Hoof, Jan Jozef Lambert van, born 07-08-1922 in Nijmegen
, was a member of the Dutch resistance in World War II,
where he cooperated with Allied Forces during Operation Market Garden,
and was executed in action. Before and during the war, Van Hoof was a Rover Scout,
and the scouting medal the Nationale Padvindersraad
was named in his honor. He is credited with disabling German explosives placed to destroy the vital bridge over the river Waal,
to delay British liberation. The Katholieke Verkenners (Catholic Scouts) during World War II was forbidden in most occupied countries. All the Scouting organization were to be integrated into the Nationale Jeugdstorm (NJS)
, the Dutch version of the Hitler Youth
. Jan van Hoof in particular joined the resistance. Shortly after the start of the occupation of the Netherlands by the Nazis, he became member of a Rover crew and in the spring of 1943 he was secretly installed as full Rover Scout. During the occupation he made observations and drawings of his environment, especially the Waal Bridges. With the coming of the Allies during Operation Market Garden on September 17th
1944 he used his expertise by guiding the Allies through the city of Nijmegen.
After this heroic deed he went home and told his sister ‘the bridge is saved’; then he returned to the American unit and resumed guiding them through the city. Enquiries after the war could not positively identify Van Hoof as the individual who cut the wires to the bridge, however circumstantial evidence backs up the claim and when the Germans eventually tried to blow the bridge, just before its capture, their attempts failed. On the 19th
of September, van Hoof was riding on the top of a Guards Armored Division
British Humber Scout Car,
guiding the vehicle from the allied column located at the central post office to the American soldiers and Guards Armored Division tanks attacking the railway bridge, when Germans opened fire with a 2 cm gun on the vehicle, which caught fire. The British soldiers were already dead when the German troops arrived, but van Hoof was still alive. They took his gun, identity papers and his armband which identified him officially an allied soldier. He was beaten and then shot through the head. Jan van Hoof, age 22, is buried on the cemetery at the Daalseweg, in the field of honor.