British civilian secretary and Personal Assistant to Peter Wilkinson, Head of Czech-Polish Section and conducting officer, Special Operations Executive in Berkeley Court, London, GB, 1942-1943
REEL 1 Recollections of period as secretary and Personal Assistant to Peter Wilkinson, Head of Czech-Polish Section and as conducting officer with Special Operations Executive in Berkeley Court, London, GB, 1942-1943: background to recruitment; posting to Berkeley Court; impressions of office on first day of employment; nature of work; variety of personnel and background of secretaries; atmosphere in office; impressions of Colin Gubbins; dedication of staff and personal interest in work; question of telling friends and family about nature of work; roles of women in Special Operations Executive; role as conducting officer; opinion of role of Colin Gubbins; contact with Polish personnel; contact with trainee agents.
REEL 2 Continues: volunteering to undergo parachute training alongside agents; amusing story of first parachute drop; attitude towards parachuting; opinion of effect of Special Operations Executive operations on morale of occupied countries; helping pack supply containers for drop to Czech team who assassinated Reinhard Heydrich; opinion of reprisals after operations; story of receiving memo about Special Operations Executive nickname ‘The Racket’; opinion of criticisms of Special Operations Executive; opinion of role of Special Operations Executive.
Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based there with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Their job was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry.