Thursday, 10 October 1940

RAF Tangmere

Tonight the weather is better: fine and clear. Take-off is earlier, at 21.45 according to Farley, again flying as Second Pilot to F/O Oettle. The crew is probably the same as the night before. So is the Whitley.

This time there is no mist over the Fontainebleau forest. The target, the sand-quarry, is found easily and Philip Schneidau is dropped successfully, His ‘A’ type harness has a wicker-basket container, which sits between his head and the canopy. In the container is a rucksack with two pigeons inside, immobilised by socks placed over their bodies, their heads poking out from holes cut in the toes. The ‘A’ type harness is an adapted cargo parachute with 11-foot strops beneath to carry the agent. It cannot be steered by the parachutist, and Schneidau drifts towards the edge of the bowl and the dense surrounding forest.

He lands just inside the lip, and tumbles headlong in the steep sloping sand, but he is down. He hides his parachute harness, canopy and wicker basket in the scrubby forest surrounding the quarry. He dons the rucksack and walks across country towards his father-in-law’s house in Montigny, the last minutes of moonlight at his back guiding him.

The Whitley and its crew return to Tangmere, landing at 04.05.