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To strengthen the Maquis in the Vercors region and to carry out guerilla warfare against enemy supply lines, lines of communication and telecommunications.

28 June 1944. Plane left Blida Airport at 2130 hours and arrived at DZ, "Taille Crayon", near Vassieux, at 0010 hours. Flying was superior, ground was excellent for personnel and materiel, and reception was well organized though personnel were not expected.

30 June. Section met Col Hervieux, Maquis chief of the Vercors region. Vercors had become a Republic with an organized army of 5000 men. Instruction in use of American and British weapons was most important initially.

2 July. Convoy of three armored cars on Chabeuil-to-La Vacherie road was ambushed with 18 Germans killed.

7 July. At Lus La Croix Haute the heavily armed Section and 30 Maquis picked a 300-ft. U-shaped section of road as an ambush site. A German convoy was fired on. When men in trucks not caught in the ambush unloaded and started fire the Section and Maquis retired to the assembly point. It was later learned 60 Germans were killed, 25 wounded and 3 trucks and a bus destroyed.

14 July. Bastille Day. 85 Flying Fortresses dropped 1457 containers at Vassieux. A half an hour later and for the next 4 days German planes bombed and strafed Vassieux, the landing strip there, and the town of La Chapelle. Section moved into St. Martin to organize air defense of Vercors.

19 July. German glider troops dropped on landing strip at Vassieux.

20 July. Section and 75 Maquis approached Vassieux but were stopped by automatic weapon fire and by aircraft which bombed and strafed through the day. Fighting continued for 3 days in which over half of the 450 airborne troops became casualties. The remaining Germans were kept pinned down and 2 Junker transports and one Junker light bomber were brought down.

23 July-15 August. With German forces surrounding and patrolling the Vercors, the Section headed north toward the Chartreuse Mountains. An 11-day period was spent in the woods, the Section surviving on raw potatoes and occasional cheese. With Maquis help the Section, in weakened condition, reached the Belledonne Mountains.

17 August. 11 airmen joined the Section.

18-20 August. Enemy troop movements on Grenoble-to-Chambery road were observed and reported. Power line to Lyon was blown.

21 August. The movement of 5000 German troops heading south from Chambery was reported to the American troops in Grenoble with the result that the enemy was attacked and 3500 prisoners were taken. The rest were killed, wounded, or dispersed into the hills.

24 August. Section moved from the Belledonne Mountains into Grenoble. They learned that 22,000 Germans were used in the 14-day Vercors attack. The Germans thought there was a battalion of Americans there instead of just 15.


Summary compiled by John Hamblet.

  1st St. V. G. Hoppers
1st Lt. C. L. Myers
T/Sgt. F. J. DeFrane
S/Sgt. R. J. Vanasse
S/Sgt. R. J. Brochu
S/Sgt. N. J. Harp
T/4 N. L. Richman
T/5 D. Calvert
Cpl. L. W. LaBreck
Cpl. J. W. Murray
T/5 H. O. Flake
T/5 P.E. LaFlame
T/5 M. Levine
T/5 G. J. Paquette
T/5 G. J. Picard

Map of French


The men of section JUSTINE.
(click image to enlarge)

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