SOE F Section timeline

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Timeline of events in the history of Section F of the Special Operations Executive. See also SOE F Section networks.

  • The relevant modern administrative département numbers are added, after several of the place names, so as to facilitate the tracing of events geographically.

May 1941[edit]

May 5
Georges Bégué was the first SOE agent dropped in France, 36. He set up radio communications and met agents who followed.

July 1941[edit]

July 1
Brian Stonehouse parachuted into occupied France near the city of Tours, 37, in the Loire Valley.

October 1941[edit]

October 24
Brian Stonehouse and Blanche Charlet were arrested by Milice in Chateau Hurlevent near Lyon, 69.

December 1941[edit]

December
Brian Stonehouse was transferred to Fresnes prison, 94, in Paris

January 1942[edit]

January
Peter Churchill was landed by submarine at Miramar, 06, in France to evaluate the Carte resistance group.

May 1942[edit]

May
William Grover-Williams was parachuted into France and worked from Paris, 16ème. On the same plane is Christopher Burney, dropped blind on a different mission.

July 1942[edit]

July 29/30
Claude de Baissac dropped with Harry Peulevé near Nimes. Peulevé broke leg and had to be left, and de Baissac despite a sprained ankle continued with his mission to set up the Scientist Network and to conduct espionage at Bordeaux.

August 1942[edit]

August 27/28
John Starr arrived by parachute in a field near Valence, 26, in France on his first mission.
August
Peter Churchill went to Montpellier, 34, in France to organize the Spindle network.

September 1942[edit]

September 24
Andrée Borrel and Lise de Baissac arrived by parachute at a field near Mer, Loir-et-Cher, not far from the Loire River

November 1942[edit]

November
Gilbert Norman arrived in France, to join the Prosper Network in Paris.
November
George Starr and Odette Sansom arrived by boat near Cannes, 06, on the Mediterranean coast of France. The return voyage carried John Starr out of France following his uneventful first mission, taking with him reports collected by Peter Churchill.

December 1942[edit]

December
Jack Agazarian arrived in Paris to join the Prosper Network

January 1943[edit]

January 22
Henri Dericourt arrived in France and went to Paris as the section's air movements officer.

March 1943[edit]

March
Peter Churchill returned to England with Henri Frager by Westland Lysander flight. On the inward flight Francis Cammaerts arrived to take Churchill's place in Hérault.

April 1943[edit]

April 15
Peter Churchill arrived back in St Jorioz France.
April 16
Peter Churchill and Odette Sansom were arrested by Hugo Bleicher.

June 1943[edit]

June
William Grover-Williams, Paris, was arrested by the Gestapo.
June
William Grover-Williams was moved to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
June 16
Diana Rowden, Noor Inayat Khan, and Cecily Lefort arrived by air at a location north-east of Angers, 49, in the Loire Valley, where they were met by Henri Dericourt.
Jack Agazarian returned from working in Paris, France to England.
June 20
Frank Pickersgill and John Kenneth Macalister were parachuted into France. They were met by Yvonne Rudelatt, but were captured after a skirmish with waiting Gestapo.
June 23
Andrée Borrel, Francis Suttill and Gilbert Norman were arrested

July 1943[edit]

July 18
John Starr was captured and placed in the custody of the Sicherheitsdienst in Dijon, 21.
July 22
Nicholas Bodington and Jack Agazarian returned to France to investigate the fate of the Prosper Network.
July
Jack Agazarian was arrested at a rendezvous in the rue de Rome near the Gare Saint-Lazare, which was a trap set by the Germans.

August 1943[edit]

August
John Starr was transferred from Dijon, 21, to Fresnes prison, 94.
August 2
William Grover-Williams was captured and arrested in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, in Germany.

September 1943[edit]

September
John Starr was transferred from Fresnes prison, 94, to 84 Avenue Foch.
September 15
Cecily Lefort was arrested by Gestapo in Montélimar, 26, Rhône-Alpes.
September 18
Harry Peulevé, Yolande Beekman and Harry Despaigne arrived by Lysander near Angers.

October 1943[edit]

October 13
Noor Inyat Khan was arrested in Paris.
October 30
Vera Leigh was arrested at a café near the Place des Ternes in Paris and taken to Fresnes prison, 94.

November 1943[edit]

November 18
Diana Rowden and John Young were arrested at Clairvaux-les-Lacs, 39 near Lons-le-Saunier.
November 19
Diana Rowden was taken to 84 Avenue Foch where she was interrogated for two weeks before being taken to Fresnes prison, 94.
November 25
Noor Inyat Khan, John Starr and Colonel Leon Faye escape from 84 Avenue Foch but are captured in the immediate vicinity.
November 26
Noor Inyat Khan and Colonel Leon Faye are sent to Germany.

January 1944[edit]

January 13
Yolande Beekman and Gustave Bieler were arrested at the Café Moulin Brulé in Paris.

February 1944[edit]

February 5
René Dumont-Guillemet and Henri Diacono were parachuted into Touraine to establish the Spiritualist circuit.
February 28
Madeleine Damerment, France Antelme and Lionel Lee arrived by parachute into a field near Chartres, 28, and were immediately arrested by waiting Gestapo.

March 1944[edit]

March 2/3
Eileen Nearne lands near Les Lagneys Indre.
March 21
Harry Peulevé and Louis Bertheau were arrested in Brive-la-Gaillarde.

April 1944[edit]

April
Maurice Southgate was arrested.
April 5
Lilian Rolfe was dropped near the city of Orléans, 45, to work with the "Historian" network run by George Wilkinson
April 29
Nancy Wake parachuted into Auvergne to liaise between London and the local Maquis.

May 1944[edit]

May 13
Vera Leigh, Andrée Borrel, Odette Sansom, Diana Rowden, Yolande Beekman, Eliane Plewman and Madeleine Damerment were taken from Fresnes prison, 94, to 84 Avenue Foch, where they were joined by Sonya Olschanezky. They were all then moved to the civil prison at Karlsruhe in Germany.
May 24
1st Lt. Lee G. Johnson was captured by the Gestapo in Paris, France. He remained there until September, 1944. From there he was transferred to Stalag Luft 1, Barth, Germany. He remained there until April. 1945 liberation.

June 1944[edit]

June 6
The D-Day landings, 14 occurred in Normandy.

July 1944[edit]

July
Eileen Nearne arrested.
July 2
Henry Frager was arrested by Abwehr sergeant Hugo Bleicher at a rendezvouse arranged by Roger Bardet.
July 6
Diana Rowden, Vera Leigh, and Andrée Borrel were shipped to the Natzweiler-Struthof, 67, concentration camp in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace (France) where they were injected with phenol and disposed of in the crematorium. Their arrival at the camp was witnessed by Brian Stonehouse .
Christine Granville arrived by parachute in France, joining the Jockey network led Francis Cammaerts.
July 31
Lilian Rolfe was arrested in Nargis, 45 and taken to Fresnes prison, 94.

August 1944[edit]

August
Francis Cammaerts was arrested by Gestapo.
August
Lilian Rolfe was shipped to Ravensbrück concentration camp.
August
John Starr was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
August 8
Harry Peulevé, Maurice Southgate, Eliseé Allard, Denis Barrett, Robert Benoist, Jean Bouguennec, Pierre Culioli, Angehand Defendini, Julien Detal, Henri Frager, Emile-Henri Garry, Frank Pickersgill, Pierre Geelen, Marcel Leccia, John Macalister, James Mayer[disambiguation needed], Pierre Mulsant, Charles Rechenmann, Roméo Sabourin, Arthur Steele and George Wilkinson were sent to Neue Bremm transit camp at Saarbrücken.
August 16
Harry Peulevé, Maurice Southgate, Eliseé Allard, Denis Barrett, Robert Benoist, Jean Bouguennec, Pierre Culioli, Angehand Defendini, Julien Detal, Henri Frager, Emile-Henri Garry, Frank Pickersgill, Pierre Geelen, Marcel Leccia, John Macalister, James Mayer[disambiguation needed], Pierre Mulsant, Charles Rechenmann, Roméo Sabourin, Arthur Steele and George Wilkinson arrived at Buchenwald concentration camp.
August 25
General von Choltitz the German Military Commandant in Paris, formally signed an Act of Surrender to the Provisional Government of the French Republic, although some German strongholds remained in the city.
August 27
John Kenneth Macalister, Frank Pickersgill and Roméo Sabourin, were shipped to Buchenwald concentration camp.

September 1944[edit]

September 6
Gilbert Norman was executed at Mauthausen concentration camp
September 10
Yolande Beekman, Madeleine Damerment, Noor Inayat Khan, and Eliane Plewman were transferred to Dachau concentration camp.
September 11
Yolande Beekman, Madeleine Damerment, Noor Inayat Khan, and Eliane Plewman were executed, each by a single shot to the head, and their bodies cremated at Dachau concentration camp.
Eliseé Allard, Robert Benoist, Jean Bouguennec, Angehand Defendini, Julien Detal, Emile-Henri Garry, Frank Pickersgill, Pierre Geelen, Marcel Leccia, John Macalister, James Mayer[disambiguation needed], Charles Rechenmann, Roméo Sabourin and Arthur Steele were executed at Buchenwald concentration camp.

October 1944[edit]

October 5
Denis Barrett, Henri Frager, Pierre Mulsant and George Wilkinson were executed at Buchenwald concentration camp.

February 1945[edit]

February 5
Lilian Rolfe was executed and her body disposed of in the crematorium at Ravensbrück concentration camp.
February 17
John Starr was sent to Mauthausen concentration camp.
February
Violette Szabo taken from her cell in Ravensbruck concentration camp and shot in the back of the neck.

April 1945[edit]

April 11
Harry Peulevé escaped from Schönebeck concentration camp.
April 29
Brian Stonehouse was liberated from Dachau concentration camp by American troops.

May 1945[edit]

May 7
Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies.