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They came from Burgundy
Chapter 44
The Adventures of Lt Glickman
2/Lt Louis H Glickman (#370) was the bombardier of B-17 42-29876 Battlin' Bobbie (379BG/525BS) (Hoyt) which was on the way to Nantes on 16 September 1943 when it was attacked by fighters and the aircraft abandoned over Brittany. Eight of the crew evaded successfully – five with Bourgogne.
Twenty-three-year-old Glickman delayed opening his parachute until entering heavy cloud at about 10,000 feet after which he landed in a farmyard, just yards from the farmhouse of la Ferme de Saint-Marc, near Guipry. The Brée family watched as Glickman gathered up his parachute but did nothing to help until he ran into their barn - they followed and Glickman, who spoke some French, explained that he was an American who needed help. The only word that farmer Henri Brée seemed to know was ‘Allemand' and so Glickman (assuming the Germans might arrive at any time) took his parachute, crawled under a cider press and waved the family away. Glickman checked his maps (and ate his escape ration chocolate) until M Brée returned about three hours later and Glickman asked him if he could stay the night in his barn. Next morning M Brée brought Glickman some breakfast – and later lunch and an evening meal – after which he gained sufficient confidence to bring a young man called Rene (locally recruited SOE agent Rene Bichelot of Francois Vallée's Parson circuit) who checked Glickman's identity. Rene then took Glickman to stay with the farmer's son-in-law, Georges Daniel of La Vallee en Messac, for two days until General Marcel Allard took Glickman to Les Hautes-Folies, his home at Messac. After lunch, the general arranged for Glickman to move into the village where (on 21 September) he joined El Diablo tail-gunner, S/Sgt John Semach (#422) and stayed with M Gerard, who worked at the Préfecture in Rennes, at La Tertre.
Glickman and Semach stayed with M Gerard until 10 October - during which time Glickman heard that his pilot 1/Lt Elton Hoyt (#409) and three other Americans – his waist-gunner S/Sgt Harry Minor (#421) 1/Lt John Beilstein (#557) and S/Sgt Cyril G Koval - had left for Saint Malo (where they stayed with Roger and Aimee Pansart at La Buzardiere, Paramé – just outside St Malo) when a local miller named Eugène Justeau (Eugène and his wife Maria had previously sheltered Hoyt and others at Saint-Seglin) took Glickman and Semach by truck to Ploermel.
Glickman and Semach were driven to St Jean, a large house near Ploermel and home of cultivateur Julien Moureau before taking a train with Glickman's navigator 2/Lt William Cook (#410) 42-9893 El Diablo navigator 2/Lt Joseph Burkowski and two guides to Rennes, where they stayed with one of the guides. They were told there was a scheme to get them - and others, including Harry Minor - out by boat but the shooting of Jean-Claude Camors by Roger Leneveu at the café L'Epoque on 11 October, put a stop to that plan.
With no help in sight, Glickman and John Semach walked out of Rennes the following morning, intending to head north towards the coast but getting lost and eventually getting a lift, directions and a map to find their way back to Messac and General Allard's house. The gardener told them that the general had gone to Rennes to investigate the shooting and it was the General Allard's wife Marguerite who let them stay until the general returned and took them back to stay with Georges Daniel. Glickman also heard that Cook, Burkowski and two others had been brought back from Rennes – Cook and Burkowski (at least) being taken first to Mlle Andree Récipon at the Chateau de Laillé before returning to Guipy where they were sheltered by Alphonse Vallais at Le Bas Chemin.
On about 15 October, Henri Tanguy, Raymond Guillard and Emile Guimard used the Citroen camionnette (Boulangère) belonging to the Mallard sisters at Plumelec to drive Glickman, Semach, Cyril Koval and a French pilot (presumably Guillaume Bernard) to the café Chérel at Ploermel where they joined Harry Minor. Glickman was taken to stay with schoolteacher Mlle Magdeleine Travers at 41 rue General Duberton while Minor and Semach (and Koval – query) were taken to a farm near Josselin where they were sheltered with Mlle Guillo, an elderly cousin of Emile Guillo and whose brother, the maire of Guéhenno, lived downstairs.
By this time, there were quite a collection of downed American airmen in the area and a week or so later, a group of eleven (query) enlisted men were taken from Lizio to Paris ...
“At the end of November 1943, Jean Carbonnet went to Brittany, a pretty village called Lizio, near Vannes, where he had been told that several airmen were gathered and were waiting to be repatriated to England.
At the very beginning of December, Jean Carbonnet and I left for Vannes where we expected a certain 'Mimile', whose real name Emile Guimard, who became a leader of the Maquis of Saint Marcel. In his gazogene car, without headlights because of the curfew, he took us to Lizio. The next morning, at dawn, he took us to a little dirty and dilapidated building. The interior was divided into two parts by wooden slats. On one side cows, on the other we were facing about fifteen young men who appeared to be in good physical condition, but with trousers too short for their long legs and jackets with sleeves too short for their long arms. They probably thought they would all leave. It was up to me, who only sputtered a poor school-girl English, to tell them that we could only take seven and gave instructions for the trip. It was too dangerous to take all these boys together, if identifiable. What a disappointment on the faces of those who were not chosen. What would we have done if we had known that a few weeks after that, they were caught arriving in Paris? I do not know how and why they left. The same afternoon, we left Lizio for Paris, taking the train from Vannes with Fisher, Cook, Hoyt, Burkowski, Beilstein, Bogart and Padgett.
Bud Fisher was hosted by the couple Dunoyer at Avenue Alphand in Saint-Mandé before being repatriated quickly before all others. Peter Hoyt and William Cook were sheltered in Paris by Anita Lemonnier and her mother at 2 rue Ernest Renan, Paris 75015 until their departure for Spain. John Beilstein was hosted by the couple (Marcel) Soreau at 6 rue de la République, Saint-Mandé. George Padgett was sheltered with Mme Castagnier at 1 rue Washington, Paris 75008 and then by Liliane Jameson (who was married to an American) and her mother at 2 rue Gervex, Paris 75017. Joe Burkowski and Wayne Bogart stayed with my parents at 22 rue Sacrot, Saint-Mandé until 15 January when we moved them to stay with M Legros at 21 rue Gabrielle, Charenton 94220 - and then with the Besson sisters (Simone and Andrée) at 6 rue Emile Allez, Paris 75017.” (Michele Agniel (née Moet) 2013)
On 23 December, Henri Tanguy arrived in his truck, very excited because Glickman, Minor and Semach were going to be taken out that night. He drove them to Saint-Aubin, Malestroit but when Emile Guimard arrived, he told them there was only room for one more American in the party, and as Glickman was an officer, it was the two sergeants who were left behind.
After Glickman left, Minor and Semach stayed on in Saint-Aubin (Saint-Aubin-en-Plumenec) with the Mlles Yvonne, Marie and Lucie Mallard in a flat above their shop ... In January, they were joined by Buland Khan (1852) and his friend Sgt Shahzaman, who had escaped from a hospital at Rennes and on 8 January, they were all driven to Pontivy, where they changed lorries (and organisations) to be taken to Gourin. Harry Minor and John Semach were later taken to Brest (where they stayed with Colonel Scheidhauer) before going on to Guingamp and the Shelburn organisation. They were both evacuated by MGB 503 (Marshall) in February on the MI9 Operation Bonaparte 2.
Glickman joined General Allard, who was now on the run from the Gestapo following the arrest of his wife and daughter (on 1 December) and five young French resistants. They were driven in a charcoal-burning (gazogene) lorry to Pléhérel-Plage-Vieux-Bourg (a few kms west of St Malo) where Glickman met Sgt William Bilton (1773) and four Americans – T/Sgt Max Gibbs (#436) S/Sgt Cloe Crutchfield (#437) 2/Lt Sidney Elskes (#402) and 2/Lt Arnold Wornson (#435). An English-speaking Frenchman called Paul (SOE agent Erwin Deman) (5 ft 7 inches tall, stocky, medium, dark hair, aggressive attitude) was to arrange their evacuation by boat that evening (23 December) and they got as far as climbing down the cliffs “three at a time, in a series of movie stunts” to the beach and seeing the boat off-shore when “flares were fired all over the sky” and shots were fired.
This was one of the first SOE Var line operations, organised by Erwin Deman and local recruit Aristide Sicot as an alternative to the SOE Vic line which ran across the Pyrenees. Var was intended for the exclusive use of SOE personnel but in addition to the six agents planned for the embarkation, General Allard was given a priority place and a number of evading airmen were also included.
SOE Operation Jealous III was planned to land and collect SOE agents from Pointe-de-Saint-Cast (about 20 kms west of St-Malo) but abandoned after MGB 502 (Williams) was spotted from shore and fired upon. A mixed party of agents and evaders were collected at the Sicot family villa of Les Feux Follets ...
“MGB 502 anchored off the Pointe-du-Chatelet in the early hours of Christmas Eve and the surf-boats had just been lowered when a white flare burst overhead, turning night into day. The surf-boats were hoisted back in, the grass anchor warp cut with an axe and the gun-boat's engines restarted. Her stealthy approach meant that the ship was still lying facing the head of the bay but because she was so far into the bay, she was beyond the field of fire from the German cannon at the entrance. However she did receive machine-gun and small-arms fire as she turned at speed to make her exit, heading at full speed and with violent changes of course as she escaped back into the Channel, suffering only the loss of a signal halliard.” (Secret Flotillas pages 221-3)
The failure of Operation Jealous III meant the landing beach near St Cast couldn't be used again and subsequent Var line operations (Easement, Septimus and Scarf) were moved further west to the beach at Beg-an-Fry.
Glickman and the others ran back up the cliff and Felix Jouan (a miller from Bedée) took them back to the house, Les Feux Follets at Saint-Cast-le-Guildo, where they were hidden in an underground shelter that had been dug under the dining-room floor. Next day, General Allard decided that he wanted to stay with the Jagu family at La Chapelle-Thouartault where he and Glickman were sheltered for a week until Paul Deman and Felix Jouan came with a tall ‘mannish' Frenchwoman called Lucy (described by Wornson as Paul's chief lieutenant) and took Glickman to join the other evaders at Bedée. That evening (3 January) Glickman and the others were taken to Redon where Glickman stayed with an unnamed family for a week until Wednesday 12 January, when Lucy took him, Arnold Worson (#435) and William Bilton (1773) to Paris.
In Paris, Glickman, Worson and Bilton stayed in a small apartment until the Friday evening when Glickman was taken to a railway station where he met a man that he assumed was the head of the organisation – slight and suave, with spats, a cane and wearing a velvet collared coat – and he was instructed to follow a woman. She and a young Belgian called Charles then took Glickman to Lyon. Glickman stayed overnight in the apartment of a young, pretty woman who said her husband was in England - and met two more Belgians, Jean and Francois – and the following evening (15 January) was taken by train to Perpignan.
Glickman stayed overnight in Perpignan at the home of a young (unnamed) couple then on 16 January, was taken to meet a man called Jacques and two mountain guides. They walked all that night, crossing into Spain, and the following night until reaching Figueras at about eight o'clock in the morning. Glickman and Jacques were driven to the house of a Frenchman where they stayed the night before taking a train to Barcelona and the British Consulate ...
Glickman was obviously helped by the John Carter organisation in Lyon, despite Carter himself having been arrested shortly before Glickman arrived, and so it was presumably the SOE Vic line that took him across the Pyrenees.
My thanks to Mme Michèle Agniel in Paris and Jean-Claude Bourgeon of Messac for much of the additional detail used in this section – any remaining mistakes are my own. See also Roger Huguen ‘Par les nuits les plus longues' (1976) page 406, ‘Secret Flotillas' (1996) by Brooks Richards and ‘SOE in France' (1966) by M R D Foot.