Escape From Hitler’s Europe: An American Airman behind Enemy Lines

Published By: The University Press of Kentucky

Book Category: Non-Fiction, History

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Reviewed by Christina Smith

“Happy Birthday, Happy Valley.” That is how George Watt starts his heroic adventure. Waking up on his 30th birthday, he finds out that his flight crew has to fly out that day. This began a birthday that he will never forget as his plane is shot down by German gunfire. After his crew has to jump from the falling plane, he lands in Belguim, which at that time, is occupied by Nazis.

He is met by villagers and farmers who first help him hide in a ditch from the German officers who are looking for him, and then help him to get to the Comet Line. The Comet Line was the World War II version of the underground railroad. Along the way, he met the Lauwaerts, who ran a grocery store in the front of their house; Ducolumbeir, who helped him get the past the German officers who were on patrol; Raymond Inghels, who helped him on part of his journey; and many others. When he was finally able to escape and make it to Spain, the first thing he did was send a cable to his wife to let her know that she couldn’t get rid of him that easily.

George Watt not only thanked his rescuers the day that they helped him, he make two return trips to show that he would be forever grateful for all of the help and compassion that they showed him. He knew that they had all literally risked not only their lives, but the lives of their families to save him.

This is one of my favorite books about World War II, and the first I have read that is about the Comet Line and the people who helped with running it. I have not read any other book dealing with an Airman and his plane being shot down. Highly recommend.

Armchair Interview says: A most personal story of war and gratitude.

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