On this page you'll find:
Scrolling down the following freely translated Newspaper articles, the most recent article on top:
"Inexperienced boys liberated Achtmaal" - "Bn DeStem" June 24 2005
"Timberwolf veteran back in district" - "Zundertse Bode" May 11 2005
'Why Bush hugged me? No idee" - "Bn DeStem" May 10 2005
"An historical, and cold short visit" - "Bn DeStem" May 9 2005
"An unknown Girl saved us from an ambush" - "Zundertse Bode"
"It's not about the war, it's about the liberation" - "Zundertse Bode"
Klik hier voor de originele Nederlandse artikelen.
March 11 2006
At the village pump By Corné Luyken
Gold diggers and adventurers attention. Here somewhere in the neighborhood a crate of money is buried. This wisdom is written in the book 'Good Morning' written by the American War Veteran Charlie Dukes.
He writes he buried this treacher in these grounds himself in October 1944
Dukes was during WW2 part of the Timberwolf Division of the American Infantry. The wolves were involved by the liberation of the Netherlands. They crossed the border at Wuust Wezel to move through Zundert and Rijsbergen in the direction of Zevenbergen.
One evening in October 1944 the platoon of Dukes found a fitting-sleeping place just outside Breda, so he writes in 'Good Morning'. After preparing the Camp Dukes and two friends went for a walk. After a while they approached a building destroyed by, This has been a bank Dukes said to his buddies. "there is the vault, I recognize it, our bank at home had a vault like that." The lock of the vault upon inspection was unstable because of the bombardment. After some fiddling around the 3 soldiers were able to open the door. According to Dukes the vault was filled with strongboxes all locked individually.
De men decided to open the boxes hoping to find a souvenir. One of the boxes was filled with valuable content. It was filled to the brim with Dutch Coins.
"This is to much to take with us, decided Timberwolf Henry Finnegan. The box with the dead weight of coins was no ideal luggage in the frontline the others to decided. Dukes came back with the great idea to bury the box, so is written. Outside the bank they searched for a good place. Their choice falls on a monument not far from the destroyed building.
"A monument of a hero or a prominent Dutch person. 'A suitable marking point' Dukes writes down in his book, The writer proceeds by standing with his back against the statue. Took six steps in northern direction and buried the box.
A treacher map was made. The map is split in 3, and everyone carrying a peace of paper in his pocket, the soldiers went on.
George Will, the third Timberwolf, promised solemnly he'd return here after the war, to retrieve their fortune.
But it doesn't come to that. Will and Finnegan get killed in action only a few days after the treacher is buried.
Nine months later Dukes is in England and after a few good beers in a pub, he decides to return to collect the treacher, so he writes in his book. Dukes took the ferry to France and hitchhiked to Breda. België and the Netherlands were in a state of confusion and chaos he writes. Dukes arrives at the beginning of the evening. You read that 'The landscape had taken on big changes by the many bombardments'. The Monument is not to be found. The bank building to has disappeared. Two days Dukes searched around. Digging many a whole but the box never came to light. Looking at the route the Timberwolves made it is very well possible that Dukes was in Rijsbergen. In his book he talks about the suburbs of Breda but the Wolves never fought there, but they did in Rijsbergen.
Was Dukes in Breda anyway and did he bury his moneybox there? In October 1944 witnesses say they saw Americans in Breda's Heuvelkwartier and Ginneken. Maybe they saw Dukes, Finnegan en Will in the process of burying the box with money. Who will ever know?
In Ginneken was a health spa, Bad Wörishofen at the Duivelsbruglaan. On October 13th it was bombed by the allies, . Probably because there was an NSB post nearby. 27 people were killedCould this place have had a vault?
Note 2: This is just a nice detail of Charlie's book, and very interesting for us who live in Breda and it's shadow, The book handles about his time as a soldier and more especially his time suffered as a prisoner of War. It is a serious and very good book. Here it is in the library of Zundert for everyone to lend if they care to read it. Would you like to see Charlie's museum the look for more detailshere.
More details about his book you can find on ourspecial books page.
June 24 2005.
An official picture of the Timberwolves. A regiment of these American Soldiers liberated around the date of October 27 1944 Zundert, Achtmaal, Rijsbergen en Wernhout.
(this is a picture of the 415th regiment, owned by the daughter of John Galioneclick here for her website)
"Inexperienced boys liberated Achtmaal"
War Veteran Hyman Davidson between his hosts Bart (left) and Teun Oostvogels. He holds a picture where he is embraced by President George W. Bush during the remembrance Margraten May 8.Photo: Cor Viveen.
"At the village pump" By Niels Hereijgers
(there is an article written once a week under this head)
" Maybe you would think so, but I wouldn't want to fight in WW2. In those days I wouldn't even want to live here. ' Talking is Bart Oostvogels, nineteen years, student motor vehicle technique, at the MTS,(Markiezaat college) and serious collector of vintage military goods. Together with his brother Teun he manages, in the garage of his elderly home at the St. Corneliusstraat in Achtmaal, a 'mini' museum. On a few square meters are showcases filled with pictures, vignettes compasses and helmets.
There are Uniforms to in the small museum. And not only the standard green but also a nurses apron, pyama's from sickbay, a wool lined pilot's trousers, and soldiers underwear. I hate specializing that is why you can find all sorts of things here: American, British, army, and airforce. But still, I prefer the Timberwolves. They liberated Achtmaal, Zundert and vicinity." The Timberwolves, that was the 104th American infantry Division. They were inexperienced boys who had to join the army fast in order to liberate Europe. Often farmers sons with a few months of training in a far place in the United states where they'd never been before. Let alone Europe where they knew nothing at all they didn't know where they were, it was dangerous and they were scared to death.
Oostvogels takes out a remembrance booklet, with historical map. Look, those men, after the invasion of Normandy where set ashore at the French Cherbourg There they helped supplying other troops. They were transported to the Belgian Wuust Wezel on October 24 1944. where they had their first baptism of fire. From there they advanced to the Dutch border. During the night the Timberwolves sneaked through the fields around Achtmaal. In order to recognize each other they had a white handkerchief with their overshoes on top of it on their backpacks.(this really happened on between Wuust Wezel and Wernhout) That turned out to be a beginner's mistake as it was a clear night and the vigilant Germans saw the white color to clearly. Approximately 27 October 1944 Achtmaal Wernhout Zundert and Rijsbergen were liberated.
Through their own website http://members.home.nl/oostvogels the Achtmaal boys got into contact with the Timberwolf veterans. Some eight times ex-fighters visited with the Oostvogels Family. They get hospitality and we get their stories. For me that is a good swap says Bart. May 8 veteran Hyman Davidson went to the big remembrance ceremony in Margraten. He slept in Achtmaal. Ted Sery who also stayed with the Oostvogels family had send things to say thank you, badges and attributes with Swastika's once taken home as war booty liberated from the Germans. At Schiphol customs still lye's a small pistol which didn't come though security(we could have told him had we known he'd send it, guns are a big no in the Netherlands). It remains to be seen if we will ever get it home (when a gunsmith has disabled it forever). The Timberwolf Veterans are very surprised that the war is still so well remembered in the Netherlands, they didn't fight in the United States hardly anyone seemed to listen to the experiences of the returning soldiers. Often it took them over thirty years before they could share their stories.
Bart Oostvogels doesn't get his knowledge by listening alone, in the living room are three shelves filled with books about WW2. "So much is written about it, sometimes with harrowing details, then I don't have an appetite for days. The militaria collection as Bart calls his stuff isn't built of gifts alone. At swap meetings car boot sales and auction websites he already spend a lot of Euro's, if I sold them all I could probably buy a good car. But I don't want that, Militaria can be a good investment. When the television sequel Band of Brothers came, interest mounted and so did the prizes at the special sales. It was the same when the Euro came. Although then it was because people wanted to put their unaccounted money in goods.
Bart who several times a year re-enacts battles, thinks he'll never stop collecting.
Whether the exposition room will ever grow larger he doesn't know. Of course it's not a real museum, we don't have the commodities that come with a real one. But of course everyone can call to make an appointment to come and look. At the two pictures for instance, they were found in a foxhole in Achtmaal after the fighting. Probably the owner died or got wounded. On the pictures are two women, but Bart doesn't have a guess who they are yet. It is one of the questions he still has. Finding out details like that is the most fun.
Timberwolf veteran back in this region
Picture not includedin the actual article
ACHTMAAL - Together with his wife Alma the 83-year-old veteran of the Timberwolf Division, private First Class Dan McLoone was, during the commemoration of the guest of the Oostvogels family in Achtmaal. From there he visited several old battlefields of the Second World War in Western Brabant, after which on the Sunday he was a guest at the commemoration in Margraten in Limburg.
By Toon Kerstens
In Zundert Dan McLoone together with his wife attended the death-remembrance on Wednesday May 4th and on Sunday (Special Roman Catholic Sunday on the Thursday) the 5th of May they visited the remembrance exposition in the Chapel of conference place Bovendonk in Hoeven. He also visited the Goudbloemsedijk where in 1944 he was part of the troops that had to try and cross the Mark River.
Regarding the fight for the Mark Ten Dan McLoone remembers well that their first attack failed and that it took them 2 to 3 days to cross the river successfully. "At the cost of many lives", he says, "because information wasn't all correct. We had intelligence and special intelligence. Both services had indicated that crossing the Mark River not much resistance was to be expected. They couldn't have been more wrong, fire was so strong at the first attempt that we had to fully pull back as it was impossible to go on. The thought of scarce resistance was due to the fact that a Major with his Chauffeur had regularly driven on the Goudbloemsedijk along the Mark river drawing no enemy fire at all. So they reached the conclusion that there was no danger across the river. But that turned out to be different." During the fights around Oudenbosch and Standdaarbuiten Dan escaped being wounded. He was out of action for three days due to the fact that an artillery shell had exploded near, the air-pressure making him feel completely dizzy he said "Ik was given a medicine, after which I slept for 18 hours. When I woke up I was given the same medicine after which again I slept for 18 hours. Then I was ready for military action with the Timberwolves again. Dan McLoone fought with the Timberwolves all the way to Bitterfield, some 80 km (35 Miles) from Berlin. From there he returned after the war to New Jersey. Now he lives in Florida.
Dan McLoone landed in Normandië September 1944 in the French arbor Cherbourg. This town a few months before was destroyed during the fights of the landing troops. "My first step in this foreign land resulted in a loud splash when my feet made contact with the water covered steel pole jetty", so he remembers. "After a long hike over the wet pier they reached Utah Beach. This peace of land had a few months before been witness of one of the must severe and bloody fights of this war. We'd heard about it and read about it in the newspapers. The land looked as if it had been hit and burned by an super terrestrial torch. There was only silence when we marched over the muddy roads and through the town ruined by grenades. Now and again we'd see a Frenchman whom we greeted with a French "Bon jour" to try the words we had learned. We felt happy when a Frenchman would greet us back by ticking against his hat. Later we learned that this to meant 'Bon jour'. Soon we all started speaking about our beautiful America while we dabbled through the French mud and felt the rain pouring down on us, drenching our clothes and cooling down our bodies.
Our suffering worsened when the Sun went down. At last slipping and sliding over a large amount of miles we reached our destination. There we could sleep our first night in France under slightly damp blankets in our tent and dream of our last night in America.
Dan McLoone stil is grateful to President Harry Truman for dropping those Atom bombs over Japanese cities. "After returning from the front in Germany we were nominated to be send to Japan ", says Dan McLoone. "But after the destruction by the Atom bombs Japan capitulated and we with the Timberwolves no longer had to go there to fight in that faraway country.
Dan McLoone tells me further that the father in law of President Bush also was a Timberwolf. With a grateful feeling, that the fallen Timberwolves still are honored in the Netherlands Dan McLoone returned to Florida this week.
(Explanation, Here is an article following the headlines of the day before, which you'll find beneath this article)
May 10 - 2005
'Why Bush hugged me? No idee'
Veteran Hyman Davidson with a by Bn DeStem enlarged and framed picture showing him in Margraten being embraced by President Bush.Picture by Cor Viveen.
By Romain van Damme.
ACHTMAAL - Of course Hyman Davidson likes all the attention. But sometimes an American War Veteran gets just a bit tired. I'm no hero, Heroes lye in Margraten.
At the home of the Oostvogels family in Achtmaal he looks at Dutch RTL TV at the recorded film, which made him walk across the Margraten War Cemetery talking about the war. BN/DeStem lies in front of him with a picture showing president George Bush huging him warmly, 'Marvelous moment. And Beatrix I blew a kiss hand!" (In fact he kissed her hand!)
Bart and Teun Oostvogels (19 and 17 year) listen amused to the almost 80 year old veteran, who as a member of the 104th Infantry Division, the Timberwolves helped to liberate West-Brabant. Standdaarbuiten, Oudenbosch, with its cathedral. O yes, I know it all."
Ten years ago Bart and Teun became interested in World War two. They collected all sorts of things, devoured countless books and through Internet came into contact with the Timberwolves. At one point they wanted to have an American flag of WW2"' says Teun(actually it was Bart) In those days the flag had 48 stars. Without us knowing it the men of the Timberwolves started searching. Hyman reacted he had one. With the flag the story behind it came to the Netherlands too. Hyman was Jewish and during the war he was caught and became a Prisoner of War. He escaped but no one in the US knew he was still alive. So eventually his parents were given a folded American flag. This flag is presented to the family if it is certain the person they are looking for will not return home alive. In due course Hyman returned home. Now the flag lye's ever so nicely in the personal small museum of the Oostvogels brothers who also have a website maintained by their mom Jeanne
(www.liberationww2.tk) It is so good to see him again the brothers said, Last year October he had to return home early because he became ill.
This Year Davidson got a phonecall in his hometown Newport Beach in Californië. Former - Mayor Ubaghs of Standdaarbuiten had received a phone call from the American Embassy. Bush was to come to the Netherlands and they were looking for American WW2 Veterans. Preferably members of the Timberwolves. She knew we had contact with the Timberwolves." Hyman was called(emailed actually) and a few days later he said I'll come. "I took the plain to Brussels, there I rented a car and drove to Margraten."
Today he goes back home. With some dear memories in his luggage. "Why Bush embraced him?" No idea, maybe because of my barrette or because I pinned on all my medals. I told him I admire him. He does good work." Like the Dutch, he adds. I mean: The Dutch closed us, Veterans in their hearts. That warmth you can't feel in other countries.
(Explanation: On the morning of May 9 2005, Bart and Teun were to school and I was refreshing a room for our dear visitor that was going to arrive that morning. Bart and Teun had some great weeks, as several American Veterans were coming to visit them. When the Newspaper BN DeStem arrived to my surprise I recognized all people on the front page. Our expected visitor being the person whom President Bush hugged so warmly.)
May 9 - 2005
An historical, and cold short visit
George Bush embraces American Veterans in Margraten. Picture Jim Bourg / Reuters
(translators note)Veterans: Left (ear) Dan McLoone - Embraced American = Hy Davidson - Right with cap - Cliff Park.
All from the 104de Infantry Division the "Timberwolf Division" Mrs. Laura Bush's father, Mr. Welsh was one of them, he was a member of the 555AAA, from the Wuust-Wezel (België) Zundert (the Netherlands) border to the last battle in Germany they fought together with the 104de Infantry Division, and so were also known as the Timberwolves.
By Pascale Thewissen.
MARGRATEN - The eyes of the 91-year old war-veteran Rob Rowen from Maryland scan over the American war cemetery in Margraten. "Here lie two men buried of my company", he says. That president George Buch on this spot, on this cold Sunday morning, paying a tribute to those fallen in World War two means a lot to him. Bowen belonged to the legendary 101ste Airborne Division. He landed in Normandy. He was captured as a prisoner of War in December 1944. Was liberated in April 1945. Three times he came back to this part. This time for the 60th anniversary he is invited. His eyes go over the 81300 white crosses. "No" I'm not a follower of Bush, I am anti-war, But that he is here, is very important. For me and all the other who fought." It's around half past Ten when the limousine of the president enters the military cemetery. Hundreds of people are defying cold and rain for hours in order to experience this historical visit. Premier Jan-Peter Balkenende and Queen Beatrix welcome George and Laura Bush. Everything is neatly directed. Roads are blocked. Military personnel with machineguns guard the paths and fields. Sniper's lye in the church tower. 3000 police and army totaling 3000 man are around. The only discordant on this raked cemetery is the weather. The orange plastic poncho's which the organization handed out to the visitors blow in a strong wind. The singing of the boy scouts and performance of the school children of the primary school Maurice Rose (named after the only General buried in Margraten) are lost in the wind. After the traditional read laying Balkenende addresses himself to the president. He thanks the Americans for their fight for 'peace and freedom in Europe'; "Together we must stay vigilant. Because again we are confronted by enemies of the peace who are trying to disrupt our rights. The message of these terrorists is one of fear and violence. Our message is one of dialog and peace. Terrorism never will prevail. This battle to we fight together." Bush underlines the Special band between the Us and the Netherlands and thanks the people of Margraten.
( Free translation of the original article by Pascale Thewissen in Bn DeStem )
(Short note to explain.)...............................After receiving this lovely story of a brave young girl, helping even more brave young men, and after two months of thinking I decided to step to our local weekly newspaper and they liked the story to. Was it possible to interview the boys? The boys said ok and this is the result. (Jeanne)
WW2 VETERAN SEARCHES FOR GUARDIAN ANGEL
An unknown Girl saved us from an ambush.
ACHTMAAL- Many places in West-Brabant remember this month the liberation from the German occupation, 56 years ago. Unknown men of foreign lands fought for our precious freedom. Many of them died during this war, others lived through this nightmare and still live with the memory's. One of them is the American Arthur, veteran of the Timberwolf division.
By Miranda Dahlhaus
In October 1944 he found himself in the region of Zundert and experienced something that even now, after all those years is still a precious memory of a little brave girl, that saved him and his platoon from an ambush. Who was she? Is she still alive? Does somebody know her? Questions for which he would like to find an answer. Through Internet he made contact with the Oostvogels family from Achtmaal.
Jeanne Oostvogels is elated. Who knows what this article will bring in their search for the girl of those days.
Jeanne is the mother of two boys, Bart (14) and Teun (12) and the story really starts with these two boys. Through their unusual hobby, their own War museum, they came in contact the American Arthur. Through internet where Bart and Teun have their own site there grew a correspondence through e-mail. Mother Jeanne says. Arthur, we call him Sir, thought it was wonderful that two boys so young where saving a bit of history of their country this way. He feels that now he and his mates grow older it's up to the younger generation to fight against evil wherever that might be. ' we all must do what we are called on against evil.' He writes in one of his first e-mails, he explaines to the boys what he means with a story says Jeanne."A story that gave me Goosebumps."
Arthur writes:"Very early on a misty morning in October 1944, our pioneer platoon was ordered out of Zundert, which had just been liberated of Germans, direction Oudenbosch. We had just walked a few Kilometers cautiously on the road when we passed a farm. A young girl, about 12 years old, came running out of the house and through sign language warned us. The Germans lay in ambush for further along the road. She was right because as soon as we stopped they started shooting. I send the girl home and we started shooting back. She went but only minutes later came back, crawling to the side of the road with an apple for everyone of us. I'll never forget her bravery and willingness to help in the middle of a firefight. She saved us from an ambush with great courage. We went on and I never saw the girl again, but she will always be in my heart
Jeanne sighs, What would it be great if we could make contact between the girl, now of course a woman of around 70, and him. Together with her sons Bart and Teun she mailed Arthur back and asked for more information. Where approximately was the farm? How many kilometers was the platoon out of Zundert? All question marks, not easy to answer for the old-soldier. Of course it a long time ago, says Jeanne. It could be two kilometers on the road to Oudenbosch, but also three or four. He talks about cut down trees along the road, a farm and a hill on the opposite site. " Together with her Sons Jeanne started to search but to no avail. The distances stay difficult she says with regret in her voice. I think that the bringing of the apples should bring the recognition and the memory back. Yes those apples, they should do it.
Of course Jeanne and her sons Bart and Teun would very much hope to get contact with people who know more or maybe even the girl herself....... She tells of another memory from that time, that Arthur shared with them. The old soldier writes:" Another interesting memory for the collection of Bart and Teun is the way in whitch the American soldiers managed to let the Brabanders (this part of the Netherlands) know that they where here to help. None of us spoke Dutch or Flemish. Our uniforms where strange as the people from Zundert expected the the British. As we where the first soldiers to go forward we had to have a sign so that people would recognize us. The Orange resistance told us what to do. With your right hand, put your thumb over your little finger, raise the hand in the air and say:" Wilhelmina".
Also read the article: It isn't about the war, but it's about the liberation.
Who is the girl with the apples?
Possibly someone recognizes something in the story of the American Arthur. Or possibly someone knows more about the then little girl. A name? A Link? We warmly welcome all information and tips. You can contact the editor on phone number 076-5973399 or send a letter to our mail address: Postbus 22, 4880 AA Zundert. Should this story have a tail, we will surely tell our readers.
Or mail us: Bart en Teun
We found one girl that gave apples if you click here you can read a sad story about unfriendly friendly fire.
This page gave some very nice reactions and she cried when we send them to her. She told us she was so happy to know after all those years how much the soldiers cared and still do.
Collection of brothers from Achtmaal still growing.
"It's not about the war, it's about the liberation"
ACHTMAAL-Five years ago, Teun (12 in this picture) and Bart (14 in this picture) went with their parents to a liberation parade in Schijf. Impressed by what they'd seen, they started collecting everything that had something to do with the war. 'Not with the war, but with the commemoration of the freedom.' Bart corrects. We don't want to forget all that happend.' Their collection which started with a Belgium Helmet and an Ammo box, has grown into sort of a museum in the scullery. Right now their interest lies mostly by the Timberwolfs, the American soldiers who in 1944 fought for the liberation of Zundert.
By Miranda Dahlhaus
When the Timberwolf veterans came to Zundert, the brothers from Achtmaal where there to. Dressed in their as original as possible uniforms they where allowed to drive with the veterans. The older men liked it very much that boys so young where remembering the past this way. A past that could not be forgotten. -We also get things by mail Teun says. Together with their mother they first made a website about their War museum. A site also visited by Timberwolf veterans and along with contacts got something very special Last week we recieved a mail of the official Timberwolf-Website Bart says enthusiastically, We have been given a link on their page.
The Brothers enthusiastically show their collection: uniforms, a real army bed, selfmade guns, weekly papers of the war period, radio's and what more. They still have enough whishes and have to save to be able to buy more 'museum peace's'. Most things they buy at seccondhand markets in the neighborhood. They are however lucky enough to get a lot of donations to. "People often like it so much what boys their age are doing, says mother Jeanne. Of course this was a reason to go on collecting in the beginning.
All at once we got all sorts of things smiles Bart, Later the history became more and more important and so it grew into a real hobby. They have a lot to tell about their collection. One word often is enough for the brothers to start a whole story.
"Look", Bart says,"This is a book soldiers used in order to recognize the enemy, the German plains. Every symbol used on a plane is in here." Teun brings in another book. He shows a copy of a letter of Eisenhouwer to a member of the resistance. "and this is a leaflet they distributed under the population here" and he points out an original poster of the public health autority. That the boys have special things in their collection became more clear when they received a letter of the imperial war museum in London. We had a book they didn't have Bart tells at the end. For now their dream, their own museum, is still growing, and who knows what the internet will bring them in the future.
These two pictures where not in the paper.
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