RAF 'special duties' Halifax aircrew remembered at La Ferté-Saint-Cyr
On their way to the annual ceremony at the SOE French Section memorial in Valençay, SECRET WW2 trustee Paul McCue and Nick Fox of Libre Résistance made a detour especially to pay their respects to the Allied airmen buried in the cemetery at La Ferté-Saint-Cyr (41220, Loir-et-Cher).
Six of its twenty CWGC headstones mark the final resting places of 138 (Special Duties) Sqn members who'd been stationed at RAF Tempsford. Shortly after D-Day, on the night of 7/8th June 1944, their Halifax flown by Pilot Officer Lyne of the Royal Canadian Air Force was shot down east of Blois before reaching the DZ for its clandestine SOE operation - codenamed "Historian 10".
The organiser of SOE’s HISTORIAN circuit was Captain George Wilkinson. Both he and his courier, Section Officer Lilian Rolfe, were subsequently caught and executed, and they are amongst the 104 agents of SOE's French Section who are commemorated on the Valencay memorial.
Five of the six airmen from the RAF's 138 (Special Duties) Squadron who lost their lives during "Historian 10" were in fact members of the RCAF, as was the seventh member of the aircraft's crew who survived the crash. That was Sgt Hinds. who was hidden for more than three months by resistance forces near Saint-Viâtre, until the area was eventually liberated.
Also buried in the La Ferté-Saint-Cyr cemetery are fourteen Allied airmen from the RCAF, RAAF and RAFVR who were killed on 1st July 1944.
Details of all twenty can be seen by clicking HERE for the CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) web site.
The information below is from page 257 of the downloadable Listing of Allied Aircraft lost on Special Duty Operations, available on Harrington Museum's excellent website.
CLICK ON THESE WEB LINKS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
www.cwgc.org/find/find-war-dead/results/?cemetery=LA+FERTE-ST.+CYR+COMMUNAL+CEMETERY&fq_cemeterymemorial=LA+FERTE-ST.+CYR+COMMUNAL+CEMETERY&pageSize=20&csort=dateofdeath&tab=wardead www.specialforcesroh.com/search.php?searchid=292539 www.tracesofwar.com/sights/58923/War-Memorial-La-Fert%E9-Saint-Cyr-Cemetery.htm www.inmemories.com/Cemeteries/lafertestcyr.htm
SOE's HISTORIAN circuit
Images courtesy of: Paul McCue - Nick Fox - Bob Body (TVARA) - GoogleMaps