Sergeant Edward Frank Smith

 

Unit : 9th Parachute Battalion

Service No. : 6024882

 

Sergeant Smith was dropped near the River Seine, approximately 40 miles to the East of the 6th Airborne Division. The following is his M.I.9 evasion report:

 

Left : Bayeux, 28 Aug 44.

Arrived : Newhaven, 29 Aug 44.

 

Date of Birth : 23 Nov 15.

Army Service : Since 20 Jun 40.

Peacetime Profession : Clerk.

Private Address : 133, Hathaway Road, Grays, Essex.

 

At 2315 hrs on 5 Jun 44 we were flown from Broadwell to Normandy. At 0100 hrs on 6 Jun my section baled out. I landed in a wood West of Barneville (N.W. Europe, 1:250,000, Sheet 7, L 5315). I sprained my ankle on landing. I tried to contact the other members of my section and to pick up our containers. I was unsuccessful. I remained in the wood until daylight when I walked North.

 

I met a Frenchman who told me my position. I stayed in a wood until 1800 hrs when I began walking South. About two hours later I met Cpl Wilson (S/P.G.(-) 2241) of my section hiding in a hedge. We stayed in this hedge until 1900 hrs on 7 Jun when we started to walk S.E. During the evening we were fired at by a German sentry at a farm. After a few hours we hid in a cornfield and remained there until dawn. We then continued walking and at approximately 0800 hrs on 8 Jun we hid in a wood East of St. Gatien (L 5311), where we stayed until 1200 hrs on 9 Jun. We then walked to St. Benoit (L 5907), where we met two Frenchmen whom we asked for help. They went away and returned with their brother who brought food. We hid in a wood near St. Benoit until 12 Jun. During this time the Frenchman supplied us with food.

 

On 12 Jun a member of the Resistance Movement came to our hiding place and took us in a lorry to a barn about three kilometres East of Honfleur (L 5718). We stayed here until about 25 Jun when the Resistance Group, comprising about 30 men, took us in a lorry to a house near Manneville (L 6313). On 9 Jul we were again taken by lorry to a barn four kilometres North of Beuzeville (L 6309).

 

About 12 Jul P/O Jamieson, P/O Willis and P/O Birnie, all of R.C.A.F., were brought to our barn and on 14 Jul F/Sgt. Charteris (S/P.G.(-) 2218) arrived.

 

The six of us stayed at this barn until 15 Jul when we were moved to a church about five kilometres N.W. of Bonneville (L 6201). We stayed there until 17 Jul when we were taken to a barn five kilometres N.E. of St. Benoit (L 5907). On 18 Jul the Resistance Group split up. P/O Willis was taken to a farm near Beuzeville as he had injured his ankle after baling out. We did not see P/O Willis, P/O Jamieson or P/O Birnie again.

 

Cpl. Wilson and I were given civilian clothes and we walked towards the British lines with F/Sgt. Charteris. The remainder of our journey is described by him in his report (S/P.G.(-) 2218).

 

 

Flight Sergeant Charteris was an Air Bomber aboard a Lancaster of 57 Squadron, which was shot down by flak on the 7th July 1944. He continues:

 

Smith, Wilson and I went South, and after we had gone about six kilometres we got in touch with a farmer who fed us and put us in touch with another Maquis group.

 

We were taken to St. Sylvestre-de-Cormeilles (Sheet 7, Q 69) and remained there until Allied troops arrived.

 

I was then sent to Bayeux via Lisieux.

 

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