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Réné J. Défourneaux

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Major Réné J. Défourneaux, USA (ret.) “came to America from France as a teenager shortly before WWII. In 1943 he volunteered in the U.S. Army and in 1944 was sent to England where he was transferred to the Special Operation Executive, a secret operation created by Winston Churchill for the support of resistant groups in German occupied Europe. He was parachuted into the center of France where he trained and directed operations against the German occupation forces. He directed the destruction of several bridges (for which he received the Silver Star and the Croix de Guerre) preventing the German army from attacking General Patton’s army pushing towards the Rhine, After clearing his territory of enemy forces, he returned to the USA and was assigned to China, where, as the second in command of The Deer Team, he parachuted into Indochina (Vietnam). The Indochinese insurgent force his team supported was commanded by Ho Chi Minh and Ngyuen Vo Giap.” Major Réné J. Défourneaux is the author of The Raven Dropped His Cheese: A Story of the WWII French Resistance; The Tracks of the Fox; and, The Winking Fox Twenty-Years in Military Intelligence.


According to the book description of The Winking Fox, it “is the captivating self-account of a U.S. Army Officer, who as a young Frenchman shortly before WWII, came to the United States to join his father who had emigrated twelve years earlier. In 1943, disheartened and discouraged by the desperate military situation, he joined the U.S. Army. Trained as an intelligence specialist, he was recruited by OSS and trained as an agent by SOE he parachuted alone into occupied France to organize and train French resistance groups. After the liberation of Paris, he was transferred to Asia where he served as second in command of a team parachuted into Japanese held French Indochina in support of a group assembled by Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyên Giap. Shortly after WWII he was recalled to active duty and served twenty years as an Army intelligence officer with duty in Europe, Asia and the United States. This book about his experiences as an intelligence agent describes vividly some of his activities explaining why his efforts were often misunderstood or ignored by his superiors who lacked the required background and experience to adequately utilize his talents. Because of his ability to overcome adversity, or his good luck, his associates dubbed him “The Fox” a description he did not take seriously, hence the Winking Fox.”


According to the book description of The Raven Dropped His Cheese: A Story of the WWII French Resistance, it “is a tale about two Alsatian brothers who had joined the French army prior to 1939. When France capitulated they were separated. Chris Moser deserted and returned to his hometown in the western Vosges region where he was hired by the German civil occupation as an interpreter. Joseph his brother was recruited by the Vichy government also as an interpreter to help in the return of French prisoners held by the Germans. Disenchanted with the Vichy Government with the help of a former POW he managed with two others escapees to reach Spain. With the Help of an American Journalist he and his friends reach England where they are trained by intelligence organizations. Chris is recruited as a leader of a group which has contact with an Allied intelligence organization. A member of his group, a recent recruit, is flown to England for training. While in training, unbeknown to Chris, his man was identified as a German agent. He was sent to France to eliminate the penetrated net including its leader. After the partial destruction of his net Chris returned to his hometown and joined another resistance group, while he rescued his mother who had been arrested by the French Milice (Vichy Police). After the liberation of his hometown Chris returned to be with his Mother and brother, but he is accused of collaboration with the enemy and faced a court martial. Fortunately, the testimony of a priest and of his brother, saved him.”

The Raven Dropped His Cheese
Indiana Creative Arts  More Info
The Winking Fox Twenty-Years in Military Intelligence
Rene J. Defourneaux  More Info

The Tracks of the Fox
Rene J. Defourneaux  More Info

According to the book description of The Tracks of the Fox, “Shortly after the end of World War Two the author of The Winking Fox tried to identify the crew who dropped him in occupied France 20 miles off target. Because of the Top Secret classification of these operations, the US Air Force which succeeded the Army Air Corps would not help in his inquiry. Eventually, unbeknownst to him, the classification was lifted.


While searching for his French resistance comrades of World War Two, he accidentally discovered the Air Force crew in question. In the process the author made some devastating discoveries concerning those who had helped him. These are recounted in The Tracks of the Fox, which unveil events not yet recounted in history in post-war France & Vietnam.


In France he describes the suffering of his French comrades at the hands of the communists who unsuccessfully attempted to takeover France by force. Their main purpose was not to fight the Nazis, but to create an authority strong enough to take over France by force.


In South East Asia, where the author was with Ho Chi Min, he describes the unbelievable adventures of the wife of a French officer, possibly an OSS agent, and the defection of a Vietminh leader whose father was executed by Ho Chi Minh’s orders. Uncle Ho, this agrarian reformer. had learned from Stalin that in order to succeed in a revolution all oppositions either real or imagined must be removed. It included Nguyên-Dinh-Tan’s Father.”


Midwest Book Review said of The Tracks of the Fox, “Knowledge is power, and without knowledge, one is powerless. Now in a newly revised edition, "The Tracks of the Fox: Uncovering Secrets of Wartime Covert Operations" is a military memoir of men's times as covert operatives during World War II. Rene Defourneax has collecting many stories of secret operations through the many theatres of the war, and he tells the stories deftly, reeling one in like they were told by the men themselves. "The Tracks of the Fox" is a must for any military reader.”

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