In 1994, a group of Iroquois veterans travelled to France for the unveiling of a plaque located on the beach in Bretignoles sur Mer. It's purpose was to commemorate the incident involving the sinking of the German ships Tellus and two sweepers on Aug 15, 1944 by HMCS Iroquois, HMS Ursa and HMS Mauritius. Pictured above is Ludwig Wurst, a Master Gunner and Tellus survivor (left) and John Clark , Stoker, of Iroquois (in white hat). On the right is Mademoiselle Marie Goston , who was 83 years old in 1994. She was 33 when she came aboard Iroquois from a small boat off the Isle D' Yeu in 1944.
On August 26, at about 12:30 while Mauritius, Ursa, Iroquois were patrolling off Audiene Bay, they were slowed at the sight of a girl dressed in slacks, sweater and the typical French beret, standing up in a small fishing boat manned by three men. The young woman was excitedly waving a white flag. Captain Hibbard stopped the ship and allowed the boat to come along side. The girl and the three men were brought aboard. After questioning, it was found that this group was part of the FFI (free French). Mademoiselle Gaston identified herself as a school teacher on Isle D' Yeu. She reported that the German garrison had evacuated the island and destroyed the wireless, the only means of communication. It was decided that Iroquois would send a landing party ashore to repair the equipment and bring a quantity of flower, canned meat, canned milk, sugar ,chocolates and cigarettes. All personnel were picked up the next day.
The fishing boat alongside Iroquois.
Iroquois' Sparkers are repairing the damaged German radio gear on Isle D' Yeu. The landing party consisted of LT.Richard Scrivener, PO Tel. R Mulligan, Tel.J Chevalier and signalman George Sheppard all under the command of LT. J.S. Saks.
All photos on this page courtesy Tom Ingham
This is the plaque which was unveiled in 1994. Translated, it reads:
15 August 1944
Allied Navy Intercepted
3 German Ships Of War
In the area of Bretignolles Sur Mere
15 August 1944
A Duty To Memory
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