Downed Allied Airmen and Evasion of Capture

The Role of Local Resistance Networks in World War II


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SKU: 9780786422166 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

This volume deals specifically with escape and evasion in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, an operation in which the author himself was directly involved, and discusses the role which these lines of escape played in the lives of airmen who were forced to bail out over enemy territory. He describes the ever-present risks the often nameless patriots faced, such as the danger of exposure and the threat of traitorous infiltration. Specific lines are traced geographically and their main participants discussed. Special emphasis is placed on the role of women in this resistance operation. Throughout the book, the reader benefits not only from the author’s own personal recollections but also from his later on-location research. The final chapter concludes with statistical information directly related to this little known aspect of World War II. Appendices include lists of the airmen helped by the resistance movement.

About the Author(s)

Herman Bodson was born in Belgium but became a naturalized American citizen in 1966. He died in 2001.

Bibliographic Details

Herman Bodson
Foreword by Colonel J.W. Bradbury
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, notes, bibliography, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2216-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0679-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Foreword by Lt. Col. J.W. Bradbury      1
Preface      7

1. The Lands: Physiography and Political Climate      15
2. Origin and Early Organization of the Escape Lines      25
3. Evasion and Its Evolution: The Lines from the Netherlands, Belgium, and France      32
4. Preparation of the Flying Personnel for Evasion      73
5. Safe Houses      82
6. Airmen in the European Underground      95
7. What to Do and Not to Do      114
8. The Traitors      124
9. Swiss Neutrality and American Airmen During World War II      138
10. Numbers and Discussion      146
Conclusion      153

Special Terms and Abbreviations      159
Appendix I: Belgium: Official List of Clandestine Nets      163
Appendix II. List of Airmen Helped by H. Bodson      167
Appendix III. RAF Questionnaire for Downed Airmen      169
Appendix IV. List of American Airmen Who Bailed Out During World War II and Were Helped by the MNB Liège Resistance Movement      171
Appendix V. Escape Kit Carried by British and American Airmen      176
Appendix VI. List of Airmen Helped in the Marathon (Belgium) Camps, 1944–1945      177
Appendix VII. List of Escapees in Switzerland      182
Appendix VIII. U.S. Medal of Freedom Awards      188
Notes      191
Sources and Bibliography      199
Index      205

Book Reviews & Awards

“meticulous research…recommended”—Colorado Libraries.