BEHIND THE LINES

DARREN HARBAR TALKS TO THE SHUTTLEWORTH COLLECTION’S ‘DODGE’ BAILEY ABOUT THE LYSANDER AND WHY IT WAS IDEAL FOR CLANDESTINE DUTIES

WORLD WAR 2

WESTLAND LYSANDER

Navigating a Lysander by the full moon into an unknown field marked out with three specially placed lights, required a very special skill. For the pilots of 161 Squadron this was a standard procedure, enabling them to deliver and recover agents and equipment into occupied France.

The agents were ‘run’ by the Special Operations Executive (SOE). These men and women were ‘on the ground’ communicating strategic information obtained about enemy forces to the intelligence services in London; others taught the French underground fighters. Agents were highly trained in a variety of skills including code reading and encryption, evasion and sabotage techniques.

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