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Submitted by Secret WW2 Friend and resident Lysander expert, Ian Titman, the story of MINEUR involved a rare triple Lysander operation of 161 (Special Duties) Squadron RAF: Lysander J, flown by Leonard Ratcliff, Lysander E, flown by Bob Large and Lysander K, flown by Per Hysing-Dahl.

The three Lysanders took off from Tempsford after lunch and landed at Tangmere, their forward base on the south coast. Ratcliff in the first aircraft took off again at 2230 and with three-minute intervals the two others followed – across the channel, over the coast at Cabourg, then south to Blois, with its cathedral tower and Town Hall landmarks, and westward to the final rendezvous over Bléré and the final turn southwards to map reference 47 15 35 N 01 01 55 E3 – an LG (Landing Ground) near Luzillé.

The passengers flown out of Tangmere were BCRA/SIS agents Aubin Clement alias Caillou alias Rym 2, WT operator Henri Hirigoyen alias Debrard alias Rym, BCRA/SIS WT operator Jules Chauvin alias Jean Calvez alias Teck 200, BCRA/SIS Lysander expert Désiré Browaeys alias Lt Claude Hubert alias RX C 9 R (Ecarlate), BCRA/SIS Suzanne Bonnand alias Vonvon alias Anne Briquet alias Olympe (Phalanx – retour de stage) and Sussex/Brissex/SIS agent Jacques Bertrand aliasJacques Fontanes (Pathfinder IIB).The Reception Committee was organised by Félix Guilcher alias Gondole alias Romain Guyader (Ecarlate network).

The operation went off smoothly and the passengers returned to England from France were:  Richard Heslop alias Xavier of F Section, SOE; Colette Mizrahi alias Catherine; Colonel Maurice Belleux alias Bonin alias François Revol alias Hunter; Charles Eustache Maillet alias Jacques Barbut alias Nicodeme; Louis Goyet alias Louis Gourand alias Gouvreau (Phalanx); Paul Engelmann alias Paul Angelot alias Neron; Jean Marie Rethore alias André Bilbane alias Boulba (Phratrie).

This unusual operation was first commemorated with a reunion of those involved in 1986. In February 2024 Ian Titman was among those who organised a commemorative ceremony on the former LG and attended the unveiling of a plaque in Luzillé.

Ian’s research on the operation, together with photographs from both the 1986 reunion and the 2024 commemorative ceremonies can be found here.