Cornelis Pieter van den Hoek

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Cornelis Pieter van den Hoek
MWO Binnenhof Piet van den Hoek.JPG  Militaire Willemsorde Ridder vierde klasse.jpg
Pieter van den Hoek on May 29, 2009
Born (1921-06-07) 7 June 1921 (age 93)
Den Bosch
Allegiance Netherlands
Service/branch Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch resistance
Years of service 1944–1945
Awards Military William Order, Knight 4th class
Order of Orange-Nassau, Knight 5th class
Resistance Memorial Cross

Cornelis Pieter van den Hoek (born in Leerdam, on June 7, 1921) is a former Dutch resistance fighter during the Second World War. Van den Hoek is one of the few living knights of the Dutch Military William Order.

Resistance fighter[edit]

In 1942 Van den Hoek was arrested by the Germans and brought to a laborcamp in Cologne. During his leave in November 1943 he went into hiding. He found a place to hide on a houseboat in De Biesbosch, where already three others were hiding. They were supplied by the Onderduikersdienst, a service for people that were in hiding. While in hiding he joined the resistance and joined the group 'De Partizanen van de Biesbosch'.[1] He became one of 21 so called line-crossers and, in the words of the royal order: "distinguished himself in battle by committing excellent acts of bravery, planning and loyalty during the end of 1944 and the beginning of 1945, on behalf of the Bureau of Information of the Dutch Government, maintaining a secret connection between occupied and liberated Netherlands across an 18 kilometer long waterway, across the Biesbosch and the Merwede, 37 times rowing across many extremely watchfull enemy posts and patroll boats.

Also [he distinguished himself], when on one of these trips his boat was sifted through with enemy bullets and he, after having to leave his boat, was arrested by the enemy, escaped within a month, and afterwards again helped maintain the connection by boat between liberated and occupied territory.

Finally [he distinguished himself] by, in union with other wellminded Dutch citizens, taking part in the Biesbosch in overpowering and capturing small groups of heavily armed German soldiers, who were afterwards locked up and guarded in motor ships in a secluded part of the Biesbosch."[2]

Knighthood[edit]

On October 30, 1948, by Royal Decree, Van den Hoek was knighted by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, receiving the fourth class (Knight) of the Military William Order. The Order is the highest and oldest military honour of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, bestowed for "performing excellent acts of Bravery, Leadership and Loyalty in battle".[3] The award is comparable to the British Victoria Cross and seldom awarded. Van den Hoek is one of only four knights still living.

Awards[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Interview on 4en5mei.nl
  2. ^ Original Dutch text on www.onderscheidingen.nl
  3. ^ Military order of William - Official website