For Four Years The Germans Tried To Catch Me... Emile Declercq, 23-year-old son of a Belgian grain merchant, was known to the Germans as a hard-bitten veteran who fought them from under cover with all the means at his disposal. He told his story in November 1944, to a News Cronicle reporter, in a hospital near London, whilst recovering from wounds before going back to resume the fight. The Germans could not catch me, so they took my father away as a hostage. I learned that he was being taken by car towards Bruges, I got together a few of my men and mounted on motor-cycles, we, overtook the car, forced the driver to stop, and freed my father after a terrific battle. With wounds in the shoulder and chest and eight ribs broken, I was of no more use for immediate active service. I lay hidden until the Canadians arrived. Then I was brought to England. All I want to do is to get back to Belgium, to rejoin either the Maquis or the regular Belgian Army. I was a private in the Belgian Army when the Germans invaded my country. I was taken prisoner, but escaped, took to the woods, and joined the Maquis. After a while I was made a commandant, with 120 to130 men. We operated always by night in conjunction with other companies in the triangle bounded by Ypres, Bruges and Dixmude. Our orders, from an unknown leader at headquarters, were always signed by a number. Even now I do not know who he was, but he was a great leader. Emile Declercq, Belgian patriot, was the hero of an extraordinary exploit in which he rescued his own father who was held as hostage for himself, as related in this thread. The life was full of excitement. We were in deadly peril most of the time and quislings were almost as great a menace as the Germans. We specialised in night attacks and in sabotage. We destroyed bridges to hold up supply trains; hid Allied airmen who were forced down and in many cases effected their return to England; and, most important of all, we sent messages to England about the fortifications. The Germans little knew that many of the men they had forced to work for them in building their defence lines were in close touch with us. Every alteration, every modification, was notified to us. Our news was relayed to England once a fortnight, at first by a secret radio. When, this became too dangerous, we handed written reports to the pilots of Allied planes sent over for the purpose. We were fed by farmers and villagers, and supplied with arms by parachute. At night we took heavy toll of the Germans and their supply routes. Once we saw some Canadian pilots captured. That night we crept into the camp where they were held prisoner, killed some of the guards and got the Canadians safely away. We kept them hidden until the Allied armies arrived.