Operation Bluebottle II

This was a British naval rescue of escapees/evaders from a beach in south-western Vichy France (15/16 August 1942).

The Q-ship Tarana, an ex-Polish trawler, evacuated eight people, including Henri Dericourt and at least three evading airmen, from Canet Plage near Perpignan, and on the same night also landed six agents of the Special Operation Executive, including Charles Claser, near Agde.

While some details of the earlier 'Bluebottle I' operation are uncertain, details of 'Bluebottle II' are still more uncertain. Tarana did collect a party from a beach in south-western France during the night of 15/16 August, but the numbers, the identities and even the embarkation point are in dispute. Some servicemen can be included in the rescued party with a reasonable certainty: Pilot Officer Derrick Perdue and Sergeant Jack Missledene were collected by Captain E. B. Clark’s Tarana during the night in question, together with Henri Dericourt, but the identities of the party’s other members are more problematical. One account states that there were seven men and one woman, and another that there were nine persons. Most accounts say that the evacuation was made at St Pierre Plage, which was the location of 'Bluebottle I', but a later accounts claims that it was Canet Plage. Once the party had been collected, Tarana sailed to Gibraltar, whence two servicemen, and probably Dericourt, left by sea on 29 August for Gourock.