Michelli Henri 


Michelli Henri


In November 1941 Mr Michelli, who had even before this tried to escort British soldiers and Belgians who where hiding from the enemy, met the heads of Comète whose adjutant he became in April 1942. From March to May 1942 he lodged at least six Allied evaders himself and, during April of that year he hid, in his home, the chief of Comète who was being hunted by the Gestapo. He made a number of trips into the Ardennes during these months to set up lines for bringing Allied evaders, found in this region, to the central organization of Comète in Brussels. 


When, at the end of April, Frédéric De Jongh (the chief of the organization) was finally constrained to leave the country Mr Michelli became chief of the Belgian sector of Comète. Unfortunately he had little opportunity to exercise this function, for he was arrested on 6 May 1942 and deported to Germany. He was repatriated in May 1945 after three years of Imprisonment.





His proposed citation of the "Medal of Freedom with Bronze Palm":


Henri Michelli, citizen of Belgium, for outstanding bravery and devotion to the cause of the United Nations from November 1941 to May 1942. Serving as one of the leading figures in the Belgian section of the Comet evasion organization, he took an active part in the evacuation from Belgian territory of large numbers of Allied aviators who had been shot down in aerial combat. At great personal risk he sheltered airmen in his home, traveled in the provincial areas in order to create safe routes for gathering aviators from the country and bringing them to Brussels, and, when his chief was forced to flee, assumed command of the entire organization. Arrested and deported, he suffered three years imprisonment in Germany for having resisted the enemy. His contribution to the Allied victory was invaluable, and the United Nations owe him the expression of their high esteem and gratitude.



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