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

To assist Resistance in protecting fixed installations from sabotage by retreating Germans, particularly the hydroelectric plant at La Truyere; also to assist repelling attacks on Maquis and to attack rail, road, and communication targets in the Cantal department.

16/17 and 17/18 August. Of four planes that left Harrington one plane dropped 5 OGs at DZ Deglane, and the rest of the group arrived the following night. Lt. Earle landed in distant rough terrain and broke his leg in three places, as shown by x-ray at FFI clinic in Rion es Montagne. T/3 Klingensmith injured his shoulder and not until the Group returned to England was a break in his shoulder recognized. There were several other non-incapacitating injuries. French reception committee met the first drop and Capt. Schwam and S/Sgt. Van Timmeran added to the reception of the others.

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.

Among wounded turned over to the Maquis was a Canadian paratrooper who had been wounded and captured. He had been with the convoy for five days and told of the low morale of the soldiers and their interest in the prisoner-of-war camps in the Unites States and Canada. The officers and non-coms remained hostile to the Canadian. Describing the conditions of the convoy, the Canadian said that with lack of vehicles, on leaving a town those on foot set out first, then after a few hours those on bicycles started, and still later the lucky ones in trucks set out. When the elements joined, travel was reduced to 5 or 10 mph , with frequent stops, spraying of roadsides to protect against certain ambush, and, when attacked, throwing themselves into ditches and firing wildly. "From his description of the plight of the German convoys attempting to make their escape across France to the Belfort gap, it is very evident why the 20,000 Germans in this area surrendered several days later, despite newspaper stories to the contrary." Running into German fire apparently from troops uninformed about the surrender, the Americans and Moroccans withdrew from the area, and when terms of the surrender were in effect the Group was relieved of its assignment to Capt. Schwam and his "Benjoin" Mission, with whom it had been a pleasant association.

18 September. Group reported to SF in Paris.


    Personal recollections:  


Summary compiled by John Hamblet.

  1st Lt. P. Earle
1st Lt. J. C. Larson
Sgt. H. A. DeMarey
S/Sgt. F. Van Timmeran
T/3 Wm. B. Klingensmith
T/3 R. D. Leone
T/3 D. A. Page
Sgt. S. Picinich
Pfc. R. L. Cotnoir
Pvt. A. O. Aubrey
Pvt. R. J. Barriault
Pvt. G. F. Brule
Pvt. V. C. Henson
Pvt. L. L. Lachance
Pvt. E. F. McNamara
Pvt. N. J. Muza
Pvt. E. G. Roy
Pvt. N. N. Schnall
Pvt. R. Simard

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