SOE Airfield???

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by von Poop, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    What an excellent first post - thanks for sharing the air photo.

    I saw that on Secret Britain tonight and wondered if we had anything on here about it.
  2. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Great to see an answer to an old thread that even our experts didn't know about!
    I saw the Secret Britain programme and thought it rung a bell somewhere but I'm damned if I can remember reading this thread previously.

  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    If this location was in use by the RAF,one would expect to find it recorded in a RAF command structure or battle order.The other point is that there should be the appropriate land requisition documentation and similar documentation for its disposal after the war.

    Cannot see that an airfield on the Norfolk coast would be used to dispatch Lysanders on clandenstine operations to France,it would compromise range capability.The location might be appropriate if Lysanders were dispatched to Belgium but I cannot find a reference to an operation using Lysanders.

    I would say that if No 161 Squadron used this airfield,then it would be for French landing ground reception and turn round training.Perhaps a pilot might have referenced it in any accounts he may have made regarding his RAF service.

    It is unlikely that any civilian would be privvy to the goings on at locations used in connection with SOE activities and it was some considerable time after the war that the organisation's existence was known to the public.Perhaps an example of a myth being generated as information was made available to the public.
  4. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Possibility of it being used by SOE during Reception Training for Circuit Organisers and people doing the Reception Course which lasted for 10 days, the Jedburgh Teams also did reception exercises at various locations in East Anglia and Leicestershire
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    An added point of interest.The SOE documentary film made just after the war entitled "It can now be told" used Tempsford and Somersham for the filming,the leading roles of which involved two famous SOE operators.
  6. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    There were also some SOE films made for training purposes to show Lysander and Hudson procedures, as well as the use of Eureka and the S Phone. About two years back someone was offering this on DVD from Holland
  7. kiwigeordie

    kiwigeordie Senior Member

  8. Jennifer Edwards

    Jennifer Edwards Junior Member

    Here are Nesbitt-Dufort (left) and Wing Commander Roman Garby-Czerniawski at Tangmere, 1967, talking over the good old days.
    In mid-1940 Czerniawski was setting up espionage networks in France.

    I am John Nesbitt-Dufort's daughter-in-law. The family have never seen the photo of John with Roman Czerniawski - how can we see it / get a copy?

    Jennifer Nesbitt-Dufort (nee Edwards)
  9. colinc

    colinc Junior Member

    As has been said the main airfields for Special ops with the French Resistance were Tangmere and then Tempsford. But excuse a note of irritation at those who think of this as synonymous with SOE. The flights were started by SIS [actually I think before SOE was created] when my father was in charge of most things French at MI6, and the majority [100 to 80] were for SIS. As Hugh Verity [one of the most distinguished 161 squadron pilots] said 'they all used the same taxi service'. I met him at one Resistance reunion, I wish I'd got to know him more.
    von Poop likes this.
  10. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Well-Known Member

    What an interesting thread. You make a fair point, colinc - in a different theatre of war my uncle's squadron 148 (SD), operating mainly in the Balkans, flew for all sorts and I think the Poles of 1586 Flight/301 Sqdn did likewise; their US counterparts ditto. I suspect it was probably much the same in the Far East, too. It was a more extensive taxi service than many are aware of!

    Cheers, Pat.
  11. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Various airstrips were used in UK for Lysander / Hudson landing exercises its a possibility that this might have been one of them
  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    There's a little from Group Captain Hugh Verity on SOE flights from Tangmere in this very good documentary on the station [at about the 20min mark]:


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