Jacky Bishop, personal notes

RogerBW

1940

Monday 4 March

[14 May 2022]
Tea and no biscuits with Miss Gower, but she does pass on a letter to take to her brother at Imperial Airways in Bristol. What with no civilian flight and petrol rationing, trains ensue.
Svend Nordmann at Short Brothers in Belfast is volunteered for attachment to an Imperial Airways flight – with a Drawing Office seal to make sure that any field modifications can be made in accordance with the Regulations. He travels on train and ferry via Rosslare, Holyhead and Bristol.
Ian Ferguson is detached for special training duties and finds himself in a branch office of the Air Ministry talking with a Dr Jones. His reserve RAF commission is reactivated; hewill officially be surveying for wartime routes, but there may be certain activities with regard to investigating and impeding unorthodox enemy operations.
Mr Sutton is being put onto setting up a route survey flight.
To the Bristol contingent, it seems that Imperial Airways is being asked to set up a flight able to perform route surveying outside the bounds of the Empire and its Dominions. With accommodation arranged, we wait to find out what I'll be flying.

Wednesday 6 March

Once Ferguson arrives, we learn a little more about the mission. An Empire-class boat seems like the best bet, and we can pick up one of Imperial Airways' stock from Poole.

Saturday 9 March

We try for S.1003 Cathay, an early S.30 with the older and slightly more powerful Pegasus engine fit, and after the wheels of bureaucracy have done their thing, she is assigned to us.

Sunday 10 March

We arrive in Poole at lunchtime and make a fast start on familiarisation.

Friday 15 March

Nordmann and I get the piloting authorisations, while the others learn their ways round the rest of the aircraft.

Tuesday 19 March

We slot into a regular transfer flight to Foynes, taking off at 1051 and landing at 1302.

Wednesday 20 March

At breakfast we are greeted by one Dan Bryan, of the Irish Army, who seems to know at least some of us. He politely warns us off doing anything that might compromise Irish neutrality, and asks us to carry a box to an address in Whitehall – one which one of us recognises. Ferguson performs ritual workings inside the aircraft, and determines that the box is harmless.
We return to Poole, then Bristol, then London, to deliver the box to C. Liddell in an anonymous building. We explain the situation, and he seems amused; he is, indeed, the head of the Irish Desk at MI5, and calls in his brother Guy. Bryan is, indeed, the head of Irish Intelligence…
Ferguson takes us to report in to Jones. We may, it seems, be going to Norway.
[23 July 2022]

Thursday 21 March

We make various preparations: we get cold-weather gear for both us and the aircraft, and sort out Imperial Airways paperwork so that we are formally on the books. We also load up on charts.

Thursday 28 March

We are joined by one Smith, as a steward. Probably not important. Seems to be able to cook all right.
It seems that six Germans have recently arrived in Oslo. One of them may be associated with Himmler. Their purposes are unknown, but probably unwelcome. So it seems we'll be looking into them.
[Smith is asked to do a little favour, delivering a ring to the King of Norway.]
We proceed to Sullom Voe, refuel, and spend the night.

Friday 29 March

The next day we take off at dawn and proceed fairly directly to Oslo.
[Smith picks up the information on the Germans; they're staying at the Hotel Avalon.]
We're joined by Frank Worsley, a mechanic with plenty of local experience.
[Smith searches the Germans' hotel rooms. Among other things, Hildebrand has typescripts dealing with the origins of the Aryan race, and a list of names of right-wing figures in Norwegian public life. They then go on to the palace and copy a servant arriving for work.]

Saturday 30 March

[Smith and Mr Sutton visit the embassy to collude with Barrett, the Passport Officer, on the matter of the Germans. Connecting various items, it seems that they've been visiting the Viking Ship Museum, and have the deputy director's business card. A visit may well be in order.]
[Smith delivers the ring to the King, and gets away rather than hang around to observe a reaction.]
We visit the Viking Ship Museum; nothing is obviously magical. I slip into the deputy director's office; there's a collection of items that aren't obviously ship-related, fine metalwork and fragments of good-quality cloth.
Mr Sutton spots one of them, a jar or container of some sort resting on a cloth, as potentially of magical relevance, and he and Nordmann cause distractions while I pocket it.
The item proves to be silver-gilt, and complexly marked. Mr Sutton does some kind of summoning that I fail to understand, and it seems that this item is something to do with fire; Lt Ferguson does a more formal ritual, and thinks that it was forged, engraved, and then… forged again before it was decorated further? And later it was used as a source of fire on several occasions. We pass it on to Smith, who arranges for its transport to England.
[7 August 2022]

Sunday 31 March

After some discussion, Smith obtains a car via the hotel, and we lurk near the Avalon. The observer, whom Smith spotted earlier in the lobby, is out on the street today.
Two of the Germans come out, Hildebrand and Jörg; they walk towards the palace, and we follow them in the car. Two more (Peters and Grönig) come out and move off in the same direction., and Smith realises that the observer was working with the other Germans.
In the palace park, Mr Sutton gets an emotion read on Hildebrand; he's looking for something. Then he and Jörg duck into a bush.
Smith follows the second pair; they split up in the park, and are looking out for followers and unusual activity.
After a bit Hildebrand and Jörg leave the bush, Jörg looking flushed. Is it really that simple? Surely not. Particularly when they go into a different bush. A dead drop, perhaps?
There's a certain amount of shuffling back and forth to avoid any of us being recognised.
As Hildebrand and Jörg come out of the second bush, I'm strolling past, and try to look embarrassed. I catch the word wie (“how”) and move on. They move on to a third… and suddenly it makes sense, as they're all separated by the same angle from the palace at the centre. I move back towards the car to inform the others; perhaps they're placing something?
Smith alerts the policeman on duty outside the palace to this suspicious behaviour. While they're involved, Ferguson and I look in the bushes; in the second one we check he turns up something buried and magical, and looks further: there's a non-magical silver coin, and a compass which isn't pointing anywhere consistently. Ferguson theorises that this might be a navigational aid for paratroopers in the planned invasion of Norway. We remove them.
Back at the first bush, we look again, and similar items are there. (And the coins are both 1906 kroner, the first minting for the current king.) Nordmann checks the final bush and recovers another set there.
We pick a lake from the map, one that looks sufficiently deep and cold, and bury the items with the same relative distance and orientation.
[Smith goes to the Avalon and breaks into Jörg's room. About 5.30, Jörg returns and lies down on the bed. Smith doses him with tetrotodoxin and datura, then (wearing Jörg's own face) encourages his paranoia. His reaction is, slowly, to perform a ritual that lets him nanifests a Munch-like screaming head, which floats through the wall to the next room, while he gathers his jacket and valise and stumbles out into the corridor.]

Monday 1 April

[In the very small hours, Smith delivers a troublemaking letter to Hildebrand at the Avalon, where there seem to be police and an ambulance crew in attendance. This delivery attracts the attention of the police. There's mention of bodies, and someone being taken to the sanitarium, not to mention the police calling up the German ambassador. One of the Germans is dead, one has had a breakdown, and one is missing, it transpires.]
On the flight back to Sullom Voe, we spy two warships heading up the North Sea at speed – a German light cruiser and escorting destroyer; and we return to Poole.

Tuesday 2 April

We speak with Dr Jones in London for debriefing, as well as getting Frank Worsley formally made part of the unit.
[4 December 2022]
Jones would like us to consider strategic minerals in Portugal, particularly wolfram. There's some suggestion that German agents will be attempting to secure supplies, and we don't know much about just where it's to be found. So we are to make plans for a route to Lisbon.
First resorts are the the British Geological Survey (Nordmann and Worsley). A Mr Carter introduces them to Tarouca and particularly Panasqueira, which has its own smelter and railhead, and has been ramping up production by an order of magnitude over the last decade or two, much of it going to Germany by long-standing contract. The site is owned by the Beralt Tin and Wolfram Co., which is opaque as far as we know at the moment. The other mine, open cast, is much smaller at the moment but should have a good long-term reserve.
Mr Sutton and I go to the Ministry of Supply and speak with a junior clerk. On a world scale, China, Burma and the United States are the largest producers; Portugal and Malaya have large supplies but aren't large producers overall. Demand and price have been quite variable over the years.

Wednesday 3 April

Smith and Mr Sutton get access to the chairman of the London Metal Exchange, something of a challenge as he's very much in demand. German supplies from China are subject to blockade, but Hitler's deal with Franco is holding good for now. Given the strategic nature of the mineral, this sort of thing is always tied up with politics, so mere commercial-level interference will have a hard time achieving anything.
We consider excuses and route plans for flying over the mine on the way to Lisbon, especially if we set up an alternate landing site.

Thursday 4 April

Information on the Beralt Tin and Wolfram Co. starts to reach us. About half the holding is among ten named individuals, and the Banco de Spiritu Santo (a Portugese bank) is another significant holder. Nordmann and Mr Sutton go to The Times' foreign desk, and on to El Vino, where they hear of young Barker, turned down for the military on medical grounds, whose job is to read the reports from Spain and Portugal. (And is stuck in the office.)
It's clear that the Portugese economy is thoroughly cross-connected, and under the thumb of Salazar both officially and unofficially.
Worsley at the Foreign Office sees what he can get on the German trade attaché in Portugal. He's clearly a career man, though he doesn't seem to have been as successful as the Germans in Spain at getting into the centres of power. As far as anyone knows, he's not on the take, which is at least slightly unusual.
There's little sign of a Portugese opposition, or dissenting voices in general; anyone who survived the First Republic is keeping quiet.
It looks as though the managing director is the most promising pressure point, and anything touching him will clearly be tied up with the bank.

Friday 5 April

Setting things up to look as though the managing director is on the take seems like a possible thing, but that gets him replaced, not the contract with the Germans. That's not enough. But if we make it look as though he took a bribe to give the contract to Germany over a higher bit from the UK, that innately gets political. And burglary is well within our skill sets.
It looks as if we have a plan…

Saturday 6 April

Plan: fly to Lisbon.