Operation Postmaster

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Wilco Vermeer, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Wilco Vermeer

    Wilco Vermeer Junior Member

    On January 14th, 1942, Operation Postmaster was conducted by the Small Scale Raiding Force (SSRF) and the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The objective was to board Italian and German ships in the harbor of Fernando Po (Bioko), West Africa and sail them to Lagos. The overall commanding Officer was 'Gus' March-Phillipps aboard the Maid Honour. Two tugs Vulcan and Nuneaton accompanied.

    I am trying to find out primary documented research probably available. A relative of one of the civilian's who was involved asked me to help researching the fact the civilians were to have received the Defence Medal as token of grtitude for their help. It is not sure the medals were ever actually presented, although documents I will show later, state the medals were send.

    I am trying to piece together a full and clear picture of the operation and any help is appriciated. I am specifically looking for awarding documents, recommendations and any other documents in relation to the operation. Off course links to the internet are welcome, but these I can find myself.

    Regarding to the decorations I know:

    March-Phillipps received the DSO
    Captain Geoffrey Appleyard received a bar to the Military Cross
    Captain Graham Hayes received the Military Cross
    SOE agent Richard Lippett the MBE
    SOE agent Leonard Guise also the MBE
    Private Anders Lassen received the Military Cross
    18 civilians involved received the Defence Medal (see documents in follow up posts)
    Other military involved received none beceause they already qualified for campaign Stars and War Medals (see documents in follow up posts)
     
  2. Wilco Vermeer

    Wilco Vermeer Junior Member

    The following documents relate to the sending and awarding of the Defence Medals.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Wilco Vermeer

    Wilco Vermeer Junior Member

    The following document shows the names of involved in the Operation Postmaster
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Wilco Vermeer

    Wilco Vermeer Junior Member

    For information, two pages of an aticle from 1983 about Operation Postmaster with also mentioning of the Defence Medals.
     
  5. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Wilco, here's some files available at the National Archive regarding Operation Postmaster:



    Spain and Spanish territory: Fernando Po; Operation Postmaster

    Colonial Office and predecessors: Confidential General and Confidential Original Correspondence. Defence. Spain and Spanish territory: Fernando Po; Operation Postmaster.

    Collection: Records of the Colonial Office, Commonwealth and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices, Empire Marketing Board, and related bodies
    Date range: 01 January 1945 - 31 December 1949
    Reference:CO 537/4286



    POSTMASTER: personnel involved

    Special Operations Executive: Africa and Middle East Group: Registered Files. WEST AFRICA. POSTMASTER: personnel involved.

    Collection: Records of Special Operations Executive
    Date range: 01 January 1942 - 31 December 1942
    Reference:HS 3/91



    Operation POSTMASTER: crew of SS Duchessa d'Aosta

    Special Operations Executive: Africa and Middle East Group: Registered Files. WEST AFRICA. Operation POSTMASTER: crew of SS Duchessa d'Aosta.

    Collection: Records of Special Operations Executive
    Date range: 01 January 1942 - 31 December 1944
    Reference:HS 3/90



    POSTMASTER: summary of Maid Honour operations

    Special Operations Executive: Africa and Middle East Group: Registered Files. WEST AFRICA. POSTMASTER: summary of Maid Honour operations.

    Collection: Records of Special Operations Executive
    Date range: 01 January 1942 - 31 December 1947
    Reference:HS 3/88



    POSTMASTER: report by head of West Africa mission

    Special Operations Executive: Africa and Middle East Group: Registered Files. WEST AFRICA. POSTMASTER: report by head of West Africa mission.

    Collection: Records of Special Operations Executive
    Date range: 01 January 1942 - 31 December 1942
    Reference:HS 3/92



    POSTMASTER: report on operation

    Special Operations Executive: Africa and Middle East Group: Registered Files. WEST AFRICA. POSTMASTER: report on operation.

    Collection: Records of Special Operations Executive
    Date range: 01 January 1941 - 31 December 1942
    Reference:HS 3/89
    Subjects:Africa, Middle East, Intelligence
    Browse by hierarchy | Browse by reference

    Operation POSTMASTER: removal of Italian merchant ship and 2 German vessels from harbour of Santa ...

    Special Operations Executive: Africa and Middle East Group: Registered Files. WEST AFRICA. Operation POSTMASTER: removal of Italian merchant ship and 2 German vessels from harbour of Santa Isabel, Fernando Po.

    Collection: Records of Special Operations Executive
    Date range: 01 January 1941 - 31 December 1941
    Reference:HS 3/86



    POSTMASTER: recommendations for awards, decorations and promotions

    Special Operations Executive: Africa and Middle East Group: Registered Files. WEST AFRICA. POSTMASTER: recommendations for awards, decorations and promotions.

    Collection: Records of Special Operations Executive
    Date range: 01 January 1942 - 31 December 1944
    Reference:HS 3/93
    Subjects:Africa, Middle East, Intelligence
    Browse by hierarchy | Browse by reference

    Operation POSTMASTER: removal of Italian merchant ship and 2 German vessels from harbour of Santa ...

    Special Operations Executive: Africa and Middle East Group: Registered Files. WEST AFRICA. Operation POSTMASTER: removal of Italian merchant ship and 2 German vessels from harbour of Santa Isabel, Fernando Po.

    Collection: Records of Special Operations Executive
    Date range: 01 January 1942 - 31 December 1942
    Reference:HS 3/87



    Operation Postmaster: redeployment of ships taken as prizes of war and payment of prize awards

    Admiralty: Record Office: Cases. ADMIRALTY (5). Operation Postmaster: redeployment of ships taken as prizes of war and payment of prize awards.

    Collection: Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies
    Date range: 01 January 1942 - 31 December 1950
    Reference:ADM 116/5736
     
  6. Wilco Vermeer

    Wilco Vermeer Junior Member

    Perfect, thanks for the data. Will have something to look out for in the future.
     
  7. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day wilco Vermeer,jm,yesterday,04:03pm.re:eek:peration postmaster.a very interesting post,it has not had much publicity in published history,re,ww2,thank you for posting.bernard85
     
  8. Wilco Vermeer

    Wilco Vermeer Junior Member

    You're welcome. Am a bit busy woth other research at the moment, but will be updating this research in the future.
     
  9. Skip

    Skip Senior Member

    I recommend a look at Brian Lett's 'Ian Fleming and SOE's Operation Postmaster' that I suspect will save you a lot of time.
     
  10. Wilco Vermeer

    Wilco Vermeer Junior Member

    Already read it and interesting, but does not clear the research questions I have. Also it spoils my appetite in doing actual research. :)
     
  11. Jimxorb

    Jimxorb New Member

    Sorry to bring up an old thread. I have been researching this operation myself and would like a list of all the confirmed names of the Maid Honor crew. Brian Lett says the Maid Honor was not used for this operation, I have read conflicting reports about this.
     

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