• Plage Bonaparte à Plouha (Côtes d'Armor) - Haut-lieu de la Résistance

  • Sacy-le-Grand (Oise) - Mémorial en souvenir du F/O H. H. MacKenzie (RCAF)

  • Supermarine LF Mk.Vb Spitfire EP120 - G-LFVB - (The Fighter Collection)

  • Le Cardonnois (Somme) - Stèle à la mémoire de l'équipage du Boeing B-17 #42-31325, 452nd Bomb Group

  • B-17G-85-VE 44-8846 - F-AZDX - (FTV)

 

6th and 7th August 2017

 

Ully-Saint-Georges, Clermont (Oise)

 

Visit of Jane COOPER,

granddaughter of 2nd Lt. Jarvis H. COOPER

 

 

Copyright © 2017 - Association des Sauveteurs d'Aviateurs Alliés - All rights reserved -

                                                                                                                En français france

 

 

Jane Cooper, a young lawyer from New York, and her husband Jesse, who were making their first trip to France, visited us in the first days of August. Very attached to History, Jane came to discover the places that had marked a part of the life of her grandfather, 2nd Lt. Jarvis H. Cooper, during the winter 1943/1944.

2nd Lt. Jarvis H. Cooper was a navigator aboard the Flying fortress "Judy" of the 379th Bomb Group shot down on 30th December 1943, near the village of Ully-Saint-Georges, resulting in the death of four of the ten crew members of the aircraft.

2nd Lt Jarvis H. Cooper

2nd Lt. Jarvis H. Cooper

2nd Lt. Cooper was among the survivors. He was immediately rescued near the hamlet of Bonvillers, near Cauvigny, before being directed to Neuilly-en-Thelle. The continuation of his escape in the department of Oise will see him pass to Crouy-en-Thelle, Clermont, Noailles, Montjavoult and Chaumont-en-Vexin, taken in charge by the "Alsace" escape network directed by Gilbert Thibault in Auneuil.

He then stayed in Paris. At the beginning of May 1944, while being taken to the Spanish border, 2nd Lt. Cooper and his pilot, 2nd Lt. Glenn Camp, were taken prisoner on a train near Bayonne. Both ended the war at Stalag Luft I in Barth, Germany, until their liberation in early May 1945 by the Soviet Army.

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It was at Ully-Saint-Georges that we accompanied Jane and Jesse. The inhabitants of the village, some of whom witnessed the crash of the bomber, as well as our friends of the Association "N'Oublie Pas 44" and their vintage military vehicles, had assembled near the memorial paying tribute to the airmen. A reception was organized in all conviviality by the municipality. Meanwhile, an aircraft from the Beauvais-Tillé Flying Club, piloted by our friend Bruno, flew over the village in tribute to the American airmen.

Ully-Saint-Georges

 Moment of emotion for Jane in front of the memorial.

After laying flowers at the foot of the memorial, Yvon Corvellec, deputy mayor, took the stand. Very honored to welcome once more the family of one of these American airmen, he pronounced a few words translated simultaneously into English : "...Jane's presence goes straight to our heart and gives us pleasure because it gives us the opportunity to pay a sincere tribute to the courageous American airmen who like Jarvis Cooper and all those whose names are forever engraved on this memorial, risked and sometimes gave their lives so that the democracies triumph over Nazi barbarism ... This visit also allows us to evoke memory and to thank the French ... and they were not so many ... who did not resign themselves and took all risks to endure our threatened freedom. The small ceremony, solemn and warm, which unites us today, associates, within the same tribute, these American and French heroes, known or anonymous and thus allows us, to fulfill not only our necessary duty of memory but also to celebrate, at our modest level, the unfailing friendship between our two countries. "

Ully-Saint-Georges

Very moved and not able to hold back her tears, Jane, with a lot of gratitude, thanked the municipality as well as the inhabitants of the village and all the people who had taken many risks to rescue her grandfather, stressing that she would probably not be present on this day without their bravery.

Ully-Saint-Georges

Souvenir photos near the memorial

Ully-Saint-Georges

After having been invited to share a drink in the premises of the town hall, the time had come to take leave of our friends of Ully-Saint-Georges. The rest of our visit was to continue in Clermont.

Ully-Saint-Georges - Plymouth

Departure from Ully-Saint-Georges aboard a "Plymouth".

It was indeed in this town in the heart of the Oise department that we accompanied Jane. She was able to go to the home of the Legrand-Sauvage family, where her grandfather spent three weeks with his pilot and four other American airmen during the month of January 1944.

Odette Sauvage - Gaston Legrand  Clermont
                                              Odette Sauvage and Gaston Legrand                                             Jane in front of the house, on the heights of 

                                                                                                                                                           the town, where her grandfather was taken in.

The day of 6th August is a date that is always remembered in Clermont. On 6th August 1944, in the early hours of the morning, the Resistant Jean Corroyer fell under German bullets near his home after being denounced. Arrested and deported, his wife and his son never returned from the Nazi extermination camps.

Jean Corroyer was a former merchant navy officer, radio and deputy of Georges Fleury in the Resistance. As every year, a ceremony was organized to pay tribute to him and to his family by the Association des Anciens FFI et leurs Amis, chaired by Patrick Fleury, and the town of Clermont.

Jean Corroyer  Clermont

The procession composed of flag bearers, municipal officials, members of the Associations accompanied by Jane and Jesse and by the population gathered in front of the Town Hall before heading to the place of commemoration.

Stele Jean Corroyer

Laying of wreaths

After the laying of wreaths in front of the commemorative plaque, Patrick Fleury, took the stand to recall the journey and the role in the Resistance of Jean Corroyer alongside his grandfather, Georges Fleury.

Patrick Fleury  Clermont - Jean Corroyer

                          Patrick Fleury                                                                         Jane Cooper and Dominique Lecomte

Referring to the duty of memory, he declared "...let the younger generations know that certain behaviours are intolerable, under penalty of losing the fundamental rights which are the strength of our Republic ..."

Alongside Jane and on behalf of the Association of Rescuers of Allied Airmen, Dominique Lecomte then retraced the course of 2nd Lt. Jarvis Cooper which had led him to stay in the town during his escape. A tribute was also paid to all the Resistance of Clermont and its region who, in infallible devotion, had taken so many risks to remove from the occupant these men fallen from the sky. "...This tribute to Jean Corroyer and the exceptional presence of Jane today, allow us not to forget the ties that united the combatants of the shadows with the combatants of the air. They were fighting for the same ideal, so that France would recover its freedom... "

This ceremony in memory of the Resistance in Clermont, concluded by the Chant des Partisans (song of the Resistance) and the national anthem, was once again a moment of great emotion, especially for our American visitors. Jane confided that, like so many other Allied airmen, her grandfather had never forgotten the sacrifices made by all those brave Frenchmen who had saved his life at the risk of theirs. 2nd Lt. Jarvis Cooper died in 1996, but in 1977, on a trip to France with his wife, he managed to find and personally thank some of his helpers.

All of the audience was then invited to Town Hall for the traditional drink.

The day after that memorable day, we accompanied Jane and Jesse to the crash site near the village of Ully-Saint-Georges.

Ully-Saint-Georges

In the steep woods, a cross and an American flag marks the exact spot where the B-17 "Judy" had finished its fly on 30th December 1943. Among the vegetation and to her great amazement Jane discovered that many small debris aluminum or of Plexiglas of the aircraft still recall today the drama that had taken place there, 73 years ago.

Ully-Saint-Georges

Multiple small metal pieces of the bomber on board which
was his grandfather were preciously taken as a souvenir by Jane.

Unfortunately, the time passed too fast and the moment had come for our American friends to leave us. Very touched by the warm welcome they received during their visit, Jane and Jesse promised to come back to visit us in the near future. In the meantime, the rest of their trip would take them to the South-West of France for a few days before their return to New York.

 

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