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Boiteux, Robert René "Nicolas" "Firmin"

Date of birth:
June 4th, 1906 (London, United Kingdom)
Date of death:
May 1992
Service number:
216157
Nationality:
French (1870-present, Republic)

Biography

Prior to WW2 Robert Boiteux lived in France, Kenia and the UK as a hair dresser, gold digger and boxer.
Drafted and trained by SOE he was parachuted twice into France (Lyon and Marseilles).
After the liberation of France he served as an officer with Force 136, Special Operations Executive in Ceylon, Burma and Sumatra, Dutch East Indies and finally as officer with Control Commission Germany in Germany, 1946-1947 in control of a Displaced Persons camp.
In 1961 he married a Yugoslavian woman with whom he emigrated to Australia.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Temporary Captain
Unit:
F Section, Special Operations Executive (SOE), British Government
Awarded on:
June 15th, 1944
Recommendation:
"This officer landed in FRANCE by parachute in May 1942 with instructions to set up a resistance organization in the LYON area.
In six months he built up a circuit which achived no less than twenty receptions and successfully attacked equipment, rolling stock, factories and other enemy occupied territories.
These activities, coupled by the fact that his original entry into FRANCE was made within sight of a police station and resulted in the capture of his companion, caused most intensive activity by the Gestapo which culminated in the arrival in LYON of a very large draft of police, followed by a house to house search.
Recommended for the award of the M.B.E."
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Temporary Major
Unit:
F Section, Special Operations Executive (SOE), British Government
Awarded on:
June 21st, 1945
Military Cross (MC)
Citation:
"In early March 1944 this officer was dropped into the South of France for the second time in order to organise resistance groups in the Marseilles area for initial sabotage and subsequent guerilla action.
On arrival he found that the group he had to contact had been destroyed, and so he had to organise from the beginning. Despite the difficult conditions of a terrain without cover for maquis x for the reception of supplies by air, this officer succeeded in building up, by initiative, persistence and courage, resistance groups which he subsequently led with outstanding succes.
During the period of recruiting, training and equipping, Boiteux to ensure safe delivery commanded his own air supply reception committees always risking attack by the enemy in view of the necessarily close proximity of these reception points to German observation posts.
In mid-June an enemy attack inflickted eleven casualties and Boiteux himself badly wounded in the leg and arm. On recovery he returned to the task of organising resistance in the Riviera/Marseille area, an undertaking made particulary hazardous by increased surveillance in fear of attack.
On D-Day he fulfilled all his set tasks, successfully cutting rails, roads and communications. Subsequently he played a prominent part in the street fighting in Marseilles personally leading the attack on the Prefecture.
In recognition of the high qualities of this officer, whose largely unaided efforts contributed greatly to the success of resistance action, it is recommended that he be awarded a Military Cross."
Signed by Major-General- Colin Gubbins
24.3.45

Sources

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