Agents (SOE)

Agents (SOE)

A Story by Wild Rose
"

Wartime story based on actual facts given by a dear departed friend This is his story

"
Don was a special pilot his missions were flown alone in a Lysander painted all black with markings almost invisible. 

Most of his missions were done in radio silence, once he left the airfield he was alone, with no human contact, there was no published flight plan
On this day he was to take off after sunset and fly at low level to a certain clearing in a wooded area.

He had been given a map reference and time to memorize his route. 
Once in the area, he would pick up a light signal from people on the ground.
He saw the signal, turned away to line up to land his markers were to be some car headlights shining in the direction to land, at the end of his grass runway was to be a single person with a flash lamp.

He came in low over the trees then dropped down low over the car, the grass was bumpy: a field, not a smooth lawn; he bumped his way to the runway end, where his side door was opened as soon as he stopped a briefcase was thrown in and a person pushed in after it.
 
"Quick, quick, sir, we turn you and you go no time to wait the SS are searching they will have heard your engine"

The plane was pulled round by willing hands. 
Engines on full power he bumped across the grass the plane lifted. They passed over a line of cars heading to the place they had just left: shots were fired at them; some hit the aircraft.

The man in the back spoke in broken English with a pronounced French accent "We made it just, the others, they vanish quick, my papers where they go?"
"Under my seat is a safe, open the door, put in your case, close the door it will lock, then it is armed, booby trap not open again, Whoosh bang"

The fuel was going down too fast the fuel tank had been punctured. He flew on to land now would be certain death, better to take the risk and get across the channel to home soil

Across the water, he looked for a suitable landing place, an airfield but it was in darkness.
 He called them up 
D "Dover Field, Dover Field I am Lysander Zulu zero zero seven, I am short of fuel and require an immediate landing"
AF "The airfield has been under heavy attack we are now closed you cannot land here"
D "I am out of fuel gauge reads zero I have one special passenger onboard I am coming in"
As he spoke the engine spluttered and died. he coaxed the aircraft down as you would in a glider
He was met by Air ForcePolice and arrested "You have been refused permission to land" -
D "I had no choice it was land here or on the road outside my fuel had run out, the engine died"

They were taken to the guard room and questioned.
Don only answered: Name, number and rank when asked for his station Air Vice Marshall Leonard Cheshire
The passenger spoke with a strong French accent He gave his name as Emile to anything else Mr Winston Churchill

They were given no food or drink but taken out for questioning at hourly intervals throughout the day

At eighteen hundred hours the watch was changed.
The new Orderly Officer visited the prisoners.
He was unhappy with the situation two prisoners, who refused to give anything but the basic information.
 
The pilots, documents were all correct; the other man was obviously French. 
He had French papers, but why did he want the Prime Minister, Mr Winston Churchill. 

The aircraft definitely had signs of being shot up, but there was no record of that aircraft at any station, and the markings were almost obliterated, it was completely black. It came to him that other aircraft used for night flying were also completely black, but they had visible markings, and the safe said to be bobby trapped. 

Something was not right.
He needed to get hold of a higher authority immediately.
The station CO was under sedation following a traumatic forty-eight hours and wasn’t to be disturbed.
Orderly Officer decided to find out more; he looked up the Air Vice Marshal and made a personal call to him via his office, a message was to be passed on.
A message came through ‘The Air Vice Marshall was giving it his immediate attention’

Three hours past.

A convoy approached the station gates. Three staff cars with flags; Four trucks with canvas covers, accompanied by a number of motorcycle outriders.
The back of one of the trucks opened and out came a dozen military police, the gates were opened and convoy came in.
From the first car came a General in the Military Police,
An Air Vice Marshal came from the second car. 
The third car contained a general and a civilian, from the SOE at Bletchley Park they remained in the car.

Military police emerged from each of the trucks
The police General called one of the station guards over "I am Provost Marshal I want the commanding officer"
Station Guard "He has gone to bed under sedation, He hasn't to be disturbed for twenty-four hours sir"
PM "I am Provost Marshal when I say I want someone here you bring him
Turning to his waiting police selected two "Go and bring the CO to me in his nightclothes if you must, I want him here now" 
He turned to the waiting policemen. "You two go and bring the Officer in Charge of the RAF police on this camp and the orderly officer who was in charge last night"

Air Vice Marshal ordered two of the station police to go to the Guard House and release the prisoners give them a room to rest and for them to be debriefed. He beckoned to the two men still sitting in the third car to follow.

When the prisoners were brought into the debriefing room "First thing gentlemen have you had any food since you arrived here?
"No sir"
replied Don
"Get me through to the officer's mess tell them that Air Vice Marshall Cheshire wants some food for the ex-prisoners also a room each so they can have a shower and a rest"
"Take these two men to the officers' mess, tell them they are to be given the best treatment, oh also the civilian only speaks French"
Don and Emile were led away, accompanied by the general and civilian from the third car
"We will wait until you are ready for debriefing, get some food a shower and rest first"

Meanwhile, the CO and Head of the RAF police had been brought from their respective beds.

The CO asked "Why have I been brought out here? Don't you know I have been on duty for Forty-eight hours and I have left instructions that I am not to be disturbed for at least twenty-four hours? Don’t you know this is my station?"

Just as AVM Cheshire arrived
"So, you have been working for forty-eight hours! The men you had imprisoned had just landed after being shot at by the enemy. They only just made your station as their fuel ran out. had you inspected the aircraft you would have seen for yourself the amount of damage. They were extremely lucky to get out alive. An aircraft lands with a passenger who does not speak English in an aircraft without any clear markings badly shot up and containing a safe which you have been told cannot be opened without knowing the combination. They refuse to give you anything but the basic information and ask to be put in contact with higher officers by name.
It is above your level of responsibility and should have immediately been passed over. You have exceeded your capability gentlemen. You will be arrested and court marshalled"
 
Indicating to the police "Take them and lock them in the cells for now until we have debriefed our two men. Oh I think those two from the SOE are still waiting in their car; they can go to the offices mess with them, then the special effects guy can deactivate and open the safe, he had better have two of our security guards with him they say the papers re of vital importance"
Turning to the awaiting prisoners. "Oh, and you are now longer CO of this station Flying Officer, You, are being replaced with immediate effect. You could be facing a charge of treason"
One of the police said "They have been released sir and all four are on their way to the officers mess now sir, along with the SOE people"
 
A room was provided by the officer's mess for the debriefing, so once Don and Emile were fed, bathed and ready they were debriefed by the Major
The civilian expert took two police with him, to deactivate the safe and recover the contents.

Debriefing completed and the briefcase safely recovered. The orderly officer who made the call for Air Vice Marshall Cheshire was given a promotion from Flight Lieutenant to Wing Commander and named as the new station CO, with immediate effect
The prisoners were handcuffed and loaded, one into each truck, Along with the armed Military Police
Emile travelled in the staff car along with the SOE men
Don was taken back to his home station by Air Vice Marshall Cheshire

Wild Rose
November 2019
   
 

© 2019 Wild Rose


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Featured Review

Crazy! pretty harsh punishment for the "sedated" CO ... WW2 war stories are fascinating to me. All kinds of heroes, unsung and elite corps never published ... great job of delivering your friends memoirs to the page :) so very very few of those Veterans left ... thanks for sharing Wild one!
E.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

This was war time _ He could have been Court Marshalled for refusing an aircraft in trouble permissi.. read more
Einstein Noodle

2 Years Ago

man! what if they were spies tho????
Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

That was the point about just holding them on the station and not contacting the relevant aothouriti.. read more



Reviews

an interesting wartime story, but i'm very curious WHO WAS Emile the french passenger ??
cheerio carola

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

It is a true story
Who was Emile > Only the people and Emile will ever know
The agents.. read more
Well done Wild Rose. This was a good read. We have no idea today just what was asked of people during the war. They were mostly ordinary men in extraordinary situations. The poor Station C.O. Taken away in his pajamas. That’s what you call a rude awakening!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

Thank you Old Novice
Don was an ordinary man as you say
No airs or graces
He .. read more
This story is one of your best & it's perfectly suited for your writing style, using a brief staccato style & a ton of meticulous details. I love the way you sustained suspense all along. The first half read a little more easily, with a brisk pacing. Then it felt a little heavier later becuz of all the twists & turns & details. At points, it was hard for me to believe this kind of stuff probably goes on all the time around the world & I know you are telling a pertinent story of our times (that every country has "agents" & this is the kind of stuff going on without the knowledge of the general public, who foot the bill for these spy games), not just your friend's story (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

You may have heard of Bletchley Park > The agents training college No one outside knew what went on .. read more
Crazy! pretty harsh punishment for the "sedated" CO ... WW2 war stories are fascinating to me. All kinds of heroes, unsung and elite corps never published ... great job of delivering your friends memoirs to the page :) so very very few of those Veterans left ... thanks for sharing Wild one!
E.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

This was war time _ He could have been Court Marshalled for refusing an aircraft in trouble permissi.. read more
Einstein Noodle

2 Years Ago

man! what if they were spies tho????
Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

That was the point about just holding them on the station and not contacting the relevant aothouriti.. read more
sounds like a special opps for the military or cia
it sounded believable

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

The SOE > Special Operations Executive > A sort of James Bond training school > I can remember 'Mess.. read more
 wordman

2 Years Ago

sounds like us,got our butt kicked,lol
Good Heavens. the way that was written, you could have been there! True to life, so many lives were risked carrying out the same sort of operations. A very well written piece!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

'Don' was a special friend
He only ever related this one story of his wartime work, I/we are.. read more
Wild Rose

2 Years Ago

The agents on the ground took on their 'name' and life history before they left UK - until they were.. read more

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Added on November 18, 2019
Last Updated on November 25, 2019

Author

Wild Rose
Wild Rose

Lake Disrtict, Cumbria, United Kingdom



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BA (Hons)Management studies Open University Full tech Cert. Marine: Aviation & Industrial Instrumentation and Conrtol Retired engineering lecturer Ex racing cyclist: fell walker: Camper more..

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