6 June 1944 - 25 July 1944


Throughout the early days of the operation the work of Imprest holders in operational units, the supply of funds, and the accounting for expenditure, worked smoothly and on simple lines, because the changeover to the Active Service System of accounting had taken place as soon as units entered the concentration areas.

All the difficulties which the change entailed had been met and overcome before the operation began. Each officer landed with an advance of pay book and every Imprest holder had previous contact with the appropriate cashier, and was familiar with the procedure for drawing and accounting for Imprest funds in the field.

As there was a possibility that the enemy in retreat would destroy large quantities of FRENCH currency notes, supplemental FRENCH francs were specially printed in AMERICA to meet the emergency.

Of the total number printed the share allotted to 21 Army Group was 2,899,500,000 francs.

By agreement with the FRENCH Provisional Government the rate of exchange was fixed at 200 francs to the pound sterling.

Immediately prior to embarkation all ranks were paid 200 francs. Corps and divisional Field Cashiers embarked with a set of seven boxes of currency specially prepared in suitable note denominations and waterproofed. The value of each set was 4,750,000 francs which was estimated to cover the formations expenditure for two weeks.

On 21 June the Base Cashier disembarked at MULBERRY with 5 1/2 tons of preloaded currency to the total value of 335,440,000 FRENCH francs. This bulk supply was safeguarded in the cellars of the Chateau de COURSEULLES which had been specially reinforced by concrete. Further supplies of preloaded currency were landed during the period 29 June to 17 July. In all a total of 65% tons of francs, amounting to a sterling equivalent of $321,750,000 was despatched to FRANCE without the loss of a single franc.

Corps and divisional Field Cash offices landed with their formation HQ.

Between D+2 and D+12 eleven Field and one Area Cash Office arrived and commenced to operate. No. 3 Forward Base Pay office, which disembarked on D+13, took over the buildings of a bank in BAYEUX for the purposes of distributing funds to forward cashiers and payment of military bills.

Later this unit moved to DOUVRES and made the underground passages of the radar station there into vault accommodation for the bulk supply of currency. During the period D+18 to D+24, a further seven field cash offices arrived in the beach-head together with an advance detachment of No. 9 Command Pay offices.



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