The Farm before Dreux

The Farm before Dreux
By Pierre Callac

The farm of Bois Claireau was located in the middle of the base of NATO which was to be built A part of my family was living here, among the woods and the fields, the Air Base was a very important event, they had to go away and left the family roots… These pictures were given by the Air Base before the destruction. It was preserved during the building of the base. We see the portal of entry of the farm . On the right a pond where the cattle drunk. It is at this place that Martine, a four year old little girl, drowned before this picture.

Ferme du Bois Claireau : inside court On the right an old house built at the XVI th century. In the center, the manure in front of cattle sheds . In the middle, a wood building protected the well. Other buildings were barns or animal houses. At this period, there was no running water, there was a well in front of each house and it was sometimes dangerous to drink water. The old car was my Grand Father car…

Old house of the XVI eme century, the field had belonged to the local aristocracy during centuries, I knew all the people who appear on this picture, all are dead except the two children Françoise and Raimond. You asked me for the II ww ? Where was the Dreux German Headquarters ? The Kommandantur was set in the Hotel de France rue Saint Denis and local German Headquarters in the party house Mezirard place. There were also German Air base Vernouillet, a flack unit directed by a French traitor at Bas Buissons and another was set near Bresolles (at Tillieres) . Many allied airplanes were shot and many of them fell near Brezolles and Dampierre sur Blevy . In 1944 july during the harvest time, an us pilote had lost his airplane shot by a Me109 , he was running followed by German soldiers in the aera of the Bois Claireau Farm. My Rear Grand father and the farmworkers were carrying the sheaves of wheat in carriage drawn by two horses they met the airman , hid his clothes and dressed him like a peasant and gave him a fork.. The German soldiers passed close to them and did not see him. It was a burning difficulty, how to hide this airman when retreated german soldiers, Wehrmacht or SS coming from Normandy stopped to eat in the kitchen of the farm ? My family put him in bed with an enormous bandage around the face, to explain to German that he could not speak. The German ate in the kitchen and did not enter in the bedroom. They stayed behind the door... The pilot was rescued by the French local resistance.. At Crucey village there was a sector of the resistance which exfiltrated allied pilots coming from Paris via Chartres towards England. I can tell many unknown stories of that time from 1940 to 1948 around the Airbase and Ohama Beach, Cherbourg , Coutances. I am interested by the military history from Marathon battle to actual wars.

Water wells at Dreux and location of Bois Claireau farm buildings.

The farm was along the way following the Dampierre airbase gate  at approximately 300m on the right.
After the come out of the farmers the buildings were kept during several months. The picture
were given to my family right before it was erased. New buildings were built.
I can located exactly using the Napoleonic plan of 1811.
The water wells located in the middle of the farm was not the water wells of the base.
The water was given by a pump  installed along the Blaise river near the château of Dampierre.
From the second bridge above the Blaise river , I saw very often the two  us soldiers verifying the engine  ..
The water was given also by a pipe line since Saint Martin to 5km of Maillebois in the direction of chateauneuf  en Thymerais The works were made by the US army,  the  slices were dug through the village and run along
the road of the base since Dampierre.
I remember  a tar spraying machine caught on fire in front of the church close to the grocer house.
The firemen stopped the fire  and we played in the enormous bubble of ice all the evening.

TAR FIRE in the village


On a beautiful afternoon of spring, I sat at a  table in the classroom ,  waiting for the end of the school time,  suddenly, the sky became dark then black. All the pupils became afraid and the school master  to explain the event said  it was  a storm. A few minutes later, we heard hootings. The Master evoked the cry of a owl. Later, the sky became again blue and the class was finished. I could play with my friends in the village.When I walked to my home , I saw an enormous bubble of foam bath on the place of the church and in front of the grocer.

What happened?

The us soldiers was building the water pipe line from the source Saint Martin et le Airbase the road before the bridge under the Blaise river has been cut and they were restoring it. They had installed a tar spraying machine near the church and in front of the grocer. For an unknown reason , the machine caught on fire. A thick black smoke spread in the sky and the firemen of the Airbase base intervened with their howling truck . They quickly neutralized the fire with dry ice. The American soldiers was comforted in the café of the village. (my Grand Father’s café).

Raymon and I played in the enormous bubble where we disappeared , we run through the dry ice.

I have found some old movies about the villages Dampierre sur Blevy and Maillebois. My old family is in the pictures. A Sherman tank appears when Maillebois was liberated by the US troops August 15th 1944.


Fete a Mallebois


Gens de Maillebois

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