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25-Jun-2017 05:54

The men whose signatures from the back of the photo are reproduced on the list below have in most cases been identified. On April 7th while flying an Auster light aircraft used to visit units under the Group's command, alongside another Auster flown by Tadeusz Kawalecki, and both of them having apparently had a few drinks, he made a navigational error and ran out of fuel.A more interesting story has now been partly uncovered thanks to Franek.. They force-landed in enemy territory and he and his colleague in the second Auster were captured.And that's how East-Terschelling was spared, by the “Wyfke fan Stryp”.The old graveyard in the former village of Stryp (also called Seeryp, Striep or Zurijp etc.) is still there, complete with some of those tombstones, and also with the foundation outlines of the holy church built there. Duyf himself; and a copy of it, also of these names etc., was in a "album of verses" too, of his daughter, Mevr.Terschelling is one of the Wadden Islands, which form an archipelago off the north coast of the Netherlands, it is some 11 kilometres from the mainland and is located in the municipality of Terschelling, which is in the province of Friesland.The island can be reached from Harlingen on the mainland by ferry.Chatham near London in 1667 - Perhaps burning Terschelling was not such a good idea Holmes!The Dutch, under nominal command of Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, bombarded and then captured the town of Sheerness, sailed up the River Thames to Gravesend, then up the River Medway to Chatham in Kent, where they burned three capital ships and ten lesser naval vessels and towed away the HMS Unity and the HMS Royal Charles, pride and normal flagship of the English fleet.

They stopped therefore and asked an old lady at the side of the road for an explanation.

This photo was taken in May 1945, in West-Terschelling village, a/d. Boonstra-Oepkes, living in Leeuwarden in those years, Goudsbloemstraat 32.

De Ruyterstraat, near Hotel Oepkes (on the terrace behind the building I think), of a bunch of Allied airmen and, in the middle of that group, one Dutch policeman (from Amsterdam as far as known). I now know that Franek agrees with me, but it seems fairly obvious from their distinctive lapel badges that Jan Zumbach is in the centre of this group and Polish compatriot, Tadeusz Kawalecki, to his left with the Dutch policeman between them.

Four of the seven American airman appear to be wearing their flying kit, easily recognisable with that fur collar.

Apart from the policeman the most likely non-flyer in that group should be the man with spectacles (pilots had to have exceptional eye-sight) the British Army Captain whose name from that signature is difficult to de-cipher...

‘t Wyfke fan Stryp (the sage of Clever Granny of Seeryp) by Willem de Jong When these “overheated navy hooligans” were finished in West-Terschelling with their “Bonfire”, at least a number of them marched further Eastward, to the other villages on the island.



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