SOE F Section timeline

From Academic Kids

Timeline of events in the history of Section F of the Special Operations Executive. See also SOE F Section networks.

  • The relevant modern administrative département numbers are added, after several of the place names, so as to facilitate the tracing of events geographically.

May 1941

May 5
Georges Bégué was the first SOE agent dropped in France, 36. He set up radio communications and met agents who followed.

July 1941

July 1
Brian Stonehouse parachuted into occupied France near the city of Tours, 37, in the Loire Valley.

October 1941

October 24
Brian Stonehouse and Blanche Charlet were arrested by Milice in Chateau Hurlevent near Lyons, 69.

December 1941

Brian Stonehouse was transferred to Fresnes prison, 94, in Paris

January 1942

Peter Churchill was landed by submarine at Miramar, 06, in France to evaluate the Carte resistance group.

May 1942

William Grover-Williams was parachuted into France and worked from Paris, 16ème.

August 1942

John Starr arrived by parachute in a field near Valence, 26, in France on his first mission.
Peter Churchill went to Montpellier, 34, in France to organize the Spindle network.

September 1942

September 24
Andrée Borrel and Lise de Baissac arrived by parachute at a field near Mer, 41, not far from the Loire River

November 1942

Gilbert Norman arrived in France, to join the Prosper Network in Paris.
George Starr and Odette Sansom arrived by boat near Cannes, 06, on the Mediterranean coast of France. The return voyage carried John Starr out of France following his uneventful first mission, taking with him reports collected by Peter Churchill.

December 1942

Jack Agazarian arrived in Paris to join the Prosper Network

January 1943

January 22
Henri Dericourt arrived in France and went to Paris as the section's air movements officer.

March 1943

Peter Churchill returned to England with Henri Frager by Lysander flight. On the inward flight Francis Cammaerts arrived to take Churchill's place in Hérault.

April 1943

April 15
Peter Churchill arrived back in Hérault, France.
April 16
Peter Churchill and Odette Sansom were arrested by Hugo Bleicher.

May 1943

John Starr and his wireless operator John Young arrived by parachute at Lons-le-Saunier, 39, in the Jura mountains of eastern France.
May 13
Vera Leigh, Julienne Aisner, Sidney Jones and Marcel Clech arrived by Lysander at a location in the Cher Valley, near Tours, 37 and were met by F Section's air movements officer Henri Dericourt. The return flight carried Francis Suttill, leader of the Prosper Network, back to England.

June 1943

William Grover-Williams, Paris, was arrested by the Gestapo.
William Grover-Williams was moved to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
June 16
Diana Rowden Noor Inayat Khan and Cecily Lefort arrived by air at a location north-east of Angers, 49, in the Loire Valley, where they were met by Henri Dericourt.
Jack Agazarian returned from working in Paris, France to England.
June 20
Frank Pickersgill and John Kenneth Macalister were parachuted into France. They were met by Yvonne Rudelatt, but were captured after a skirmish with waiting Gestapo.
June 23
Andrée Borrel, Francis Suttill and Gilbert Norman were arrested

July 1943

July 18
John Starr was captured and placed in the custody of the Sicherheitsdienst in Dijon, 21.
July 22
Nicholas Bodington and Jack Agazarian returned to France to investigate the fate of the Prosper Network.
Jack Agazarian was arrested at a rendezvous in the rue de Rome near the Gare Saint-Lazare, which was a trap set by the Germans.

August 1943

John Starr was transferred from Dijon, 21, to Fresnes prison, 94.

September 1943

John Starr was transferred from Fresnes prison, 94, to 84 Avenue Foch.
September 15
Cecily Lefort was arrested by Gestapo in Montélimar, 26, Rhône-Alpes.

October 1943

October 13
Noor Inyat Khan was arrested in Paris.
October 30
Vera Leigh was arrested at a café near the Place des Ternes in Paris and taken to Fresnes prison, 94.

November 1943

November 18
Diana Rowden and John Young were arrested at Clairvaux-les-Lacs, 39 near Lons-le-Saunier.
November 19
Diana Rowden was taken to 84 Avenue Foch where she was interrogated for two weeks before being taken to Fresnes prison, 94.
November 25
Noor Inyat Khan, John Starr and Colonel Leon Faye escape from 84 Avenue Foch but are captured in the immediate vicinity.
November 26
Noor Inyat Khan and Colonel Leon Faye are sent to Germany.

January 1944

January 13
Yolande Beekman and Gustave Bieler were arrested at the Café Moulin Brulé in Paris.

February 1944

February 5
René Dumont-Guillemet and Henri Diacono were parachuted into Touraine to establish the Spiritualist circuit.
February 28
Madeleine Damerment, France Antelme and Lionel Lee arrived by parachute into a field near Chartres, 28, and were immediately arrested by waiting Gestapo.

April 1944

Maurice Southgate was arrested.
April 5
Lilian Rolfe was dropped near the city of Orléans, 45, to work with the "Historian" network run by George Wilkinson
April 29
Nancy Wake parachuted into Auvergne to liaise between London and the local Maquis.

May 1944

May 13
Vera Leigh, Andrée Borrel, Odette Sansom, Diana Rowden, Yolande Beekman, Eliane Plewman and Madeleine Damerment were taken from Fresnes prison, 94, to 84 Avenue Foch, where they were joined by Sonya Olschanezky. They were all then moved to the civil prison at Karlsruhe in Germany.

June 1944

June 6
The D-Day landings, 14 occurred in Normandy.

July 1944

July 2
Henry Frager was arrested by Abwehr sergeant Hugo Bleicher at a rendezvouse arranged by Roger Bardet.
July 6
Diana Rowden, Vera Leigh, and Andrée Borrel were shipped to the Natzweiler-Struthof , 67, concentration camp in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace (France) where they were injected with phenol and disposed of in the crematorium. Their arrival at the camp was witnessed by Brian Stonehouse.
Christine Granville arrived by parachute in France, joining the Jockey network led Francis Cammaerts.
July 31
Lilian Rolfe was arrested in Nargis, 45 and taken to Fresnes prison, 94.

August 1944

Francis Cammaerts was arrested by Gestapo.
Lilian Rolfe was shipped to Ravensbrück concentration camp.
John Starr was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
August 25
General von Choltitz the German Military Commandant in Paris, formally signed an Act of Surrender to the Provisional Government of the French Republic, although some German strongholds remained in the city.
August 27
John Kenneth Macalister, Frank Pickersgill and Roméo Sabourin, were shipped to Buchenwald concentration camp.

September 1944

September 6
Gilbert Norman was executed at Mauthausen concentration camp
September 10
Yolande Beekman,Madeleine Damerment, Noor Inayat Khan, and Eliane Plewman were transferred to Dachau concentration camp.
September 11
Yolande Beekman, Madeleine Damerment, Noor Inayat Khan, and Eliane Plewman were executed, each by a single shot to the head, and their bodies cremated at Dachau concentration camp.
September 14
John Macalister, Frank Pickersgill and Roméo Sabourin, were executed at Buchenwald concentration camp.

February 1945

February 5
Lilian Rolfe was executed and her body disposed of in the crematorium at Ravensbrück concentration camp.
February 17
John Starr was sent to Mauthausen concentration camp.

February 1945 Violette Szabo taken from her cell in Ravensbruck concentration camp and shot in the back of the neck.

April 1945

April 29
Brian Stonehouse was liberated from Dachau concentration camp by American troops.

May 1945

May 7
Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies.


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