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Friday, January 20, 2012

part III, Following my step father's footsteps.

My step dad on board the Boschfontein.1943.
Leendert Jacobus Molenaar, born May 15,1907 passed away May 2,2003.

The battle of production and supply, designed to build a foundation to support unprecedented Allied air and naval power, was during 1942 and 1943 , while Japanese air and naval power greatly diminished, Hawaii, the most important naval base in the Pacific,and had become a training  center and staging area for U.S. troops as well as one of the many important supply bases. In 1944, the strategic offensive against Japan began.

Many times in 1944 the ms. Boschfontein docked in Pearl Harbor. Either to pick up supplies or troops.The Boschfontein arrived in San Francisco around October 17,1944 and had the "Death Angels" squadron-235 on board, they were flying Douglas SBD dive bombers in the Pacific during WWII.
October 18, 1944,the ship left again en route to Langemak Bay, where the ship arrived on December 5,1944 and left the same day to Hollandia where the ship arrived on December 6 and docked in Hollandia, Netherlands New Guinea, for twelve days.
 Hollandia Harbor, ships unloading troops and supplies.
Netherlands New Guinea map.Invasion of Hollandia

 unloading LST's Red Beach.Hollandia

 A US A-20, crashes in Hollandia Harbor, New Guinea, Dutch East Indies in July 1943, while another US A-20 flew above it.
This group of commanding officers had been on board the Boschfontein.

The Boschfontein left Hollandia December 18,1944 , the ship had spend twelve days in Hollandia and left for Biak arriving the next day December 19 ; Biak, Indonesia.

World War II material left on Biak. Biak Known in Indonesia as Palau-Biak.

The Boschfontein stayed in Biak for eleven days and left on December 28, to Hollandia, arriving the next day, docked for a little while, and left the same day December 29 en route to Langemak Bay a voyage of two days arriving News Years day January 1, 1945.
The Launch Jetty
Ships docked in the Harbor of Langemak, New Guinea
The 5th Division at Langemak,New Guinea
Langemak, New Guinea. Troops at the harbor.
The supplies are dropped off.
Langemak a busy Harbor.
When I asked my step father where he had been, and which islands he had seen during the war, he said:" I have seen so many islands in the Pacific, that I am confused, which island is which. Some times we were allowed to get off the ship, when it was safe. All islands to me looked the same, and we were always so busy. I had to make sure that the engine room was in perfect condition and the engines had to be serviced before we left each harbor.We could not afford to get engine problems in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You can imagine what would happen. The Japs would have a ball". ..That's how I remember, my step dad telling me.
A few names are stuck in my head, like he talked about Manus and Pearl Harbor, Manila and Saipan. Also about Batavia where he was with the Boschfontein on many trips and where my Mother and I had boarded the Boschfontein in April 1946, and where my Mom and Step Dad met. But more about that in my next blog.

It was 1945, January 6, and the Boschfontein left Langemak on their voyage to San Francisco, where they arrived sometime around February 12.They left San Francisco again on February 17, 1945 on another voyage arriving in Port Townsend, February 19; going from Port Townsend to Port Angeles; where the ship left on February 22, to arrive in Pearl Harbor on March 1,1945.
The Boschfontein left Pearl Harbor fully loaded on March 5 to Eniwetok, from where the ship left again on March 17, en route to Saipan, where they arrived on March 20,1945.

A World War II, Japanese storage tanker in the Harbor.
This is called the Japanese suicide cliff, the Japanese jumped to avoid capture, during World War II.
This picture taken from the suicide cliff.
My step father told me once, that the Japanese were weird," why would they kill themselves", he said it exactly the way I write it, I remember this so well.But now I understand why they did it, very sad though, how can human beings be so brainwashed that they do this to them selves? To be defeated by the enemy was a shame,and a shame for the Emperor Hirohito of Japan.They rather killed themselves.
He had no good words for the Japanese, he hated them.He would say:"What I have seen, I will never be able to tell you, I will keep it for myself". He did not like to talk about it, because bad memories would surface,   he liked to forget, and not to be reminded of those years in the Pacific,during World War II, on board the Boschfontein,I do not think he ever forgave the Japanese for what they had done. "War is miserable and it makes no sense"; he would say."So many lives destroyed,so much money wasted". That is what he told me, when I was only about 12 years old.
The Boschfontein left Saipan and arrived in convoy in Iwo Jima on April 14, 1945. 

More about the movements of the ms. Boschfontein and my step father's footsteps on my next blog. For me it is very hard to digest. I cannot believe what I read and where he has been, during those horrible years. I never knew, he kept it inside, never talked about it...... He and the ship, have indeed been very lucky, to make it out in one piece is indeed a miracle. How thankful I am to have had such a nice step dad, and for my half-brother and sister,(Leendert, who was named after my step dad, and my sister Sietske, named after my Mom), you both can be very proud about your father. It's a shame we did not know about all of this when he was alive. I am sure he would have been able to write a book.

will continue......

Will continue


  1. Hi Thea ~ this 劉 あい on Facebook.I believe it's cultural indctrination from early age generation to generation ~ a deep-seated trait.Japanese Army even coerced the native people of Okinawa to commit group suicides ( jump off the cliffs on the island ) ~ lied that American troops will rape the women and kill all of them.I've mentioned it in one old comment posted on E.van Kampen's Facebook status ~ that Japanese are a people would rather leave this world than live in shame.

  2. Iwo Jima was renamed to Okinawa when US returned those islands to Japan in 1972 ( official US Administration ended that year ) ~ where US now has 25,000 soldiers station there.

  3. Hi~ Yes....there are some wicked people in this world.And yes they are very good at lying.It is very sad, specially because they were the ones who did the raping and the killing.

  4. @ Japan's #1 SNS ~ I acquainted one Akita University student who discovered her grandfather's hand-written personal diary that she stumbled upon in one history archive.She couldn't believe that he proudly proclaimed " I want to die for Japan " @ the young age of 16.Yes ~ there was alot of brainwashing going on in Japan at that time

  5. Hi there, I came across this page while researching a 1944 plane crash in Hollandia based on an account by my neighbor, who witnessed it while stationed there. I'm curious about the photo of the crash you posted above. The situation matches my neighbor's description; however, the crash he witnessed occurred on December 29, 1944. Is there any chance the date you posted could be incorrect? I would be awful if there were two crashes in the bay that year!


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