|Born||4 Jun 1918|
|Died||23 May 1944|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Muriel Tamara Byck was born in Ealing, London, England, United Kingdom. Her father, Jacques Byck, was a Jew born in Kiev, Russia, and her mother, Luba Besia, was born in Lvov, Russia; her parents lived for some time in France before moving to England and acquired British nationality. Between 1923 and 1924, the family lived in Wiesbaden, Germany. Between 1926 and 1930, she attended school at the Lycee de Jeunes Filles, St Germain, France. In 1930, her family returned to England, and Byck attended the Lycee Francais in Kensington, London. Upon completing her degree in 1935, she attended courses at University in Lille, France. By the 1940s, her parents were divorced, with her father living in New York City in the United States and her mother moving to Torquay, Devon, England to live with her new husband.
Byck joined the Royal Air Force Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in Dec 1942, eventually becoming a section officer. In Jul 1943, she was recruited into the Special Operations Executive (SOE) for her fluency in French and her moderate understanding of Russian. She had her initial SOE training at Winterfold, Cranleigh, Surrey, England in Sep 1943, and then para-military training at Meoble Lodge, Morar, Invernesshire, Scotland, United Kingdom in Oct 1943, and finally wireless operations training at Thame Park, Oxfordshire, England in Nov and Dec 1943. During the night of 8-9 Apr 1944, she entered France via parachute with three other SOE operatives: Captain Stanislaw Makowski, Captain C. S. Hudson, and Captain G. D. Jones. In France, she worked as a wireless operator on the Ventriloquist Circuit under the codename Violette and Michele.
Byck passed away from meningitis in Romorantin, France less than two months after arriving in France. She now rests in Pornic War Cemetery in France.
Sources: Jewish Virtual Library, Wikipedia.
Muriel Byck Timeline
|4 Jun 1918||Muriel Byck was born.|
|23 May 1944||Muriel Byck passed away.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945