Operation Dingson (1944)
Operation Dingson (5–18 June 1944)
was an operation in the Second World War,
conducted by about 178 Free Frenchparatroops of
the 4th Special Air Service (SAS), commanded by Colonel Pierre-Louis
Bourgoin, who jumped into German occupied France near Vannes, Morbihan, Southern Brittany, in Plumelec, on
the night of 5 June 1944 (11 h 30), (Captain Pierre Marienne with 17 men), and
Saint-Marcel (8–18 June).
At this time there was approximately 100 000
German troops, and artillery, preparing to move to the Normandy landing areas.
Immediately upon landing in Brittany, on the
night of 5 June 1944 (11 h 30), 18 Free French SAS who jumped in near Plumelec,
went into action fighting against German troops (Ukrainians and Georgians from
One hour later (0 h 40) the first victim of
the liberation of his country, Corporal Emile Bouétard (born in Brittany,
1915–1944) of stick was killed by a German NCO near Plumelec.
The Free French SAS established a base
(Saint-Marcel) and began to arm and equip members of local resistance fighters, operating with up to 3,000 Maquis
fighters. However, their base was heavily attacked by a German paratroop
division on 18 June and were forced to disperse.
Captain Pierre Marienne with 17 of his
companions (6 paratroopers, 8 resistance fighters and 3 farmers) died a few
weeks later in Kerihuel, Plumelec, (12 July at dawn).
The Dingson team was joined by the men who had
just completed Operation Cooney. Dingson was conducted alongside Operation
Samwest and Operation Lost, which were parts of Overlord.
Operation Dingson 35A
On 5 August 1944, 10 Waco CG-4 gliders towed
by aircraft of 298 Squadron and 644 Squadron transported the French SAS men and
armed jeeps to Brittany near Vannes (Locoal-Mendon), each glider carrying 3 SAS
troopers and a jeep. One glider was lost with the death of the British pilot.