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  Algiers-to-France Sections:
  U.K.-to-France Groups:

To deny enemy use of by-pass rail lines Cahors-Figeac, Figeac-Brive, in the Department of Lot.

To harass enemy movement on highways 20 and 140.

6 June 1944: After initial departure of the Section, with drop scheduled for 7 June, the plane, in French airspace, ran into the weather front which the invasion in the North followed in purposely, and had to return to Blida.

9 June: After second take-off at 2215 hours from Blida Airport, Algeria, in the clear moonlight, the Halifax slowed to 125 mph over the DZ and personnel and equipment parachuted into the DZ, code-named "Chenier" near La Bastide du Hautmont, Cantal Department, France. Drop was completed at 0245 hours. The ride was comfortable, the crew-handling excellent, the ground excellent for body or equipment, and the Maquis reception excellent.

After bivouacing and preparing for the first operation (to knock out the railroad bridge over the Cele River, between Cahors and Figeac, near Bouzies), the Section started the 60 K march with a Maquis guide, reaching the FTPF (Francs Tireur et Partisans Francais) camp near Gorse. Provided with a 5-ton woodburning truck and a Maquis armed team for security, on the night of 12-13 June the Section traveled on back roads to the unguarded target, a 165-foot-long steel bridge. Demolition was placed in 30 minutes, the personnel withdrawn and fuses lighted. The blast twisted the bridge and made it unusable.

Returning to Gorse the Section met the leaders of the Department of Lot and planned the organizing and arming of the Maquis units of that area. American arms were subsequently dropped in and the Maquis were instructed in their use. The Americans converted parachutes into tents and lived in the woods nearby. Excellent contact was maintained with the Maquis through morning meetings. The opportunity for a coup was conceived and brilliantly accomplished by the Section, the Maquis, and the foreman of a railroad yard when 28 locomotives were sabotaged by removing irreplaceable bronze injectors. In this period three downed airmen attached themselves to the Section and helped in its work.

Through July attempts to cut the Paris-to-Toulouse rail line failed to stop its use and the Section was directed to close the line permanently. This they did in the last week of July with members of the Maquis by dropping the 100 meter steel Madeline Bridge into the Lot River north of Toulouse near Figeac. In the first week of August a 64 meter steel section of a double track viaduct near Souillac was knocked out by Section members with Maquis security.

Evacuation of Cahors and the Garonne valley took place through August and the Section lost touch with the enemy. Section was ordered to Grenoble and arrived 13 September.


Summary compiled by John Hamblet.

  1st Lt. A. P. Frizzell
1st Lt. G. M. Huguet
T/Sgt. E. A. Trudeau
S/Sgt. S. P. McFadden
S/Sgt. W. W. Smith
T/5 A. A. Genest
T/5 A. J. Cote
T/5 A. Ouellet
T/5 A. P. Hennette
T/5 P. N. Hardinger
T/5 L. W. Fessler
T/5 R. J. Bizaillon
T/5 P. Nebenzahl
T/5 D. Atherton
T/5 G. W. LaCouture

Map of French


The men of section EMILY, August 1944.
(click image to enlarge)

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