So the Memory Never Dies, American OSS Agents and Operation Emily Summer 1944




In the summer of 1944, two days after D-Day, a group of American OSS agents were parachuted into the remote Cantal département, to perform sabotage against the German Das Reich troops on route to Normandy and to assist the Maquis in the Lot with arms, training and much needed moral support.

Ceremony at the monument to the American air drop, 14 July 1944
Ceremony at the monument to the American air drop, 14 July 1944

Susanna Stevens the organiser writes:

So the Memory Never Dies
In the summer of 1944, two days after D-Day, a group of American OSS agents were parachuted into the remote Cantal département, to perform sabotage against the German Das Reich troops on route to Normandy and to assist the Maquis in the Lot with arms, training and much needed moral support.

Top Secret
This top-secret operation, carried out by American Special Forces, was code named Emily, and involved twelve men, who volunteered for this service and who were not covered by the Geneva Convention, in the event that they were taken prisoner. All survived and successfully completed their mission.

Operation Emily
It is only now that this story can be told – the OSS mission, which involved 13 different operational groups all over France, has been classified up until just a few years ago. Emily was the first of these missions. In 2009 a group of Americans residing in the Lot got together with the aim of promoting Franco-American relations.

Our first project, “So the Memory Never Dies,” was the translation into French of Emily’s mission statement to pay homage to these men and acquaint the French with the role they played.

July 10th 2010 Ceremony
At 15h.00 on July 10, we will be presenting our work to the Museum of the Resistance. Join us in paying tribute to these brave men, in the presence of the Museum Director, the Mayor of Cahors Jean-Marc Vayssouze-Faure and the American Consul in Toulouse, David Brown.

Blues
The official presentation will immediately be followed by the opening of the Cahors Blues Festival, in the huge car park next to the Préfecture and Resistance Museum.

July 14th 2010 Ceremony – on the Causse near Loubressac, in the Lot

Each year, on July 14th, a simple ceremony takes place up on the Causse near Loubressac, in the Lot (46000). Readers are warmly welcome to attend.

The ceremony this year (2010) will start at 5pm at the memorial stone for Major George Hiller and Captain Cyril Watney, halfway between Carennac and Miers on a bendy country road. (For the other locations, just join the convoy and keep up).

People then move on to the landing ground of the other SOE agents who came to the Lot: Richard Pinder, Gaston Collin and Percy and Edmund Meyer. They then travel to the memorial just outside Loubressac commemorating the American arms drop on the 14th July, and then to the war memorial in the Loubressac main square, and finally to the salle des fetes for aperitifs.

The speeches at each memorial are usually made by Henri Gambade, who recently turned 90, and who was one of the founder senior members of the first Lot Maquis in the Saint Céré area. He has huge amounts of affection for the British and Americans and has stayed in touch with all those who came to help ever since. All are welcome and especially ex servicemen, families and friends.

For any further information, please contact Louise Butler on telephone 05 65 23 62 77 or louise.butler@alsatis.net

 

 



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