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Little “Michou”

 

Little “Michou” stood only 5 feet tall but had the Courage of men and more, she would eventually assist in the escape of over 250 Airmen over the Pyrenees, delivering them to Freedom and Home. The Comet Lines work was finally done as the Liberation of the continent was complete. Both Lily and Pierre returned to France and assisted in the liberation of intelligence agents and prisoners of war.

Lily…Madame Micheline Dumont-Ugeux was awarded Medals of Honour for her Brave and Courageous work with the Comet Line, and the British Government bestowed upon Her, Dedee and Tante Go the Highest Award that Britain could give to a civilian…The George Medal…!!!

Dedee was to become a “Nacht und Nebel” prisoner of the Germans, suffering every degradation at Ravensbruck death camp before being liberated by the Russians on April 30th, 1945…She would return to Belgium and become a Heroine of the “Comet Line” and be awarded many Decorations and Honours for her Heroism and Bravery. Today she is now 90 years old and lives in a retirement home near Uccle, Belgium.

Dedee’s father Frederic de Jonge was executed by a German firing squad on March 28th 1944, in Paris.

Dedee’s sister, Suzanne had also been arrested with others and were all interned and interrogated brutally at the infamous St Gilles prison in Brussels. Suzanne and other loyal Comet Line friends would suffer the same fate, for they too were transported to Mauthhausen and Ravensbruck concentration camp, many to meet their death loyally to their cause. She was liberated from the camp in 1945.

Florentino returned to his village at Ciboure there to live out the rest of his days sipping wine and remembering all the memories of his exploits with Dedee, Tante Go, “B” Johnson and Franco. He was left with a serious limp which prevented him climbing. He was awarded many Decorations and Honours…Florentino Goikoetxea died on July 27th 1980…he rests under the shadow of his beloved mountains…The Pyrenees.

Francia Usandizanga a loving devoted friend of Dedee and the Comet Line, who was captured with Dedee on that fateful night of January 15th 1943…was soon imprisoned, she had left behind three small children. She was deported to Ravensbruck concentration camp, where she suffered the horror and died there on April 12th 1945.

Andree Dumont, Lily’s sister codenamed “Nadine”, had joined the Comet Line aged 17 years old, she began delivering messages by bicycle and finding food and clothes for the Allied airmen still in hiding in Brussels and the countryside. She had assisted in more than 20 escapes escorting the “parcels” by train to France and onto freedom…before she and her family were arrested by the Gestapo. Andree spent nearly three years in prison and concentration camps and the Hell of Ravensbruck, until her liberation in 1945…Their father never returned, he died in the horror of Hitler’s camps.

Andree still lives in Belgium and is a grandmother, she still lives in the home where she and her family were arrested by the Gestapo on that fateful day, after being betrayed. But she will always remain faithful to the Comet Line and those left today, organizing reunions for the Allied airmen that she and the Heroic Comet Line saved.

Elvire de Greef, alias…Tante Go, the Heroine and dynamic force behind the Comet Line in the south, was awarded Britain’s Highest Honour…The George Medal. She died in Brussels in September 1991, aged 94 years old.

Jean-Francois Nothomb, alias Franco, spent many long months in filthy, disgusting prisons in Germany and nearly died, he was finally Liberated on April 23rd 1945. He returned to Brussels but due to his months of severe suffering weighed only 90 pounds, and was seriously ill from T.B. He recovered to become a Roman Catholic priest…He now lives near Rome.

The “Comet Line” had survived loyally to the end of the war, despite all the horrors of betrayal, the tortures, and deaths. They had succeeded in the saving of hundreds of Allied soldiers and airmen. Their work was complete, their lives would now find some peace…They had Triumphed over Hitler’s Nazi Tyranny and Won…!!!

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