Second world war British agent who enabled parachute drops of arms into occupied France
Yvonne Burney, who has died aged 95, was a wireless operator for the clandestine Special Operations Executive during the second world war. She played a key role in the first daylight parachute drop of supplies over France and survived Ravensbrück concentration camp. The recommendation for her MBE after the war said that “her courageous and devoted work made possible the delivery of important supplies of arms and ammunition to resistance groups”.
Fluent in French and knowledgable about French customs, Yvonne, aged 22 and working as a secretary in Southampton, was considered highly suitable for “F” section, the French unit of the SOE. Given the codename “Odette” and put into the uniform of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, she underwent extensive training, including specialist instruction as a wireless operator.