La région de Fayence

The center from Seillans region to Montauroux is made up of a long plain through which flows the Camiole River. The villages of Seillans, Fayence, Tourrettes Callian and Montauroux are all built on the hills on the northern sides of the plain, constituting excellent observation points from where can be watched the D562, the Grasse-Draguignan road, passing in the plain.

About 480 paratroopers from Lt. Col. Melvin Zais’ 3/517th PIR are miss dropped 40 kilometers from their DZ in three main groups and scattered over more than 13 kilometers in the Fayence area. They are scattered over rocky terrain and pine forests, in an area stretching from Seillans (the westernmost village of the SNAFU) to Montauroux. Many troopers are injured as they land on rocky slopes and mountain terraces.

Three groups of the 5th Scottish Battalion are dropped on Fayence. The first consists of the commander, half the Battalion HQ and the majority of the 'C' Coy. The second group consists of 'D' Coy and a large number of American paratroopers under the command of Major J. A. Blackwood and the third group consists of Lt. J. S. Holden and 20 men.

In Seillans, Lt. Col. Zais rallies his troops, going south to Drop Zone A. The commanding officer of the HQ Company, 3rd Battalion, Captain Joseph McGeever assures the command of 60 men gathered in the cemetery of Tourettes and in the olive trees located under the village. A small post of first care is installed in the Toulet farm. This group is joined by a group of 80 men from the 4th and 5th Para Battalion of the 2nd British Brigade.

When G Company is assembled, the 2nd Platoon Leader Arthur W. Ridler, assures the command in the absence of Capt. Grant A. Hooper having landed at Saint-Cézaire. Studying a map with locals, Ridler realizes he is 40 kilometers from where he was supposed to land.

The remainder of the troops of the 3rd Battalion representing about 260 men, are dropped in the Camiole valley, located between Fayence and Callian. A group of about 20 paratroopers meet the group of 1st Lt. Ludlow J. Gibbons of H/517 under his command. Gibbon’ group moves in the afternoon, towards the southwest until it meets the unit of McGeever north of Bagnols.

The G Company then moves to the town of Callian where 1st Lt. James T. Steele and a group of 13 men join the unit. When the company leaves Callian and crosses the railroad track passing through the valley, Pvt. Forrest C. Collins and Thomas demolish track pieces and telephone poles.

The fate of the wounded

All the parachute wounded are treated at the Religious Institute Sainte Maxime in Callian.

A group of nine wounded paratroopers, treated by "Doc" Plassman, find refuge with some German wounded in the church presbytery of Montauroux. Plassman is helped by a group of nurse and sister from an abbey. The dead are buried behind the St. Bartholomew's chapel behind the church. The Germans are aware that American paratroopers are at the church of Montauroux and are responsible for going to see. When they arrive near the church, they prepare to kill all the occupants inside. By opening the door, preparing to kill everyone, they notice that their wounded are also cared and change their minds. One of their officer will even be operated by Plassmann.

Sgt. John W. Chism, who is injured during the jump by falling on a tree stump, rides an infirmary in several buildings operating in similar conditions in Fayence and in which a 5th Scottish Para Battalion paratrooper who had been seriously injured in having been pierced by a tree branch in the belly during the jump. Two teenagers aged 14 and 15 are at Chism's disposal. He and three other medics, Larry Constantine, Austin Post and T / 5 Maurice L. White (medic of H / 517) watch after 25 men including seven Americans and several other injured British paratroopers and French.

Guerrilla war

On August 16, after distributing the wounded, Stott and six Frenchmen go to a bridge they want to blow up. Arriving at the bridge, they see a truck arrive in the direction of the bridge and when it jumps, a rock of the bridge falls on the truck, destroying it completely and killing its driver. The next day, the French show Stott and his group a load of parachutes, machine guns, mortars and ammunition they have recovered. Bennett and eleven French resistance fighters then board a truck to pick up Italian prisoners. On the return, the truck overturns, killing Georges Kireeff, a resistant and wounding the Pvt. Bennett on the left arm. Meanwhile, Stott, Hughes and a Frenchman go to a bridge in the vicinity. While they blow him up, Hughes who has the task of igniting the charges, hurts his back running and falls to the ground. Just at the moment of the explosion, Hughes manages to throw himself over the embankment; large pieces of stones scarcely miss it.

Many paratroopers will remain in the Fayence area to wage a guerrilla war until they are fetched.

For three days, Pfc. Louis Holzworth and his comrades lead their guerrillas from a big house near Callian by destroying German trucks and killing their occupants with five other resistance fighters.