Last update: 19 June 2019 - Dernière mise-à-jour: 19 juin 2019
Photo of Lucien Durocher from UK National Archives - Beechwood Cemetery Monument Photo from Personal Collection
Lieutenant Lucien (Joseph) Durocher (1920-1985)
SOE Spy/Agent & Radio Operator (World War 2)
This site is dedicated to the memory of Lucien (Joseph) Durocher.
Lucien Durocher was born on 26 June 1920 in Casselman and received his schooling in Embrun, L’Orignal and Ottawa (LaSalle Academy and Ottawa Technical). Lucien Durocher joined the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals on 3 September 1939. He was with the advance units of the First Division which arrived in Britain in early December 1939. Durocher was also with the Canadian brigade sent to Spitzbergen in August 1941 - from June 1943 to early 1944 he was a wireless operator at battalion and headquarters in Sicily and Italy. From there, he was recruited by S.O.E. and sent to Algeria for accelerated training.
In two respects, Durocher was unique among the Canadian volunteers with S.O.E. in Europe; he was not commissioned (he parachuted into Southern France as a sergeant); and he went with an O.S.S. (Office of Strategic Services - precursor organization to the CIA) mission. By mid-1944, many mixed teams were being sent into France; Americans, Canadians, Free French, and British. Some were commando units, others sabotage teams, and yet others military administrators. Durocher, a tall, lanky young man who spoke fluent French and who was a skilful and experienced wireless operator, was dropped with an O.S.S. mission as part of team “DODGE” on 24 June 1944. American Major Cyrus Manierre who headed the small team was full of praise for his “perfect radio contact with Algiers from behind enemy lines. He was required to make long trips in civilian clothes carrying his radio with him before his area was liberated by Free French forces”.
Here are a number of references including a newspaper clipping from the World War 2 period:
Thanks to the UK National Archives, here are some letters of commendation/merit for Lucien Durocher:
In addition, here is a self-written biography by Lucien's hand during his stay in Algiers in Algeria:
The main sources of information are from a) Lucien Durocher's SOE file in the UK National Archives and b) the book “Canadians Behind Enemy Lines” by Roy MacLaren (1981). If you ever wish to visit Lucien Durocher's burial site at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa, it is located in Section 27, Range D, grave #139. Here are two maps which should be helpful:
If you have questions or suggestions, please email Richard at his email@example.com email address.
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