Monique de Bissy
Monique de Bissy started the war as a nurse for the Belgian Red Cross and then she enrolled in the Resistance after the Belgian defeat in 1940 (aged 17). She worked for several resistance groups, such as the « Brigade Blanche », and the « Ailes Brisées ». She also worked on the Comet Line. She organized and participated in the evasion to Spain of 20 Allies pilots after their aircraft had been shot by the German Army around the Belgian city of Liège. She was arrested in 1944 after denunciation and was taken to the jail of Maastricht in Netherlands where she was tortured.
After four months of detention she was liberated by U.S. troops in August 1944. She never gave any information to the Nazis during her captivity and she managed to keep her resistance partners safe by her silence.
Monique de Bissy enlisted as nurse in the French army in September 1944.
In 1946 Monique de Bissy married Gerrit Schimmelpenninck with whom she had three children: Gérard (1947), Sonia (1956) and Joëlle (1958). She has had six grandchildren: Stéphanie (1980), Louis (1981), Sophie (1983), Astrid (1987), Xavier (1990) and Olivier (1991).
She died on November 17, 2009, six months after receiving the Légion d'Honneur from French Senator Jacqueline Gourault in the name of President Nicolas Sarkozy for her contribution to Peace and Freedom during World War II.
Numerous countries have expressed their gratitude through number of medals:
- Belgium: "Médaille de la Résistance" (Resistance Medal) and "Médaille commémorative de la guerre 1940-1945" (Commemorative Medal of World War II) with Belgian Lion,
- United Kingdom: King's Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom,
- USA: Medal of Freedom,
- France: Légion d'Honneur.
Citation for Medal of Freedom (1947).
U.S. presidential gratitude expressed by General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1949).
- Bissy (family)
- Schimmelpenninck (family)
- Belgian Resistance during World War II
- French resistance during World War II
- Presidential medal of freedom
- Red Cross
- Website of Belgian Resistant group "Comète" with the full list of Allies pilots saved and Belgian resistants
- BELGA (2009-11-19). "Death announcement on the Belgian newspaper "La Libre Belgique"". Lalibre.be. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- Death announcement on the French newspaper "Midi Libre"
- "Announce dof the promotion to the grade of Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur of Mme Monique de Bissy". Lefigaro.fr. 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
- Announce of the ceremony of Légion d'Honneur decoration by French senator par Jacqueline Gourault Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.