The exploits of mild-mannered Captain Cecil Leyland Riding MC were unearthed by members of his family, who discovered the wicker basket after his death.
Inside, they found medals, memoirs, photographs and citations which told of his incredible courage and bravery.
Capt Riding joined the Special Air Service (SAS) in 1944, three years after its formation, and was in one of the first special forces units parachuted into Nazi-occupied France – with a carrier pigeon strapped to his chest – just days after the D-Day Normandy Landings.
He served across occupied Western Europe during 1944 and 1945, including taking part in the liberation of Norway and the allied forces' advance into Germany.
He was awarded five medals for his heroics, including the prestigious Military Cross.
David Riding, nephew of Capt Riding, said yesterday: "Cecil never talked about his wartime exploits.
"I knew he had been awarded the Military Cross after taking over command of the SAS team when his commanding officer was shot, shortly after landing in France, but had no idea of the details.
"After Cecil's death, we found the memorabilia in a trunk in his loft and could piece together the story from what was there.
"Cecil returned to France many times for reunions and memorial services, as his team had formed a close bond with the French Resistance and public who had aided them in their exploits to harass the enemy.
"Cecil was 28 years old when he was parachuted behind enemy lines. It's amazing what these young men achieved."
Capt Riding grew up near Lockerbie, working as a factor before moving to Glasgow, where he met his wife Janie.
He joined the Coldstream Guards in 1940 and was commissioned to the Highland Light Infantry a year later.
In February 1944, he joined the SAS and was parachuted into northern France, tasked with disrupting the Germany army in the region.
He jumped with a carrier pigeon strapped to his chest, which he used to send information back to Britain. Leading a team of five men, he was responsible for blowing up the Montarges to Paris train line.
Memoirs detail how Capt Riding often had to pretend to be German to evade the Nazi forces as he sent intelligence back to London.
His missions were often fraught with danger and he escaped death on two occasions, when German troops discovered the SAS camps and obliterated them.
In one of the attacks, his commanding officer and two fellow soldiers were killed.
After finishing his service, Capt Riding returned to Scotland, living near Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, before taking up a post with Bombay Burma Trading Company in 1956.
Along with wife Janie, he lived in Borneo and Burma for a number of years, where he worked in forestry.
They returned to Scotland in 1967 and Capt Riding worked for Falkirk District Council as a land valuation officer.
He moved to Dumfries in 1971 and lived there until he died in 1998.
As well as the Military Cross, Capt Riding was awarded the The 1939-45 Star, The France and Germany Star, The Defence Medal and the War Medal.
The family have handed the basket into the Dumfries Museum, where it has been turned into a major exhibition.
Fiona Wilson, museum officer, said yesterday: "On first seeing the basket, it was clear that this was a fascinating collection – there were so many different objects which fitted together to tell one person's story.
"There were his medals but there was also a handwritten memoir giving incredible detail about his experiences.
"The objects that he chose to keep tell us so much about his time in the SAS and what was happening in France and Germany during that period of World War Two.
"They make a tangible connection with the people and events we can only read about today."
Capt Riding's collection can be viewed at Dumfries Museum until January 2014.
Contextual targeting label: