This web site is dedicated to the memory of the men of the Cameronia and the 500+ others who were to join the two Free French parachutist regiments before the end of the war.
This story does not cover all Frenchmen and women who served in the liberation of France or the resistance to the occupying forces, neither does it tell the story of the other SAS battalions (1SAS, 2SAS British battalions, 5SAS Belgium battalion). Those stories are told elsewhere. It does tell of a group who were seen by many as traitors to their own country, as exiles and terrorists who had the war ended differently would have faced vilification and execution.
The data contained in the FFL_SAS site were collected from various sources. Sometimes these sources proved to be wrong or contradictory. We have tried our best, as our research of documents and the information from witnesses evolves, to present an accurate record. However given that the SAS remains a secretive unit, that English speakers transcribed french names in a number of ways, that the official list are incomplete, that parachutists often made their own arrangements so as to jump with friends etc. it is never going to be possible to eliminate all inconsistencies. There remain errors and omissions of our part for which we ask your understanding. If you wish to leave us a message or send us corrections or precisions, contact the authors by e-mail.
If you have some supplementary information or anecdote why not add it as a comment to the appropriate action or person.
If you wish to contact us :
Paul is the son of Free French Parachutist Paul Golder, veteran of Kabrit, Brittany and Holland. He created this database and the web site to bring to a wider audience the history of the French Battalions of the SAS during the second world war. Almost all his input has relied on published sources - mainly the four volumes sponsored by the Amicale des Anciens Parachutistes SAS and the considerable detailed research of David Portier his collaborator on this site .
In France David Portier
For over 20 years David has been contributing to the original historical research on the saga of the S.A.S parachutists of France Libre. His research has culminated in the book "Les Parachutistes SAS de la France Libre 1940-1945" which he has published in 2004 and 2011.
David continues to contribute the results of his own ongoing research to the development of this database. Any contributions or information would be very welcome.
The story of the French SAS regiments has been told by many authors, most of who took part in the events they describe and recently has been excellently documented by the production of 4 volumes of the history of the group. This site is mainly based on the books listed but does not claim any original sources of information so where it differs from other sources it is either as a result of synthesis of disparate versions or because it is wrong. It does contain original material contributed by other researchers, see sources. If you can add information or corrections please e-mail the author.
This site offers two modest contributions that of bringing the record to the attention of English speakers and that of cross-referencing individual soldiers so that it is easier to follow personal histories through the major events discussed. It is hoped that this element may be of interest to family historians.
The author of these web pages has drawn mainly on the published sources listed below. However errors are being notified and a way of representing conflicting information is being considered. In the mean time I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who can help improve the accuracy of the information published here. I have received information from two other researchers, David Portier and Andrew Blacklock whose continuing contributions I would like to acknowledge.
The official histories of the Parachutistes de la France Libre
Remember : Les parachutistes de la France Libre 40-43, Roger Forgeat Service Historique de L’armée de terre, ISBN 2-86323-064-6
Qui Ose Gagne, Henri Corta et al , Service Historique de L’armée de terre, 1997 ISBN 2-86323-103-0 (QOG2)
Qui Ose Gagne Les parachutistes de la France Libre 3 SAS Grande Bretagne- France 1943-1944, 1998 ISBN 2-907-341-63-3
Amherst : Les parachutistes de la France Libre 3 et 4 SAS "Hollande 1945" Roger Flamand, Atlante Editions ISBN 2-912671-05-1
Paras de la France libre, Roger Flamand 1976 Presses de la Cité ISBN 2-258-00036-X (RF)
(An excellent history covering the whole period by a participant. Extended and updated by the official history which has two books by the same author.)
La liberté tombe du ciel 1939-1945, Henri Déplante, Editions Ramsay 1977, ISBN 02-85956-015-7
(personal history of a senior officer in the 4SAS from his escape from France, through Spanish prison camp to his leadership of the Grog operation in Brittany)
les compagnons du clair de lune, Henri Déplante, private publication distributed by the Amicale,1984
( A mixture of general history of the FFL SAS and individual stories of heroism)
Les Bérets Rouges, Henri Corta, Amicale des anciens parachutistes SAS,1952 (HC)
(The original history much of which is republished in QOG2, covers the whole FFL SAS story with an insight provided by the author's own participation in Cooney operations in Brittany and the Ardennes and Dutch operations .)
J’ai choisi la tempête, Maire Chamming’s, Editions France-Empire, 1965-1985 (MC)
(A detailed story from the point of view of a resistance worker who became courier for the SAS once they had landed in Brittany. With an interesting view of the FFL SAS story from the occupied France. And a little romance as well. Parts of this story are reproduced in QOG2)
Ma guerre à seize ans, Lucien Neuwirth, Librairie Plon 1986
( Personal narrative from his escape from France through Spain to participation in the operations on the Loire, the Ardennes and Holland)
Qui Ose Vaincra, Paul Bonnecarrère ,Fayard Livre de Poche no 3527, 1971 ISBN 20253-01011-1 (PB)
(A more racy style of history of the FFL- SAS)
Copies of the above books are in the possession of the author of this site who would willingly give access to interested researchers.
The SAS at war 1941-1945 Anthony Kemp, 1991 Signet 0-45-117456-9 (AK)
(Many other English language texts were consulted but appeared to have little original material to offer, some made no reference to the role of the French SAS in the war nor the role of Bergé in the creation of the SAS in Egypt. Kemp has a summary of FFL SAS action as an appendix.)