Andrée de Jongh
November 30, 1916 – October 13, 2007
Andrée “Dédée” de Jongh was born in occupied Belgium during World War I to a headmaster father. She became a nurse, hoping to follow in the footsteps of her hero, Edith Cavell. When Belgium was again occupied by the Germans in World War II she became a volunteer for the Red Cross.
After befriending many members of the safe house network, Andrée started working with her father on ways to help the hiding servicemen. She masterminded an escape route to northern Spain for Allied soldiers to escape to Britain. After initially leading two men to safety on the first trip, the “Comet Line” saved over 300 men by helping them escape occupied Europe. Andrée personally led around 30 trips of 118 servicemen.
Many soldiers were shocked that the young-looking 24 year old would be in charge of their escape. At the start of 1943 Andrée was arrested by the Gestapo as some members of the Comet Line became traitors. She admitted to masterminding the plan, but was not believed because of her age. Her father was arrested and killed later that year.
Andrée worked in leper camps after the war in Africa before retiring back to Belgium. She was given many awards for her work, including becoming a Belgian Countess. She died at age 90 in 2007.