Groupe Hoornaert-Dirix

The following pages from the book Du Sang Sur Les Bruyeres (Google translation, Blood on Bruyeres) were scanned for me courtesy of Mr. Wolfgang Meyer.  The front cover gives the following identification: Groupe Hoornaert-Dirix, De L’Armee Secrete, 1940-1945.  Following the cover I have prepared an index to names of 71 airmen (including a few non-airmen) giving the page number(s) where a person’s name is to be found.

In January 2023 Mr. Edouard Renière of the Comet Network/Le Réseau Comète website provided (1) corrected spellings of names, (2) confirmation of evaders’ military affiliation, e.g., “RAF”, and (3) links to pages on the Comet Network/Le Réseau Comète website where there is further information on each evader.

Following the pages from the book, I have added (1) a short account about Paul Hoornaert  provided by Philippe Connart, and (2) some links to other websites that might be useful.

Front cover

Title page, IMG_1900


(Our thanks to Edouard Renière for information on the correct spelling of evaders’ names and the links to their pages on the Comet Network/Le Réseau Comète website.)

(See an individual’s page at  .)

Preface, pp. 3-4

Preface, IMG_1901

Page 4, IMG_1902

Pg. 65

Pg. 65, IMG_1915

Pg. 66

Pg. 66, IMG_1916

Pg. 67

Pg. 67, IMG_1917

Pg. 68

Page 68, IMG_1903

Pg. 69

Pg. 69, IMG_1904

Pg. 70

Pg. 70, IMG_1905

Pg. 71

Pg. 71, IMG_1906

Background of Paul Hoornaert Submitted by Philippe Connart

Paul Hoornaert (1888-1944) was from Liège (Rue Fabry).  A lawyer and attached to the Christian-Democrats, he volunteered during WWI and became an officer.  He created the Nationaal Legioen/Légion Nationale in the mid-twenties (1927). Pierre Nothomb (father of Jean-François) created the similar Action Nationale.  All these nationalist movements came to light as a result of WWI. In France, you had the Action Française of Charles Maurras. In Italy, the Fascism followed a similar ideology, as well as in Portugal and Spain.
Hoornaert was much inspired by Italian fascism. His group, of some 5,000 members strong, became part of the Armée Secrète/Geheime Leger.
The Legion was aiming at a national revolution in order to establish a New Ordre, where political parties and the parliament would be replaced by a strong government under the authority of the king.  In addition, the National Legion was anti-marxist, anti-parliament, anti-semitic, Belgian-Nationalist, royalist and was against ballots.
When the Légion Nationale refused to collaborate with the occupying German power (unlike Rex and the VNV which did)–it had been first allowed to reunite and run training camps in their uniform–200 leaders were arrested by September 1941. So was Paul Hoornaert arrested in 1941, and deceased in early 1944 in the concentration camp of Sonnenburg.  On August 6, 1942, Paul was tried in Aachen on the charge of illegal possession of weapons, clandestine press and espionage.  The group Hoornaert-Dirix is known for having shot a few SS soldiers and helped in the evasion of aviators and Soviet prisoners from the coal mines in Limburg.
Paul Hoornaert  developed a heavy cough in Febuary 1944 and died from fever and lack of care.

Links to Other Websites Having to Do with Groupe Hoornaert-Dirix