Over the past 1,000 years Hurley, in the County of Berkshire, has experienced its fair share of historic events, from royal visitations to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Modern history appears to have passed Hurley by, but it has now been discovered that during the Second World War Hurley was used as a top secret communication centre, known by its code name Station VICTOR.
Established in 1943 by the American OSS, Station VICTOR communicated with secret agents throughout occupied Europe and within the German Reich. VICTOR's role was to receive and send coded messages in order to obtain vital intelligence on Hitler's Panzer Divisions, secret weapons and industrial war machine. This is the story of Station VICTOR, from is conception, construction and operation and about the lives of those agents who risked torture and death in order to rid Europe of the Nazi tyranny. Operations such as the SUSSEX plan and the liberation of France used Hurley as their base station where even General Eisenhower as Supreme Commander and Prime Minister Churchill were seen as visitors. It is only now that the story of OSS Station VICTOR can be told due to the declassifying of VICTOR's operational war diary by the CIA and the discovery of a remarkable set of official photographs. Hurley's long-forgotten wartime secret can now be revealed.
Philip M. Williams has been associated with the village of Hurley for the past 30 years and has had a keen interest in uncovering local history from Roman Britain through to modern times. Having a service background in the Royal Engineers he was curious to know why US Navy personnel would have been stationed in the village during the war. Open source research led to the discovery of Hurley's codename VICTOR which unveiled its wartime association with the OSS, its secrets and the discovery of its remarkable operational diary at the National Archive's in Maryland USA. Having spent several years studying the local landscape, maps and aerial photographs he has managed to bring wartime Hurley back to life.