AVIGNON, France — Pierre Holmes, who used his nightly British Broadcasting Corp. program during World War II to pass coded messages to French Resistance fighters, died Dec. 7. He was 81.

Holmes died at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a village where he lived near the southern city of Avignon.

From 1942 to 1944, Holmes announced a nightly 15-minute segment from London called “Les francais parlent aux francais” (The French speak to the French).

Working for the Free French Forces under Gen. Charles de Gaulle, he passed on coded messages to Resistance fighters on arms drops, attacks and other missions. D-Day, the June 6, 1944 invasion of Normandy by Allied Forces was signaled by a line of verse by Paul Verlaine: “Long violin sobs rock my heart in monotonous languish.”

The British-born Holmes, whose father was English and mother was French, became a naturalized French citizen in 1934. He worked as a hotelier on cruise ships before the war and later worked in shipping and radio before retiring in the 1970s.

* * *

Joseph Fowler

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Retired Rear Adm. Joseph Fowler, who built the largest aircraft carriers of World War II and two Walt Disney theme parks, died Dec 3. He was 99.

After overseeing the construction of 29 warships, Fowler headed the 1954 construction of Disneyland in Anaheim. He later oversaw the building of Walt Disney World in Orlando.

President Truman appointed him civilian director of the Federal Supply Management Agency in 1952.

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