Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Paddy O'Sullivan

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Covid-19
Allegiance  United Kingdom, France
Rank  Flying officer
Nickname(s)  Agent Fireman, Micheline Marcelle Simonet, Josette
Years of service  1941-1945 (WAAF) 1942/43-1945 (SOE)
Died  5 March 1994, Ilkley, United Kingdom
Other name  Agent Fireman, Micheline Marcelle Simonet, Josette
Books  The Castle Trail and Rabbit Island Trail Walks: Dro Wood National Nature Reserve
Awards  Croix de Guerre, Order of the British Empire
Service/branches  Women's Auxiliary Air Force, Special Operations Executive

Maureen Patricia "Paddy" O'Sullivan (3 January 1918 – 5 March 1994) was a member of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II and worked as a wireless operator for the French Section.

Contents

Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1918, the daughter of John Aloysius O'Sullivan (1873–1949), an Irish journalist and a German mother, Johanna Repen (1889–1919), who died when Paddy was only 15 months old, she began her schooling at St Louis Convent in Dublin. At the age of seven she was sent to live with an aunt in Belgium. There she attended convent school in Coutrai and then the Athenée Royale in Ostend.

At the beginning of the war she was a nurse working at Highgate Hospital in London. She joined the WAAF on 7 July 1941, as an Aircraft Handler General Duties, and was later promoted to Section officer.

After joining the SOE, Paddy parachuted into Limoges on 23 March 1944. The weather was extremely foggy and the pilot suggested that they return to England, but Paddy was determined and she jumped. Landing heavily, she was temporarily concussed, but always said her life was saved by the 2 million francs strapped to her back. Paddy's alias was Micheline Marcelle Simonet and her cover story was that she was a 'dame de compagnie' of a doctor in Paris, where she helped the doctor in the surgery as well as with his children; she was taking one month's leave to look for a lost Belgian parent in the Creuse area.

Following successful work with the Fireman network, Paddy returned to England on 5 October 1944. After her cover was blown in June 1945 she was posted to Force 136 in Calcutta as a liaison officer to work with the French.

Honours and Awards

She was awarded the MBE Civil, which was gazetted on 4 September 1945, she was also awarded the Croix de guerre 1939–1945 (France).

Family

She settled in England and went on to marry Eric Alvey, a chartered accountant, and lived near Ilkley, West Yorkshire; the couple had two sons, John and Robin.

References

Paddy O'Sullivan Wikipedia


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