bollinger, Kelly and Kalas spent the next ten days wandering in a generally southerly direction via Langast, Plessala and Merdrignac until finally finding someone at the little village of Brignac who could help to arrange their journey.
On 5 October, Bollinger, Kelly and Kalas were taken in a fish-truck from Brignac to Rennes. They walked across town to a school-teacher's house where they stayed overnight. Next day, Kelly became ill and a doctor who had helped them earlier was called. After treating Kelly and leaving him there, the doctor took Bollinger and Kalas to another house where they spent the next five days in a room above a bar. On the second day they met Sgt William Bilton RAF (1773) 1/Lt Wayne Bogard and two of his crew - Sgts Max Gibbs (#436) and Cloe Crutchfield (#437) – and 2/Lts George Padgett, Sidney Elskes (#402) and Arnold Wornson (#435) – nine in all for dinner. The organisation was broken up while they were there, a girl told them that Pierre (Charnier) and two friends had been at a bar (the Café de l'Epoque on 11 October) and a Frenchman in the Gestapo (Roger Leneveu) shot two of them. On the fifth day, Martine (query) took them to a closed truck where they rejoined Kelly and met 2/Lt William Cook (#410) and 2/Lt Joe Burkowski (from B-17 42-9893 El Diablo) and were taken to the Chateau de Laillé. They were sheltered by Mlle Andree Récipon who said they would leave by aircraft but then General Allard arrived to take Cook and Burkowski back to Messac. Bollinger, Kelly and Kalas stayed at the chateau for a further twenty days and mention Marie Therese (a nice looking, slightly chubby girl of about 22 who spoke English) visiting them. On 5 November, a truck came with Marie Therese and two men who took them to a farm at Lizio, near Vannes - they stayed at nearby Saint-Servant for the next twenty-six days with Louis Boulvais, his wife and two children and mother. They were visited by Simon from Plouguenast who said that Louis Boulvais (who is described in the IS9 list as a transporteur) was going to take them to Paris to find an organisation. They understood that the boat deal was off and they would be crossing the Pyrenees instead – and that there were thirty-eight Americans in and around the Vannes neighbourhood.
On 1 December, Germain (query) moved them to the home of Jean Bernard (also in Saint-Servant) because of Louis Boulvais' plans. Germain said that he was going to take them to Paris in five or six days but they never saw him again. On 20 December, Louis Boulvais came to see them after contacting an organisation and told them that Simon had found a boat that was leaving on Christmas Day. On 23 December, they were taken to meet Jean Richard (the IS9 file gives his address as rue Valais, Saint-Servant) at Martigne-Ferchaud (Ille-et-Vilaine) – they also met Louis there. They say they walked 20 kms to Simon's house at Plouguenast (although this doesn't seem to make sense) where they stayed overnight before leaving early next morning to be driven by truck to Vannes with Louis Boulvais, Simon and Jean Richard. Everyone except the truck driver then took the train to Quimper where they changed for Douarnenez ...
1/Lt Dwight A Fisher (#338) was the bombardier of B-17 42-3858 (95BG/336BS) (Clark) which was returning from Rennes on 29 May 1943 when they were shot down by fighters. Major Edgar B Cole (#50) who was flying as pilot observer, also evaded - he crossed the Pyrenees from Elne just two weeks after being shot down.
Fisher, whose head was badly burned, made a deliberately delayed jump from the blazing aircraft, twisting his back when his parachute opened at about 10,000 feet, and was unable to move after landing in the middle of a ploughed field about nine miles south of Paramé. He was helped immediately on landing and taken into some woods where he stayed for the next ten days, with civilian clothes, food and blankets brought to him until he was taken to a house and his journey arranged.
Like so many others, Fisher's account is only available as a series of scribbled, almost illegible notes. He mentions Roger Pansart, his wife (Aimee) and their two daughters, Odette and Jeanne at Paramé (just outside St Malo) and says that although not members of any group, they had guns and ammunition hidden on their farm (La Buzardiere) ready to help when the invasion came. Fisher stayed with the Pansart family for about two months, during which time Odette Pansart taught him French. He says that M Pansart collected a number of airmen and names Herbert Dulberg (#390) Peter Hoyt (#409) Harry Minor (#421) John Beilstein (#557) William Miller (#636) Edward Shaffer (#637) Steve Koval (B-17 42-29901) and Joe Burkowski (B-17 42-9893 El Diablo ). He mentions M Belleville (Andre Louis Belleville of La Rocca, Chemin de Rivasselou, Paramé) and M Pansart taking him and Beilstein to Trigavou.
In early October, Roger Pansart came to tell him that he was going leave by boat (this operation was abandoned following the death of Jean-Claude Camors) and Emile Guimard took him, Harry Minor and John Beilstein by truck to Malestroit. Fisher was sheltered with Norbert Letexier of rue St Julien, Malestroit for about two weeks until it became too hot (there was a lot of German military activity in the town) and he was moved to stay with a M Duval (Louis Duval at Serent, Morbihan – query) where he joined Bilstein, Joe Burkowski and George Padgett. The four airmen stayed with M Duval until the end of November when they left for Paris along with Elton Hoyt, William Cook (#410) and Wayne Bogart.
Fisher confirms Michelle Moet and Jean Carbonnet taking him and others by overnight train to Paris on 1 December and the Moet home at Saint-Mandé. There, the group were split up and Fisher was taken to stay with an elderly couple named Dunoyer on Avenue Alphand. When Jean Carbonnet collected him on 24 December, Fisher thought he was on his way to the Pyrenees but Carbonnet delivered him to a church opposite Montparnasse station. Fisher was handed him over to guides who took him (and others) by train to Quimper and Dournanez, where he arrived at two o'clock in the afternoon of Christmas Day.
1/Lt James E Armstrong (#339) was the pilot of B-17 41-24507 Yankee Raider (384BG/546BS) which was returning from Stuttgart on 6 September 1943. Despite problems with #1 engine they had managed to stay in formation but then spent about half an hour circling the target. Shortly after setting off for home, they ran out of fuel-pressure for #3 engine and the supercharger on #4 engine failed. As they lost height, they became easy prey to German fighters and at about mid-day, the aircraft was abandoned to crash south of Gisors (Eure).
Radio operator T/Sgt Walter L House (#299) and tail-gunner S/Sgt Clifford Hammock (#391) also evaded successfully – House with Comete and Hammock with the John Carter organisation.
Armstrong landed (badly) in a ploughed field near the little village of Gamaches-en-Vexin. He injured his ankle on hitting the ground but managed to hobble his way to the outskirts of the village. Whilst trying to get around the village, he met a man who brought him some food and indicated that he should hide in the nearby woods. Armstrong stayed in the woods for nine days until he felt fit enough to set off walking towards Paris and another two days before he found someone who could help him and arrange his journey.
Armstrong was driven to Paris and soon introduced to Maurice Cottereau at his bar, the Cafe du Moulin Rouge in Drancy. Two days later (about 20 September) Armstrong was taken to 15 rue Alcide Veillard in nearby Bobigny where he joined Floyd Terry (#382) and Vic Matthews (1559) who were being sheltered by Theodrine Quenot. They were told that the frontier with Spain was closed but after about a month, they heard a story about a boat that was due to go to England. Armstrong says that he met “the boys from Pavillon” - William Howell (#328) Paul McConnell (#380) John Dougherty (#358) John Heald (#357) Robert Sheets (#394) and Gary Hinote (#383) were being sheltered at Les Pavillons-sous-Bois. At the end of October, they were all taken by train to Quimper where I think that Armstrong, Vic Matthews and Andrew Lindsay (#389) stayed with Jacques Mourlet and his family at 9 rue Anastole Le Bas.
On 6 November, following the abandonment of the Dahlia (Fanfan) operation from Quimper, they were taken back to Paris where Armstrong, Royce Fidler (1717) Leslie Woollard (1718) and Robert Sheets (#394) stayed in Gilbert Virmoux's apartment at 41 rue Saint-Merri. On 12 November, a girl called Denise took Armstrong and Sheets, and Gilbert Virmoux took the two Englishmen, to the Chateau de la Fortelle where they joined William Howell (#328) Jacob Dalinski (#342) John Dougherty (#358) Paul McConnell (#380) Gary Hinote (#383) Charles Bailey (#384) William Quinn (#385) Andrew Lindsay (#389) and Anthony Reynolds (1835) for about twenty days of toughening for the mountains. On about 10 December, Armstrong, Fidler, Woollard and Andrew Lindsay (#389) returned to Paris and Gilbert Virmoux's flat.
McConnell and Hinote seem to have been passed on to Comete at this point – they crossed the Pyrenees together in January 1944.
They were fitted out for mountains and on about 11 December, Gilbert Virmoux took Armstrong, Fidler, Woollard and Lindsay - and Denise took the Russell Jones (1719) and Edward Sobolewski (#331) - by train to Carcassonne. As mentioned early, their attempt at crossing the Pyrenees from Quillan failed and they returned once more to Paris. At about this time, Armstrong reports someone saying that they were leaving Bordeaux for the Burgundy organisation.
Denise took Jones and Sobolewski back to her apartment while Armstrong, Fidler, Woollard and Lindsay returned again to Gilbert Virmoux's flat. Lindsay was soon collected (by Madeleine Davy (query) - he later crossed the Pyrenees with Comete) and two days later, Gilbert took Armstrong, Fidler and Woollard to a church where they met a blonde girl with braided hair (Genevieve Soulié) who had Jones and Sobolewski (and one other - query) with her. Armstrong was taken to 11 rue Valentin Hauy, Paris XV where he was sheltered by twenty-nine-year-old accountant Mlle Odette Drappier – she told him that he was her first American – and two days later, a young boy came to tell him that he would be leaving by boat. Armstrong was taken to a church near Montparnasse station where he joined Fidler, Woollard, Jones, Sobelewski, Dwight Fisher (#338) and John Carleton (1720) to be taken by train to Le Mans where they changed for Quimper and Douarnenez ...
On their arrival at Douarnenez, several of the evaders mention meeting the head of the organisation (Yves Le Guillou) who was known to some of them as Noel. He is described as a good-looking, muscular man, about six feet tall with long black wavy hair. He was teaching German, having been a prisoner in Germany for two years, and some local people apparently thought he was a collaborator. He had a wife and two daughters, aged four and ten, and a sister who was working with him.
After abandoning the first operation (Jeanne) as already mentioned, the evaders were sheltered at various homes in and around Douarnenez. Royce Fidler (1717) Leslie Woollard (1718) John Carleton (1720) Thomas Moore (#332) and Dwight Fisher (#338) stayed with Mme Telec (whose husband and son were in England) and her daughter, Mme Kervarec (whose husband was in Germany) at 16 rue Jean Bart until the evening of 21 January 1944.
Russell Jones (1719) and James Armstrong (#390) were taken by a M Guyer (query) who ran clothing shop, back to his home on rue Jean Bart. On New Year's Day, they were moved to a flat on the opposite corner of the street at No 2 rue Jean Bart where they stayed with Mme Malhomme until their departure.
Harry Horton (#330) and Edward Sobolewski (#331) were sheltered with Louis Ridel, a fish-merchant who had moved to Douarnenez from Dieppe, while Robert Giles (#333) and Carroll Haarup (#334) were sheltered with Mlle Marguerite Seznec at 3 rue Emile Zola for a few days before moving to stay with Mme Alberte Pensec at 21 rue Louis Midi
Ardell Bollinger (#335) says that the organisation head (Yves Le Guillou) and Klacken (Pierre Claquin of 12 rue Saint Jean, Treboul) a short, heavy man who worked on the railways at Douarnenez, took seven (sic) of them - Bollinger, Kelly and Kalas plus S/Sgt Glenn Blakemore (from B-17 42-5130 Sweet Pea) and three (query) others - to a house in Treboul (at 38 rue Professeur Curie) where they stayed with Gabriel Cloarec. They report Blakemore leaving with a Frenchman and heard later that he had been captured, along with the family that helped him.
Bollinger also reports M Claquin going to the port of Audierne to see about another boat but returning about four days before they left to tell Gabriel Cloarec that the owner of the boat at Audierne wanted 900,000 francs. According to Cloarec's mother, Gabriel had intended that his brother (Pierre) should sail the Breiz-Izel but having sheltered the evaders in his house, and on receiving notice to report for work in Germany, Gabriel decided to skipper her himself.
There is some confusion in the evader reports about which day the Breiz-Izel actually sailed from Treboul (the harbour for Douarnenez) because the evaders were gathered late in the evening of 21 January and departed in the early hours of the following morning. However, the crossing took about thirty-six hours, and all the reports (with one exception) agree that they reached Falmouth in Cornwall at about lunch-time on 23 January 1944.
Fidler and Woollard say that “On the night of 21 January, the chief of the organisation told us we were leaving. The party went to the quay at Treboul and boarded a boat at about 2145 hrs. We left at 0250 hrs. There was a German guard at the mouth of the harbour, and as the boat was going out, someone shouted “Halt”. We heard a scream and were told afterwards that the German searchlight had been switched on and then went out suddenly, as a result of an attack on the Germans, arranged by the organisers. The boat was able to leave the harbour without mishap and the engine was started. We arrived at Falmouth about 1300 hrs on 24 (sic) January. The party on the boat consisted of 16 Frenchmen, 10 Americans and four British.” (WO208/5582 1718/1719)
My grateful thanks to Dave and Gisele Minett for their translations from "L'évadé de la France libre"
Research by Pierre Tillet suggests that in addition to the fourteen evaders, and Gabriel Cloarec and his crew (Pierre CLOAREC, Pierre CELTON, Pierre DREVILLON, Yves PERON, Emile RALEC), Jean CELTON, André DELFOSSE, Théodore DOARE, François JAOUEN, Yves LE FOL, Jean de la PATELIERE, Yves PERON, Pierre PHILIPPON, Jacques REVERCHON, Jean RICHARD, Yves VOURCH and Jos LE BRIS were also taken to England on board the Breiz-Izel – a total of thirty-two people.