He died Thursday January 7, 2021 at the age of 98. Robert Houston Sweatt was the last World War II Allied aviator rescued by the Shelburn network in Plouha. Grateful, the American has always kept in touch with the French city. He regularly sent his news as well as his wishes through Arnaud Théron, a French friend, and the Memoires de l’Histoire association.
Claude Benech, author of “The incredible history of the Shelburn network” released in 2019 explains that Robert Houston Sweatt, US army machine gunner, was exfiltrated by this network from Bonaparte beach in Plouha, on the night of 23-24 March 1944. A few weeks earlier, on January 7, 1944, Sergeant Sweatt was a member of the crew of the “Trouble” bomber which crashed above Bouville (Eure-et-Loir). At 22, although seriously injured, he is the only survivor of the ten airmen. Arrived in Plouha, continues Claude Benech, he is placed in a farm in Kergeffroy, then exfiltrated from the Maison d’Alphonse. “He repeated with humor that he did not speak French, that the only words he knew were:” Hello everyone at Alphonse’s house “”.
“May God bless the people of France! “
Since then, explains Claude Benech, “he has never ceased to praise the good care of his French friends (…) He said, not too long ago:” I will never forget, they took enormous risks in hiding me, God bless the people of France! “”
Robert Houston Sweatt had been associated with the production of the film “Le Réseau Shelburn” directed by Nicolas Guillou, by sending him some photos of the shoot in which the airmen, the cliff and the Bonaparte beach appeared. For his birthdays, the Mémoires de l’Histoire team and many Plouhatins sent him postcards. Bob, as he was called, was happy to know that he was not forgotten.
Monique Bondoux, president of the Mémoires de l’Histoire association and her team send their condolences to her family and assure their deep gratitude for this humble, generous and exceptional man.
Announcement by Hillier Funeral Home: https://www.tributearchive.com/obituaries/19576357/Robert-H-Sweatt/College-Station/Texas/Hillier-Funeral-Home
Robert Houston Sweatt a toujours été reconnaissant envers le réseau Shelburn. Il est l’ultime homme sauvé par l’organisation, dont l’objectif était d’évacuer des parachutistes et aviateurs alliés vers l’Angleterre, de janvier à août 1944, au cours de la guerre 39-45. Une mission dont la dernière étape consistait à rejoindre Plouha, entre Saint-Brieuc et Paimpol (Côtes-d’Armor), en train. D’où l’attachement de l’Américain à la cité bretonne, avec laquelle il n’a pas cessé d’être en contact.