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Agent Pippa Latour

Order of the British Empire, French Croix de Guerre and Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur

(1921 to date)

Wartime spy who helped bring down Nazis

New Zealand Lègion d’honneur
8 April 2020 ·
Phyllis Latour (aka Pippa Doyle, codename ‘Genevieve')

Born in South Africa to French and English parents, she was sadly orphaned during childhood.

During the Second World War she was working as a flight mechanic with the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in the United Kingdom, and volunteered for special service after the Nazis executed her Godmother’s father, and imprisoned her Godmother.

A fluent French speaker she became a member of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), parachuting into France in the lead up to D-Day to obtain information on the enemy and send coded messages back to London.

Pippa worked closely with the local resistance network and was frequently stopped for questioning by suspicious German Troops.

In recognition of her exploits, she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire and awarded the French Croix de Guerre after the War. She subsequently married and moved to New Zealand with her husband.

As part of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings she was presented with the Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur on 25 November 2014 by the French Ambassador Laurent Corntini at a special ceremony provided by the New Zealand Special Air Service, at Papakura Camp in Auckland‍

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