Lieutenant Louis Eugène Désiré  BERTHEAU

Louis Bertheau was born18 November 1919, in Olivet, Loiret, the son of Marius and Octavie Bertheau. Like his parents, he took French nationality. Little is known of Bertheau’s early years and education, but in his adult life he married Rosa Bertheau and they first lived in Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Mesmin, Loiret, seven kilometres south-west of Orléans. Bertheau served as a radio operator in the French Air Force, but after demobilization he and his wife moved to Meymac, near Ussel in the Haute-Corrèze region of France. There Bertheau started a family of two children and took an office job while he studied to improve his prospects. But realising how valuable a trained radio operator might be, he joined the Résistance in Meymac the summer of 1943.

Bertheau was one of the very few of the 104 SOE F Section agents who were killed or died who was not trained in Britain.  He began working for SOE in the autumn of 1943 when he was taken on by Captain Harry Peulevé (‘Jean’) to become W/T operator to Peulevé’s AUTHOR circuit.  Peulevé had undertaken this second mission with the original plan that he should be his own W/T operator.  In practice, however, this proved too onerous and after a month’s supervision and training from Peulevé,  Bertheau took over as the cicuit’s radio operator................ [Remainder of case study is complete - contact author for further details].

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