19 Aug. Group set out for the hydroelectric plant at Truyere and found it on a projecting knoll with gullies on three sides and surrounded by German troops. The Group took a position where machine gun and mortar fire could be used. Negotiations for capitulation, which had been started earlier by the Maquis without success, continued with stress laid on presence of members of French Regular Army, British Army, and American troops. Without offensive action the Germans agreed to surrender and on 20 August 120 men marched out.
22 Aug. With the primary mission completed, the Group moved to St. Flour where an earlier premature attempt at surrender evidently stiffened Germans' determination not to surrender.
24 Aug. With Germans heading out of St. Fleur the Group moved north to be ahead of the Germans on National Highway No. 9 and assist Maquis to stop the German escape. The Germans, numbering 500, set up mortar fire and the Maquis and Group withdrew. With enemy troops reported coming from Clermont to assist those leaving the besieged St. Fleur garrison, two demolition road projects to hinder the Germans were accomplished by two details, one by Lt. Larson and Sgt. Picinich and the other by Sgts. Van Timmeran and Leone and Pvts. Musa and Aubrey. In the action that had taken place near St. Fleur, Pvt. Ray was shot in the leg. (He rejoined the unit shortly before its return to the UK). Three men of the Group, T/3 Page and Pvts. Hanson and Schnall, who had been firing a machine gun on one flank were missing. (Some days later when the Group was in Clermont an OSS agent took them to a café operated by a French lady who said they had spent the night sleeping on benches under guard, were well, and left with the Germans evacuating Clermont on the morning of 27 August.)
26-28 Aug. Group passed through Clermont, which had just been liberated and where celebration was in progress, and continued to Rion where they met Capt. Schwam who had a company of Moroccan troops with whom the Group was to work.
29 Aug. Capt. Schwam's Moroccans and the Group attacked Germans in bivouac at Brut. Fighting lasted through the afternoon till the outnumbered allies withdrew, taking several prisoners.
30 Aug. Moroccans and Americans,
following a German column, caught up with them at Decise,where they
were bivouaced at a chateau. Fired on, the enemy withdrew, leaving packs
and vehicles. Several were killed , and nearly twenty captured. Group
moved immediately to the St. Pierre/Decize highway to ambush a column
elements of which did not appear for several days. Machine gun fire
killed and wounded some and the column withdrew to St. Pierre. Negotiations
with a German officer resulted in the surrender of a Field Hospital
which had been moving back to Germany.
18 September. Group reported to SF in Paris.
compiled by John Hamblet.