Yvonne Burney , SOE agent and concentration camp survivor – obituary

31 OCTOBER 2017  – Yvonne Burney, who has died aged 95, was the youngest female SOE agent to be parachuted into wartime France, where she organised one of the largest daylight air drops of arms to the resistance, before being betrayed, arrested by the Gestapo, and sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp.

She was born Yvonne Jeanne de Vibraye Baseden in Paris on January 20 1922. Her British father, Clifford Baseden, had served as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War, only to crash land not far from the Chateau de Frescines, north-west of Blois. Her mother, Antoinette de Vibraye, was the volunteer ambulance driver who was sent to fetch him from hospital after his wounds had been dressed; she brought him back for dinner to the chateau, where romance blossomed. Telegraph.co.uk/obituay

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On Remembrance Day, I met an ex-service woman called Yvonne Burney, also known under the code name “Odette”…

Odette

Odette Born in Paris in 1922, she travelled to different European countries before settling in London in 1937 with her parents – a French mother and a British father, a former Royal Flying Corps pilot during the First World War.

On 4 September 1940, only aged eighteen, Yvonne enrols as a WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force). « In war time, you don’t mind, you sign up » she confides with great humility. Like her father before her, she is keen to help her country and is quickly promoted to officer. Thanks to her fluent French she joins the SEO (Special Operation Executive). From that moment on, she is Odette, the British spy.

Odette becomes a radio-operator and starts training in the North of England for a potential air drop… Franceinlondon.

Parachutées en terre ennemie : Les femmes du ..

Trois destinées de femmes du Special Operations Executive (SOE …

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