Pyrenees, Basques, St. Jean de Luz

This grouping of books is due to the importance of the Comet Line, the Belgian-run escape line that assisted more Allied airmen than any other line.  “Comet” took the men through France, over the Pyrenees, and into Spain.  Many of the men passed through the French town of St. Jean de Luz near the Spanish border.  Basques played important roles as local helpers and as guides across the mountains.

Aguirre Franco, Rafael,    Donostia San Sebastian, Editorial Everest, n.d.

Clark, Robert P., The Basques, the Franco Years and Beyond, Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1979.

Eisner, Peter, The Freedom Line, New York: William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2004.

Floyd,  Maita, Stolen Years, Phoenix, AZ: Eskualdun Publishers, 1996.

Lougarot, Gisèle, Dans l’Ombre des Passeurs, San Sebastian: Elkarlanean S.L. Donostia, 2004.

Moats, Alice-Leone, No Passport for Paris, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1945.

Onderwater, Hans, Reis Naar de Horizon, Bearn: Hollandia, 1985.

Ostrum, Meg, The Surgeon and the Shepherd, Two Resistance Heroes in Vichy France,  Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.

Vaculik, Serge, Air Commando, NY: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1955.

Warren, Geoff and Cheryl Padham and Philippe Connart, Bidarray, Larressore, Souraïde, Three Other Routes Through the Pyrenees Into Spain, unpublished report available through Comète Kinship Belgium, 2010,  See at

Woodworth, Paddy, The Basque Country, A Cultural History, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

3 responses to “Pyrenees, Basques, St. Jean de Luz

  1. Was a Westland “Lysander: airplane ever used in Andorra during 1940 to help escapees reach Spain and beyond? AvComps

    Dear AvComps,

    In regard to your question whether a Westland “Lysander” was ever used in Andorra in 1940 to help escapees reach Spain, the one person I know who might be able to answer your question is Scott Goodall, an Englishman living in the south of France who wrote the book, The Freedom Trail. You will find it listed on at and WHSmit at I am sure he will try to be of help.

    Best wishes,
    Bruce Bolinger

  2. Mr Bolinger

    John Howes kondly gave me your name. I am a retired British Diplomat. I spent four years in Brussels from 2007 until last year. I became interested in the Comete evasion line, met former members of the line and read and researched its history. I am a pure amateur but enjoy the chase after information and meeting the varied crowd of people who study such things. If you have anyhting on Comete, I would be very interested. By the way, I learnt from Brussels that Amanda Stassaert died a short time ago.

    Alasdair MacDermott
    Achnacone Farmhouse
    PA38 4BG
    28 Feb

  3. As far as i know the routes through the pyranees are still usable, just watchout for the river orassa keep it on your right, follow it down to find the bridge, also beware some of the paths are pecipice.

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