- Operation Date
- 07 September 1943 -
3. Summary of Operation
4. Damage Inflicted
1. Report by Lieutenant Bell
2. Report by Sgt. Daniels
3. Report by Cpl. Tomasso
4. Precis of Report by Sgt. Robinson
This operation was planned against railway and communications targets in the area North of Florence and Spezia.
Two main parties were detailed.
Group (1) Capt. Pinckney, Lieut. Bell and 5 - area North of Florence
Group (2) Capt. Dudgeon, Lieut. Wedderburn and 5 - area North of Spezia.
Only Group 1 will be dealt with in this report, a separate one will be issued for Group 2.
Plane reached D.Z. after 5½hrs. flying on the night of 7/8th of September. Drop was made from about 7,000ft. in a gusty wind, velocity 20/25 m.p.h.
All members of the stick were contacted on the ground except Capt. Pinckney. Both containers were found, but the pannier was lost. Lieut. Bell injured himself on landing.
The aid raid sirens are reported to have sounded as the party dropped, and Lieut. Bell mentions that the D.Z. was searched the following morning.
3. SUMMARY OF OPERATION
Lieut. Bell decided to divide the party into two groups instead of 3 as originally planned. He took Sgt. Daniels and Cpl. Tomasso with him.
This party derailed a train in a tunnel on the Pistoia - Bologna line, and later derailed another on the Prato - Bologna line.
Having worked their way to the South of Florence, the caused a third accident of the Florence line.
Lieut. Bell's party returned through Central Italy and reached Allied lines at Alfedena on the 16th of November, having covered at least 250 miles in 73 days.
Sgt. Robinson's party consisting of Sgt. Stokes and Pvt. Curtis, derailed a train on the Bologna - Prato main line, but then changed into civilian clothes and started the return journey by train as far as Rimini.
Sgt. Stokes was left in the Fabriano area suffering from rupture, and Sgt. Robinson and Sgt. Curtis reached our lines at Frosilone on the 30th of October, after 54 days absence.
4. DAMAGE INFLICTED
Lieut. Bell; three trained derailed
one truck ambushed
Sgt. Robinson; one train derailed.
Capt. Pinckney was never found after drop, his voice was heard so he must have reached the ground and remained conscious.
Sgt. Stokes was left in Fabriano area on the 7th of October 43, suffering from rupture.