Michael Moores LeBlanc
The 100th Bomb Group Foundation is sincerely grateful to Michael Moores LeBlanc for sharing his detailed research with us and for allowing us to publish it on this website. The photo of Michael (below) was taken in September, 2005 in Amsterdam where he was involved in the recovery of his uncle's Halifax III bomber and its crew. Most of the information you will see in this section of the website is in the public domain. However, we request that you give proper credit to Michael Moores LeBlanc if you choose to use his research.
By way of introduction I am a 1949 model Canadian, living in Acton, a small suburban-farming community 45 minutes NW of Toronto International airport. I have a wife, two boys aged 20 & 22, three cats, two dogs, a boa constrictor, a mortgage and a wife called Kathy. I work in the communications department of a local hospital but originally trained as a technical illustrator-graphic designer (alas, a failed career) and taught visual arts for 13 years (unlucky number).
I was raised in a war-generation family. All of my seven uncles saw service in WW II. One was a POW of the Japanese (Hong Kong), one was with a Recce reg't, one was in artillery, and one was an engineer who got away (evaded) from the action at Dieppe after he was captured by the Huns. All the rest, including my father, were air force on Wellingtons, Halifaxes and B-26s. One uncle was killed in air operations on 24-35 May 1944. Just this fall my two sons and I participated in the salvaging of his Halifax III bomber and the recovery of the remains of five of the crew that were still in the aircraft.
Back in the mid-1980s I took an interest in this uncle's crew and subsequently researched them, their Sqdn (attending two reunions & corresponded with ca 380 former Sqdn members) and eventually recovered the stories of all the 33 British aircraft and 8 German night-fighters lost the same night. While doing this I stumbled on the fact that the Dutch tried to help 18 of the lost bomber crew members.
Twelve were sent down to Antwerp in Belgium where they all found themselves on a false escape line (the KLM) created by the Abwehr - German Miliraty intelligence. I decided to find out how this situation developed and who was involved. I ended up identifying most of the 235 allied airmen captured this way, identified who the airmen were, who real patriots were and who was working for the Germans.
In turn, this led me to a thorough study of all of the escape lines of Holland, Belgium and France. I am told I am good at what I do and some people say I am a 'general' authority on the matter, a flattery I enjoy but I know I am still very much a student. I continue my involvement with this passion to this day ... which is now I have ultimately come into contact with you (100th Bomb Group Foundation)..
John's website deals primarily with the very, very early days of Comete but has an excellent bibliography section as well as a very good 'instruction' page for anyone wishing to carry out further evasion research. By the way, the word 'Comete' is simply French for 'Comet'. The French spelling is usually used. A very good introduction to evasion line history and one that covers most of the prominent evasion line organizations is Airey Neave's 'Saturday at MI-9'.