85608 Brian Edeveain DILLON, MBE, The Royal Norfolk Regiment; SAS; SOE.

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by JimHerriot, Nov 22, 2022.

  1. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    I've searched WW2 Talk for previous reference to Brian Dillon and been unable to find any, but if I have missed any previous reference please merge/add thread as necessary.

    My reason for starting this thread was prompted by a letter and a photograph that I will be posting here shortly:

    The French SAS in Tunisia January 1943

    The two pdfs I've attached here are firstly The London Gazette entry for the award of his MBE in 1945 "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field", and the meat on the bones for said award can be found here:

    Dillon, Brian Edevrain (Oral history)

    Please note that the second pdf is a full listing from the IWM site of the contents of the twelve audio reels that will help if your interest is just in a particular period as covered by the interviews. I hope that if you have the time that you will listen to all, from pre-war to post-war (please be prepared for military language throughout).

    Kind regards, always,


    Attached Files:

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  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Personal Number: 85608
    Rank: Major
    Name: Brian Edeveain DILLON, MBE
    Unit: Royal Norfolk Regiment

    London Gazette : 27 January 1939
    The undermentioned Gentlemen Cadets, from the Royal Military College, to be 2nd Lts. 26th Jan. 1939:—
    R. Norfolk R.—
    Brian Edeveain DILLON.

    London Gazette : 19 February 1941
    R. Norfolk R.
    1st Jan. 1941: —
    B. E. Dillon (85608).

    London Gazette : 18 October 1945
    The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following promotion in, and appointments to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field: —
    To be Additional Members of the Military Division of the said Most Excellent Order:—
    Major (temporary) Brian Edeveain DILLON (85608), The Royal Norfolk Regiment.

    London Gazette : 25 January 1952
    R. Norfolk.
    Capt. B. E. DILLON, M.B.E. (85608), to be Maj., 26th Jan. 1952.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2022
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  3. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Brian Edeveain DILLON
    11th May 1919 Dublin, Eire - 3Q 1993 Ipswich, Suffolk aged 74
    WO 417:4.png
    Wounded in action Libya (date not reported) (WO 417/4)
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  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thanks for that excellent link, listened to all 12 reels, left wishing there were 12 more. From Gazala Gallop, Benghazi Raid, Greece, Berlin, the Windrush fire through to Regimental Depot & Balls, as well as a brief mention of the SOE club; with all personalities encountered in between. Interesting comments on Kurt Waldheim's wartime activities.

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2024
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  5. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Extract from War Diary of 6 BW Jan 45. WO 170-4991. Just prior to the truce declared on 15 Jan.



    hope this helps

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  6. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    "Operation Cheviot" was a mission to Recce the airfields at Kalamaki, Tatoi and Elevsis in September 1944.

    First attempt to air drop the personnel resulted in the Dakota crashing with no survivors.

    SOE/OSS killed Greece 9 September 1944.

    They were quickly replaced only a few days later by another 3 man team consisting of F/L George Darlow, attached from RAF AHQ Greece and a met specialist, Lt Stan Legg, a Royal Engineer officer, attached from 2 Para Sqn RE and Cpl Austin De'Ath another SOE Radio Operator. They were flown to exactly the same spot where the plane crashed.

    They were greeted by Major Dillon of Force 133 who had been asked to provide support.

    In this case however, "Operation Cheviot" was a success. The information they gained was vital for planning for OP Manna. Lt Legg was a awarded a MC, whilst F/L Darlow and Cpl De'Ath were both mentioned in Dispatches.

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2024
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  7. giannkost

    giannkost Member

    Good afternoon gentlemen
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  8. giannkost

    giannkost Member

    My name is Dr. Kostas Giannakos and I am doing a research about SOE personnel in Greece during WW2. In my research, Major Dillon playes a key part, since he was around in many historical events, especially his version of the events behind the massacre at Distomo. I would greatly appreciate any help you can provide me, especially with archival material. Any help with other SOE personnel, such as Lt. Col. Leslie "Rufus" Sheppard, Harry McIntire, Geoffrey Gordon-Creed, Stan Legge and any other you might deem important. Your help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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  9. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Our in-house expert Gus aka gmyles no doubt will along soon. We also have an expert on SOE, Jedburgh who drops in at times.

    I would strongly advise you start a new thread on your quest for help, it will get a higher profile. If you can add fuller details on the four men named that could help - we have lots of people named in threads.

    The forum's simple search facility will identify four previous threads which mention Distomo.

    PM with research points next.
  10. giannkost

    giannkost Member

    Thank you very much for your useful tip. I will follow your advice and start a new thread.
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  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I've created a basic threads for
    Hopefully others can add more.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2024
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  12. SCohen

    SCohen Member

    Also looking for information about Brian Dillon’s time in central Greece. He and Greek associates located a crashed American aircraft I am researching.
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  13. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Hello SCohen. Might this be the crashed aircraft you are interested in?

    SOE/OSS killed Greece 9 September 1944.

    Good luck with all your research.

    Kind regards, always,

  14. giannkost

    giannkost Member

    Thank you very much for everything. I am currently writing an article about Dillon's version of the events leading to the Distomo massacre. Hopefully it will be posted
    on the web site being run by my good friend Ross Robertson. If anyone is interested in reading some of the stories in it, the link is ww2stories – Delve in WWII History, particularly concerning Greece and the Aegean.. We mould very much appreciate your comments and corrections if you spot any inconsistencies.
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  15. SCohen

    SCohen Member

    Thanks Jim, it is not that crash but in the same general area. Dillon or Greek fighters he was associated with likely found
    Thanks Jim!

    I am aware of this crash, and it is likely in the vicinity of the crash I am researching. I am researching a reported P-38 crash in Greece. A British officer, who I presume to be Dillon after some research, visited a downed pilot who was being assisted by Major Geoffery Gordon Creed. Dillon and Greeks that he accompanied noted that they found the wreckage of a P-38, which belonged to another American pilot, on an unnamed hill. It is unclear where and when this aircraft crashed, but the best possible information is it occurred near Khostia, which is now called Prodromus, which IO believe was within Dillon's territory. I have been hoping to find some account from Dillon of this loss, but I think I have done everything I can do on this side of the Atlantic.

    Dr. Giannakos,

    Another crash I am researching is related to the massacre at Eptalofos. The massacre was German reprisal for assisting the surviving crew of an American bomber. Are you aware of the incident, and is there anywhere I can read more about it? I should have access to Greek language books at a nearby institution.

    If you are interested, I have jotted down several documents at the British National Archives related to Dillon or his territory, but have not yet been able to visit Kew, happy to talk offline if you want to compare notes.
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  16. giannkost

    giannkost Member

    Good Afternoon SCohen

    Unfortunately I am not aware of any massacre at Eptalofos. Could you please be more specific, since there are quite a few places in Greece with this name, which means Seven Hills a reference to Rome or Constantinople. Do you mean Eptalofos in Thessaloniki, Eptalofos in Kilkis, Eptalofos in Kastoria, Eptalofos in Parnassida,or any other place? As far as Dillon is concerned, I would very much appreciate any help you can provide. I for my part, have visited the National Archives and copied a number of files. If you want any of them I will be more than happy to provide them, if I have them.
  17. giannkost

    giannkost Member

    Hi SCohen

    I think that you mean Eptalofos Phocis, which is most commonly known as Ano Agoriani. It was burned by the Germans on 8th October 1943, as reprisals for guerilla activities in the area. You are correct surmising that it all started after the Germans shot down an American bomber. On 6th October 1943, a number of American bombers were returning to their base in Italy, after a bombing raid of enemy airfields in Eleusis and Tatoi, Attica. They were attacked by some German fighters and one of them was shot down. As the crew bailed out, the Germans went in pursuit of them. As they were descending, the Germans took pot shots at them and killed one crewmember. The guerillas who operated in the area, tried to rescue the fliers and set up an ambush on the road between Lilaia and Eptalofos, killing seven of the latter. The Germans retreated, but returned next day and burned down Lilaia and on the 8th it was Ano Agoriani's turn. In Lilaia (or Kato Agoriani) 11 people were murdered, as well as 150 dwellings from a total of 160 in the village. In Ano Agoriani the Germans destroyed 146 out of 184 homes and murdered 17 people, 7 of them from the same family. This is all I know and I hope that I point you in the right direction.
  18. SCohen

    SCohen Member

    Thank you Dr Giannakos,

    That is indeed the incident and everything matched up with my information.

    I doubt that I will list anything you haven’t considered already, but this is the list I formulated related to my research interests. Perhaps it will help you in some way.

    HS records of special operations executive/HS 5: SOE Balkans:

    registered files HS-Greece

    HS 5/704 - personnel files area e kyriaki
    HS 5/366 - Casualties; evacuation and exchange of POWs; escapees; air crash Lillian, south roumell
    HS 9/371/7 Geoffrey Gordon Creed personnel file
    HS 5/574: Lillian station: established as base for sabotage operations, to provide dropping area…
    HS 5/583 Situation reports and appreciations
    HS 5/484 SOE activities: Agent reports
    HS 5439: Reports and correspondence
    HS 5/520: Misc briefings; operational personnel; allied airmen
    HS 5/905: Operations general: aircraft, communications broadcasts infiltration summaries.

    In the unlikely event you come across anything in your research about an American fighter crash on land in October 1944 near prodromus. I’d be grateful to learn about it.
  19. giannkost

    giannkost Member

    Dear SCohen, I am sorry for the belated reply. I will keep an open eye for what you are looking for. I see that you have some files that are of great interest to me. I would be grateful if you will be willing to share. I also have some files that I copied from the National Archives. Tell me if you are interested in any of them. Here's the list:

    FCO 9/3543: Proposed history of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in Greece
    WO 201/1783: Political situation and Special Operations Executives
    HS 5/152: Resistance movements and partisan forces; international relations between resistance movements Greece/Bulgaria; missions TRIATIC, RED HERRING, C military mission
    HS 5/214: Plans against possible enemy occupation of Greece; training of bands of saboteurs; costs
    HS 5/219: Policy: fight with Foreign Office against policy towards Greece; Myers and Wallace reports
    HS 5/226: Policy: operation MANNA (formerly DOGFISH); maintenance of order in Greece; report by Colonel Woodhouse on final phase of Allied military mission in Greece
    HS 5/227: Policy: Dolbey's report of Force 133 activities in Greece; Woodhouse's report; Riddle's report of outline SOE plan for Rhodes; propaganda; resistance; APOLLO charges
    HS 5/238: Right; EKKA/PAO rapprochement attempt; Yperaspistai Voreiou Ellados (YVE - Defenders of Northern Greece); HOMER; six colonels; military hierarchy organization; Amphictyony and Theros organizations
    HS 5/266: Poles in Greece; operation PRIMER/GROTESQUE
    HS 5/339: Assessment of situation in Greece
    HS 5/352: Delivery of messages to and from Greece; sabotage of bridges on Salonika-Athens railway; introduction of toys via Turkey
    HS 5/416: Operations LOCKSMITH and BUCKRAM; sabotage of lines of communication including Asopos viaduct, Piraeus; death of Lt Hubbard; massacre of Germans in Crete
    HS 5/417: Situation in Greece; HMG's attitude to King of Greece; supplies to guerrillas; strife between guerrilla bands and reconciliation negotiations
    HS 5/419: Appreciation and plan for Greece; policy towards Russian mission in Greece; plans for action on German withdrawal; Greek government in Cairo; assistance for widows and orphans; conduct of EAM and resistance movement in Greece; Colonel Sheppard's mission t
    HS 5/430: Air operations: drops; mission RODELL A to secure capture of Rhodes
    HS 5/442: Sea transport and sea operations: caique supplies
    HS 5/443: Sea operations to Aegean and Dodecanese; enticement of caiques; San Stephanos photographs
    HS 5/450: Requirements and requests for submarine operations
    HS 5/460: Aid to British stragglers in Greece; arrest of Alexander Pallis
    HS 5/475: Subversion plan for Greece; Zante plan; plan KITCHENMAID; Force 133 subversion and sabotage
    HS 5/496: Situation reports; Force 133 reviews and appreciations Greece, Aegean, Crete, Bulgaria
    HS 5/511: Liaison arrangements: HM Ambassador to Greece; political intelligence; removal of Major Tsellos
    HS 5/517: Liaison with ML, Greece
    HS 5/524: Missions ISINGLASS, CRACKING I, II and III; Antiparos incident; Atkinson/Grammatacakis affair; operations over Yugoslavia - DISCLAIM, ARCHDUKE, BUCKRAM II, DICKENS and WOODBLOCK
    HS 5/567: Operations BIZARRE and HALTWHISTLE; Theodorus mail; instructions to and from field
    HS 5/574: LILLIAN station: established as base for sabotage operations; to provide dropping area for supplies for FATALIST and HAVEN
    HS 5/592: Entry of Allied military liaison forces into Greece after German withdrawal or surrender; AFHQ directives and instructions
    HS 5/594: HQ BAF entry of AHQ `X' into Greece
    HS 5/597: Support of military and naval operations; MANNA; Force 133 correspondence relating to occupation of Athens
    HS 5/598: Support of military and naval operations; MANNA; Force 133 correspondence relating to occupation of Athens
    HS 5/600: RANKIN operations: occupation of Athens; infiltration of arms; airfields
    HS 5/601: RANKIN operations: prevention of German sabotage in Greece (anti-scorch); reports and instructions
    HS 5/602: RANKIN; prevention of German sabotage in Greece; Force 133 situation reports
    HS 5/625: Main and local resistance groups; Sub-committee on Resistance Organizations in Greece
    HS 5/645: History of guerrilla war in Greece: preparations
    HS 5/678: Operational policy
    HS 7/154: Allied military mission in Greece Sep 1942-Dec 1944, by Colonel C M Woodhouse DSO OBE
    HS 7/158: SOE activities in Greece
    HS 8/428: Evaluations: SOE activities in Greece and islands of Aegean
    HS 5/635: BLO's reports: officers M – P
    HS 5/636: BLO's reports: officers S – W

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