Searching for fathers war history

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by peteden, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Peteden -
    Sounds to me like 1st Airborne who left a company in Italy for a long time and were active around Lake Commachio in Northern Italy - I don't think he went to Yugoslavia as that was special mob recruited in the UK in '43 to serve with Brig McLeans mission to Tito - friend of mine went on that - met him later in Rome - he had lost a leg - couldn't find it anywhere he said !
    Cheers
     
  2. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Hi,
    sorry for the delay in replying seems your Dad was with SOE for some time ME66 is one of the codes for an SOE unit what this one did I'm not sure as my main archive is in London and I'm snowbound in the north at present. W/Cpl is war subtansive corporal though he was with SOE as a Sgt and may have risen higher. In WWII some cpls were warrent officers by 1945 and then had to drop down again in the post-war army.
    He seems to have joined SOE with a posting to Camberley Reception Depot, as a signaller he would have done a brief course at Fawley Court to learn SOE Sigs techniques and coding, his parachute course would have been at either Kabrit in Egypt or Ramat David in Palestine.
    He is also listed as being on Strength ME102 which was the SOE Special Training School in Palestine.
    ME 129 was also an SOE establishment
     
  3. peteden

    peteden Member

    Thanks Jedburgh, this seems to prove what we have been told. Pity he did not tell us about it, but that now adds to the joy of searching records at Kew.
    Look forward to one day meeting. All information I get will let you know.

    Peter
     
  4. peteden

    peteden Member

    Update:

    Thanks to Jedburgh for the following;
    ”seems your Dad was with SOE for some time. ME66 is one of the codes for an SOE unit. What this one did I'm not sure as my main archive is in London and I'm snowbound in the north at present. W/Cpl is war substantive corporal though he was with SOE as a Sgt and may have risen higher. In WWII some cpls were warrant officers by 1945 and then had to drop down again in the post-war army.
    He seems to have joined SOE with a posting to Camberley Reception Depot, as a signaller he would have done a brief course at Fawley Court to learn SOE Sigs techniques and coding. His parachute course would have been at either Kabrit in Egypt or Ramat David in Palestine.
    He is also listed as being on Strength ME102 which was the SOE Special Training School in Palestine.
    ME 129 was also an SOE establishment .”


    Today 24/12/10 I spoke with my fathers workmate again and another story he told was that he was “ up in the mountains near a lake and their means of getting out was by a boat that was stored on the shore and hidden. Unfortunately along came a bomber who discharged a bomb and destroyed the boat, so the only way out for them was to walk.”

    My brother recalls mention of Palestine so this may fit in.
    Another memory I just remembered was in the late 60’s I drove him to meet one of his wartime buddies named Edward Fry (Eddie) in Swindon. My father had painted a picture of what I recall was a villa in the mountains called Villaminova or something similar..
    Eddie was a member of a group called “The Special Forces Signals Association” attached to the SOE who held meetings at the Henley rowing club. Do not remember my father attending any of these meetings.


    I now look forward to getting to National Archives I the new year and gaining further insight to his role during the war.

    Peter
     
  5. peteden

    peteden Member

    Update.

    Made my first visit to NA 27/28th Jan and I'm now on overload. With my daughter we looked at 35 files, photographed fully 15 of them. so have a lot of reading to do over the next few weeks.
    Unfortuently did not see any refs to my father but what a lot of information these files hold.
    At least we now know how things work at the archives and the hints we got from this site (especially the taking of a white sheet of paper to insert under the file pages) were extremely helpfull.

    Jedburgh... do you have details of what ME66 refers to and any information you have on my father that we could follow up on would be gratefully received.

    Peter
     
  6. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Don't forget that future users here may well want to see these files, so please find some secure way of storing them so if others may have similar Service Records to research, they don't have to trek to Kew.... just a suggestion...
     
  7. peteden

    peteden Member

    Will do Kevin, thankfully my daughter is as interested as I am and is also a computer expert so will definately store them and make them available. But will take a little while. Will publish something about each file as we progress.

    Peter.
     
  8. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Peter will dig out what I have and post it later in the week,

    Steven
     
  9. peteden

    peteden Member

    Hi all, after a busy year away I'm now back to trying to finding out about my fathers duties in Yugoslavia.

    After several visits to Kew I'm still no further ahead.
    Could anyone give me a suggestion of how I may be able to find what agent he was attached to as a wireless operator, or what to look out for on next visit to Kew.
    Here is a list of all those files I have looked at, those in red I have photographed.

    Air 40/2356,
    HS 3/172
    HS 5/595, 596, 645, 647, 870, 877, 878, 879,880, 881, 882, 884, 895, 900, 902, 903, 904, 908, 909, 918, 919, 921, 922, 969.
    HS 7/14, 272, 273.
    HS 8/1009
    WO 123/86
    WO 201/599, 1600.
    WO 204/1988

    None of these files have led me to further my knowledge about him.
    Many thanks

    Peter
     
  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    peter-
    the statement by the other Tom may well be true as in fact while we had finished our training in tanks etc - we were invited to join in a special operation by a Major Pine - Coffin- it was some time later in rome that I met with one of the successful volunteers - who was missing a leg- he had been parachuted into Yugoslavia to join Brig Fitzroy MacLean;s "Mission to Tito'- and he was the w/op for his section fighting whoever was handy to fight .....so I missed all that fun as I failed somewhere along the line at Oxford
    Cheers

    PS - try the "Mission to Tito" of Brig Fitzroy Maclean
     
  11. peteden

    peteden Member

    Thanks to my daughters thirst for knowledge about her granddad she has just found out the following:
    This is a Google translation from an Italian document, first bit does not make a lot of sense but it definately gives dads name in the second paragraph.


    Mission "Roanoke"

    The output of the dramatic partisan roundup winter '44 / '45
    and the resumption of activities - from attacks on convoys and garrisons to Republicans on the Via Emilia,
    killing in the heart of Stratford's fascist torturer GIPE to work
    "Fusco" (Caesar Wells) to battle Ash or Ortaiolo in
    February - make 'Oltrepo an excellent place for the establishment of a mission, even if
    lower number than the partisan command of Zone VI.
    Of this I am also convinced the Americans and British.

    On 28 February, after an exploration of Vanoncini accompanied by "Miro" (Anton Ukmar), which meets "American" (Dominic Mezzadra), "Edward" (Italian Stone) and "Faustus" (Fausto Cossu), get the green light, given to Materazzi .
    The mission is parachuted onto the Casanova Trebbia the morning of the 'March 8.
    There are three components: the American Captain Rawleigh W. Taylor, the England captain Basil WAS Irvin (expert in guerrilla warfare, with experience in Yugoslavia) and the corporal radioman WG Denley. The mission is called "ROANOKE", while the English group
    will be referred to as "Genesse".
    The "Roanake", which will come to count thirteen members, has the task of establishing co
    ntacts with controls partisans, to avoid "friction" with and among the formations, collect and send information on enemy movements.


    This sounds very promising and gives us somewhere to go next.

    Peter
     
  12. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Al Materazzi was one of the OSS Officers in Italy - he died a couple of years back but was a font of information on the Italian Missions.
     
  13. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I have Basil Irwins P/F so will look at it this weekend
     
  14. arnhem2280

    arnhem2280 Member

    Peter

    Signalman W G Denley of MO4 completed Para Cse 77 which commenced on 7/11/43 at Kabrit.

    Hope this helps

    Arnhem
     
  15. Wiltshiregal

    Wiltshiregal Junior Member

    My father..Eddie(Ted) Fry is front, second left, with moustache. I am positive that he kept in touch with your Dad over the years.I have all of his memoirs etc , my brother has most of his WW2 memorabilia.
     
  16. peteden

    peteden Member

    Thank you Wiltshiregirl. I can remember visiting your dad once.
    I believe our dads at least did their SOE trading together and that's when the photo was taken.
    Have sent you a message and hope to further my information later.
     

Share This Page