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Thread: H.J. Cleary and Maurice Larcher killed 8-7-44

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    Nov 2007
    Orleans, Ontario, Canada
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    Default H.J. Cleary and Maurice Larcher killed 8-7-44

    Further to H.J. Cleary, I am trying to reconstruct the last few days of his life. He was shot down by flak on 1 July 1944 (Spitfire, No.602 Squadron) and appears to have parachuted to safety. He joined several other men in an evasion attempt, but on 8 July 1944 they were apparently betrayed by a French quisling. Germans attacked the house in which they were sheltering. In the fight, two men were killed (Cleary and a Lieutenant Maurice Larcher); one or two others were captured and a M. Jean Foncu escaped. These events took place near Pierrefitte (Meuse district).

    The ferocity of the fight may be explained by the presence of Lieutenant Larcher. A letter (which may or may not be accurate) on Cleary's file states that Larcher had been parachuted into France with a radio in February 1944. I can further confirm Larcher's death of 8 July 1944, that fact that he was SOE, and that he was posthumously awarded a Mention in Despatcbes.

    Any additional details (such as identity of those captured) would be welcomed.

    P.S. Since posting the above, I have discovered the Wikipedia entry for Larcher. It does throw more light on the events of 1-8 July 1944, although it remains unclear as to when or how Cleary came to link up with Larcher. Historians of these events may be interested in details about Cleary, although he was a lesser figure in the drama.
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 6th May 2013 at 10:22. Reason: correcting punctuation and adding P.S.

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