The Veterans
Fernand Du Bois, born Sept. 9, 1924 in Cuesmes, Belgium. A student during the German invasion, he and his family tried to escape to the coast but had to turn back. In a field near Abbeville they were attacked by a German Stuka. His father was killed and he was severely wounded by shrapnel and sustained third-degree burns. He was taken to a German field hospital in Montreuille-sur-Mer, where German doctors saved his life. He remained a civilian under the occupation until early in 1944 when he was ordered to report to a forced labor office. Instead, he went into hiding and joined local partisan groups in the Mons area. In October 1945 he became the driver for an American colonel, and then volunteered for the newly formed Belgian army, fighting as a part of Patton's 3rd Army. He saw action with front-line troops in Kirsheim, Mainz and Trier.
© Jonathan Alpeyrie