Resistance by Moonlight - 75th anniversary of the clandestine night flight codenamed SIRÈNE II

Posted by Alan in Les AlliésÉvènement

Moulin to Melay:  75th Anniversary

4-7pm, Monday 19th March 2O18
at the University of Chichester

The University of Chichester, in partnership with Tangmere Military Aviation Museum and The Secret WW2 Learning Network, is delighted to announce that it will be hosting the commemoration of a singularly important flight in the history of France and Britain.

Jean Moulin
On the night of March 19th 1943, just over two months before the first meeting of the council that would knit together the strands of resistance in France, a clandestine night flight from Britain - codenamed SIRÈNE II - delivered the personnel who would realise that promise. As one of scores of daring moonlight operations from RAF Tangmere, this flight by F/Lt John Bridger's 161 Squadron Lysander enabled Jean Moulin, Christian Pineau and General Delestraint to return to central France.

RAF Tangmere was the forward operating base for RAF Tempsford's 'Special Duties' Lysander aircraft and, from 1944, a building on what is now the University of Chichester campus had served as the Operations Room for RAF Tangmere.

Marking this 75th anniversary recognises the continuing importance of Franco-British bonds, and the wartime bravery of all those who helped liberate France from Nazi Occupation. The University of Chichester event will take place on the anniversary of Jean Moulin’s departure from RAF Tangmere - and in France the next day there’ll be a complementary event in Melay, Saône-et-Loire to commemorate the significance of his arrival there by Lysander.

Entry to the Chichester event will be FREE, and the programme will feature talks and discussion focusing on the details of the flight, the story of resistance hero Jean Moulin, and the lasting significance of operation SIRÈNE II. There will also be a screening of a special film featuring interviews with veterans of the Special Duties squadrons and the Secret War.

PROGRAMME: Starts at 4pm, Monday 19th March 2018
4.OO Arrivals / Welcome
4.OO The Flight: Pete Pitman (Tangmere Military Aviation Museum)
4.5O 1O minute break
5.OO Jean Moulin: Martyn Bell (The Secret WW2 Learning Network)
5.3O 1O minute break
5.4O The Legacy: Dr Andrew W.M. Smith (University of Chichester, Society for the Study of French History)
6.OO 1O minute break
6.1O Film:

Room 1.O1, First floor, Academic Block
University of Chichester
College Lane, Chichester
West Sussex PO19 6PE