Accueil      Press Article en anglais      Presse Article en français      Photos     Distinctions     Cartes     Contact
A long voyage home
René Malevergne, a retired Moroccan merchant marine,
courageously pilots two vessels through the shallow, winding Sebou River
as part of the Allies' World War II invasion of North Africa.

By William L. Noyer

When the Germans invaded France, René Malevergne wanted to fight. But the Army told him "You're too old." Malevergne did not consider 50 too old. A retired merchant marine sailor, he lived quietly with his wife and two young sons in Mehdia, Morocco, where the Sebou River enters the Atlantic. Later, when France fell, Malevergne joined the Resistance. His home became the last stop in Africa for the "underground railway" which helped young French and English airmen escape to England. During the day, Malevergne piloted cargo vessels up the muddy Sebou to inland Port-Lyautey, the site of one of the finest airdromes in North Africa. On carefully selected nights, he pushed out from the beach in a dory, rowed through the crashing waves, and delivered two or three airmen to a blacked-out ship waiting offshore.