Harry Verlander was a Wireless operator for Jedburgh team Harold. He parachuted into occupied Western France soon after D-Day and also served with SOE's Force 136 in the Far East.
Harry Verlander – Film 1In this the first of 14 films, Harry talks about events in his early life shaped his future. As an evacuee he was able to pick up some handy skills. He lied about his age so he could serve his country two years early and in 1942 he went into the Kings Royal Rifles. After they disbanded he moved to the Royal Armoured Corps where he trains as a radio operator and driver.
Harry Verlander – Film 2Harry volunteers for a wireless op role. He had no idea that it would take him to France.
Harry Verlander – Film 3Harry talks in detail about the people and training he received as Milton Hall. One man in particular stands out
Harry Verlander – Film 4In order to operate effectively as an Agent, learning to parachute was an essential skill. He heads to RAF Ringway and things dont go according to plan
Harry Verlander – Film 5Harry talks weapons training. He moves to Jedburgh Team, Harold and describes the set-up.
Harry Verlander – Film 6The Jedburghs mission was to parachute behind enemy lines, link up with local resistance groups and do all they could to prevent German reinforcements reaching Normandy. A particular concern were the German direction finding towers.
Harry Verlander – Film 7Harry talks about how they parachuted 20 miles from Vendée, their intended drop zone. Its not a great start to the mission.
Harry Verlander – Film 8Harry talks about jumping from 300 feet and subsequent events. The two SAS that jumped with them, disappear soon after landing.
Harry Verlander – Film 9Harry gives some details of this first day and night. Radio operations are severely hampered
Harry Verlander – Film 10Harry talks about the difficulties of trying to get the various resistance groups to work together. There was also the very serious issue of blending in when the repercussions were so severe.
Harry Verlander – Film 11Harry talks about some of the messages sent back to the UK. The King is in the blue park is one Harry recalls. It took until the end of August for the Jedburgh Team and the local Maquis to push the Germans out from Vendée area of France.
Harry Verlander – Film 12In order to avoid detection, Harry used a bicycle to travel around to different locations. Eventually, he makes it to La Rochelle.
Harry Verlander – Film 13Harry talks about their work at La Rochelle. He recalls a very close encounter with an English speaking German soldier. Its a moment that will come back to him again later
Harry Verlander – Film 14Harry provides detail about proving their metal to the local Maquis. Sounds like fun Harry passed away in 2015. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the equivalent of the British Military Cross, and was made a Chevalier d'Honneur de la Ville de Niort on the 50th anniversary of the towns liberation.
Harry Verlander was a Wireless operator for Jedburgh team Harold. He parachuted into occupied Western France soon after D-Day and also served with SOE’s Force 136 in the Far East.