Taconis, Thijs

Date of birth:
March 28th, 1914 (Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
Date of death:
September 6th, 1944 (Mauthausen, Austria)
Nationality:
Dutch (1815-present, Kingdom)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Sergeant
Unit:
N Section, Special Operations Executive (SOE), War Office, British Government
Awarded on:
May 31st, 1943
Action:
"Sergeant Thijs Taconis was landed in Holland by parachute, with a wireless operator, early in November 1941 after which he did valuable and notable work both in performing the tasks he was originally despatched and in many other ways.
Taconis organised and trained 10 groups of saboteurs, each group consisting of an average of 8 men. These groups were situated in various parts of Holland and active but unobtrusive sabotage of transport and also arson were undertaken.
At our request Taconis planned and organised, in June 1942, an attack on the German radio station at Kootwijk. There is every reason to suppose that this attack would have been succesful had the assault party had not come upon landmines - the presence of which was not suspected - and roused the guard, with resultant failure. Taconis' organisation had neither been shaken nor endangered in any way by this incident thus affording proof of the efficient way in which his work had been done.
With the aid of Reception Committees organised locally by Taconis, 10 deliveries of stores comprising in all 52 containers were made. The total net weight of these stores exceeded 5 tons and they were distributed amongst the various savotage groups and safely hidden.
These same Reception Committees, under the guidance of Taconis, at different times received and gave safe accommodation to 8 officers and other ranks proceeding to the field, whose chances of safety and the ultimate success of whose work depended to an important extent in the services thus rendered. In fact, it was due to the assistance in the initial stages of Taconis and his men that plans for the organisation of resistance groups in Holland were completed so rapidly.
One of the officers whom Taconis received was unfortunate enough to suffer severe concussion on landing. He was none the less safely housed, given medical attention and finally, when after a few days he died, burried cladestinely and therefore without danger to the organisation.
Many other services were rendered by Taconis and his helpers in the way of receiving special equipment and messages and passing them through to other agents in the field, and even latterly in obtaining most valuable information in regard to the issue of identity and ration cards in Holland.
Throughout all these months of active and intelligent planning and organisation, Taconis was in constant danger, the nature and extend of which can only be surmised, but which by his high degree of courage, resourcefulness and devotion to duty, he combatted successfully. His work commanded the unreserved respect of all who had experience of such activities."
Details:
His father received the medal on 11 November 1947
Military Medal (MM)
Action:
He has distinguished himself in the face of the enemy as an agent of a secret intelligence group that had dispatched him in the years between 1940 and 1945 to enemy held territory where he had to perform a death defying task under extremely trying circumstances, ultimately leading to his death by enemy counter-action.
Details:
Posthumously awarded: Royal Degree no. 55

Sources