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Sleegers, Cornelis Johannes Henricus

Date of birth:
May 13th, 1919 (Veldhoven, the Netherlands)
Date of death:
September 6th, 1965 (Turnhout, Belgium)
Nationality:
Dutch (1815-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Cornelis Sleegers studied in a convent for missionary to be able to teach in other countries. He spoke fluently several foreign languages. Just before his would become a missionary he stopped and started working as an advertisment-illustrator. In 1938 he was called for duty and joyned the army. He acted as an ordonance. In May 1940 he was involved in the fightings against the German forces. After the commander was injured assumed command although he was the youngest. Most others were injured. After the fightings he was wounded badly and stayed a half year in hospital. During the following years he worked with the resistance and brought pilotes over the border. He also tried to cross over to England himself but he was caught in Nancy and brought back to Venlo. By being able to be declared insane he managed to become free. In 1944 he joined the O.D. and after the war he joined the army again until 1954. He later worked as a salesman in Veldhoven.
He was badly traumatised and died in a car accident in Belgium.

Promotions:
24th October 1938: Dienstplichtig soldaat der Infanterie;
15th July 1948: temporary Sergeant Majoor;
1st October 1954: retired.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Dienstplichtig Soldaat der Infanterie (Enlisted Private in Infantry)
Awarded on:
June 15th, 1946
Action:
Citation:
"Has decorated himself in battle by excellent deads of courage, policy and loyalty during the fightings against the Germans near Grubbenvorst on the Meuse river on 10th May 1940 in the defending of the semi-permanent defencive position 141-G.
After his group commander was wounded and the other personnel of the group were put out of action or had retreated, he continued the fightings against an overwhelming enemy on his own.
With firing his carabine he thwarted several attempts by the enemy in crossing the Meuse river and did not hesitate to leave his defensive position to be able to have a better shot at the enemy. He was finally put out of action by being seriously wounded."
Details:
Royal Decree No. 2 dated 15th June 1946.
Ridder vierde klasse der Militaire Willems Orde (MWO.4)

Sources

  • - Family records
    - Maalderink P.G.H., De Militaire Willemsorde sedert 1940, Sijthoff Pers, 1982, ISBN 90 70682 02 8
    - The Dutch Medals Page