Monday, 9 March 1942

Operation FRENSHAM 1

S/Ldr Romanoff takes off on his first sortie, at six minutes past midnight. Strictly, therefore, the sortie takes place on the 10th, but by convention it should be dated to the 9th; in essence the night after the previous attempt. Romanoff has an all-Czech crew.

Ron Hockey watches from the control-tower. He sees the Whitley climb away, too steeply. It may be the first time Romanoff, who has flown Whitleys at Ringway since the late summer of 1940, has taken off with a full load of fuel, agents and containers. The Whitley stalls, and crashes. There are no survivors. Hockey and others rush to the wreck, but the fire and explosions are so fierce that they cannot get close. Hockey is peppered with shrapnel through his greatcoat.

This is the second attempt to drop the FRENSHAM agents, one night after the previous attempt. I have found no mention of FRENSHAM in the SOE archive. Whoever they were, and whatever their mission, it has escaped the record.