January 23, 2009

Author Douglas Jacobson takes a look at WWII Belgian Resistance

Douglas Jacobson (second from left) and former members of the Comet Line.

Author Douglas W. Jacobson researched the history of the Comet Line—a WWII Belgian Resistance organization that rescued downed allied aviators—for his book Night of Flames. Now he shares what he learned with War Through the Generations, a blog devoted to war and its impact.

Uncommon Courage
Part 1 of 3

On a dark night during World War Two, American airman, George Watt, a gunner aboard a B-17, was on a mission from England to the Ruhr valley in Germany when his plane was shot down near the Belgian village of Zele. He parachuted to earth and landed in an open field, drawing the immediate attention of local Nazi authorities. Frightened and alone, Watt hid in a ditch while the local townspeople distracted the authorities by pointing off in the wrong direction. Before long, one of the locals approached him and led him to a rural homestead where he was given civilian clothing and warm food. A few days later Watt was taken to Brussels where he was interviewed to make certain he wasn’t a spy and was soon off to Paris and eventually to safety in Spain. Watt didn’t know it at the time but he had been aboard the “Comet Line”.

The Comet Line was Europe’s largest and most successful underground escape line during World War Two. Established in 1941 by a 24 year old Belgian woman, Andrée De Jongh (known to all as Dédée) and her schoolmaster father, the Comet Line transported more than eight hundred Allied aviators to safety during the course of Nazi occupation. Dédée escorted over one hundred of these young soldiers to safety herself . . . (Read the full WWII Belgian Resistance article.)

Purchase Night of Flames: A Novel of WWII, by Douglas W. Jacobson at mcbooks.com

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