Gys Jansen-Van Beek was born in March 31, 1919, and died on November 14, 2015.
He was a Dutch American inventor who as a member of the Dutch resistance during World War II helped rescue members of the Allied forces and is also recognized as an Aid Giver for helping Jews escaping the Holocaust.
Born March 31, 1919 in Angeren, the Netherlands, Van Beek grew up on a farm.
Jansen-Van was a member of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.
After Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, Jansen-Van was among many Dutch the Germans tried to recruit.
He avoided the recruitment and eventually joined the Dutch resistance.
Using forged identity papers he was able to help civilians and downed Allied pilots escape the Netherlands.
Among those he helped escape was a P-51 pilot from Wisconsin, Lieutenant Howard Edward Moebius.
For his efforts, Jansen-Van earned decorations from the governments of Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States of America.
In 1999 he was recognized as an Aid Giver by the Shoah Foundation established by Steven Spielberg.
“For his heroism and service to the United States of America during World War II” he was entered into the Congressional Record on July 24, 2012 by Idaho Congressman Raúl Labrador.
Jansen-Van emigrated to the United States in 1948 and in 1954 moved to Idaho with his wife Zwaantje, where they started a dairy farm.
The farm went into foreclosure in 1984 and after years of legal proceedings with the Farmers Home Administration they were evicted in 1994.
In 1995, Jansen-Van invented a hatchet used by firefighters and rescue workers.
Jansen-Van continues inventing tools including the Trucker’s Friend which he exclusively licenses to Innovation Factory.
Jansen-Van passed away on November 14, 2015 in Boise, Idaho.