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Dobson, Richard Iver

    Date of birth:
    December 12th, 1906 (Antwerp, Belgium)
    Nationality:
    British (1801-present, Kingdom)

    Biography

    Service number 183649.

    Before the war, Richard Dobson was a shipping agent in Antwerp and thus spoke Flemish fluently
    At the beginning of the Second World War he was working with MI6 as a Conducting Officer (training officer for agents)
    In February 1941 he was employed with T section at first as an interpreter but later in various roles. After that he was employed as head of the Belgian section.
    In March 1944 he became head of the Dutch Section which was at that time penetrated by German counter-espionage. Known as the Englandspiel “clandestine” radio transmissions from the Netherlands fed the British false information, leading to the capture and death of most of the British and Dutch agents dropped into the Netherlands.
    Dobson soon succesfully reorganised the Section.
    Major Giskes head of German counter espionage in the Netherlands decided to call off the Englandspiel and sent a final signal to London.
    Dobson remained in charge of the Dutch Section until the end of the war.

    Promotions:"
    April 18th, 1941: 2nd Lieutenant (without army pay and allowances)
    ? Lieutenant
    ? Captain
    ? Major (war sub)
    April 19th, 1946: Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel
    Unit:
    General List
    Awarded on:
    May 23rd, 1947
    Citation:
    "As head of the Dutch section of the Special Operations Executive from March 1944 to May 1945, Lt-Colonel Dobson displayed great devotion to duty and meritorious service in the field connected with the Armed Resistance Forces struggle and in the liberation of the Netherlands.
    Lt-Colonel Dobson’s outstanding ability when working as Operations Organiser greatly assisted the Allied Forces advancement. Through his untiring efforts, determination and leadership he enabled many missions to be successfully achieved.”
    With Swords.
    Officier in de Orde van Oranje Nassau (ON.4)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel
    Unit:
    General List
    Awarded on:
    July 18th, 1947
    Medal of Freedom
    Citation:
    "“Lieutenant Colonel Richard Iver Dobson, British Army, for exceptionally meritorious achievement which aided the United States in the prosecution of the war against the enemy in Continental Europe from 26 February 1944 to 6 May 1945. Lieutenant Colonel Dobson displayed outstanding executive ability, initiative, and completed devotion to duty while assigned to a special mission which played an important part in the support of the Allied Expeditionary Force operations in Europe and in the liberation of the Netherlands. Lieutenant Colonel Dobson’s wholehearted spirit of cooperation, his unfailing tact, and his deep fund of military knowledge reflect high credit upon him and the Allied Armed Forces.”
    With Bronze Palm.
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel
    Unit:
    General List
    Awarded on:
    September 12th, 1948
    Officier in de Orde van Leopold II
    Citation:
    “In recognition of services rendered to Belgium.”
    The explanation for the award comes clear in a letter from Paul Bihin, Administrateur de la Sűreté de l’ Etat:
    “Lt. Colonel Richard Dobson, attached to the British Special Services, has cooperated with the Belgian section of this organisation since February 12 1941 as Interpreter and conducting officer, he was later Briefing Officer and Operating Officer. He is one of the British officers with the longest records of service in the Belgian section. His thorough knowledge of Belgium and its two national languages enabled him to render invaluable services in the “underground” work in occupied territory.”

    Sources