SOE Operations from RAF Tarrant Rushton

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Gef, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Gef

    Gef Member

    I would be grateful if anyone can suggest where I might learn about SOE operations from RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset, particularly in the latter stages of the war.

    Many thanks,
  2. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

  3. Gef

    Gef Member

    Jedburgh22 thank you for those links.

    Does anyone know for sure where SOE secret agents were accommodated in the vicinity of RAF Tarrant Rushton prior to being taken to the airfield to board their aircraft?

    My thoughts are that it might have been Anderson Manor, Winterborne Kingston, Dorset, which was the headquarters for the Small Scale Raiding Force of 62 Commando until it was disbanded in the first half of 1943.
    RAF Tarrant Rushton - about six and a half miles away to the north east - became operational in the second half of 1943.

    In researching I came across this statement on the Combined Operations website [1]

    “After the SSRF disbanded in 1943 its [Anderson Manor’s] wartime role as Station 62 under the Special Operations Executive (S.O.E.) came to an end.”

    But of course that statement alone does not preclude Anderson Manor continuing to be used by the SOE in another role following the SSRF’s departure.

    So I would like to know if Anderson Manor was used to accommodate SOE special agents pending their flights from Tarrant Rushton, and if it wasn’t, where were they accommodated?


  4. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I think that in the period after D-Day there were a series of 'security-cages' at the various 38 Group airfields - these were probably nissen huts or tents plus a dump where the containers to be dropped with the operatives. I've attached a listing for the standard load dropped with a Jedburgh Team as an example of what went into the containers. One of the main problems reported by both SAS/SOE was that some containers exploded in the air or on impact and that some container chutes malfunctioned - this was thought to be due to some German POWs were used in container packing/movement operations!

    Attached Files:

  5. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    By mid 1944 Anderson Manor was retitled STS 47 and was a specialist school for Mines and Booby Traps, so it is highly unlikely that agents on deployment were housed there.
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  7. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I have just read the book Our Univited Guests by Julie Summers (pub 2018 Simon & Schuster), purchased via click & collect from The Works shop.

    Chapter 10 - Birds of Passage has a great description on the activities at Bignor Manor, West Sussex, about 10 miles from RAF Tangmere. This was a safe house run by Barbara Bertram for SOE agents waiting to be flown to France into by 161 Sq in Lysander aircraft from Tangmere. They arrived with UK only conducting officers & women drivers from the Mechanised Transport Corps a day or so before the filght & were briefed in the house & searched for any non french items or clothing. If the flight was cancelled there stay was longer. Any returning agents were also accomdated there. Usually no more than 9

    To satisfy local curiosity about the number of French people there, the manor was designated a french servicemens convalescent home.

    Immediatly before take off & after landing agents & some pilots were at a building outside the Tangmere perimeter called "the cottage", which was also used for planing. The whole op was kept serperate & secret from most of the people at RAF Tangmere.

    Barbara Bertram has written a book called French Resistance in Sussex & with her husband Tony, one of the SOE conducting officers, a book called The Secret of Bignor Manor.

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