Harry deLeyer, born in the Netherlands in 1928, died last summer at the age of ninety-three.
After the Nazis rolled over the Low Countries and much of the European Continent in the spring of 1940, Harry's family farm became a way-station for the Dutch resistance during World War II. Fallen Allied airmen attempting to return to their bases in England and Jews attempting to escape capture by the Nazis were sheltered in a cellar secretly dug out next to the barn and covered by a manure pile. After Allied bombing raids, twelve-year-old Harry would ride out at night, helping to search for surviving Allied airmen. One pilot died of his injuries at the deLeyer farm. Harry' father buried him and mailed the dog tags to his family in North Carolina. Five years after the war ended, the pilot's parents sponsored the deLeyer Family to emigrate to North Carolina. A few years later, the deLeyer family moved to Long Island, and Harry became a riding instructor at an all-girls school. And he needed one more school horse.To read more, a subscription is required. Log in or click here to subscribe.