Captain Matthys, intelligence officer of the Belgian Army, worked in an information service’Zéro-Portemine’ from January 1941. In Early 1942 one of his subordinates found an aviator entirely by accident and turned him over to Captain Matthys. Without any previous experience of evasion work, he was successful in getting this man safely out of Belgium.
In July 1943, a small group of men was separated from this information-service and given orders to devote their time entirely to evasion activities. Captain Matthys, one of the leaders of this group ’Eva’ arranged lodgings, fed and clothed Allied evaders. He often had to move them suddenly from house to house and then to meet the guides responsible for leading them to safety. In carrying out this dangerous work he was constantly exposed to the grave risk of detection by the Gestapo.
He joined the Comète-line in August 1943 as head of the Brussels section responsible for lodging evaders. During that period he assigned 14 evaders succesfully to Mme Brusselmans via René Ponty. Between 22 October and 4 November 1943, seven aviators were passed to the Félix-Line. In May 1944 when his chief, Yvon Michiels, was forced to go to England Captain Matthys replaced him. Soon transportation through France to Spain became impossible so Captain Matthys (alias ‘Christian), together with Albert Ancia, devoted himself to the work of establishing evader camps in the Ardennes (Mission ‘Marathon’).
In August his arrest by the Gestapo was imminent. He fled to one of the Ardennes Camps in Bellevaux (La Cornette) he had established. There he assumed supervision of sheltering twenty-three Allied evaders until the Allies liberated the camp in September.
© Comète Kinship Belgium