Comet Line

Comet Line

In light of the sheer number of airmen helped to return to Allied control and the longevity of the line, one of the most important escape lines, if not the most important, was the Comet Line.  Another notable feature of it was that it was established by and, until her arrest, headed by a young woman, Andrée de Jongh, known as Dedée.  To see the memorial to Dedée, click here.

List of Comet Evaders, 1941-1944

The book, RAF Evaders, The Comprehensive Story of Thousands of Escapers and Their Escape Lines, Western Europe, 1940-1945 by Oliver Clutton-Brock, contains a list of 288 Allied military personnel passed by the Comet line to Spain, 1941-1944.  With the kind permission of the author, Appendix II of the book, which lists the Comet evaders, is reproduced here.  Click on List of Comet evaders 1941-1944 to view it.  The book was published by Grub Street, London, in 2009.  It is available from Amazon , Barnes&Noble, and Casemate Publishers.  In addition, according to WorldCat, the world catalogue of library holdings, there are 56 libraries that have copies of the book.  Click here to see their list.

Useful Websites:

Interviews: Amanda Stassart was one of the Comet Line’s guides.  For more information on her, click here.

Books on the Comet Line:

    • Bodson, Herman, Downed Allied Airmen and Evasion of Capture: The Role of Local Resistance Networks in World War II, Jefferson, North Carolina: Carolinal & London: Mc Farland & Co., Inc., 2005.
    • Brusselmans, Anne, Rendez-Vous 127, the Diary of Madame Brusselmans, M.B.E. September 1940—September 1944, London: Ernest Benn, Ltd., 1954.
    • Clutton-Brock, Oliver, RAF Evaders, The Comprehensive Story of the Thousands of Evaders and Their Escape Lines, Western Europe, 1940-1945, London: Grub Street, 2009.
    • Cooper, Alan W., Free to Fight Again, RAF Escapes and Evasion, 1940-45,Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: William Kimber & Co., 1988. (Some on the Ghost/Phantom Train, pp. 178-182; one chapter on Belgium [mainly Comet] and one on Netherlands with some Belgian overlap.)
    • Darling, Donald, Secret Sunday, London: William Kimber, 1975.
    • Darling, Donald, Sunday at Large, Assignments of a Secret Agent, London: William Kimber, 1975.
    • Daley-Brusselmans, Yvonne, Belgium Rendez-Vous 127 Revisted, Manhattan, Kansas: Sunflower University Press, 2001.
    • Daley-Brusselmans, Yvonne, Anne Brusselmans, Mission Accomplished, no date or publisher.
    • De Vasselot, Odile, Tombés du Ciel, histoire d’une ligne d’évasion, Paris, 1999.
    • De Vasselot, Odile, Sous l’ Occupation . . .J’Avais 20 Ans, Paris: 2000.
    • Eisner, Peter, The Freedom Line, New York: William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2004. (Good account of the Comet Line.)
    • Hoare, Samuel, Complacent Dictator, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1947.  (Description by the British Ambassador to Spain in WWII of diplomatic relations, Allied escapers.)
    • Horning, Art, In the Footsteps of a Flying Boot, New York: Carlton Press, Inc., 1994.  (Lot of material on Service EVA as well as Comet.)
    • Jiménez de Aberasturi, Juan Carlos, El Camino de la Libertad, Ayuntamiento de Hernani, Archivo Municipal, 2008.
    • Jiménez de Aberasturi, Juan Carlos, En Passant La Bidassoa: Le Réseau “Comète” au Pays Basque, Biarritz: J & D Editions, 1996.  French edition.
    • Jouan, Cecile, Comete, Histoire d’une ligne d’evasion, place of publication?: Les éditions du beffroi Furnes (B), 1948.
    • Neave, Airey, The Escape Room, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1969. (Probably a shorter version of Saturday at M.I.9.)
    • Neave, Airey, Little Cyclone, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1954.  Reprinted in 2013 by Robson Press.
    • Neave, Airey, Saturday at M.I.9, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1969.  (Same as The Escape Room but may be more complete.)
    • Neave, Airey, They Have Their Exits, Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Leo Cooper, 2002 (Originally published in 1953).
    • Ottis, Sherri Greene, Silent Heroes: Downed Airmen and the French Underground, Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 2001.
    • Remy, (no first name), Réseau Comète, La Ligne de Démarcation, vol. 1, Paris: Librairie Académique Perrin, 1966.
    • Remy, (no first name), Réseau Comète, La Ligne de Démarcation, vol. 2 (15 janvier 1943-18 janvier 1944, Paris: Librairie Académique Perrin, 1967.
    • Watt, George, The Comet Connection, Escape from Hitler’s Europe, Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1990.  A new edition was published in 2007 as Escape from Hitler’s Europe: An American Airman Behind Enemy Lines.

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