Following a parachute drop on October 20 and 21, 1943. Following a tip-off to the Gestapo by an infiltrator, the Germans surrounded Bois Jean and the St Gurval manor house on October 30, 1943.
35 people were arrested and interrogated in Rennes.
19 were condemned to deportation, 2 escaped.
Of the 17 deported, 11 died in the camps (Georges Clément, Roger Chotard, Noël Margat, Eugène Brunel, Félix Landais, Henri Paistel, Etienne Eon, Donatien Lerat, Henri Nogret, Maurice Le Fouillé, Anne Marie Boivin) and 6 returned (Joseph Daniel, Jean Durandière, Edouard Dugué, Raymond Hervé, Jean Lerat, André Seroux).
In June 1943, Captain VALLEE, reporting directly to the "Special Operation Executive" commanded by Colonel Buckmaster, was parachuted into Brittany with the task of setting up sabotage groups, instructing and arming them, and finding parachute drop zones.
Under the leadership of Charles Touzet, the "Oscar" network gathered around twenty Resistance fighters in Guer, including the owner of Château des Vaux.
At the time of the parachute drop, the owner had been harboring a young Parisian who claimed to be an S.T.O. draft dodger, who had tricked his way into Comblessac. The helpful Georges Audigé, now known as "Valuy", was able to infiltrate the group using false papers provided by the Guer Resistance.
A member of "Francisme", he was in fact carrying out his first spy mission.
On the Bois Jan farm run by Etienne EON, a pit had been dug to receive weapons and ammunition, but atmospheric conditions made September's parachuting attempt unsuccessful.
On the night of October 20-21, 1943, at around 01:20 English time, despite a gale-force wind, the Halifax JA-173-5 of S/Ldr Laurie PITT of 138 squadron based at Ternsford near Cambridge, dropped 13 containers of weapons and ammunition near Bois-Jan, which were recovered with great difficulty and buried in the cache dug for the purpose around September 15.
Nothing seems to have leaked out of the operation, but a few days later, taking advantage of his boss's absence, Audigé reports on his mission to Paris, then to the Gestapo (*) in Rennes. On October 30, the Germans surround the château and the Vaux farm. The Gestapo entered the scene and made the first arrests.
From that date until January 24, 1944, 35 people were arrested for taking part in the parachuting operation, or taken hostage and interned in Rennes prison.
By the end of January, Joseph Daniel, Edouard Dugué, Louis Durandière, Raymond Hervé, Felix Landais, Jean Lerat, Donatien Lerat, Henri Paistel, André Seroux and Maurice Le Fouillé were on their way to Germany.
In February, Emile Lassais, Andné Chotard and Louis Flageul are released,
Emile De Lambert, Mme De Blignières and Léonie Reminiac are released in March.
Noël Margat, Edouard Dugué, Rogar Chotand and Georges Clément join Compiègne.
Madeleine Lefranc, Joséphine Flageul, Marguerite Barre, Madeleine Glo, Madeleine Lerat and Bernadette Du Bouëxic were released in April.
On May 2, Anne-Marie Boivin is deported.
On June 29, Etienne Eon, Jean Loeillet and Henri Nogret are deported.
After 6 months in captivity, Angèle Nogret, Jeanne Nogret, Jeanne Bignon, Jules Bossard and Madeleine Bossard are released,
Interned at the Tour hospital, then at the Val de Grâce, Mme Du Bouëxic gave birth to a son, who shared her captivity in Romainville until his release. Jean Loeillet escaped from the train through a hole in the floor. Back in Comblessac, he left for England with parachutists he had met in Trégouidan, and died during an operation in Holland.
Only 6 of the deportees return home: Joseph Daniel from Pipriac, Jean Durandière from Guer, Raymond Hervé from Guer, Jean Lerat from Augan, Edouard Dugué and André Seroux from Peillac.
11 died in deportation: Georges Clément, Roger Chotard, Noël Margat, Eugène Brunel, Félix Landais, Henri Paistel, Etienne Eon, Donatien Lerat, Henri Nogret, Maurice Le Fouillé and Anne-Marie Boivin.
As you read these lines, remember that the freedom you enjoy today came at a high price for these brave men and women and their families.
The Special Operation Executive was a British organization in charge of operations in France.
Commanded by the English colonel Buckmaster, it was he who directed the preparatory flavors for the Allied landings. The groups formed under Captain Vallée's tutelage had the code name Oscar in France and Parson in England.
S.T.O stands for Service du Travail Obligatoire, created in February 1943 by Darnand.
GESTAPO stands for Geheime STAatsPolant, the Reich's political police force, with virtually unlimited powers.
Photo credit and contribution Le Bourvellec eric