After the war, Tom Applewhite was fortunate to be reunited with five of his helpers from the Resistance:
The first of these reunions occurred in 1948 when Tom and Jockey Wiggins were flown to New York City by the U. S. Air Force for a reunion with Amanda Stassart at the American Heritage Foundation’s final “Freedom Train” ceremonies. Until Tom and Jockey got there, they had no idea who it was they were meeting. They had been told her name was Amanda Stassart but in December 1943 they had only known her as “Diane” as she guided them across the Belgian-French border and on to Paris. For more on Amanda Stassart, click here.
The second was in 1993 in St. Louis at the annual meeting of the Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society when Tom hosted Peter (Peek) and Nellie de Noo as guests of AFEES. It was they who hid Tom during the first and second nights after “The Wild Hare” was shot down and he had to bail out. For more on Peek and Nellie, click here.
The last reunion was in 1995 when a Dutch TV station flew Tom to The Netherlands for an on-the-air reunion with Jan Naaijkens. Tom also got to meet Eugene van der Heijden, his guide to Brussels. For more on Jan Naaikjens, click here.
For more on these reunions, see the next three pages.
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