Furniss-Roe Again !
This time with help from the Françoise and Marie-Odile organisations
This page first posted 06 Nov 2020
On the evening of 2 March 1944, Henry Furniss-Roe, Leon Blythe, Paul Marriott, Donald Dilling, William Waudby, Reginald Overwyn, Henry Heldman, Joseph Haywood, Conrad Blalock, Alvin Rosenblatt, Alfred Klein, Charles Blakley, Adolph Zielenkiewicz and Archie Barlow left Toulouse by train for Foix to cross the Pyrenees to Andorra.
Pauline Barré de Saint-Venant was born Pauline Gabrielle Gaillard at Villes-les-Nancy on 9 April 1895, and in 1928, she married Henri Barré de Saint-Venant. They had one daughter, Marie-Jacqueline, who married Joseph Helluy in August 1941, and lived in Nancy at 24 Faubourg des Trois Maisons.
Pauline seems to have only used the name “Marie-Odile” when working with the “English organisation” of Mary Lindell, and “Mme Alice Laroche” both before and after, until her arrest on 4 May 1944.
It should be mentioned that while the actual crossing of the Pyrenees by this group was organised by people working with Françoise Dissard in Toulouse, several of the Parisian helpers named in this article were also associated with the CDDL (Ceux de la Liberation) group. Please note however, that in relating these evader stories, I am not trying to “credit” specific organisations – the reality was far too complex for that.
F/O Henry Furniss-Roe (1871) from Wadhurst in Sussex, was the 21-year-old pilot of 66 Sqn Spitfire EN575 on an escort mission over the Pas-de-Calais on 25 January 1944 when his engine failed, and he made a forced landing in a field near Hucqueliers. This was the second time that Furniss-Roe had landed in Occupied France, having been shot down near Evreux the previous August, and evading (with help from CDDL) to cross the Pyrenees from Bayonne in September.
He was uninjured, and after sending a radio message to his squadron saying that he was safe and “would be back in two months”, and then failing to set fire to his aircraft, made his way to a road where he met two local people with a cart who took him back to their farm. Furniss-Roe stayed on the farm overnight, and the following evening, was taken about ten kilometres to the village of Renty. He was sheltered by farmer Vincent Ansel of Bois de Renty, who questioned Furniss-Roe carefully before letting him live in the cellar of his house. Furniss-Roe reports “There were four German Army NCOs billetted in the house, and I frequently ate in the kitchen while they were there, but they were rather stupid and paid no attention to me”. Two days after his arrival, he was joined by Major Leon Blythe.
Major Leon W Blythe (#547) from Columbus, Georgia was the 28-year-old (acting) command pilot, flying as co-pilot of 94BG/332BS B-17 42- 31234 Barber Shop, the 94 Group Leader on a mission to Ludwigshafen on 7 January 1944. They were hit by flak over the target, which took out their #2 engine, and as a result fell behind their formation for the return leg. They were near Arras when they were attacked by German fighters, which took out two more engines, and pilot 1/Lt Joseph L Barber, crash-landed his aircraft about a mile from Bourthes (Nord-Pas-de-Calais). All the crew except Blythe were injured, and he and 2/Lt Paul Marriott (#548) (see later) were the only two successful evaders.
“We landed about a mile from Bourthes, where Lt Marriott was taken. I went to Verchocq, a slightly larger place, my guide was M. Gruel [Chérubin Joseph Henri Gruel born 7 Jan 1895], who lived in a farmhouse just north of the village. His wife did most of the farming; he sold lottery tickets. I stayed with a neighbour the first two days and slept in his hayloft, as there were Germans in M. Gruel's house. His daughters spoke a little English and took care of organisation matters. They saw to it that I was fed, and they guarded me when I went out at night in the pasture to get a little exercise. I moved into Gruel's house later. They explained my being there by saying I was a Belgian who spoke no French, but they were careful to keep me out of the way of the Germans. Often they would be in the next room, and at times I got the daughters to ask them questions. Their morale was not high, but they still seemed to think the Fuhrer would miraculously win the war. One told the Gruel girls that a counter-invasion was in prospect if ours did not go well. Few people in the village saw me at all.
On 26 January, Gruel took me to Renty to stay. We carried some heavy packages which I later heard contained Sten guns and ammunition. Gruel was active in the resistance movement but took care to keep his activities quiet. On the way we picked up an RAF pilot named Paul (sic) Furniss-Rowe who went with us to Renty, where we were hidden in a cellar in the house of M. Ancil (sic) for a week. I was asked to identity Furniss-Rowe and was given a butcher knife and told to kill him if he proved to be an imposter.
There were Germans upstairs in this house and we were not allowed to go out. Two girls, Monique and Genevieve Fabry (sic - Fillerin), sisters whose father and mother had been arrested and sent to Germany, were in charge of organisation activities in this town. They were friends of the Gruel family. I heard they had already helped 36 aviators. We were given identity papers here, though we never used them. Monique took the photos and the cards were supplied by the secretary of the mayor of Fauquembergues, a town nearby. Monique spoke German and got on well with them. As a result she was able to get considerable information from them.
Monique arranged for the mayor's secretary, M. Bouchard, to have us moved to Fauquembergues, where we spent (.. gap ..) then we were sent back to Renty because the organisation was not ready to move us on. Finally Andre, the organisation head in this region, took us to Inghem on bicycles. This man was only 21 but had recently succeeded the chief who had been bumped off at Saint-Omer. He had a big hooked nose, dyed black hair and a florid complexion, and told us he spoke Malayan and had spent considerable time in Indo-China. He told me that Marriott was safe and would be taken care of, and that the pilot had burned the secret papers in our plane. He thought all the crew members had been taken to Montreuil by the Germans.
Andre lived at Herbelles, but took us to Inghem to stay with a M. Steenkiste (sic) who had an 18 year old son who was active in resistance work. He and his friends had 12 Sten guns, tin hats, and complete outfits ready for use. On 7 (sic) February we walked 22 kms to the RR station at Isbergues-Berguette, picking up a fighter pilot, Capt Dilling (#545) on the way. Before leaving we had a very good dinner with an organisation member, and delivered a Sten gun to him. Early next day we went to Paris on a jammed train.” (MIS-X #547 Blythe)
On 7 February, Furniss-Roe and Blythe were taken to Fauquembergues, where the maire's secretary gave them identity cards. He also introduced them to Andre Robin, who took them to stay with Felix Steenkeste on his farm at Inghem. On (Sunday) 13 February, Andre returned to take the two men to Aire-sur-le-Lys, where they picked up Capt Donald Dilling (#545), and then walked with them to Isbergues-Berguette, where there is a railway station. They stayed at Isbergues overnight (probably with Louis Rieutort) and next day, Andre Robin took the three airmen by train to Paris.
Andre Robin (born 19 July 1923 at Aire-sur-le-Lys) worked with a group of local men (which included Yves Steenkeste at Inghem and abbé Flahaut at Clarques), supporting the SOE circuit Sylvestre-Farmer in 1943, and in 1944, as head of the BCRA intelligence group Hunter-Nord. Despite Hunter agents being instructed not to help parachutists, he also became involved with passing evaders to the Marie-Odile organisation via Marcelle Chaubit (wife of Gabriel Chaubit) in Paris. Andre Robin was arrested on 26 May 1944, and shot in Paris on 27 July.
Hunter-Nord agent Louis Rieutort (born 15 July 1902) was a foreman at the local steel mill, and lived with his wife Lucienne and her father Louis Cluzen, at 5 rue Censé Balque, just across the railway line from the station.
Captain Donald Kramer Dilling (#545) from Cincinnati, Ohio was one day past his twenty-fifth birthday on 30 December 1943, and flying P-47 42-8447 Queen City Mama (352FG/487FS) on withdrawal support for bombers returning from Ludwigshafen. He was heading back from the Lille area when he received a call on his radio to “hit the deck and get out” but after crossing the French coast alone near Dunkirk, he spotted a group of P-47s to the south and tried to join them. He was running very low on fuel when he crossed the coastline again, and after failing to find an airfield, landed his aircraft wheels up in a field near Lumbres (Nord-Pas-de-Calais). Thinking he was safe in England, he walked “casually” towards a house, and it was only when a group of children wearing berets came running up to him that he realised his mistake. He quickly returned to his aircraft to destroy the VHF but the detonator failed to explode, and deciding it was time to leave, he ran and hid among some trees.
That evening, a man from Val de Lumbres gave him food and civilian clothes, before sending him on his way, and a short while later, Dilling found a barn to spend the rest of the night in. Next morning, he approached a young boy named Michel Merger, who took him back to his house, where Dilling was sheltered in the attic until the following evening by the boy and an elderly, grey-haired woman. Dilling was given directions to Arras, and set off walking but soon got himself lost, finally reaching Avroult where a man allowed him to spend the rest of the night in his barn. The next day (Sunday), he walked through Coyecques, and then stopped a man who seemed to be following him, and asked him for help to get to Paris. The man was Jacob Hochart, and he took Dilling back to Bomy, meeting Gabriel Wuissart as they entered the village, who took them to a café for drinks, before Jacob took Dilling back to his house, where he stayed for the next two nights and three days. During this time, Gabriel brought the local blacksmith, who after interrogating Dilling, said he would contact someone, and in the meantime, that he should go to stay with Gabriel.
Gabriel Wissart was a widower who lived on a farm with his son and two daughters. There was also an escaped PW, a metallurgist named Albert Robbe, staying with them. Two days after his arrival, a man came from Isbergues who took two photographs of Dilling for identity papers, and on the Saturday (8 Jan), Albert Robbe took Dilling down the road to a point where he was collected by two men in a car. The car was driven by a doctor and the man from Isbergues was riding in it, and they took Dilling to Aire-sur-la-Lys, where he met Mme Petit (who spoke English – both she and her husband were professional photographers) and then to a house in the centre of Aire, across the street from a German officers' club. Dilling reports that there was a girl at the house who had helped Allied evaders before, and was being courted by a Gestapo officer who came in while Dilling was there. That evening, Dilling was taken to a shop owned by M. Martin, and after supper, André Robin (22 years old, has an 18-year-old helper who works in the German officers' club) arrived. After interrogating Dilling, André took him back to Mme Petit's where new photographs were taken before Dilling was returned to M. Martin's to stay overnight with him and his son.
Next morning, Andre Robin took Dilling by bicycle to Felix Steenkest in Inghem, where Dilling reports that Steenkest was head of the local organisation, and that his 21-year-old son Yves worked with Andre Robin. Dilling stayed at the Steenkest farm for two weeks, during which time Andre Robin took him to Clarques to meet a woman from Lille (Mme Gilberte Braems – query) who told him that his identification would be verified with London but he would have to wait because Albert, the British agent (Albert Staags), had been picked up by the Germans. On Sunday (6 Feb), Andre Robin moved Dilling to Clarques where he stayed with Emile Delplanque . The priest at Clarques, abbé Flahaut, was in touch with the organisation in Paris and wanted someone to come from Paris to collect Dilling rather then let André Robin take him (and a man from the organisation in Paris (presume Gabriel Chaubit of 9 rue Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, Paris IX) did come and interview Dilling). However, Andre Robin went to Paris on the Friday, and returned to say that he would take Dilling to the capital that Sunday.
On Sunday 13 February, Emile Delplanque took Dilling by bicycle to Aire-sur-la-Lys, where he joined André, who had brought Blythe and Furniss-Roe, and André and the three airmen walked to Isbergues-Berguette where they stayed overnight (probably with Louis Rieutort) before taking a morning train to Paris.
On their arrival in Paris on 14 February, André Robin took Blythe, while the man who had interviewed Dilling at Clarques, took him and Furniss-Roe to a flat in Montmartre where they were requested to fill in a questionnaire. Furniss-Roe tried refusing to answer but when told that he would otherwise be handed over to the Germans, did as asked. They were then taken to the Hotel Richelieu at 20 rue Molière where they met Mme Laroche and Mme Nelly (Nelly Armengol). Mme Leroche asked them more questions before Mme Nelly (described by Dilling as being 39 years old, a striking blonde, married to an artist) took them to stay overnight at her apartment at 55 rue des Abbesses, Paris XVIII. Next day, she took them to be sheltered with the art deco fashion illustrator, Paul Allier (1886-1967), where they stayed until 25 February.
On the morning of 26 February, the two men were moved once more, Furniss-Roe being taken to stay with Mme Alice at the “Au Bon Coin”, where he joined F/Sgt Waudby (1873); and Dilling back to the Hotel Richelieu where he rejoined Leon Blythe.
Nelly Armengol (née Victoire Marie Angèle Clairon 17 June 1903 in Guingamp), who had worked as an actress and model, was married to painter Henri Armengol (1884-1944). Henri and Paul Allier were contemporaries and it seems reasonable to presume that they were probably friends.
The bistro “Au Bon Coin” at 28 rue des cinq Diamants, Paris XIII, was owned by Mme Augustine Challoy (aka Mme Alice) (born 14 February 1911), and used as a regular meeting place for “Mme Laroche” and her associates. Alice's nephew, Emile Durghetto (of 40 rue Daviel, Paris XIII) (born 14 July 1915) also worked there – he was arrested when the café was raided in June (Mme Alice wasn't there at the time, and managed to avoid capture).
The Hotel Richelieu (now the Pavillon Louvre Rivoli) at 20 rue Molière, Paris I, was owned by Mme Marthe Boy (born 28 July 1879). On 8 March 1944, German police came to check the register but they found nothing incriminating.
F/Sgt William Norman Waudby (1873) from Hull in Yorkshire, was the 22-year-old pilot of 245 Sq Typhoon JP971 returning from a sweep sortie over Paris on 8 January 1944 when he was shot down and crash-landed in a field just south of Sassey (Eure). Leaving his parachute and harness, but taking his Mae West, Waudby ran through some woods to a labourer he saw in a field, who advised him to avoid a nearby hamlet as there were Germans there. Waudby then continued northwards until just before dusk, when he approached a man collecting hay just inside the gates of a chateau near Ecardenville-sur-Eure. Waudby was taken into the house and given a meal, and then to the village where a man gave Waudby some obsolete identity papers, before being returned to chateau, where Waudby spent the night. The following afternoon, three men, one of whom had seen Waudby crash the previous day, arrived with four bicycles, and they took him on the fourth bicycle to Hondouville and the Moulin du Valtier, home of an Englishwoman married to Frenchman Jacques Roger, who noted Waudby's details and went to Paris to try to obtain help.
On 11 January, Jacques Roger took Waudby by bicycle to Louviers, where they took the morning train to Paris, arriving in the capital at about noon and going to a café in Clichy. This was the hôtel de l'Ouest at 28 boulevard du Fort de Vaux, Paris XVII, where Waudby was left with Mme Vve Therese-Marie Fabre (born 7 February 1902 in Dolores, Argentina). At about eight o'clock that evening, a young man that he refers to as “Bebert” (this was CDDL guide Albert Marcel Blot, born 3 August 1918) took Waudby to 43 rue de Neuilly, Clichy where he was sheltered by Mme Germaine Lemeur (born 6 April 1897 in Bohars, Finland).
Jacques Roger had already given Waudby civilian clothes, and at Clichy he was supplied with papers and an identity card while a friend of Mme Lemeur, André Noblet, tried to make various contacts to get him away.
On 25 January, Waudby was joined by S/Sgt Charles Blakley (#551), and on 28 January, André took them both to a boulangerie at 101 rue Saint-Dominique, Paris VII, where they stayed with Mme Vve Deniau and her daughter.
On 11 February, André Noblet took Waudby and Blakley to “La Fortune du Pot” at 20 rue de Bruxelles where they met Mme Laroche , who took down their details, and they were joined by three more Americans (Alvin Rosenblatt, Alfred Klein and Archie Barlow). That evening, Simone Rossenu, who worked at the restaurant, took Waudby and Blakley back to her home at 7 Impasse Molin.
Blakley stayed at Impasse Molin until leaving Paris but Waudby says that on about 18 February, he was taken to the Hotel Richelieu (sic) where he was joined by F/O Furniss-Roe, and that the remainder of his movements were “the same as his in every detail”.
I think that should be back to “La Fortune du Pot”, where all the evaders met on 26 February, including Furniss-Roe, and where Blakley reports leaving Waudby and returning to Impasse Molin with Archie Barlow (#687). I am presuming that Waudby was then taken to the “Au Bon Coin” at 28 rue des cinq Diamants, where Furniss-Roe says he was taken on 26 February, and stayed with Waudby until leaving Paris on 1 March.
The bistro, “La Fortune du Pot” at 20 rue de Bruxelles, on the corner with the rue de Douai, was owned by Mme Leonie Marie Louise Margulius (née Darras 28 Sept 1900) (aka Mme Zozo), and like the “Au Bon Coin”, was used as a regular meeting place for “Mme Laroche” and her associates. Gabrielle Alice Capuano (née Vignau 31 January 1920), was an active member of the organisation, and worked there, as did Mme Simone Rossenu (5 ft 4 inches, 30 years old, dark hair and eyes) who lived with her parents, M. et Mme Maurice Gaillet, and younger sister, at 7 Impasse Molin, Paris XVIII.
Leon Blythe describes how, on 14 February, their train into Paris was late, and the man who was meant to meet them (Blythe, Furniss-Roe, Dilling and Andre Robin) didn't turn up. He says their “country bumkin clothes” were all wrong in the city and that they were stared at by everyone as they took the Metro. Furniss-Roe and Dilling went elsewhere while Andre Robin took Blythe to the house of a wealthy business man, where they had lunch. Then, Michel Legendre, a Paris policeman who was working with the organisation, took him to Mme Laroche at the Hotel Richelieu. Blythe describes Mme Laroche as being “the head of her own organisation, a middle-aged woman of powerful personality, afraid of nobody, who told him that she worked in part through the Swiss Legation. Her headquarters were at the Hotel Richelieu on the rue de Richelieu (sic), where we stayed that night, but we were told she planned to move soon”. He describes Michel Legendre was being her right-hand man, and says he asked for identification information, including their group and squadron numbers. Blythe also met two women who worked for Mme Laroche; Mme Nelly and Mme Nicole (Mlle Nicole Lebon (born 1 March 1921) of 81 rue de la Tour, Paris XVI), saying that Mme Nicole spoke good English.
Blythe was taken to stay in an apartment at 7 rue Ernest Cresson where a woman friend of Michel Legendre's lived. Blythe says that her husband was a PW in Germany, and that he stayed there for four days. He also says Lt Marriott (#548) arrived towards the end of that time, and that a Dutch pilot, Lt Overwyn (1875), also stayed with them. On about 18 February, the three airmen were taken to stay at Michel Legendre's house with his mother, and then to a café, the “Au Bon Coin” at 28 rue des cinq Diamants, where they met Mme Laroche and Mme Alice, described by Blythe as being “an Apache type who seemed to be in charge of the dirty work done by the organisation”.
Blythe also reports that Mme Laroche talked a great deal, even in public, and took no special pains to conceal their group; and that Mme Nicole, a girl of 22, seemed the best educated and equipped of these women - she knew several Americans who had formerly lived in Paris, including a Mr Compton of NY who was head of the Standard Oil in France at one time. They often went out in the city, always with Michel or one of the women, recalling that on one occasion they lost Mme Nelly because a man tried to pick her up. She thought he was a Gestapo agent and ran off as fast as she could but came back later. They sat at big tables in restaurants, eight or nine of them together, talking English with no-one seeming to notice. Mme Laroche told them that she was from Alsace, and had been known as “Marie-Odile” in her early work for the British.
2/Lt Paul A Marriott (#548) from Fort Worth, Texas, was 28 years old when B-17 42-31234 Barber Shop crash-landed about a mile from Bourthes (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) on 7 January 1944 (see Leon Blythe earlier). The reports list Marriott in the tail gun position but he says the tail-gunner was thrown clear in the crash, and was dead (Blythe confirms waist-gunner S/Sgt Stanley J Maciolek as being killed), and that everyone else, except Blythe, was injured.
Blythe and Marriott, who had injured his leg, headed towards Bourthes, which they could see to the east before a girl intercepted them, and then a boy led them to a wood where they stayed until nightfall. That evening they were brought some civilian clothes, and taken to Roger Ducrocq's farmhouse on the rue des Croisettes in Campagne-lès-Boulonnais. Blythe was given some shoes but as Marriott could no longer walk at this point, he stayed at the farm when Blythe was taken away by bicycle.
Marriott spent the night in the top of a barn, and early the following morning, the man who had taken Blythe (Cherubin Gruel) returned to take him to another farm five or six kilometres away. A few hours later, Monique Fillerin arrived with a car and driver, and they took Marriott to the edge of Verchocq, picking up Typhoon pilot Robert Crosby (1908) on the way. They stayed with Mme Alice Tartare, next door to Raymond Boulet, for three or four days, during which time they met 1/Lt Neil Lathrop (#613), who had been shot down on the same raid as Marriott, and was being sheltered nearby.
On 13 January, Doctor Guy Delpierre took Marriott to be sheltered in his own house in Fauquembergues. During his time at Fauquembergues, Marriott says it was Genevieve and Monique Fillerin (he calls them Francis and Monique Fabry) who arranged for him to be put in the hands of an organisation, and that M. Bouchard, secretary to the mayor of Fauquembergues, supplied him with an identity card. Marriot reports meeting the doctor's nephew, John Watson Smith (he was actually the brother of Dr Delpierre's English wife Arlette), and that it was Monique Fillerin who took his photograph for an identity card.
On about 13 February (Marriot says 4 March but that has to be wrong), Doctor Delpierre drove Marriott to Aire-sur-la-Lys and handed him over to Andre Robin, and Andre asked Marriott a few “test questions” before taking him by bicycle to Isbergues-Berguette. They spent the night at Isbergues (probably with Louis Rieutort), before taking an early morning train to Paris.
On arrival in the capital, Andre Robin passed Marriott over to a man who ran a café near the gare du Nord before Paris policeman Michel Legendre took him to another café, the “Au Bon Coin” at 28 rue des cinq Diamants, run by a woman called Alice, who Marriott says had black market connections and worked with terrorists. After a meal at the café, Michel Legendre took Marriott to a large apartment block at 7 rue Ernest Cresson, where he joined Leon Blythe, Adolph Zielenkiewicz (#552) and Reginald Overwyn (1875). Later Michel Legendre moved them all to an apartment in the suburbs where they stayed with him and his mother at 9 bis rue d'Alembert, Paris XIV .
F/Sgt Reginald Overwyn (1875) from Chiswick in west London, was living in Holland when the war started. He escaped to England in May 1940, joined the RAF in December 1941, and on 25 November 1943, was the 23-year-old navigator of 320 (Dutch) Sqn Mitchell FR146 on a sortie to the railway contruction works at Martinvaast (a few kilometres south-west of Cherbourg). They had just dropped their bombs when a direct flak hit set the aircraft on fire, and pilot Sgt Johannes Kok ordered his crew to bale out, leaving the aircraft to crash near Tréauville.
Overwyn says that he only just managed to jump before the aircraft turned over (Jan Kok and wireless operator Joob de la Haye were killed), landing in the middle of an orchard just outside Couville. His landing was witnessed by several people who urged him to get away quickly, leaving his parachute still hanging from a tree.
A young boy took Overwyn back to his family farm, where he was given civilian clothes while they buried his uniform. He then walked to Couville, where a woman gave him two blankets and some food, and showed him a field where he could hide. She said she would return at five-thirty the following morning, and when she did not, Overwyn walked into Cherbourg. After failing to get any help from a priest he met there, Overwyn carried on walking to Bretteville. He went to an estaminet for coffee but soon left as he “did not like the look of the patronne” but then, a girl ran up, said she knew someone who would help him, and took him to a nearby bungalow.
There was lady at the bungalow who spoke broken English, and said that her husband knew an address in Cherbourg where he could be put in touch with an organisation. She also gave Overwyn some more civilian clothes before her husband took him by tram into Cherbourg, and a house where he met a woman who took down his details. She then sent Overwyn to a flat where, about three hours later, two men arrived, one of them a small Jewish-looking man named Paul Talluau. Overwyn spent the night in the flat but next day Paul returned to say there were Germans in the flat below, and he would have to be moved. That night, Paul took him to a warehouse at 184 rue de la Douche (belonging to Jean Delacotte of the ”Delbo–Phoenix” resistance group), where Overwyn slept in a hammock in the room above. On 30 November, Paul took him to some friends who gave him some better clothes, and an identity card, and he spent the night with them. Next day, Paul Talluau and one of his friends took Overwyn by car to a railway station, where they caught a train to Paris.
On their arrival in Paris on 30 November, Overwyn and Paul Talluau were met by a friend of Paul's who took them back to her apartment near the Poisonniere Metro station. That afternoon, she took Overwyn to 4 rue Ampere, Paris XVII, where he was sheltered by Guillaume Charles Desanges, who Overwyn describes as “an assistant chief of an organisation”. On 10 December, Guillaume Desanges took him to the “Au Bon Coin” at 28 rue des cinq Diamants, where he stayed with Mme Alice (Augustine Challoy) for two nights until a Mme Barbas (I think this was Mme Andree Barbas of 43 rue Fontaine, Paris IX) took him to her farm in the country near Nonancourt, Eure.
Overwyn was told that he would be staying there for about three weeks, waiting for a possible take-off operation by aeroplane but at the end of three weeks, was told the air operation had had to be postponed and that he would be there for another three weeks (all Lysander operations were abandoned from 17 December until the following February). As a New Year's party was planned at the farm, and because it was thought that Overwyn shouldn't be seen by any more people than necessary, avocat à la Cour Edward Bracassac, arranged for him to stay overnight at his house in Paris at 27 rue Casimir Perier. The following day, Overwyn was taken to Torcy (Seine et Marne), where he was sheltered (no details given) for about a week until being returned to the farm at Nonencourt.
On about 21 January, they learned that Edward Bracassac had been arrested, and two days later, German officials came to the farm, apparantly looking for evading airmen. Overwyn ran out of the back door and into the woods, where he remained for about two hours until one of the farm workers came to tell him the coast was clear.
It was thought that Overwyn should leave the farm immediately, and a young man named Christien Morizot, described by Overwyn as “an evader from labour service and a terrorist”, took him back into Paris, and the “Au Bon Coin”. Next day, they heard that the Germans were going to surround the district searching for suspects, and Michel Legendre took Overwyn back to his home at 9 bis rue d'Alembert. On about 30 January, Overwyn was moved once more, this time to the home of another policeman (name and address not known).
On about 10 February, Michel Legendre took Overwyn to the Hotel Richelieu on rue Molièr where he met Mme Laroche and a man who said that he was a member of the British Intelligence Service (this was probably evader Georges Tsoucas). After Mme Laroche had taken his details, Overwyn was returned to Michel Legendre 's apartment, where he was joined next day by Adolph Zielenkiewicz USAAF. The following day (13 Feb), the two airmen were moved to an apartment at 7 rue Ernest Cresson, where they stayed until 17 February, when they were taken back to the Hotel Richelieu.
1/Lt Adolph Zielenkiewicz (#552) of 1742 Crystal Street, Chicago was the 23-year-old bombardier of B-24 42-7548 Bull O' The Woods (44BG/66BS) which was on the way to Ludwigshaven on 30 December 1943, and still over France when they were attacked by fighters. The pilot, 1/Lt Donald J Heskett (#347), reports that they were struggling to keep up with the formation and the first indication he had of an attack was when two of their engines stopped. The aircraft immediately went into a spin, and being unable to recover it, he rang the alarm bell and ordered his crew to bail-out.
“I landed in the woods of Juvigny (Aisne), about 8 kms north of Soissons. I walked to Terny-Sorny. In the evening I started walking south until I arrived on the main road to Soissons. I went into an isolated farmhouse on the edge of the road, about 3 kms north of Soissons. The farmers were Polish and had with them for dinner a Polish priest. The family, a middle-aged couple with a twenty-year-old daughter, had no underground contacts and had never helped before. The priest however, aged about 25, did have underground contacts, and that night he took me to Soissons and put me up in a hotel. Next morning (31 Dec), the priest took me to the home of a Polish butcher, Mr Bocian at 10 rue des Cordeliers. Bocian, who said he was not part of an organisation but wanted to work for the Allies, gave me a complete set of clothes. Bocian was officially known as a collaborator, served the Germans as an interpretor, and as a butcher sold most of his meat on the black market. All the French despised him but he was the best patriot I have ever met, and had helped Americans before.” (MIS-X #552 Zielenkiewicz)
On 5 January, a friend of Mr Bocian, a man called Maconka, took Zielenkiewicz by train to Paris, where he passed him on to a furrier named Andre Leszek, and Zielenkiewicz stayed overnight with him at 83 bis rue Lafayette, Paris IX. Next day, Leszek took Zielenkiewicz to Le Blanc-Mesnil (near Le Bourget) where he stayed with a coal dealer named Fabrisiak until 11 January, waiting for the man's daughter. Zielenkiewicz understood that the daughter was a liaison agent between Lille and Paris for the Polish resistance, and on 11 January, she took him into Paris where they were met on the Metro by a tall, heavily built woman, aged between 40 and 50, with a round face, blue eyes, and blonde hair that she wore close to her head, who took him to a small old Polish catholic church, near the Place Vendome. The priests were connected to the undergound and they sent Zielenkiewicz to Mme Leskiewicz, who owned a hotel at 22 rue Feutrier, Paris XVIII, where Zielenkiewicz stayed until the second week of February.
Zielenkiewicz says that the Metro woman was organising his trip, bringing him an identity card and arranging for him to leave for Bordeaux but on the day he was due to leave, she and Hanna Leskiewicz (the 19-year-old daughter of his hostess) told him their chief had been arrested.
The “Metro woman” was probably CDDL guide Mme Rejane Ruel (born 20 Aug 1911) of 26 rue des Bois, Chelles; and their chief, Rene Alexandre Charles Leduc (born 12 November 1901) (alias Henri) of 3 avenue Louvois, Meudon, Seine-et-Oise, who was arrested on the Champs-Elysées on 2 February 1944.
It took a few days for Hanna to find another organisation but she finally put Zielenkiewicz in contact with Mme Yvonne Michelet, who had a patisserie at 48 Boulevard de Vaugirard, Paris XV, and through her, Zielenkiewicz met policeman Michel Legendre . Zielenkiewicz was taken back to Legendre 's home at 9 bis rue de d'Alembert, where he met Reginald Overwyn, and next day, Legendre took them to stay overnight with Mme Alice at 28 rue des cinq Diamants. The following day, Legendre took them to a vacant apartment house at 7 rue Ernest Cresson, where they stayed for four days, having all their meals with the concierge, Marguerite Soet. On 17 February, Zielenkiewicz and Overwyn were taken to the Hotel Richelieu where they met Leon Blythe (and twelve other evaders), and stayed at the hotel with Blythe until leaving Paris on about 28 February.
T/Sgt Alvin A Rosenblatt (#549) from Newark, New Jersey, was the 20-year-old radio operator, Sgt Alfred M Klein (#550) from New York City, the 23-year-old right waist-gunner, S/Sgt Charles W Blakley (#551) from Parma, Idaho the 22-year-old left waist-gunner and T/Sgt Archie R Barlow (#687) from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the 20-year-old engineer and top-turret gunner of B-24 42-7635 Ram It-Damn It (44BG/68BS) (Howington) on a raid to Pas-de-Calais and Cherbourg V1 sites on 21 January 1944. They were circling the target for the third time when they were attacked by enemy fighters, and with the co-pilot killed and the flight deck on fire, the airccraft was abandoned to crash at Lignieres-Chatelaine (Somme).
Rosenblatt and Klein both landed in woods near Souplicourt (their reports say Meigneux) where Rosenblatt was found by a farmer named Paul Duveret, a short man with a moustache who took him back to his house, where he met the man's wife and 19-year-old daughter. Klein was found by a second (taller) man, who took him to another man (described as stocky), who gave him some civilian clothes before taking him to the Duveret house where he joined Rosenblatt. Rosenblatt says that the stocky man was part of an organisation, and the link between Paris and the village. He lived in Paris with his wife and daughter, ran a truck company, and seems to have made all the arrangements for them to go to Paris. That same evening, Rossenblatt and Klein were taken to another house, about 50 yards away, where they were joined by Blakley and Barlow.
Blakley landed on the edge of the woods, about a mile west of Souplicourt (his report also says Meigneux), and Barlow (who had been been hit in the leg and arm by shrapnel), slightly closer to the village. They were both helped by 38-year-old Mlle Jeanne Marguery who told them to stay where they were, and then returned that evening with the stocky man who had helped Rossenblatt and Klein, before taking them back to her house where they joined their two crew-mates.
On 25 January, the four Americans were taken to Paris, dressed in civilian clothes but without any identity papers, where they were met at the station by two men. Rosenblatt's report says that one of the men was named Andre (well-built with thick brown hair, who worked mostly for the organisation and seemed to be spending money he had inherited from his wealthy father), and he took Rosenblatt and Klein, while the other was the stocky man with a truck company, and he took Blakley and Barlow.
Andre was Andre Noblet (of 1 rue Trézel, Levallois-Perret), and he took Rossenblatt and Klein to an apartment house on the corner of Avenue de Wagram and the Place des Ternes, at 241 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, to be looked after by the concierge, Mme Louise Screve. They stayed in a room on the sixth floor for 18 days, where Rossenblatt says that Barlow came to join them after a week. They took most of their meals with Mme Screve, or after the first week, in the office of Paul Bazille, a Commissioner of Oaths who had been in another organisation until the chief had been captured a month earlier (this is a reference to Georges Kahn of CDDL, who was arrested at Place de l'Eglise, in the north-east Parisian suburb of Pantin, on 17 December 1943).
Paul Bazille (born 21 May 1897 in Paris) had his offices on the first (presume ground) floor at 241 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris VIII – his private apartment (not mentioned in this story) was on rue de Grenelle. Bazille first became involved with helping evaders in September 1943, when his friend Georges Kahn asked him to shelter an American “who had come down from Levallois”, which he did. With the knowledge of certain trusted members of his staff, and the full co-operation of his concierge, Mme Screve, the American – who I think was 2/Lt George Glatthar (#308) - was sheltered in an apartment on the sixth floor. After the American left, Georges Kahn brought others, and Bazille's study was turned into a “hotel for aviators”. Paul Bazille, who is described by Rosenblatt as being tall, with black hair, and wearing glasses because he suffered from a cataract in one eye, is credited with sheltering at least twelve evaders, several of them brought to Paris by Lucien Royez after Georges Kahn 's arrest.
There is some confusion in Rosenblatt's report about the identity of the second man who met them at the station. The man they met at Souplicourt (stocky, bald-headed, ran a truck company) was Lucien Augustin Joseph Royez (born 20 June 1898) but the man who met them at the station in Paris was Joseph Joinovici (born 20 Feb 1905 in Chisinau), a self-made millionaire metal dealer, Resistance financier and German collaborator.
Joseph Joinovici dropped Blakley off at his home at 5 rue Albert Samain before taking Barlow to stay with wealthy textile merchant Louis Ambrose Vincent Jacquelin at 17 rue Chartres, Neuilly-sur-Seine where both he and wife Lucie spoke English. Barlow stayed with the Jacquelin family for four days until Joinovici returned to take him back to his own home. Next day, Mme Lucy Schmitt, a dark stocky woman, aged about 40, with a crippled husband and 16-year-old daughter, took Barlow to her apartment at 5 avenue Anatole-France in Clichy for two nights before he was taken to join Rossenblatt and Klein at rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where they stayed for the next two weeks.
Blakley only stayed at the Joinovici apartment for the afternoon before being taken to Mme Vve Germaine Lemeur at 43 rue de Neuilly in Clichy, where he was “turned over to Andre”. Blakley describes Germaine as being a short woman, with black hair, who seemed to be rich and was probably Andre's mistress. Blakley met F/Sgt Waudby there, and on 28 January, they were moved to a patisserie at 101 rue Saint-Dominique, home of widow Mme Deniau and her daughter. Blakley says there was also a tall, grey-haired Frenchman with a constantly angry English wife living there, the husband apparantly being connected to Andre in some way.
On 11 February, Andre took Blakley and Waudby to “La Fortune du Pot”, where Blakley met Simone Rossenu, who worked there as a waitress, and she took them back to the house at 7 Impasse Molin where she lived with her parents. On 25 February, Blakley and Waudby were taken back to “La Fortune du Pot”, where they met Rossenblatt and the others, and Blakley left Waudby at this point, returning with Archie Barlow to Simone's house, where they stayed until 1 March, when Simone took them back to the restaurant .
Rosenblatt, Klein and Barlow hadn't heard from Andre for a week, and Paul Bazille said he was making preparations himself, meanwhile Mme Screve had also introduced them to Mme Marie-Françoise Paul (of 4 rue Lakanal, Colombes) a wealthy, middle-aged woman who told them that if they did not get help then she would take care of them, having helped Americans before.
On 11 February, Andre returned to take them to Place Clichy where they met Mme Laroche, Nelly Armengol, Max Goldblum (born 16 October 1916 in Poland, he was lieutenant in the French army) and plain-clothes policeman Michel Legendre, in the street before going on to “La Fortune du Pot” on rue de Bruxelles, where they met the proprietor, Mme Zozo (Leonie Margulius), and Mme Laroche noted their details.
They also saw F/Sgt William Waudby at the restaurant, and later Blakley left with Waudby to go and stay with Simone Rossenu, while Rossenblatt, Klein and Barlow stayed at rue de Bruxelles with Mme Zozo.
Rosenblatt confirms that he, Klein and Barlow met Mme Laroche at the restaurant on 25 February, where they rejoined Blakley. They also met Leon Blythe, Henry Furniss-Roe, Reginald Overwyn, Donald Dilling, William Waudby, Paul Marriott, Henry Heldman, Joseph Haywood, Conrad Blalock, Adolph Zielenkiewicz and Cliff Tucker (this was F/O C Tucker, pilot of 175 Sqn Typhoon JP385 who was shot down and force-landed near Evreux on 5 February 1944). After the meeting, Blakley returned to Simone's house at 7 Impasse Molin with Barlow; Klein went with Henry Heldman; and Rosenblatt returned to Mme Zozo's apartment.
2/Lt Henry M Heldman (#543) from Hartford, Connecticut was the 25-year-old navigator, and T/Sgt Joseph Roscoe Haywood (#544) from Wilmington, Ohio, the 22-year-old top-turret gunner of B-17 42-29863 Kentucky Babe (Carson) which returning from Franfurt on afternoon of 11 February 1944. Flak over the target had damaged their #3 engine and controls, which meant they couldn't keep up with formation, and about 30 miles from Abbeville, they were attacked by German fighters, and the aircraft was abandoned to crash near Neuville-Coppegueule (Somme).
Heldman pulled his rip-cord as soon as he left the aircraft, landing “easily” in a field, and after hiding his parachute in some leaves, lay down in cover beside a stream.
Haywood also landed in a field, and after hiding his parachute in a hole, ran to some woods. He met an elderly man in the woods who took him back to his house and gave him a meal before Haywood returned to the woods and headed north. As he was making his way, he found Heldman.
They set off together, walking for about two hours until they found a barn with some hay where they spent the rest of the night and next day. That night they set off walking again to hide in another barn for the rest of the night, and then spent the next day hiding in some shrubbery. They approached a farmhouse that night where a Dutchman gave them some food, and showed them the road to Paris. They were still in their flying clothes when they set off across the fields to a village and another barn, where they hid for another two days. On the second day, they were found by the farmer who asked for identification, and then gave them a meal, telling them that a man would come who could speak English, and then brought a young man, the son of a schoolteacher, with a dictionary. Next morning, the young man returned with food and told them that his father would come and take them away. The next night, another man, the schoolteacher and town clerk of Meigneux (25 years old, dark complexion, spoke English, had an 18 month old daughter named Françoise) came with another farmer, who took the two Americans by horse and buggy back to his house about six kilometres away. They stayed with the farmer for seven days before walking to another farmhouse, where they spent the day - I think with the Duveret family at Souplicourt. That evening two men called to see them, one was wealthy, bald and fat, and spoke no English, and the other had black wavy hair, an ophthalmic goitre and wore sun-glasses (this was Paul Bazille). Next morning, Paul Bazille took the two Americans by train to Paris, and told them they were in the hands of Mme Laroche's organisation.
The fat bald man was Lucien Royez, and on their arrival in Paris, Heldman and Haywood were met by him and Michel Legendre (a tall plainclothes policeman, who never wore a hat). Michel took took them to a café where they met Henri Gaston Leboeuf (of 11 rue Martial Grandchamp, Clamart) and Nicole Lebon (described by Heldman as being a short, dark girl who spoke fluent English and was Mme Laroche's interpretor), and they took the two Americans to the Hotel Richelieu where they met Mme Laroche - and Leon Blythe, who interrogated them to confirm their identities.
Haywood stayed at the Hotel Richelieu for three days; and when on the afternoon of the third day Lt Blalock was brought in, he and Blalock were taken to the house of a plainclothes policeman called Henri (tall, pinched face, prominent chin) where they stayed for two and a half days, at which time Heldman joined them.
Heldman meanwhile had been taken with Alfred Klein to the house of a butcher named Marcel at 13 rue des Fètes, Paris XIX, where they stayed for three days. Then Henri, the plainclothes policeman, came and took them to his house, and that night, he and his wife took Heldman, Haywood, Blalock and Klein, back to the Hotel Richelieu. They were given identity cards and joined three other Americans (Rosenblatt, Blakley and Barlow) and two Englishmen (Furniss-Roe and Waudby) to be taken by train to Toulouse.
2/Lt Conrad Melver Blalock (#546) from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was the 26-year-old navigator of B-17 42-40025 Touch The Button Nell (381BG/535BS) (Putek) which was on the way to Nancy on 6 February 1944 when there was one explosion followed by another, and they left formation. As the smoke in the cockpit cleared, there was a third explosion and their #2 propeller began windmilling. Blalock looked up to see the nose of the aircraft a sheet of flame, and as he turned towards the bombardier (Harvey Christensen) there was a terrific explosion and the aircraft went into a dive. He was fastening his parachute when he heard the pilot (Henry Putek) give the bail-out order, and jumped through the escape hatch.
Co-pilot 2/Lt Alfred T Coffman Jnr (#533) describes how they were on their way to Nancy on 6 February 1944 when there was one explosion followed by another, and they left formation. As the smoke in the cockpit cleared, there was a third explosion and he saw their #2 propeller windmilling. He heard crackling as if something was burning but the next thing he remembered was regaining consciousness in mid-air, pulling his rip-cord and landing in a small clearing in a wood.
Bombardier 2/Lt Harvey L Christensen (#1226) simply says that he followed Blalock out of the aircraft and landed near La Trétoir (Seine-et-Marne), about 5 kms south of Bussières.
What none of the three officers could have known at the time was that before any of the enlisted men could jump, engineer S/Sgt Lifford E French put the fire out and waved the other crewmen back to their stations. Despite further damage from flak and attacking fighters, 2/Lt Henry Putek, with the badly burned S/Sgt French acting as his co-pilot, then nursed the crippled bomber back to England where they landed at the American Navy base at Dunkeswell in Devon.
Blalock landed somewhere south of Villers-Cotterêts (Aisne), and after walking and hiding for four days he was picked up by a wood cutter named Pierre Aubled who took him to the house of his employer, Emile Foret, Garde Chasse of Châtenay-sur-Seine, an estate south of Donnemarie-en-Montois. Forêt gave Blalock food and civilian clothing, and then Pierre Aubled took him to his own house in Thénisy where he stayed with his wife Martine, 2 sons (one named Norbert), and a neice named Mauricette, for two or three weeks. During this time Aubled heard that a woman collaborator in the village had informed the Germans of Blalock's presence and so they moved him to a village about an hour's journey away where they put him into a house where several escaped PWs were staying but four days later, he was returned to the Aubled house in Thénisy. Pierre Aubled had gone to Paris three times to arrange Blalock's transfer to an organisation, and finally Pierre's neice Mauricette took him by bus to Paris to stay with Leonard Rist at 12 bis rue de Say, Paris XI (Leonard was connected with the banking house of JP Morgan, and he and his wife both spoke fluent English). Blalock stayed with the Rist couple from Tuesday to Monday (15-21 Feb) when Genevieve (22 years old, black, straight hair, had studied at Oxford – she asked Blaylock to contact a Dr Singer at Par in Cornwall to say that she was well and back in Paris) came for him and took him to meet another girl (large, dark hair, spoke English) who took Blalock to the Hotel Richelieu. Blalock met Joseph Haywood at the hotel, and that evening went with Haywood to the house of a plainclothes policeman called Henri. Blalock and Haywood stayed with Henri until the Wednesday when Henry Heldman and Alfred Klein were brought to the house, and all four Americans were taken back to the Hotel Richelieu – where they joined Furniss-Roe, Waudby, Rosenblatt, Blakley and Barlow before being taken to the station.
On about 28 February 1944, Leon Blythe, Paul Marriott, Donald Dilling, Reginald Overwyn, Adolph Zielenkiewicz and Cliff Tucker left Paris by train for Toulouse. Blythe says that Nicole took them while Marriott and Overwyn say that Mme Laroche went with them.
Their train for delayed for several hours due to sabotage, and on their arrival at Toulouse, Blythe says they were met by a man and woman who greeted them like long-lost relatives, while Overwyn describes them as an English lady married to a professor at the university at Toulouse, who lived in a house in the suburbs - this was probably professor Alexandre M J P Sermet (born in Toulouse on 19 January 1907) and his wife Dorothy (née Chadwick 1909 in Blackburn, Lancashire). Blythe, Overwyn, Zielenkiewicz and Tucker stayed with the couple that night, and next morning, went by train to Foix.
They were met in Foix by coiffeur Albert Barthet (born 17 June 1911) of 24 rue des Marchands, Foix, who Blythe says was very much afraid of the Germans, who had just caught one of his men - this was Spanish guide, Michel Alvarez (born 8 May 1905 in Cuenca) of 3 Place Lazenia, Foix, who was arrested on 28 February. The coiffeur tried to leave them in a garden near the cathedral while he went to find their next guide but the garden was locked, so he told them to go and hide in a sort of cave on the side of a nearby hill (probably in the grounds of the Château de Foix, which stands on a large rocky outcrop overlooking the town). The four airmen spent 36 hours waiting for him to return but as they had no food, finally had to come out and risk of walking through the town unaccompanied. They walked to the railway station at Varihles, where Overwyn bought their tickets, and returned to Toulouse, where they rejoined Dilling and Marriott.
Dilling says that on their arrival in Toulouse, a man called “Ducette” (which is probably a pseudonym) was waiting for them with his wife and a girl, and that he (Dilling) and Marriott stayed together that night, presumably with Ducette. He reports Blythe, Overwyn and Zielenkiewicz going to Foix the next evening but he and Marriott missed the train, and Ducette took them to stay overnight at the Garage de Paris (presume the Garage du Parc Toulousain with Jean and Denise Bataille). Next day (29 Feb), Ducette took them to Foix but they weren't met as they were supposed to have been so Ducette left them in a café to wait with a grey-haired man and wife who had radio connections with the UK. Ducette came back at about five o'clock and told them the Gestapo had picked up some of the organisation (Gilbert and Marie Leblanc at the Hotel Leblanc, and Michel Alvarez) so they moved to another café. A couple of hours later, coiffeur Albert Barthet came and met them on the street - they tried to find Blythe and the others but failed, and Ducette took them back to Toulouse. They returned to the garage for the night, and in the morning, Ducette took them to a house on the outskirts of the city to stay with a middle-aged woman and her daughter (Mme Henriette Garric and her daughter Marcelle of 93 Chemin de Nicol, Croix-Daurade), where they were rejoined by Blythe, Overwyn, Zielenkiewicz and Tucker .
On the evening of 1 March 1944, Henry Furniss-Roe, William Waudby, Henry Heldman, Joseph Haywood, Conrad Blalock, Alvin Rosenblatt, Alfred Klein, Charles Blakley and Archie Barlow left Paris by overnight train for Toulouse.
Barlow says that Simone Rossenu, Gabrielle Capuano and several other women took them to the station a few at a time, and that a French gendarme escorted them onto the train an hour or so before it left. He also says that several men went with them. Furniss-Roe says they all travelled togther in one compartment with a youth who stuttered (this was probably reseau Françoise guide, student Paul Henri Jourdan, born 8 March 1924), and that “Marie-Odile” had given them identity cards but there was no control on the train.
Heldman says they were met at Toulouse station by two girls and a boy, all of high-school age, and that one of the girls took him, Furniss-Roe, Waudby and Blalock to an attic where they stayed for a few hours until she returned to take them to a sort of Boy Scout recreation room where the other five Americans - Heywood, Rosenblatt, Klein, Blakley and Barlow - had been taken by the train guide and the boy who had been waiting for the train. The girl (Madeleine Rouede of 20 rue Raymond IV, Toulouse – query) then took whole group to the home of a librarian, where they spent the afternoon. That evening, they were taken back to the station, where they joined Blythe, Dilling, Marriott, Overwyn and Zielenkiewicz on the train for Foix – Tucker being left in Toulouse because he had no boots.
Crossing to Andorra
Their guides from Toulouse were the French boy who had brought Furniss-Roe's group from Paris (Paul Jourdan – query) and the young man with sideburns and a beard who had met them at Toulouse station (Jacques Lartigue – student, born 18 March 1924 in Montauban - query). They got off the train north of Foix, at Saint-Jean-de-Verges, where they were met by Albert Barthet. Reports vary but I think that Barthet probably led them around Foix before leaving them in a field to be joined by a short, Spanish-looking man (Manuel Mentz – query). The man took them on a three-hour walk to a cabin, probably near Montgailllard, and then on to a sheep-fold, where they spent the night. They were then moved to a barn where they stayed for the next five days, being joined by a mountain guide from Andorra (who Furniss-Roe names as Martinez) and three French escapers. They were told that the snow was too deep for them but on the night of the fifth day they set off. They walked for ten and a half hours, and on the way, Archie Barlow, who was exhausted, had to be left in a barn - Barlow stayed in the barn for several days before retracing his route back through Saint-Jean-de-Verges and Toulouse to the “Fortune du Pot” in Paris.
The remaining thirteen airmen stayed in a deserted house for a day, and the next night walked for eleven and half hours until they reached a cabin where they stopped for two nights. They then walked into a village (presumably in Andorra) where they stopped at their guide's house. From here they walked down to another village where they stayed at a hotel for a night and a day.
Furniss-Roe says that on arrival in Andorra, they went to the Gran Café in Sant Julià de Lòria, where their guides handed them over to a man named Alexis (described by Blythe as being a Spanish Republican and a former provincial governer) (his real name was Francesc Viadiu), who worked for the Consul-General in Barcelona. Alexis divided them into two groups, and on 19 March, Furniss-Roe, Waudby, Overwyn, Dilling, Haywood, Heldman, Klein and Zielenkiewicz left San Julia. They walked across the Spanish border to a point east of Seo d'Urgell, where they were picked up by a taxi from the Consulate-General, and taken to Barcelona, arriving there on 20 March.
Blythe, Marriott, Blalock, Rosenblatt and Blakley left Andorra a day later, crossing into Spain on 21 March, and then spending the night in a barn (where they were well fed) before a car arrived to take them to Barcelona.
My grateful thanks to René Lesage at Fauquembergues for added details of helpers in the Pas-de-Calais; to Michael Moore LeBlanc in New Brunswick, Canada for sharing his extensive research of Marie-Odile and CDDL; to Jean Michel Dozier for his work on the helpers in Paris, Toulouse and Foix, to Yann Perrotte in Cherbourg, Daniel Droniou, John Clinch, and as ever, to John Howes and Franck Signorile.