It goes without saying that if you were playing the dangerous double game of acting like a collaborator while working for the resistance, you needed to plan ahead to limit the damage if anyone in your group was arrested. Commander Lecatre, from earlier posts, had plans for such a contingency and issued orders on what to do in case of his arrest.

The Gestapo, and perhaps their French colleagues, arrested Commandant Lecatre and his daughter on the morning of 23 May 1943 at their home. A neighbor immediately warned Lecatre’s second in command. The lieutenant immediately gathered up all the incriminating documents from the commandant’s office, such as maps and lists of men taken over the border, and hid them under the rafters on the 3rd floor, as they had decided ahead of time.

The lieutenant then sent a warning to the man in charge of that day’s patrol on the border and signed a furlough for another officer so he could disappear without going AWOL and incurring administrative penalties. And he advised all the GMR officers and ranks involved in the group to answer any questions about the movement of vehicles to and from the frontier because they could all be justified as routine trips to relieve or supply the men posted at the border. But they should claim complete ignorance of any illegal activities on the part of the commandant.

Then the lieutenant put on his civilian suit and took a stroll down the Lecatre’s street. Madame Lecatre saw him from a window, threw a napkin out the window and then pitched a matchbox out after it. It had a message in it for him, telling him to warn a certain “Charles” not to come to the house in two days’ time. The lieutenant went about trying to figure out who this “Charles” was. The third person he talked to said that “Charles” always arrived on the train from Narbonne and that the lieutenant would recognize him. So the lieutenant set up a police patrol at the station and sure enough recognized a man coming off the Narbonne train. He was a courier for a resistance intelligence network.

A week or so after Lecatre’s arrest, Madame Lecatre told the lieutenant that he was her husband’s successor for the resistance in the GMR. Even though Lecatre’s replacement was “suspect” (meaning not sympathetic to the resistance), the Lieutenant kept the escape route functioning as best he could until he himself was transferred away from the Spanish frontier in December 1943.