Phyliss Latour

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Phyliss Latour
Nickname(s) Genevieve
Born (1921-04-08) 8 April 1921 (age 93)
Durban, South Africa
Allegiance United Kingdom, France
Service/branch WAAF, Special Operations Executive, French Resistance
Years of service 1941-1944
Rank Field agent
Commands held Scientist
Awards MBE, Croix de Guerre

Phyliss "Pippa" Latour MBE, was a heroine of the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War.

Early life[edit]

Latour's father, Philippe, was French and married to Louise, a British citizen living in South Africa, where Phyllis was born in 1921.

WAAF & Special Operations Executive[edit]

She moved from South Africa to England and joined the WAAF in November 1941 (Service Number 718483) as a flight mechanic for airframes. Recruited by the SOE, officially joining on 1 November 1943 and was commissioned as an Honorary Section Officer.

She parachuted into Orne, Normandy on 1 May 1944 to operate as part of the Scientist circuit, using the codename Genevieve to work as a wireless operator with the organiser Claude de Baissac and his sister Lisé de Baissac (the courier).[1] She worked successfully and largely avoiding detection of the Germans, she sent over 135 messages to London, remaining in France until the liberation in August 1944.

Post World War II[edit]

After World War II Latour married an engineer with the surname Doyle, and went to live in East Africa.[2]


  1. ^ Squadron Leader Beryl E. Escott, Mission Improbable: A salute to the RAF women of SOE in wartime France, London, Patrick Stevens Limited, 1991.
  2. ^ Liane Jones, A Quiet Courage: Women Agents in the French Resistance, London, Transworld Publishers Ltd, 1990. ISBN 0-593-01663-7


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