This was a French naval undertaking to transfer part of the nation’s gold reserves to the USA (November 1939).
The first shipment began on 14 November 1939, when Force ‘Z’ (battleship Lorraine escorted by the light cruisers Marseillaise and Jean de Vienne and the destroyers Aigle, Fortuné and Railleuse) departed Toulon on the south coast of France. Two other destroyers, Lion and Simoun, joined the force at sea. On 15 November the ships put in to Mers el Kébir, Algeria, after receiving a report that U-boats were operating in the area. The ships departed once again on 17 November, and then completed their passage to the east coast of the USA.