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Monday, January 23, 2012

Part VI, Following my father's footsteps.

June 8, 1945 the Boschfontein with their crew left the harbor of Manila. They had unloaded their "Goods" for this city so in need. They left this city with so much sadness in their heart, and were wondering if it would ever end. So much destruction, how can mankind destroy so much beauty.What is this all fore?? OIL??? GREED??? It makes no sense!
It was June 8, 1945 and my step father told me that was the first time on the ship he was really scared.He had not been home for so long,how was Holland doing? They had heard there was Peace now in Europe. The Germans had lost the war. How much longer did they had to fight the Japanese? There were rumors that the Japanese were losing. The Japanese would fight to the last man standing, for their emperor Hirohito of Japan.
How many more men had to die? So many merchant ships were lost at sea. Many of these merchant ships have never been given much publicity, many not even mentioned in historical documents. But they were serving ships, contributing a just cause to the war effort of the country that they represented.

Yesterday I spoke to somebody from the Netherlands. As of today the Dutch people have no idea what went on in the Pacific. It seems like they still believe that World War II only was fought in Europe, and that they were the only once who had suffered.I still was told; it was not so bad in the Pacific. Those ships which were in the Pacific did not have to face what the ships had to face here in the North Sea.I was told that the North Sea was full of mines and that the ships on the Pacific ocean did not have to face these dangers.I cannot believe how ignorant people can be, or is it a lack of knowledge? They have no idea what these ships had to face. Do they know about the Japanese Kamikaze fighters, the suicide pilots.An uncle of mine was on the O16 a Dutch submarine,all 42 men were killed when the submarine run on a mine. The Japanese had run numerous of these mine lines in the Pacific. They have no idea that numerous islands in the Pacific were occupied by the Japanese and that the civilians suffered tremendously under the occupancy of the Japanese.These civilians were driven out their houses and put behind barbwire.The Japanese took over when they occupied these islands and the civilians starved to death, and were used for slave work, until they succumbed from hunger and torture.They still think that it was paradise in the Pacific.My mother and I were in Japanese camps on the island of Java.The people from Holland did not even want to listen to her what had happened to their country men in the Far East.It was much worse here in Europe, what do you know about war, is what they said. They still have no idea that the Americans were fighting two continents,Asia and Europe.The Pacific was fought against a Japanese Force so disciplined, and suicidal, a Japanese Force that would do anything for their Emperor Hirohito of Japan.
Hirohito after the war was  made out as a nice peaceful gentleman.How is that possible? His whole family were crooks and would go to any length to conquer the world.He was like Hitler a Lunatic, and let nobody believe he was anything different then that.
So far from home.

They sailed the dangerous waters of the Pacific, these merchant men;... so often not remembered...These men who all sacrificed so much for Liberty.

After the Boschfontein left the harbor ( or whatever was left of the Manila Harbor) they sailed to Guadalcanal where they arrived on June 18,1945.Ten days at sea, zigzagging in these mine lined waters, never knowing if they were spotted by a Japanese submarine. Never knowing if a Japanese fighter plane would suddenly spot them.These merchant ship with these men on board faced danger every time they were at sea.Destruction of war is all they saw, which ever port they docked. 
The docks in 1945.Guadalcanal Solomon island.

Japanese wrecks every where along the shores of Guadalcanal, Solomon islands.
Guadalcanal was one of the first major Allied military battle in August of 1942, fought against the Emperor of Japan.
It is known as the Battle of Guadalcanal, known as (Operation Watchtower) The Allied fought with the objective of denying their use by the Japanese to threaten the supply and communication routes between the U.S, Australia and New Zealand. The Japanese had occupied the Solomon islands since May 1942. After heavy fighting the Japanese conceding the island to the Allies. The Japanese abandoned Guadalcanal in Decemeber 1942, and the island was declared secure in February 1943.
The Boschfontein had docked in Guadalcanal  in October, 1944 and now they were here again,it was now June 18,1945 almost a year had passed.

Today , which ever island in the Pacific you will go, this is what you will find. Memorial plaques, with stories about that horrible time. World War II.      Lest not forget.
Unknown American soldier memorial plaque.
Sky-line ridge memorial map. World War II.Guadalcanal.
The Boschfontein stayed in Guadalcanal till June 26,1945 and left on another short voyage to Hollandia where they arrived on June 30,1945.
The ship left Hollandia the next day July 1,1945  with supplies for their next destination Manila, where they arrived on July 8,1945. the sad city, the dead city.
The Boschfontein stayed for nine days and left Manila on July 27,1945 on their way to Leyte,then to Tacloban, which harbor they left on August 2,1945 to a voyage to Ulithi 
This building was used for Navy personnel
Ulithi Harbor in the Pacific during World War II was transformed into a mighty naval base. Today Ulithi is once again a peaceful tropical paradise.
From Ulithi the Boschfontein left the next day,August 6,1945 on their way to Eniwetok where they arrived on August 12,1945. On August 15, 1945 they heard that the War with Japan was finally over.
My step father returned to the Netherlands from these islands of Hell, only for a short time.
The Boschfontein left the Netherlands on it's next voyage to the Dutch East Indies(now called Indonesia) My step father was once again on board. Braving the oceans full of mines.

Battlefield by Win Rainer.

Years ago battles were fought on a battlefield,
One side would win, the other would yield,
But not today, Oh no neither side gives
No longer the battlefield, but in places one lives.
Through centuries one would think we'd learned some sense
But no, blood shed and bitterness, for just a few pence.
The more educated we become, the greater the strife
Surely something is wrong, can this be a good way of Life?

Win Rainer was a Jap POW ( as he described) Clearing the Jungle for the Jap for their railway.Win Rainer was a young soldier, he made it out alive.He has written numerous Poems about World War II during his life.
He passed away not long ago. May he rest in Peace.

Will continue.


  1. Thea
    As I was searching the "net" for information about the city of Ataka in Egypt where, I believe most vessels carying Indos in the early years of their forced move from the former Dutch East Indies to Holland stopped, to allow the Red Cross to give them warm clothing,I found your excellent site.
    Thank you!
    Kees Kunstt.

    1. Thank you so much. I am trying to keep writing about this horrible time in honor for my mother,her sister,who were raped by the Japanese military and abused and had to live the rest of their lives with these nightmares, my father who died as a Japanese POW on the infamous Burma railroad line. for my stepfather I got to know on board of his ship, and my uncle who died on the o16 in the Pacific fighting the Japanese, and for all the women and children and men who suffered under the occupation of the Japanese. They are not forgotten.Thanks again for your kind words.I wrote a book "I Thought You Should Know". under my maiden name Tetske T van der Wal.


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