Examples of Reports Declassified by Central Intelligence Agency and Provided to Author
OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES
May 15, 1943
MEMORANDUM FOR GENERAL DONOVAN
FROM: Captain Peter J. Ortiz SUBJECT: Chronological report of my activities as U.S. Assistant Naval Attaché and Assistant Naval Attaché for Air at Tangier, Morocco, and U.S. Marine Corps observer in North Africa.
I arrived at London, England, on December 30, 1942. I reported to the United States Naval Attaché office where I was instructed to carry out my basic orders, to wit, to report in Tangier, Morocco, to Colonel William A. Eddy, U.S. Naval Attaché. I reached Gibraltar by military airplane on January 5 and learned that the shipping schedule was at that time very irregular between Gibraltar and Tangier and decided consequently to go on by plane to Oran, Algeria, and then on to Casablanca, French Morocco, and finally to Tangier by train. I spent two days in Oran and Argew where I studied the "Torch" operation landings that had been made there and also contacted a number of locally influential French residents, military and civilian, some of them former acquaintances with whom I discussed the economic, political and military aspects of the
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Anglo-American invasion of French North Africa hearing opinions of interest to ONI and MI. Flying to Casablanca I spent a few days there and at Fedahla and Rabat, much in the same manner as in Oran, and then entrained for Tangier where in the absence of Colonel W.A. Eddy, I reported on January 13 to Captain F.P. Holcomb, USMCR, Assistant U.S. Naval Attaché and Assistant Naval Attaché for Air.
Leaving Tangier on January 15 I returned to Casablanca and went on to Fez where I spent a few days observing and participating in the training of a French parachute unit and then went on to Algiers via Oran reporting to Colonel W.A. Eddy, USMC, on January 19. Colonel Eddy gave me full latitude to carry out my instructions as I wished. However, he suggested, when I expressed my intention of immediately going up to the forward zone, that I first spend a little time in the Algiers sector completing my documentation on the "Torch" operation particularly as at the time there was little activity at the front. During this period I was able to spend profitably a few days with the 509 Parachute Battalion (Colonel E. Raff) taking part in interesting maneuvers and fire problems. I have many personal friends in the 509th and I am convinced
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that it is a crack organization. The fact remains, however, that it has not yet successfully completed a major mission. It has been greatly over-publicized, much to the discomfiture of the few officers and men who can still review its much ballyhooed accomplishments dispassionately and objectively. The press releases and radio broadcasts have led the majority of its members to believe that they are heroes covered with glory and feel that they should return to the States to be adulated by the grateful population. I mention this as an example of the effect on Army military organizations of uncontrolled publicity.
On February 8 I flew to Youks-les-Bains, made my way to 2nd Corps Headquarters near Tebessa where I secured authorization to roam about at will, attaching myself to and serving with units of my choice. I was for excellent personal reasons and as a representative of the Marine Corps particularly desirous of seeing and taking part again in action against the Germans. Through personal reconnaissance and Arab connections I was in a position on one or two occasions to give information of value to unit commanders. I happened to be in Gafsa when the evacuation order was received. Although later claimed
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by the press as a perfect example of an orderly and well-planed retreat, I thought it characterized by confusion and an alarming contagion of panic. There was no enemy pressure during the entire night either in Gafsa or on the road north to Feriana. Yet dozens of vehicles were damaged and abandoned and a number of soldiers and civilians run over through the inadequateness of traffic control. A railway bridge was blown prematurely and a train had to be left on the south side. The Derbyshire Yeomanry, an aggressive British light armoured reconnaissance regiment, was left to conduct the delaying action. Actually it was not necessary to do more than maintain contact with the enemy as the German advance was sufficiently slow and cautious to eliminate the necessity for delaying action combat. A few Messerschmitt's and JU-88's came over at sunset completely destroying a few vehicles among which was a to-and-one-half-ton truck in which I had placed by bedroll. This contained among other thins all the notes I had accumulated thus far. Leaving the Derbyshire Yeomanry near Feriana I made my way to Kasserine and on to Sbeitla, unofficially attaching myself to the 1st Armoured Division. Finally after having been utilized piecemeal over more than a hundred miles of front and suffering
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heavy losses through no fault of its commander, this division was able to concentrate its remaining armour east of Sbeitla. A large-scale tank battle took place in which the 77mm. high velocity German gun proved far superior to our own 75 mm. A tank is only as good as its gun and its gun as good as its sight. We spend tens of thousands of dollars to build an excellent tank and then equip it with an inferior gun and gun sight worth a dollar or two. Our optical equipment must be improved. Our tank crews fought well and bravely but frequently in their eagerness they were enticed within range of cleverly placed German 88mm. guns. Our tank destroyers which can fire only to the front found this a severe handicap in a running retreating battle. Our air support was negligible, in fact, non-existent; the Germans', well coordinated. In Kasserine I ran into a Foreign Legion captain, an old friend, rushing reinforcements to his almost completely encircled regiment near Pichon. An ex-Foreign Legionnaire,I could not resist going up with him. The regiment put up a remarkable fight, demonstrating conclusively that seasoned and determined troops can, albeit with very inferior equipment and armament, hold out against a numerically superior and better armed enemy. When finally the order to withdraw was given, the regiment exacted a nigh price
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for every inch of terrain conceded the enemy. I left the regiment when it was eventually ordered south of Tebessa for rest and reorganization, thinking it advisable to report back to Colonel Eddy.
Flying back to Algiers from Youks-les-Bains on March 2, I told the Colonel I wished with his permission to go back to the front immediately. I had always displayed much interest in the Colonel's SOE operational groups. When he mentioned the officer casualties that they had recently suffered, I jumped at the opportunity of asking him to allow me to take command of a group. I wish to make it clear that I did so entirely on my own initiative and assuming full responsibility. Colonel Eddy was reluctant to give his consent in view of my status as Assistant Naval Attaché and Marine Corps observer but consent was finally wring from him. Leaving Algiers March 8 I reported in the evening of the same day at Guelma to Colonel Young, British commanding office of the SOE groups on the TUnisian fronts. The Colonel directed me to go south to le Kouif reporting to Major G. Quinney, a Britisher in charge of the operational groups working with 2nd Corps. Major Quinney placed me in command of a group of five Spaniards and a British radio operator instructing me to join forces
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with Captain Robert who was operating with his group south of Sbeitla. After some difficulty I contacted Captain Robert finding him at the Headquarters of a squadron of my old friends in the Derbyshire Yeomanry. Captain Robert was as determined as I to get a German tank or two and we quickly became fast friends. For a week we scouted the sector for enemy tanks and vehicles, investigating all probable night harboring places. On reports or even vague rumors of enemy tanks within a radius of fifty miles we would start out immediately, sometimes tracking them for hours at night, but were never lucky enough to contact them. Our men were getting tired, so we went to Sbeitla, cleared a house of booby traps, and rested for a day and a night. By mutual agreement Captain Robert and I decided to operate separately, with probable enemy tank concentrations in the vicinity of Faid and Matleg as our common objectives, he approaching from the northeast and I from the northwest, but without attempting to maintain contact or coordinate our action. Leaving Sbeitla in the morning of March 17 with my group I reached the Bir-el-Hatig at about 1000 where General Robinet had just established Combat Command B Headquarters. I presented myself to General Robinet, placing myself and command at his disposal. The General, after acquainting me with his plan of battle, explained that his imminent southeast drive
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would leave his left flank dangerously exposed to enemy tank action, if the German 21st Panzer Division, reportedly in the Matleg area, chose to roll down the Sengdal Valley. He asked me to reconnoitre the Matleg mountains northeast of the pass and the pass itself to determine the enemy's armoured strength (if any) and if possible his intentions. After arranging a radio and communications schedule with his communications officer, I proceeded up the Valley to the Ganet-Hadid range, establishing an OP at 2000 on its northeast and overlooking the Sidi-Bou-Sid--Maknassy road, the entire width of the Valley, and the Djebel--Ksaira range on the east side. Leaving Amado, my second-in-command, in charge of the group, I went out on reconnaissance crossing the Sidi-Bou-Sid road, skirting the Djebel Ksaira and Djebel Rechaib mountains, crossing the Matleg road about two miles northwest of the pass, reaching the immediate vicinity of the probable harboring places of enemy tank concentrations at about 2300 without having yet some unmistakable signs of enemy presence. It had been raining almost incessantly for three days. Crossing the valley, much of which was under water, and sinking above my knees in the soft mud, it was quite apparent to me that it would be impassable for any type of vehicle for some days to come. Consequently the menace to Combat Command B's left flank was obviated. However, I thought it might eventually prove useful
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to know the enemy's position and if possible, wished for personal reasons to get within range to utilize one of the very effective Petard grenades I was carrying. It was an extremely dark night, still raining heavily, the visibility so poor that I could scarcely see bushes and trees a few yards away. Inching my way along I reconnoitred many wadis for more than two hours without finding anything more than tank tracks. Suddenly near the pass at very close range automatic weapons to my front and right opened fire on me. Before I could fall to the ground a bullet had gone through my right hand and another had grazed my right leg. Rolling a few yards to my left merely to reach rather inadequate cover I could make out the dim silhouette of a vehicle some thirty yards to my front. I managed to throw in a Mills grenade but it fell short and had little effect. I then got in a well-aimed Petard grenade. It exploded with a terrific blast and stopped the automatic weapon fire form the front and I heard excited shouts and cries of men in pain. Still under fire from my right I crawled with extreme caution about 100 yards to the left rear then got on my feet, made my way with difficulty, due to the loss of blood and shock, back to the Ganet-Hadid where I found my men, who had heard the firing at a distance, very much on
the alert. My British radio operator, Mullins, had been trying to establish contact with CCB but probably due to the mountains between us and their position had been unsuccessful. In view of this communications failure I thought it preferable to return to Combat Command B's Headquarters, reaching the position at about 0800, March 19. General Robinet warmly expressed appreciation of our efforts, awarded my the purple heart, requested his S-2, Major Morly, to send dispatches to Major Quinney and Colonel Dickson, G02, 2nd Corps, commending our action,and personally conducted me to a well equipped surgical unit where my hand was immediately and successfully operated on. COming out of the anaesthetic I learned somewhat to my annoyance that the General had sent my group back to Major Quinney who, following the displacement of 2nd Corps Headquarters, had just established his base camp near Feriana. Under protest I was sent via several evacuation units to a field hospital near tebessa. The surgeon there wished to do a little butcher work on my hand and also casually spoke of months of hospitalization and convalescence in Oran. Much opposed to the program I sent a message to a friend at the airfield of Youks-les-Bains who came out, quietly took me to the field, and arranged my air transportation to Algiers.
I reported to Colonel Eddy, March 22, at 1600, then was admitted to the 20 Station hospital where I received excellent medical attention until my departure from Algiers. To my chagrin Colonel Eddy insisted that I return to the United States as soon as the medical officer would allow me to travel. My status as Assistant Naval Attaché at Algiers placed him and myself in a rather awkward position as it is not in accordance with the "rules" for a diplomatic representative to participate in action.however,he expressed his wish that I soon return to North Africa officially assigned to his organization. Following Colonel Eddy's instructions I reported in Tangier, reporting to Capt. F.P. Holcomb, USMCR, who ordered me back to the United States. Returning via ATC I reached Washington, D.C. on April 27 and reported to Marine Corps Headquarters April 28, at 0800.
W E Section
THE GERMINAL MISSION
The following were the personnel of the GERMINAL Mission:
Captain William F. GRELL, O-17860, USMCR
Captain Reeve SCHLEY, Jr., O-1031128, CAV
1st Lt. Robert F. CUTTING, O-460414, FA
1st Lt. Harry E. GRIFFITHS, O-1309254, INF
Sgt. Philip B.K. POTTER, 11121960
9 September 1944
Captain GRELL,Chief of GERMINAL Mission and Lt. GRIFFITHS left LONDON for TEMPSFORD Airport. At 0850 hours these officers with Lt. ANSTETT left TEMPSFORD on a Hudson bomber for LIMOGES. Lt. ANSTETT was returning to his Jedburgh team now located at CHATEAUROUX.
Arrived at the LIMOGES airport at 1140 hours. The following officers were present for the reception:
Major DE GUELLIS
Flight Lt. SIMONM
2d Lt. MARCEL
The Hudson bomber returned to LONDON, leaving LIMOGES at 1200 hours. Major STAUNTON, eight Allied airmen, who had been stranded in FRANCE, and three unknown bodies with secret orders returned to ENGLAND.
Our agents had taken over the former German Gestapo Headquarters in the city of LIMOGES. This served as a temporary Headquarters for the GERMINAL Mission.
The following officers and men were present at the Headquarters:
Jedburgh Team LEE
Jedburgh Team JAMES
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GERMINAL visited ELLIPSE's office in the TIVOLI. ELLIPSE being in PARIS for business reasons saw Cdt. VERMEULEN, DMR Assistant. Further use of the LEE and JAMES Jedburgh teams was discussed. Cdt. VERMEULEN suggested retaining Jedburgh Team LEE for the time being in LIMOGES. He further suggested the return of the Jedburgh Team JAMES to LONDON. Major REWEZ had returned to LONDON in order to obtain jeeps for the purpose of building up a flying column to hinder the Germans retreating northward.
10 September 1944
The GERMINAL team met to discuss their future plans. It was their intention to contact all American agents operating in Southwestern France. Agents whose missions had been completed would be sent to PARIS.
Two Canadian soldiers, attached to the American Army and four civilians were picked up in a stolen jeep. The two Canadian soldiers were turned over to Captain FRASER pending orders from proper Army authorities. The four civilians were turned over the DMR at LIMOGES.
Contacted PERCY PINK at COGNAC and requested officer in charge to meet GERMINAL in LIMOGES Wednesday, 13 September 1944.
Major LORD and 2d Lt. DUVAL reported at LIMOGES. Their mission had been completed and having reported to LIMOGES they were given orders to return to PARIS.
11 and 12 September 1944
This morning we travelled from LIMOGES to MONTLUCON via GUERET. En route we observed thirty one enemy vehicles which had been ambushed by the maquis--"F.F.I."--in this area. The vehicles were completely destroyed in many instances and others rendered useless. It maybe assumed that a large percentage of the personnel were killed in the ambushes.A small number of men were captured, but few prisoners were taken in the hit and run tactics used by the F.F.I. units. German columns retreating to the North in hope of using the BELFORT GAP lost heavily in men and equipment.
While in MONTLUCON we visited "CASERNE DE RICHEMONT". In August the Germans were blockaded for five days within these fortifications
with their water supply cut off. In spite of strong F.F.I. resistance the German Gestapo added another page to their book of atrocities. The "BARRAQUES NEUFS" of the "CASERNE DE RICHEMONT" were burned to the ground. The blood coated walls and floors of the torture chamber and the odor of stale blood gave evidence of the tactics used by the Gestapo.
The GERMINAL team visited "CHATEAU DE FRAYNE", headquarters of Captain FARMER and FANY WAKE. We contacted Petty Officer Roger FAUCHER, U.S.N. here and gave him his orders to report to PARIS. Due to transportation difficulties it is necessary to give our agents ample time to reach a given destination.
Captain GRELL, Captain SCHLEY, Lt. GRIFFITHS, and Petty Officer FAUCHER visited the maquis headquarters north of CERILLY and had dinner in the officer's mess. Following a fine meal, a company of F.F.I. with whom Captain SCHLEY had been working, were ready to set out on a large scale ambush. We accepted an invitation to take part in this encounter and followed their motor column to SANCOINS. It was here the mission became non-tactical and automobile lights were lit. We learned of a german armistice which involved some twenty-five hundred German troops in this region.
It was at SANCOINS that we located 2d Lt. MACOMBER who had been doing liaison work in this area with the F.F.I. This Lieutenant had agreed to lead the German column to American troops where they would surrender. The big question was "Where were the Americans?" Pending completion of his mission Lt. MACOMBER was ordered to report to PARIS.
In order to make the best of this opportunity and knowing of the aggressive spirit of the maquis, we set out for BOURGES at 2400 hours in hopes of finding the American forces.We had no information as to the situation between SANCOINS and BOURGES. For two hours we drove on a road littered with dead horses, abandoned German vehicles and several road blocks.
We did not locate American troops in BOURGES but found the town in the hands of the F.F.I. and not the Germans.
The F.F.I. was able to show Captain GRELL a copy of an armistice signed the previous day by Major General MAKIN, AUS and General ELSAR of the German Army.
The armistice provided for the safe passage of the 19,000 Germans in this area. They were to proceed north, under arms, by 13 September to the south bank of the LOIRE and there to surrender unconditionally to the American Third Army.
This information had not yet reached the German forces stationed
near SANCOINS are, so we left at daybreak for SANCOINS in order to report this situation. En route we met the German Colonel in command of the SANCOINS area together with Colonel ROUSSEL, F.F.I. who were proceeding to General ELSAR's Headquarters. On 10 September, the day of the armistice, without knowledge thereof, Colonel ROUSSEL had captured and disarmed 1100 Germans. He was anxious to retain these arms for the F.F.I., although quite willing to turn his prisoners over to the American forces. At Colonel ROUSSEL's request and as maquis representatives, we accompanied these officers to General ELSAR's Headquarters, located near ARCAY.
At the German Headquarters we met Lt. Col. FRENCH, AUS, liaison officer of the Third U.S. Army who obtained an agreement from General ELSAR permitting Colonel ROUSSEL to retain arms taken from 200 German S.S. troops who were not governed by the terms of the armistice. Colonel ROUSSEL was requested to be present at the meeting to be held 16 September 1944 at MER where the distribution of arms surrendered by the Germans would be settled. It was understood that the F.F.I. would receive their proportionate share.
Returned to SANCOINS where we lunched with Captain CARANDEAU who had been extremely active in this area. He was responsible for a number of successful ambushes. Another maquis leader worthy of mention is Captain TARDIVAT who was held in high esteem by the American liaison officers for his fine leadership.
Visited CHATEAU DE ST. AUGUSTIN. M. AULANIER and Contessa de ROLAND are extremely popular with the F.F.I. because of their unselfish efforts during the war. Their Chateau was used as a safe house and hospital for the F.F.I. M. AULANIER was able to keep the area well fed during the German occupation by falsifying the production figures of the farmers.
13 September 1944
Left Chateau AUGUSTIN for SANCOINS. Observed German columns heading north toward the LOIRE for final disposition by the American Third Army. The German columns were ragged but the German soldier was quite well dressed and well supplies with souvenirs and smokes.
Visited Chateau BEGUIN, Maquis Headquarters at LURCY LEVY. The Americans operating in this area had done an excellent job and consequently American liaison officers were extremely popular.
Proceeded to MONTLUCON in order to leave orders for Lt.ALSOP to report to PARIS on or before 20 September 1944.
Officers who operated in the area of the Headquarters at LURCY LEVY were Major LORD, Captain FARMER and FANY WAKE, Captain SOHLEY,
Lt. ALSOP, Lt. MACOMBER, Lt. DUVAL and Lt. BLOCH.
Arrived at VICHY at 2400 hours and met Captain MEUNIER (Canadian Army) of the "F" Section.
14 September 1944
VICHY had a decidedly unhealthy political atmosphere and there existed a large minority of pro-PETAIN French and much to our surprise, a few pro-LAVAL people still existed. Inclosed are some historical documents which may be of interest to O.S.S. (Incl #1)
Captain HALLOWS (British Army) was present and was able to give us information of the following agents:
2d Lt. RILEY
2d Lt. GOILLOT
This group was moving north to report in PARIS.
15 September 1944
Travelled to CLERMONT-FERRAND where we contacted the following:
Col. GASPAR, Maquis Chief of Staff for the AUVERGHE district
Lt. Col. MOYENNE, DMR.
Major DE GUELLIS
Flight Lt. SIMON
ISOTHERM had left for LONDON prior to our arrival.
We learned that POLYGONE, DM Zone Sud, was in a hospital in LYON as a result of strafing fire by the American Air Force.
The group proceeded to LIMOGES reaching our Headquarters at 2030 hours.
A parachutage was scheduled for the LIMOGES Airport between 2330 hours and 0230 hours. Three planes were scheduled to come but only one arrived. Twelve containers and seen packages were received. The general contents were food, boots, socks, and grenades. The reception committee operated very smoothly. The following personnel were in this committee:
2d Lt. GURIET, Aide to the DMR.
30 French Air Corps personnel.
16 September 1944
Major GILDEE of Jedburgh Team IAN reported at the LIMOGES Headquarters and proceeded directly to LONDON. Major STAUNTON returned from LONDON in a Hudson bomber. The GERMINAL team visited ORADOUR SUR GLANE. I was here that the Germans annihilated withy few exceptions the complete village and its population. For pictures of German atrocities, see the GERMINAL Mission "Atrocity File".
17 September 1944
Lt. MORGAN arrived at LIMOGES Headquarters. His mission was completed and he was ordered to report to PARIS.
Several American and British agents operating in this area were awarded the CROIX DE GUERRE in a most impressive ceremony by Colonel RIVIER. Copies of the citation are inclosed (Incl #2) and the event was published in the local newspaper (Incl #3 and Incl #4).
18 September 1944
Received a telegram from LONDON which cancelled all future Dakota Operations for the LIMOGES Airport and substituted the Airport at LE BLANC.
19 September 1944
Received notification of the departure from MONTLUCON for PARIS of Captain DUSSAQ and Lt. ALSOP.
Necessary repairs to our transportation were effected.
20 September 1944
The mission divided into two groups in order to work in different areas.
Group "A" (Captain SCHLEY and Lt. GRIFFITHS) went to MONTLUCON to gather information on MILHAUD. Learned that MILHAUD was captured by the Gestapo 1 May 1944 while operating in his safe house at 16 rue Rimard in MONTLUCON. He was immediately taken to the CASERNE in MONTLUCON and later moved to an unknown Gestapo prison. Madame L'HOSPITALIER who operated the safe house was also arrested but later released. Madame DERIOT who was in this house at the time of the arrest was questioned and released. The above information was given by Madame RENARD, rue DANTON A DESERTINE, MONTLUCON and from 2d Lt.ROBERT L'HOSPITALIER of the British Army.
Drove to CHATEAU DE FRAYNE in order to pick up reports left by Lieutenants FAUCHER and BLOCH and Lt. MACOMBER. Contacted Captain FARMER, Captain RAKE and FANY WAKE at the Chateau. This British
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team was without contact with LONDON and without orders.
Group "B" (Captain GRELL, Lt. CUTTING and Sgt. POTTER) drove to LE BLANC in order to make arrangements for agents returning directly to LONDON. Major SHANNON and Captain BROWN left LE BLANC for LONDON at 1530 hours.
Contacted Lt. McCARTHY and gave him instructions to proceed to PARIS.
Continued to CHATEAUROUX and contacted the HAMISH Jedburgh team at the Hotel de las Croix Blanche. This team was ordered to report to PARIS Headquarters during the coming week.
21 September 1944
Group "A" drove to CHERMONT-FERRAND in order to trade automobiles and secure gasoline. The automobile was requisitioned by Captain RENE, a friend with whom Captain SCHLEY worked in the maquis. It was interesting to note that the maquis who were dressed in rags only a few weeks before were developing into a well dressed, well disciplined military organization.
Group "B" visited Lt. Col. MIRGUET, Chef [sic] of the F.F.I. in the INDRE area. Group "B" left CHATEAUROUX at 1130 hours for LIMOGES where they arrived at 1800. The GERMINAL Mission received a telegram from Lt. Col. VAN DER STRICHT instructing them to report in PARIS on or about 10 October 1944.
Jedburgh Team HAMISH left by auto for PARIS at 1100 hours.
22 September 1944
Group "A" left CLERMONT-FERRAND for LIMOGES. The two groups met at the LIMOGES Headquarters. A meeting was held in order to make plans for the future.
23 September 1944
Captain FRASER of the American Army and Captain BISSETT left for PARIS by automobile.
All American agents in the LIMOGES area were given orders to report either to LONDON or PARIS so arrangements were made to close the LIMOGES Headquarters.
Visited Dr. ROUX at his Chateau Mont Bas Gajoubert, Par Meziere sur Issoire. Dr. ROUX's Chateau was used as a safe house during the period in this chapter of French history.
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24 September 1944
At 1800 hours we set out for VICHY via MONTLUCON. Dined at 2100 hours and then continued to VICHY, arriving at 2330 hours. On arrival we learned of the accidental death of Captain BISSETT (British Army).
Captain BISSETT had been travelling to PARIS with Captain FRASER. At 0100 hours they were preparing for their departure. While loading their jeep a Marlin Sub-machine gun fell on the sidewalk, became cooked as a result of the blow on the cement and immediately fired one round. This single bullet struck Captain BISSETT in a vital spot and he died a few seconds after the accident. A complete and detailed report was submitted by Captain FRASER on his arrival in PARIS.
A most fitting funeral and burial service was organized for the Captain by the F.F.I. Captain FRASER and Captain MEUNIER of the Canadian Army arranged for details such as contacting Allied Forces officers in the area and informing them of the times and places where ceremonies would occur.
25 September 1944
At 0930 hours and F.F.I. guard of honor was formed outside the Hotel Radio. Allied Forces officers who acted as honorary pall bearers were:
At 1015 hours the body was taken to the Protestant chapel where a brief service was held. The coffin was beautiful, covered with Union Jack and surrounded by wreaths presented by various units of the Allied Forces. The funeral procession was carried out in a military manner with a Guard of Honor formed by the F.F.I.
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26 September 1944
Captain BISSETT was buried at 1000 hours. The following American and British officers were present:
Major DE GUELLIS
Captain ANDRE SIMON
The F.F.I. again furnished a Guard of Honor. The body was interred in the Cimetiere de Vichy.
27 September 1944
Left VICHY at 0945 hours en route to TOULOUSE via CLERMONT-FERRAND. The group lunched at AURILLAC and had supper at GAILLAC. Arrived at TOULOUSE at 2230 hours.
28 September 1944
GERMINAL held a conference with Colonel BRICE, DMR in TOULOUSE. It was learned that PERCY PINK had moved from TOULOUSE to MARSEILLES in order to get plane transportation to LONDON. All Jedburgh teams formerly in TOULOUSE had left for AVIGNON.
29 September 1944
Left TOULOUSE at 1200 hours and arrived at MONTPELLIER at 1800 hours.
Contacted CLAUDE ARNAULT alias NERON. Having completed his mission he was ordered to report to PARIS Headquarters.
In MONTPELLIER we found prices out of control and the black market flourishing. Examples of prices charged for commodities are:
American cigarettes ---- 150 to 200 francs per pack. Whiskey ---- 110 to 150 francs per jigger. A fair meal ---- 400 francs upward.
The F.F.I. are systematically fighting these conditions and are endeavoring to combat the black market.
30 September 1944
The GERMINAL Mission visited Cdt. JACQUES, also known as SULTAN, Assistant DMR in MONTPELLIER.
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We visited the German prison camp in this area. The F.F.I. had 2,500 German prisoners there. Most of these are used for the purpose of clearing mines on the coast. Many of the French officers in charge of these prisoners have served time in German concentration camps and are well qualified, and do provide treatment similar to that which they received at the hands of the Germans. We left MONTPELLIER at 1530 hours and arrived at NIMES at 1800 hours.
1 October 1944
The GERMINAL team relaxed in NIMES while the automobiles were being repaired.
2 October 1944
Left NIMES at 0930 hours and arrived at AVIGNON at 1030 hours. continued on to VALENCE arriving there at 1800 hours. On the road from NIMES to VALENCE we passed miles of German wreckage; horse-drawn vehicles, trucks, cars, tanks, anti-aircraft guns and other wreckage all gave evidence of the defeated German columns trying to retreat North to the BELFORT GAP.
In this area a large percentage of all railroad rolling stock had been destroyed by the Air Forces.
3 October 1944
The GERMINAL Mission contacted Captain PLANAS, Service Sociale F.F.I. and Captain COSTES of the Deuxieme Bureau in VALENCE in order to secure information available on Major PETER ORTIZ of the U.S. Marine Corps. The only information available was that he was arrested while wearing civilian clothing. The arrest was made by the Wehrmacht. Further information was expected within a week and a full report was promised by the Duexieme Bureau in VALENCE to be sent to Captain GRELL of PARIS Headquarters.
Visited LA CHAPELLE EN VERCORS. In this small town the Germans destroyed all of the houses (Incl #7) because of the active aid given the underground forces in the vicinity. All unoccupied farm houses in the area were considered to be owned by members of the maquis and on that basis, destroyed.
Proceeded to GRENOBLE arriving there at 1730 hours. We contacted Major COX who was in command of the O.G.'s from ALGIERS. He had no pertinent information for the team so we continued on to MOIRANS arriving there at 1900 hours.
4 October 1944
Continued our drive northward arriving at LYON at 1130 hours.
There we visited Colonel POLYGONE at l'Hospital Ste. Jeanne d'Arc (see report for 15 September for cause of hospitalization). Colonel POLYGONE, as a result of being wounded, is fit only for administrative duty. He had received orders to report to Headquarters in PARIS.
Visited Cdt. CARRE, DRM in LYON. He informed us that Captain JOHNSON was at CHAMPDOR Monday 3 October.
All bridges on the RHONE that we saw had been partially or completely destroyed by the Germans in their retreat. As a result, in cities such as AVIGNON and LYON, we found North bound military traffic bottle-necked.
6 October 1944
Contacted 2d Lt. MORPURGO and 2d Lt. NONNI in LYON. Their mission was completed and they were ordered to report in PARIS on or about 10 October 1944.
6 October 1944
Due to illness in the GERMINAL group, departure for PARIS was delayed one day.
7 October 1944
Let LYON at 1400 hours and arrived in AUXERRE at 2030.
8 October 1944
Lext AUXERRE at 1000 hours and reported in at PARIS Headquarters at 79 Champs Elysses at 1500 hours.
A map showing the area covered by the GERMINAL mission is attached (Incl #5).
Also attacked is a guide to the Photo File (Incl #6).
Incl 1--Historical Documents
Incl 2--Citations by Col. RIVIER
Incl 3--"Le Centre Libre", newspaper
Incl 4--Newspaper clipping of Citations by Col. RIVIER
Incl 6--Guide to Photo File
Incl 7--Newspaper clipping; destruction of LA CHAPELLE EN VERCORS.
/s/ William F. Grell
WILLIAM F. GRELL
/s/ Harry E. Griffiths
HARRY E. GRIFFITHS
1st Lt., Inf.
Table of Contents
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