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Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS

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  • vasilionle@aol.com
    Dear Piet, Thank you so much for your moving letter. It reminded me just how far reaching the arms of WWII extended. I must admit I know little of the Japanese
    Message 1 of 24 , Dec 1, 2004
      Dear Piet,
       
      Thank you so much for your moving letter. It reminded me just how far reaching the arms of WWII extended. I must admit I know little of the Japanese in your homeland during WWII and the impact it had on people like you, your father, wife, and father-in-law. Now, I would
      very much like to know more.
       
      You are so fortunate to have a daughter who is old enough now to appreciate the sacrifices you and your countrymen made during WWII. Unfortunately, we often wait until it's too late to appreciate the gifts of the previous generation. I'm so happy that you and your daughter (and grandson) still have time to write down those stories and pass them on. 
       
      Only now, six years after my father's death, am I coming to fully understand what he did during the war. I wish I had realized it much sooner.
       
      Did your father-in-law talk about what it was like to fly in a PBY? I'd be very interested in his or your thoughts.
       
      Thank you for contacting me, Piet.
       
      Laura Vasilion
    • doulos00@earthlink.net
      Hi Larry, thanks, I know you understand, as many others do as well. About those japs, I guess I am so used to capitalize nouns and pronouns in all my writing
      Message 2 of 24 , Dec 1, 2004

        Hi Larry, thanks, I know you understand, as many others do as well.  About those japs, I guess I am so used to capitalize nouns and pronouns in all my writing for our government that it seems to have become a habit.  Sorry for loosing my head.

        In one of our meetings at the office I dropped the name “japs,” oh boy did that cause a stir among some “politically correct do gooders.”  Well after I told them a few things my assistant manager agreed but told me to try and use another expression.  In private I told him that “yellow, slant eyed bastards” would be too long of an expression and too kind.  He just smiled.  You see, his dad fought in the Pacific against the japs and did not have any kind words for them, either.

        Hang in there buddy and stay in good health.  Gwen and I are finally moving to Florida, Palm Coast, in a few weeks, just before the holidays.  That’ll give me the opportunity to visit Francis Clifton.  He is practically next door.

         

        Piet.   

         

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Larry Katz [mailto:papakatz@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 11:20 PM
        To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS

         

        Piet as always,I am with you 1000%.I still cannot capitolize the name of japan nor japs.    

         

        Larry

      • royangie3@wmconnect.com
        Piet, welcome to Paradise Florida..Clifton is a few miles and ole roy is a few more. Looking forward to seeing you sooner or later here in Partadise..best.
        Message 3 of 24 , Dec 2, 2004
          Piet, welcome to Paradise Florida..Clifton is a few miles and ole roy is a few more.  Looking forward to seeing you sooner or later here in Partadise..best. roy
        • Larry Katz
          Dont know if I ever told you,we have a jap plant in my town,they also are members of our country club(our only place in this town for recreation,nothing like
          Message 4 of 24 , Dec 2, 2004
            Dont  know if I ever told you,we have a jap plant in my town,they also are members of our country club(our only place in this town for recreation,nothing like swank country clubs,just to let you know that I am not putting on airs when I mention country club,)any way,we also (my son took our business over )have our jewelry store here in Blytheville,Arkansas.......................The point I am getting at is as long as that jap factory is here,and some belong to the club, they do not shop with us, nor do they speak to me nor neither (of  course not) do I speak to them. They know why.I dont blame this bunch, but Icannot stand the yellow bastards either. Like you, I have been through a lot with the sons of bitches.......................Have a good Christmas.............Larry
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 10:06 PM
            Subject: RE: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS

            Hi Larry, thanks, I know you understand, as many others do as well.  About those japs, I guess I am so used to capitalize nouns and pronouns in all my writing for our government that it seems to have become a habit.  Sorry for loosing my head.

            In one of our meetings at the office I dropped the name “japs,” oh boy did that cause a stir among some “politically correct do gooders.”  Well after I told them a few things my assistant manager agreed but told me to try and use another expression.  In private I told him that “yellow, slant eyed bastards” would be too long of an expression and too kind.  He just smiled.  You see, his dad fought in the Pacific against the japs and did not have any kind words for them, either.

            Hang in there buddy and stay in good health.  Gwen and I are finally moving to Florida, Palm Coast, in a few weeks, just before the holidays.  That’ll give me the opportunity to visit Francis Clifton.  He is practically next door.

             

            Piet.   

             

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Larry Katz [mailto:papakatz@...]
            Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 11:20 PM
            To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS

             

            Piet as always,I am with you 1000%.I still cannot capitolize the name of japan nor japs.    

             

            Larry



          • Larry Katz
            I am so sorry this went on the group net. This was supposed to be my answer to Piet. Sorry you had to read my response..........Forgive.Larry ... From: Larry
            Message 5 of 24 , Dec 3, 2004
              I am so sorry this went on the group net. This was supposed to be my answer to Piet. Sorry you had to read my response..........Forgive.Larry
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2004 11:59 PM
              Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS

              Dont  know if I ever told you,we have a jap plant in my town,they also are members of our country club(our only place in this town for recreation,nothing like swank country clubs,just to let you know that I am not putting on airs when I mention country club,)any way,we also (my son took our business over )have our jewelry store here in Blytheville,Arkansas.......................The point I am getting at is as long as that jap factory is here,and some belong to the club, they do not shop with us, nor do they speak to me nor neither (of  course not) do I speak to them. They know why.I dont blame this bunch, but Icannot stand the yellow bastards either. Like you, I have been through a lot with the sons of bitches.......................Have a good Christmas.............Larry
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 10:06 PM
              Subject: RE: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS

              Hi Larry, thanks, I know you understand, as many others do as well.  About those japs, I guess I am so used to capitalize nouns and pronouns in all my writing for our government that it seems to have become a habit.  Sorry for loosing my head.

              In one of our meetings at the office I dropped the name “japs,” oh boy did that cause a stir among some “politically correct do gooders.”  Well after I told them a few things my assistant manager agreed but told me to try and use another expression.  In private I told him that “yellow, slant eyed bastards” would be too long of an expression and too kind.  He just smiled.  You see, his dad fought in the Pacific against the japs and did not have any kind words for them, either.

              Hang in there buddy and stay in good health.  Gwen and I are finally moving to Florida, Palm Coast, in a few weeks, just before the holidays.  That’ll give me the opportunity to visit Francis Clifton.  He is practically next door.

               

              Piet.   

               

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Larry Katz [mailto:papakatz@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 11:20 PM
              To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS

               

              Piet as always,I am with you 1000%.I still cannot capitolize the name of japan nor japs.    

               

              Larry




            • doulos00@earthlink.net
              Hi Roy, thanks and I m certainly looking forward to a meet. It ll be good to shake hands with folks we owe so much to. I ll be in touch as soon as we are
              Message 6 of 24 , Dec 3, 2004

                Hi Roy, thanks and I’m certainly looking forward to a meet.  It’ll be good to shake hands with folks we owe so much to.

                I’ll be in touch as soon as we are settled and have everything hooked up.

                 

                Regards,

                 

                Piet.

                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From: royangie3@... [mailto:royangie3@...]
                Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2004 4:31 PM
                To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS

                 

                Piet, welcome to Paradise Florida..Clifton is a few miles and ole roy is a few more.  Looking forward to seeing you sooner or later here in Partadise..best. roy

              • doulos00@earthlink.net
                Hello Laura, So good to hear from you and your interest in what has happened during the war years. Yes, most people don t realize how many people were
                Message 7 of 24 , Dec 3, 2004

                  Hello Laura,

                   

                  So good to hear from you and your interest in what has happened during the war years.  Yes, most people don’t realize how many people were affected by the war, not only the actual combatants but also civilians of many nations.  Last August I was in Dulles for my job with the FAA and had the opportunity to visit the National Air and Space Museum Annex.  The Annola Gay was inside and as I stood there just day dreaming a family with two teenage daughters came over and stood next to me talking to each other about how many people that one bomb had killed at Nagasaki.  Of course, me being a real gabber, I could not restrain myself in striking up a conversation.  After about 20 minutes they walked away with another impression then what they had coming in.  All of us stood there crying from the emotion of the events.  I even got a hug from the oldest girl, she was there for an High School project and was furiously making notes.  I guess it’s not everyday that one can actually meet a recipient of the efforts of that conflict.

                  I like to look at it this way, yes, the atom bombs had to be dropped to safe millions of lives and many innocent people were killed there but one poor jap kid exchanged his life for mine.

                   

                  The japs were the most brutal people we ever had to deal with.  All the Europeans in the Colonies were regarded as combatants and placed under military rule and law.  The Kempe Tai, their secret police, like German Gestapo, were in charge of the concentration camps.  Now, the Gestapo were like poesy cats compared with the Kempe Tai.  They were only responsible to the emperor and had free hand to express their sadistic pleasures.  The years we were interned by them were not the best years in my life.

                  It was more dangerous after the japs capitulated then during the war.  The Indonesian people now fought for their freedom from the Dutch colonists and they went on rampages killing the defenseless prisoners.  There was nowhere to go, we were caught like rats in a trap.  The one camp I finally wound up in, Ambarawa, was attacked after another camp nearby was almost totally butchered by the Indonesian freedom fighters.  There too I almost lost my life during their mortar and heavy machinegun attack.  Fortunately for us, the Brits called in an air strike and two P-38’s came in with cannons blazing and blew the rebels away.  That night we had to make a run for it to a safer place in pitch dark.

                  It seemed that we were constantly on the run and finally reached Batavia, now called Jakarta, where we left for the Netherlands.  That was half a world away from Java and we had a very cold reception.  No, the Dutch people did not receive us with open arms.  I was 13 years old at that time (1946) and had only started second grade when the japs came in.  The japs did not allow us to have any schooling thus you can imagine that I was way behind.  The Dutch school system placed me in 5th grade and I was completely lost in what was being taught.

                   

                  “They” classified me as “mentally disabled.”  My dear Laura, I developed an inferiority complex that was greater then the outdoors.  I stuttered and had a fear in meeting people, so that they would not find out that I was an imbecile.  I had promised my dad that I would study to become an airplane designer and pilot but because “they” did not understand how to deal with the kids from the colonies I was just ignored.  I had to educate myself each night till two in the morning, failed High School and was advised by the authorities that I better learn a trade because “they” did not want me to become a ward of the state.  I was 17 at that time and the draft was also staring me in the face.

                  Fortunately, the trade school director understood and helped me with a special program to catch up on my academics.  I managed to complete 4 years in one with certificates in 12 trades and a High School diploma.  Now I could enter the Aircraft Technical Institute for my engineering studies but after my second year I was pulled out of school and drafted into the Royal Air Force as an airplane mechanic.  During my second year in Tech school I had to work as an apprentice mechanic at Aviolanda in Dordrecht.  It was there that I had the pleasure on working on some the Dutch Navy PBY’s, I was in heaven.    

                  When I wanted to come back to school after my 2 years of service were over, they had changed the curriculum such that I had to take an entrance exam, which I failed of course.  There were questions that were not covered during my first two years.  Later I found out that the “system” did that to weed out applicants because there were too many, and I was one of the victims.  That’s when I started my emigration plans seriously and chose the Unites States.  I also looked into South Afrika and New Zealand but I had a cousin who emigrated with her husband to New Jersey.

                  Problem was that the quota was very low and my waiting time would be at least 5 years.  So I applied with KLM and started work as an airplane mechanic at the Amsterdam Airport, Schiphol.   Oh yes, I also continued my engineering studies at night and managed to get three years of college in by the time I left the Netherlands.  I worked about a year for KLM when the American Ambassador contacted me for an interview.  He was astounded that I had 12 trades and three years college and now also with several years hands on experience.  He asked how bad I wanted to go to America.  Yesterday, I said.  He pushed me through the quota system and within 6 months I was on an airplane to New York.

                  In May of 1962 I became an United States Citizen, and I don’t mind telling you that I stood there with tears in my eyes, holding my 48 star silk American flag.

                   

                  Hey, I am writing a book here, sorry.  It’s my bedtime and before I know it it will be a book.  There is so much more I can tell about the injustices the “system” has dealt out to me.  This country has been good to me, I love it very much and the people.  I have no love lost for the japs or the Dutch.  Both my wife, Gwen, and I, will never go back to Holland to live.  We are retiring in two years in Florida and enjoy life, hopefully writing the book our daughter wants to have for the grandson to read.

                   

                  You are doing a good thing, trying to understand what your father has done for the world.  You are talking now with one person whose life was touched by your father’s efforts in a small way.  It was the combined efforts of the many that made the difference.

                  No, unfortunately I did not get to know my future father in law to well.  He was a captain in the merchant marine and was not often home.  I was just a High School kid then, sweet on Gwen’s oldest sister and my class mate.  Gwen was then just a very little girl, a very nice little girl but I had my eyes on the big girl, my age.  Strange how things go in life, I ultimately married the little kid sister of my High School flame.  But that’s another story.

                   

                  Please keep after these guys for details of their war activities, pretty soon you’ll have a clear picture of what your father had to do.

                  All my best to you and have a great holiday season.

                   

                  With love from this crazy Flying Dutchman, Piet.

                   

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: vasilionle@... [mailto:vasilionle@...]
                  Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 7:01 AM
                  To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS

                   

                  Dear Piet,

                   

                  Thank you so much for your moving letter. It reminded me just how far reaching the arms of WWII extended. I must admit I know little of the Japanese in your homeland during WWII and the impact it had on people like you, your father, wife, and father-in-law. Now, I would

                  very much like to know more.

                   

                  You are so fortunate to have a daughter who is old enough now to appreciate the sacrifices you and your countrymen made during WWII. Unfortunately, we often wait until it's too late to appreciate the gifts of the previous generation. I'm so happy that you and your daughter (and grandson) still have time to write down those stories and pass them on. 

                   

                  Only now, six years after my father's death, am I coming to fully understand what he did during the war. I wish I had realized it much sooner.

                   

                  Did your father-in-law talk about what it was like to fly in a PBY? I'd be very interested in his or your thoughts.

                   

                  Thank you for contacting me, Piet.

                   

                  Laura Vasilion



                • Douglas Ratchford
                  Laura, I m right with you in response to Piet s moving message on his NEI background. The urgency of preserving stories like Piet s and all the other group
                  Message 8 of 24 , Dec 4, 2004
                    Laura,
                    I'm right with you in response to Piet's moving message on his NEI
                    background. The urgency of preserving stories like Piet's and all
                    the other group members make this website so much more important than
                    just a bunch of guys sharing their airplane hobby.
                    I hope you are all blessed in the coming holiday season both here
                    in the USA and all our fellow worldwide members.

                    Thanks again to all you veterans.
                    Doug Ratchford, Brenham, Tx. USA
                    --


                    - In PBY@yahoogroups.com, vasilionle@a... wrote:
                    > Dear Piet,
                    >
                    > Thank you so much for your moving letter. It reminded me just how
                    far
                    > reaching the arms of WWII extended. I must admit I know little of
                    the Japanese in
                    > your homeland during WWII and the impact it had on people like you,
                    your father,
                    > wife, and father-in-law. Now, I would
                    > very much like to know more.
                    >
                    > You are so fortunate to have a daughter who is old enough now to
                    appreciate
                    > the sacrifices you and your countrymen made during WWII.
                    Unfortunately, we
                    > often wait until it's too late to appreciate the gifts of the
                    previous generation.
                    > I'm so happy that you and your daughter (and grandson) still have
                    time to
                    > write down those stories and pass them on.
                    >
                    > Only now, six years after my father's death, am I coming to fully
                    understand
                    > what he did during the war. I wish I had realized it much sooner.
                    >
                    > Did your father-in-law talk about what it was like to fly in a PBY?
                    I'd be
                    > very interested in his or your thoughts.
                    >
                    > Thank you for contacting me, Piet.
                    >
                    > Laura Vasilion
                  • Douglas Ratchford
                    Piet, Where do you live now? Doug in Texas. ... well. About ... in all my ... Sorry for ... boy did ... Well after I ... try and ... eyed ... smiled. ... have
                    Message 9 of 24 , Dec 4, 2004
                      Piet,
                      Where do you live now?

                      Doug in Texas.

                      ---



                      In PBY@yahoogroups.com, <doulos00@e...> wrote:
                      > Hi Larry, thanks, I know you understand, as many others do as
                      well. About
                      > those japs, I guess I am so used to capitalize nouns and pronouns
                      in all my
                      > writing for our government that it seems to have become a habit.
                      Sorry for
                      > loosing my head.
                      > In one of our meetings at the office I dropped the name "japs," oh
                      boy did
                      > that cause a stir among some "politically correct do gooders."
                      Well after I
                      > told them a few things my assistant manager agreed but told me to
                      try and
                      > use another expression. In private I told him that "yellow, slant
                      eyed
                      > bastards" would be too long of an expression and too kind. He just
                      smiled.
                      > You see, his dad fought in the Pacific against the japs and did not
                      have any
                      > kind words for them, either.
                      > Hang in there buddy and stay in good health. Gwen and I are
                      finally moving
                      > to Florida, Palm Coast, in a few weeks, just before the holidays.
                      That'll
                      > give me the opportunity to visit Francis Clifton. He is
                      practically next
                      > door.
                      >
                      > Piet.
                      >
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: Larry Katz [mailto:papakatz@s...]
                      > Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 11:20 PM
                      > To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS
                      >
                      > Piet as always,I am with you 1000%.I still cannot capitolize the
                      name of
                      > japan nor japs.
                      >
                      > Larry
                    • Douglas Ratchford
                      Piet, Keep working on those memoirs. When you finish, put me down for a copy. I ve been a military history buff all my life, but WWII is my favorite period,
                      Message 10 of 24 , Dec 4, 2004
                        Piet,
                        Keep working on those memoirs. When you finish, put me down for a
                        copy. I've been a military history buff all my life, but WWII is my
                        favorite period, and I like the lesser known stuff like NEI actions.
                        I'm sorry to hear about the treatment you got from 'your own
                        people' but I'm sure the rest of the Americans on the site are proud
                        to have you as an American citizen.

                        Doug Ratchford.


                        -

                        -- In PBY@yahoogroups.com, <doulos00@e...> wrote:
                        > Hello Laura,
                        >
                        > So good to hear from you and your interest in what has happened
                        during the
                        > war years. Yes, most people don't realize how many people were
                        affected by
                        > the war, not only the actual combatants but also civilians of many
                        nations.
                        > Last August I was in Dulles for my job with the FAA and had the
                        opportunity
                        > to visit the National Air and Space Museum Annex. The Annola Gay
                        was inside
                        > and as I stood there just day dreaming a family with two teenage
                        daughters
                        > came over and stood next to me talking to each other about how many
                        people
                        > that one bomb had killed at Nagasaki. Of course, me being a real
                        gabber, I
                        > could not restrain myself in striking up a conversation. After
                        about 20
                        > minutes they walked away with another impression then what they had
                        coming
                        > in. All of us stood there crying from the emotion of the events.
                        I even
                        > got a hug from the oldest girl, she was there for an High School
                        project and
                        > was furiously making notes. I guess it's not everyday that one can
                        actually
                        > meet a recipient of the efforts of that conflict.
                        > I like to look at it this way, yes, the atom bombs had to be
                        dropped to safe
                        > millions of lives and many innocent people were killed there but
                        one poor
                        > jap kid exchanged his life for mine.
                        >
                        > The japs were the most brutal people we ever had to deal with. All
                        the
                        > Europeans in the Colonies were regarded as combatants and placed
                        under
                        > military rule and law. The Kempe Tai, their secret police, like
                        German
                        > Gestapo, were in charge of the concentration camps. Now, the
                        Gestapo were
                        > like poesy cats compared with the Kempe Tai. They were only
                        responsible to
                        > the emperor and had free hand to express their sadistic pleasures.
                        The
                        > years we were interned by them were not the best years in my life.
                        > It was more dangerous after the japs capitulated then during the
                        war. The
                        > Indonesian people now fought for their freedom from the Dutch
                        colonists and
                        > they went on rampages killing the defenseless prisoners. There was
                        nowhere
                        > to go, we were caught like rats in a trap. The one camp I finally
                        wound up
                        > in, Ambarawa, was attacked after another camp nearby was almost
                        totally
                        > butchered by the Indonesian freedom fighters. There too I almost
                        lost my
                        > life during their mortar and heavy machinegun attack. Fortunately
                        for us,
                        > the Brits called in an air strike and two P-38's came in with
                        cannons
                        > blazing and blew the rebels away. That night we had to make a run
                        for it to
                        > a safer place in pitch dark.
                        > It seemed that we were constantly on the run and finally reached
                        Batavia,
                        > now called Jakarta, where we left for the Netherlands. That was
                        half a
                        > world away from Java and we had a very cold reception. No, the
                        Dutch people
                        > did not receive us with open arms. I was 13 years old at that time
                        (1946)
                        > and had only started second grade when the japs came in. The japs
                        did not
                        > allow us to have any schooling thus you can imagine that I was way
                        behind.
                        > The Dutch school system placed me in 5th grade and I was completely
                        lost in
                        > what was being taught.
                        >
                        > "They" classified me as "mentally disabled." My dear Laura, I
                        developed an
                        > inferiority complex that was greater then the outdoors. I
                        stuttered and had
                        > a fear in meeting people, so that they would not find out that I
                        was an
                        > imbecile. I had promised my dad that I would study to become an
                        airplane
                        > designer and pilot but because "they" did not understand how to
                        deal with
                        > the kids from the colonies I was just ignored. I had to educate
                        myself each
                        > night till two in the morning, failed High School and was advised
                        by the
                        > authorities that I better learn a trade because "they" did not want
                        me to
                        > become a ward of the state. I was 17 at that time and the draft
                        was also
                        > staring me in the face.
                        > Fortunately, the trade school director understood and helped me
                        with a
                        > special program to catch up on my academics. I managed to complete
                        4 years
                        > in one with certificates in 12 trades and a High School diploma.
                        Now I
                        > could enter the Aircraft Technical Institute for my engineering
                        studies but
                        > after my second year I was pulled out of school and drafted into
                        the Royal
                        > Air Force as an airplane mechanic. During my second year in Tech
                        school I
                        > had to work as an apprentice mechanic at Aviolanda in Dordrecht.
                        It was
                        > there that I had the pleasure on working on some the Dutch Navy
                        PBY's, I was
                        > in heaven.
                        > When I wanted to come back to school after my 2 years of service
                        were over,
                        > they had changed the curriculum such that I had to take an entrance
                        exam,
                        > which I failed of course. There were questions that were not
                        covered during
                        > my first two years. Later I found out that the "system" did that
                        to weed
                        > out applicants because there were too many, and I was one of the
                        victims.
                        > That's when I started my emigration plans seriously and chose the
                        Unites
                        > States. I also looked into South Afrika and New Zealand but I had
                        a cousin
                        > who emigrated with her husband to New Jersey.
                        > Problem was that the quota was very low and my waiting time would
                        be at
                        > least 5 years. So I applied with KLM and started work as an
                        airplane
                        > mechanic at the Amsterdam Airport, Schiphol. Oh yes, I also
                        continued my
                        > engineering studies at night and managed to get three years of
                        college in by
                        > the time I left the Netherlands. I worked about a year for KLM
                        when the
                        > American Ambassador contacted me for an interview. He was
                        astounded that I
                        > had 12 trades and three years college and now also with several
                        years hands
                        > on experience. He asked how bad I wanted to go to America.
                        Yesterday, I
                        > said. He pushed me through the quota system and within 6 months I
                        was on an
                        > airplane to New York.
                        > In May of 1962 I became an United States Citizen, and I don't mind
                        telling
                        > you that I stood there with tears in my eyes, holding my 48 star
                        silk
                        > American flag.
                        >
                        > Hey, I am writing a book here, sorry. It's my bedtime and before I
                        know it
                        > it will be a book. There is so much more I can tell about the
                        injustices
                        > the "system" has dealt out to me. This country has been good to
                        me, I love
                        > it very much and the people. I have no love lost for the japs or
                        the Dutch.
                        > Both my wife, Gwen, and I, will never go back to Holland to live.
                        We are
                        > retiring in two years in Florida and enjoy life, hopefully writing
                        the book
                        > our daughter wants to have for the grandson to read.
                        >
                        > You are doing a good thing, trying to understand what your father
                        has done
                        > for the world. You are talking now with one person whose life was
                        touched
                        > by your father's efforts in a small way. It was the combined
                        efforts of the
                        > many that made the difference.
                        > No, unfortunately I did not get to know my future father in law to
                        well. He
                        > was a captain in the merchant marine and was not often home. I was
                        just a
                        > High School kid then, sweet on Gwen's oldest sister and my class
                        mate. Gwen
                        > was then just a very little girl, a very nice little girl but I had
                        my eyes
                        > on the big girl, my age. Strange how things go in life, I
                        ultimately
                        > married the little kid sister of my High School flame. But that's
                        another
                        > story.
                        >
                        > Please keep after these guys for details of their war activities,
                        pretty
                        > soon you'll have a clear picture of what your father had to do.
                        > All my best to you and have a great holiday season.
                        >
                        > With love from this crazy Flying Dutchman, Piet.
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: vasilionle@a... [mailto:vasilionle@a...]
                        > Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 7:01 AM
                        > To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS
                        >
                        > Dear Piet,
                        >
                        > Thank you so much for your moving letter. It reminded me just how
                        far
                        > reaching the arms of WWII extended. I must admit I know little of
                        the
                        > Japanese in your homeland during WWII and the impact it had on
                        people like
                        > you, your father, wife, and father-in-law. Now, I would
                        > very much like to know more.
                        >
                        > You are so fortunate to have a daughter who is old enough now to
                        appreciate
                        > the sacrifices you and your countrymen made during WWII.
                        Unfortunately, we
                        > often wait until it's too late to appreciate the gifts of the
                        previous
                        > generation. I'm so happy that you and your daughter (and grandson)
                        still
                        > have time to write down those stories and pass them on.
                        >
                        > Only now, six years after my father's death, am I coming to fully
                        understand
                        > what he did during the war. I wish I had realized it much sooner.
                        >
                        > Did your father-in-law talk about what it was like to fly in a PBY?
                        I'd be
                        > very interested in his or your thoughts.
                        >
                        > Thank you for contacting me, Piet.
                        >
                        > Laura Vasilion
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                        > ADVERTISEMENT
                        > click here
                        >
                        <http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=1293vifrn/M=298184.5639630.6699735.300117
                        6/D=gr
                        >
                        oups/S=1705126282:HM/EXP=1101989351/A=2434971/R=0/SIG=11eeoolb0/*http:
                        //www.
                        > netflix.com/Default?mqso=60185400>
                        >
                        >
                        > _____
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        > * To visit your group on the web, go to:
                        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PBY/
                        >
                        > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        > PBY-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                        > <mailto:PBY-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
                        >
                        > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms
                        of
                        > Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
                      • Robert W. Bergstrom
                        Piet, thank you for coming to the USA. We are the better for it I am sure. I do not want to pick on the Dutch but they seem to have made bad decisions on
                        Message 11 of 24 , Dec 4, 2004
                          Piet, thank you for coming to the USA. We are the better for it I
                          am sure. I do not want to pick on the Dutch but they seem to have
                          made bad decisions on certain things in the past, especially in your
                          case. By the way, the lady who took care of my boys when they were
                          brand new was from the DEI. She was too young to remember much but
                          her parents who were in the camps like you did not have pleasent
                          memories from that time. Thanks for all of your input to the group!
                          Bob Bergstrom

                          --- In PBY@yahoogroups.com, "Douglas Ratchford" <dougnlynnett@s...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Piet,
                          > Keep working on those memoirs. When you finish, put me down for
                          a
                          > copy. I've been a military history buff all my life, but WWII is
                          my
                          > favorite period, and I like the lesser known stuff like NEI
                          actions.
                          > I'm sorry to hear about the treatment you got from 'your own
                          > people' but I'm sure the rest of the Americans on the site are
                          proud
                          > to have you as an American citizen.
                          >
                          > Doug Ratchford.
                          >
                          >
                          > -
                          >
                          > -- In PBY@yahoogroups.com, <doulos00@e...> wrote:
                          > > Hello Laura,
                          > >
                          > > So good to hear from you and your interest in what has happened
                          > during the
                          > > war years. Yes, most people don't realize how many people were
                          > affected by
                          > > the war, not only the actual combatants but also civilians of
                          many
                          > nations.
                          > > Last August I was in Dulles for my job with the FAA and had the
                          > opportunity
                          > > to visit the National Air and Space Museum Annex. The Annola
                          Gay
                          > was inside
                          > > and as I stood there just day dreaming a family with two teenage
                          > daughters
                          > > came over and stood next to me talking to each other about how
                          many
                          > people
                          > > that one bomb had killed at Nagasaki. Of course, me being a
                          real
                          > gabber, I
                          > > could not restrain myself in striking up a conversation. After
                          > about 20
                          > > minutes they walked away with another impression then what they
                          had
                          > coming
                          > > in. All of us stood there crying from the emotion of the
                          events.
                          > I even
                          > > got a hug from the oldest girl, she was there for an High School
                          > project and
                          > > was furiously making notes. I guess it's not everyday that one
                          can
                          > actually
                          > > meet a recipient of the efforts of that conflict.
                          > > I like to look at it this way, yes, the atom bombs had to be
                          > dropped to safe
                          > > millions of lives and many innocent people were killed there but
                          > one poor
                          > > jap kid exchanged his life for mine.
                          > >
                          > > The japs were the most brutal people we ever had to deal with.
                          All
                          > the
                          > > Europeans in the Colonies were regarded as combatants and placed
                          > under
                          > > military rule and law. The Kempe Tai, their secret police, like
                          > German
                          > > Gestapo, were in charge of the concentration camps. Now, the
                          > Gestapo were
                          > > like poesy cats compared with the Kempe Tai. They were only
                          > responsible to
                          > > the emperor and had free hand to express their sadistic
                          pleasures.
                          > The
                          > > years we were interned by them were not the best years in my
                          life.
                          > > It was more dangerous after the japs capitulated then during the
                          > war. The
                          > > Indonesian people now fought for their freedom from the Dutch
                          > colonists and
                          > > they went on rampages killing the defenseless prisoners. There
                          was
                          > nowhere
                          > > to go, we were caught like rats in a trap. The one camp I
                          finally
                          > wound up
                          > > in, Ambarawa, was attacked after another camp nearby was almost
                          > totally
                          > > butchered by the Indonesian freedom fighters. There too I
                          almost
                          > lost my
                          > > life during their mortar and heavy machinegun attack.
                          Fortunately
                          > for us,
                          > > the Brits called in an air strike and two P-38's came in with
                          > cannons
                          > > blazing and blew the rebels away. That night we had to make a
                          run
                          > for it to
                          > > a safer place in pitch dark.
                          > > It seemed that we were constantly on the run and finally reached
                          > Batavia,
                          > > now called Jakarta, where we left for the Netherlands. That was
                          > half a
                          > > world away from Java and we had a very cold reception. No, the
                          > Dutch people
                          > > did not receive us with open arms. I was 13 years old at that
                          time
                          > (1946)
                          > > and had only started second grade when the japs came in. The
                          japs
                          > did not
                          > > allow us to have any schooling thus you can imagine that I was
                          way
                          > behind.
                          > > The Dutch school system placed me in 5th grade and I was
                          completely
                          > lost in
                          > > what was being taught.
                          > >
                          > > "They" classified me as "mentally disabled." My dear Laura, I
                          > developed an
                          > > inferiority complex that was greater then the outdoors. I
                          > stuttered and had
                          > > a fear in meeting people, so that they would not find out that I
                          > was an
                          > > imbecile. I had promised my dad that I would study to become an
                          > airplane
                          > > designer and pilot but because "they" did not understand how to
                          > deal with
                          > > the kids from the colonies I was just ignored. I had to educate
                          > myself each
                          > > night till two in the morning, failed High School and was
                          advised
                          > by the
                          > > authorities that I better learn a trade because "they" did not
                          want
                          > me to
                          > > become a ward of the state. I was 17 at that time and the draft
                          > was also
                          > > staring me in the face.
                          > > Fortunately, the trade school director understood and helped me
                          > with a
                          > > special program to catch up on my academics. I managed to
                          complete
                          > 4 years
                          > > in one with certificates in 12 trades and a High School
                          diploma.
                          > Now I
                          > > could enter the Aircraft Technical Institute for my engineering
                          > studies but
                          > > after my second year I was pulled out of school and drafted into
                          > the Royal
                          > > Air Force as an airplane mechanic. During my second year in
                          Tech
                          > school I
                          > > had to work as an apprentice mechanic at Aviolanda in
                          Dordrecht.
                          > It was
                          > > there that I had the pleasure on working on some the Dutch Navy
                          > PBY's, I was
                          > > in heaven.
                          > > When I wanted to come back to school after my 2 years of service
                          > were over,
                          > > they had changed the curriculum such that I had to take an
                          entrance
                          > exam,
                          > > which I failed of course. There were questions that were not
                          > covered during
                          > > my first two years. Later I found out that the "system" did
                          that
                          > to weed
                          > > out applicants because there were too many, and I was one of the
                          > victims.
                          > > That's when I started my emigration plans seriously and chose
                          the
                          > Unites
                          > > States. I also looked into South Afrika and New Zealand but I
                          had
                          > a cousin
                          > > who emigrated with her husband to New Jersey.
                          > > Problem was that the quota was very low and my waiting time
                          would
                          > be at
                          > > least 5 years. So I applied with KLM and started work as an
                          > airplane
                          > > mechanic at the Amsterdam Airport, Schiphol. Oh yes, I also
                          > continued my
                          > > engineering studies at night and managed to get three years of
                          > college in by
                          > > the time I left the Netherlands. I worked about a year for KLM
                          > when the
                          > > American Ambassador contacted me for an interview. He was
                          > astounded that I
                          > > had 12 trades and three years college and now also with several
                          > years hands
                          > > on experience. He asked how bad I wanted to go to America.
                          > Yesterday, I
                          > > said. He pushed me through the quota system and within 6 months
                          I
                          > was on an
                          > > airplane to New York.
                          > > In May of 1962 I became an United States Citizen, and I don't
                          mind
                          > telling
                          > > you that I stood there with tears in my eyes, holding my 48 star
                          > silk
                          > > American flag.
                          > >
                          > > Hey, I am writing a book here, sorry. It's my bedtime and
                          before I
                          > know it
                          > > it will be a book. There is so much more I can tell about the
                          > injustices
                          > > the "system" has dealt out to me. This country has been good to
                          > me, I love
                          > > it very much and the people. I have no love lost for the japs
                          or
                          > the Dutch.
                          > > Both my wife, Gwen, and I, will never go back to Holland to
                          live.
                          > We are
                          > > retiring in two years in Florida and enjoy life, hopefully
                          writing
                          > the book
                          > > our daughter wants to have for the grandson to read.
                          > >
                          > > You are doing a good thing, trying to understand what your
                          father
                          > has done
                          > > for the world. You are talking now with one person whose life
                          was
                          > touched
                          > > by your father's efforts in a small way. It was the combined
                          > efforts of the
                          > > many that made the difference.
                          > > No, unfortunately I did not get to know my future father in law
                          to
                          > well. He
                          > > was a captain in the merchant marine and was not often home. I
                          was
                          > just a
                          > > High School kid then, sweet on Gwen's oldest sister and my class
                          > mate. Gwen
                          > > was then just a very little girl, a very nice little girl but I
                          had
                          > my eyes
                          > > on the big girl, my age. Strange how things go in life, I
                          > ultimately
                          > > married the little kid sister of my High School flame. But
                          that's
                          > another
                          > > story.
                          > >
                          > > Please keep after these guys for details of their war
                          activities,
                          > pretty
                          > > soon you'll have a clear picture of what your father had to do.
                          > > All my best to you and have a great holiday season.
                          > >
                          > > With love from this crazy Flying Dutchman, Piet.
                          > >
                          > > -----Original Message-----
                          > > From: vasilionle@a... [mailto:vasilionle@a...]
                          > > Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 7:01 AM
                          > > To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                          > > Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS
                          > >
                          > > Dear Piet,
                          > >
                          > > Thank you so much for your moving letter. It reminded me just
                          how
                          > far
                          > > reaching the arms of WWII extended. I must admit I know little
                          of
                          > the
                          > > Japanese in your homeland during WWII and the impact it had on
                          > people like
                          > > you, your father, wife, and father-in-law. Now, I would
                          > > very much like to know more.
                          > >
                          > > You are so fortunate to have a daughter who is old enough now to
                          > appreciate
                          > > the sacrifices you and your countrymen made during WWII.
                          > Unfortunately, we
                          > > often wait until it's too late to appreciate the gifts of the
                          > previous
                          > > generation. I'm so happy that you and your daughter (and
                          grandson)
                          > still
                          > > have time to write down those stories and pass them on.
                          > >
                          > > Only now, six years after my father's death, am I coming to
                          fully
                          > understand
                          > > what he did during the war. I wish I had realized it much sooner.
                          > >
                          > > Did your father-in-law talk about what it was like to fly in a
                          PBY?
                          > I'd be
                          > > very interested in his or your thoughts.
                          > >
                          > > Thank you for contacting me, Piet.
                          > >
                          > > Laura Vasilion
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                          > > ADVERTISEMENT
                          > > click here
                          > >
                          >
                          <http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=1293vifrn/M=298184.5639630.6699735.30011
                          7
                          > 6/D=gr
                          > >
                          >
                          oups/S=1705126282:HM/EXP=1101989351/A=2434971/R=0/SIG=11eeoolb0/*http
                          :
                          > //www.
                          > > netflix.com/Default?mqso=60185400>
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > _____
                          > >
                          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          > > * To visit your group on the web, go to:
                          > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PBY/
                          > >
                          > > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                          > > PBY-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                          > > <mailto:PBY-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
                          > >
                          > > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
                          Terms
                          > of
                          > > Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
                        • doulos00@earthlink.net
                          Hello Doug in Texas, Present l am pounding on the keys in Moon Township, near Coraopolis, PA , which is near Pittsburgh, PA. My current house is about 3 miles
                          Message 12 of 24 , Dec 4, 2004
                            Hello Doug in Texas,

                            Present l am pounding on the keys in Moon Township, near Coraopolis, PA ,
                            which is near Pittsburgh, PA. My current house is about 3 miles from
                            runway 28 Rt at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Lot's of good
                            "music," especially when the Convair CV-440 takes off with them sweet
                            sounding R-2800ds.
                            On the 20 of this month Gwen and I will be moving to Palm Coast, Florida.
                            We've had enough of the cold winters and hopefully can retire in two years.

                            Thanks for asking,

                            Piet.

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Douglas Ratchford [mailto:dougnlynnett@...]
                            Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2004 12:31 PM
                            To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [PBY] Re: Photographers on WWII PBYS


                            Piet,
                            Where do you live now?

                            Doug in Texas.

                            ---



                            In PBY@yahoogroups.com, <doulos00@e...> wrote:
                            > Hi Larry, thanks, I know you understand, as many others do as
                            well. About
                            > those japs, I guess I am so used to capitalize nouns and pronouns
                            in all my
                            > writing for our government that it seems to have become a habit.
                            Sorry for
                            > loosing my head.
                            > In one of our meetings at the office I dropped the name "japs," oh
                            boy did
                            > that cause a stir among some "politically correct do gooders."
                            Well after I
                            > told them a few things my assistant manager agreed but told me to
                            try and
                            > use another expression. In private I told him that "yellow, slant
                            eyed
                            > bastards" would be too long of an expression and too kind. He just
                            smiled.
                            > You see, his dad fought in the Pacific against the japs and did not
                            have any
                            > kind words for them, either.
                            > Hang in there buddy and stay in good health. Gwen and I are
                            finally moving
                            > to Florida, Palm Coast, in a few weeks, just before the holidays.
                            That'll
                            > give me the opportunity to visit Francis Clifton. He is
                            practically next
                            > door.
                            >
                            > Piet.
                            >
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: Larry Katz [mailto:papakatz@s...]
                            > Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 11:20 PM
                            > To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS
                            >
                            > Piet as always,I am with you 1000%.I still cannot capitolize the
                            name of
                            > japan nor japs.
                            >
                            > Larry







                            Yahoo! Groups Links
                          • royangie3@wmconnect.com
                            Thanks Piet and looking for ward to meeting with you when you get settled in to Paradise Florida.. To you and the others...My wife Angie has been sick as some
                            Message 13 of 24 , Dec 4, 2004
                              Thanks Piet and looking for ward to meeting with you when you get settled in to Paradise Florida..
                              To you and the others...My wife Angie has been sick as some of you know. She is now terminal following some strokes.  I know that some of you are going thru some similiar things with their spouses and we pray for the two PBY,ers who have wife,s with problems.  These may be the golden years but sometimes it is difficult.  thanks to you all, roy
                            • doulos00@earthlink.net
                              Hi Roy, yes, we know that your wife is ill but not that it is terminal. We are so sorry, it will be a burden to carry for some time. But there is always a
                              Message 14 of 24 , Dec 4, 2004

                                Hi Roy,  yes, we know that your wife is ill but not that it is terminal.  We are so sorry, it will be a burden to carry for some time.  But there is always a silver lining; on the other side of the grave is a most wonderful world promised by our Creator and all of us will be reunited totally healed.  Perhaps no one in this group knows but I am also a minister of God and teacher of His Word.  We will certainly petition God to give all of you and the families the strength to help you in this trial.  No, I am not a “holy roller” but just another mechanic and pilot like the rest of you.  Till the age of 40 I was an atheist, so who can figure what God has in mind with us.

                                 

                                Hang in there my friend and yes, we are looking forward to a get together with Marlin and Francis.

                                 

                                Piet.

                                 

                                 

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: royangie3@... [mailto:royangie3@...]
                                Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2004 11:36 PM
                                To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS

                                 

                                Thanks Piet and looking for ward to meeting with you when you get settled in to Paradise Florida..
                                To you and the others...My wife Angie has been sick as some of you know. She is now terminal following some strokes.  I know that some of you are going thru some similiar things with their spouses and we pray for the two PBY,ers who have wife,s with problems.  These may be the golden years but sometimes it is difficult.  thanks to you all, roy


                              • Stanley Strazza
                                Thanx Piet,for your very informative story.....I want to take this time to wish you and the group members a very Merry Chrismas eh! I do hope that all is well
                                Message 15 of 24 , Dec 5, 2004
                                  Thanx Piet,for your very informative story.....I want to take this
                                  time to wish you and the group members a very Merry Chrismas eh! I do
                                  hope that all is well with you and your loved ones, as this joyous
                                  Christmas season fast approaches us..... Piet, your an asset to this
                                  membership. I thank you eh!
                                  Happy New Year too!
                                  Stanley Strazza


                                  --- In PBY@yahoogroups.com, <doulos00@e...> wrote:
                                  > Hello Laura,
                                  >
                                  > So good to hear from you and your interest in what has happened
                                  during the
                                  > war years. Yes, most people don't realize how many people were
                                  affected by
                                  > the war, not only the actual combatants but also civilians of many
                                  nations.
                                  > Last August I was in Dulles for my job with the FAA and had the
                                  opportunity
                                  > to visit the National Air and Space Museum Annex. The Annola Gay
                                  was inside
                                  > and as I stood there just day dreaming a family with two teenage
                                  daughters
                                  > came over and stood next to me talking to each other about how many
                                  people
                                  > that one bomb had killed at Nagasaki. Of course, me being a real
                                  gabber, I
                                  > could not restrain myself in striking up a conversation. After
                                  about 20
                                  > minutes they walked away with another impression then what they had
                                  coming
                                  > in. All of us stood there crying from the emotion of the events.
                                  I even
                                  > got a hug from the oldest girl, she was there for an High School
                                  project and
                                  > was furiously making notes. I guess it's not everyday that one can
                                  actually
                                  > meet a recipient of the efforts of that conflict.
                                  > I like to look at it this way, yes, the atom bombs had to be
                                  dropped to safe
                                  > millions of lives and many innocent people were killed there but
                                  one poor
                                  > jap kid exchanged his life for mine.
                                  >
                                  > The japs were the most brutal people we ever had to deal with. All
                                  the
                                  > Europeans in the Colonies were regarded as combatants and placed
                                  under
                                  > military rule and law. The Kempe Tai, their secret police, like
                                  German
                                  > Gestapo, were in charge of the concentration camps. Now, the
                                  Gestapo were
                                  > like poesy cats compared with the Kempe Tai. They were only
                                  responsible to
                                  > the emperor and had free hand to express their sadistic pleasures.
                                  The
                                  > years we were interned by them were not the best years in my life.
                                  > It was more dangerous after the japs capitulated then during the
                                  war. The
                                  > Indonesian people now fought for their freedom from the Dutch
                                  colonists and
                                  > they went on rampages killing the defenseless prisoners. There was
                                  nowhere
                                  > to go, we were caught like rats in a trap. The one camp I finally
                                  wound up
                                  > in, Ambarawa, was attacked after another camp nearby was almost
                                  totally
                                  > butchered by the Indonesian freedom fighters. There too I almost
                                  lost my
                                  > life during their mortar and heavy machinegun attack. Fortunately
                                  for us,
                                  > the Brits called in an air strike and two P-38's came in with
                                  cannons
                                  > blazing and blew the rebels away. That night we had to make a run
                                  for it to
                                  > a safer place in pitch dark.
                                  > It seemed that we were constantly on the run and finally reached
                                  Batavia,
                                  > now called Jakarta, where we left for the Netherlands. That was
                                  half a
                                  > world away from Java and we had a very cold reception. No, the
                                  Dutch people
                                  > did not receive us with open arms. I was 13 years old at that time
                                  (1946)
                                  > and had only started second grade when the japs came in. The japs
                                  did not
                                  > allow us to have any schooling thus you can imagine that I was way
                                  behind.
                                  > The Dutch school system placed me in 5th grade and I was completely
                                  lost in
                                  > what was being taught.
                                  >
                                  > "They" classified me as "mentally disabled." My dear Laura, I
                                  developed an
                                  > inferiority complex that was greater then the outdoors. I
                                  stuttered and had
                                  > a fear in meeting people, so that they would not find out that I
                                  was an
                                  > imbecile. I had promised my dad that I would study to become an
                                  airplane
                                  > designer and pilot but because "they" did not understand how to
                                  deal with
                                  > the kids from the colonies I was just ignored. I had to educate
                                  myself each
                                  > night till two in the morning, failed High School and was advised
                                  by the
                                  > authorities that I better learn a trade because "they" did not want
                                  me to
                                  > become a ward of the state. I was 17 at that time and the draft
                                  was also
                                  > staring me in the face.
                                  > Fortunately, the trade school director understood and helped me
                                  with a
                                  > special program to catch up on my academics. I managed to complete
                                  4 years
                                  > in one with certificates in 12 trades and a High School diploma.
                                  Now I
                                  > could enter the Aircraft Technical Institute for my engineering
                                  studies but
                                  > after my second year I was pulled out of school and drafted into
                                  the Royal
                                  > Air Force as an airplane mechanic. During my second year in Tech
                                  school I
                                  > had to work as an apprentice mechanic at Aviolanda in Dordrecht.
                                  It was
                                  > there that I had the pleasure on working on some the Dutch Navy
                                  PBY's, I was
                                  > in heaven.
                                  > When I wanted to come back to school after my 2 years of service
                                  were over,
                                  > they had changed the curriculum such that I had to take an entrance
                                  exam,
                                  > which I failed of course. There were questions that were not
                                  covered during
                                  > my first two years. Later I found out that the "system" did that
                                  to weed
                                  > out applicants because there were too many, and I was one of the
                                  victims.
                                  > That's when I started my emigration plans seriously and chose the
                                  Unites
                                  > States. I also looked into South Afrika and New Zealand but I had
                                  a cousin
                                  > who emigrated with her husband to New Jersey.
                                  > Problem was that the quota was very low and my waiting time would
                                  be at
                                  > least 5 years. So I applied with KLM and started work as an
                                  airplane
                                  > mechanic at the Amsterdam Airport, Schiphol. Oh yes, I also
                                  continued my
                                  > engineering studies at night and managed to get three years of
                                  college in by
                                  > the time I left the Netherlands. I worked about a year for KLM
                                  when the
                                  > American Ambassador contacted me for an interview. He was
                                  astounded that I
                                  > had 12 trades and three years college and now also with several
                                  years hands
                                  > on experience. He asked how bad I wanted to go to America.
                                  Yesterday, I
                                  > said. He pushed me through the quota system and within 6 months I
                                  was on an
                                  > airplane to New York.
                                  > In May of 1962 I became an United States Citizen, and I don't mind
                                  telling
                                  > you that I stood there with tears in my eyes, holding my 48 star
                                  silk
                                  > American flag.
                                  >
                                  > Hey, I am writing a book here, sorry. It's my bedtime and before I
                                  know it
                                  > it will be a book. There is so much more I can tell about the
                                  injustices
                                  > the "system" has dealt out to me. This country has been good to
                                  me, I love
                                  > it very much and the people. I have no love lost for the japs or
                                  the Dutch.
                                  > Both my wife, Gwen, and I, will never go back to Holland to live.
                                  We are
                                  > retiring in two years in Florida and enjoy life, hopefully writing
                                  the book
                                  > our daughter wants to have for the grandson to read.
                                  >
                                  > You are doing a good thing, trying to understand what your father
                                  has done
                                  > for the world. You are talking now with one person whose life was
                                  touched
                                  > by your father's efforts in a small way. It was the combined
                                  efforts of the
                                  > many that made the difference.
                                  > No, unfortunately I did not get to know my future father in law to
                                  well. He
                                  > was a captain in the merchant marine and was not often home. I was
                                  just a
                                  > High School kid then, sweet on Gwen's oldest sister and my class
                                  mate. Gwen
                                  > was then just a very little girl, a very nice little girl but I had
                                  my eyes
                                  > on the big girl, my age. Strange how things go in life, I
                                  ultimately
                                  > married the little kid sister of my High School flame. But that's
                                  another
                                  > story.
                                  >
                                  > Please keep after these guys for details of their war activities,
                                  pretty
                                  > soon you'll have a clear picture of what your father had to do.
                                  > All my best to you and have a great holiday season.
                                  >
                                  > With love from this crazy Flying Dutchman, Piet.
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > From: vasilionle@a... [mailto:vasilionle@a...]
                                  > Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 7:01 AM
                                  > To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS
                                  >
                                  > Dear Piet,
                                  >
                                  > Thank you so much for your moving letter. It reminded me just how
                                  far
                                  > reaching the arms of WWII extended. I must admit I know little of
                                  the
                                  > Japanese in your homeland during WWII and the impact it had on
                                  people like
                                  > you, your father, wife, and father-in-law. Now, I would
                                  > very much like to know more.
                                  >
                                  > You are so fortunate to have a daughter who is old enough now to
                                  appreciate
                                  > the sacrifices you and your countrymen made during WWII.
                                  Unfortunately, we
                                  > often wait until it's too late to appreciate the gifts of the
                                  previous
                                  > generation. I'm so happy that you and your daughter (and grandson)
                                  still
                                  > have time to write down those stories and pass them on.
                                  >
                                  > Only now, six years after my father's death, am I coming to fully
                                  understand
                                  > what he did during the war. I wish I had realized it much sooner.
                                  >
                                  > Did your father-in-law talk about what it was like to fly in a PBY?
                                  I'd be
                                  > very interested in his or your thoughts.
                                  >
                                  > Thank you for contacting me, Piet.
                                  >
                                  > Laura Vasilion
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
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                                • Douglas Ratchford
                                  Roy and Piet, Could both of you contact me off site at dougnlynnett@sbcglobal.net? I d like to chat on a more personal level. For that matter I d be glad
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Dec 6, 2004
                                    Roy and Piet,
                                    Could both of you contact me off site at
                                    dougnlynnett@...? I'd like to chat on a more personal
                                    level. For that matter I'd be glad to hear from any of the group,
                                    but especially the two of you.
                                    Doug Ratchford, Brenham, Tx.


                                    -- In PBY@yahoogroups.com, <doulos00@e...> wrote:
                                    > Hi Roy, yes, we know that your wife is ill but not that it is
                                    terminal. We
                                    > are so sorry, it will be a burden to carry for some time. But
                                    there is
                                    > always a silver lining; on the other side of the grave is a most
                                    wonderful
                                    > world promised by our Creator and all of us will be reunited
                                    totally healed.
                                    > Perhaps no one in this group knows but I am also a minister of God
                                    and
                                    > teacher of His Word. We will certainly petition God to give all of
                                    you and
                                    > the families the strength to help you in this trial. No, I am not
                                    a "holy
                                    > roller" but just another mechanic and pilot like the rest of you.
                                    Till the
                                    > age of 40 I was an atheist, so who can figure what God has in mind
                                    with us.
                                    >
                                    > Hang in there my friend and yes, we are looking forward to a get
                                    together
                                    > with Marlin and Francis.
                                    >
                                    > Piet.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > From: royangie3@w... [mailto:royangie3@w...]
                                    > Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2004 11:36 PM
                                    > To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: Re: [PBY] Photographers on WWII PBYS
                                    >
                                    > Thanks Piet and looking for ward to meeting with you when you get
                                    settled in
                                    > to Paradise Florida..
                                    > To you and the others...My wife Angie has been sick as some of you
                                    know. She
                                    > is now terminal following some strokes. I know that some of you
                                    are going
                                    > thru some similiar things with their spouses and we pray for the
                                    two PBY,ers
                                    > who have wife,s with problems. These may be the golden years but
                                    sometimes
                                    > it is difficult. thanks to you all, roy
                                    >
                                    >
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                                    of
                                    > Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
                                  • royangie3@wmconnect.com
                                    Hi Doug, thanks for the answer and be glad to discuss with you any matter, however there may be a delay in answering you as tomrrow we have the funeral for
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Dec 6, 2004
                                      Hi Doug, thanks for the answer and be glad to discuss with you any matter, however there may be a delay in answering you as tomrrow we have the funeral for Angie who is now in Gods Heaven.  Then wednesday be pretty busy and thursday I have to have some laser on  my eyes.  But will eventually answer or talk about anything.  Please pray for me as I go thru this transition.  We used to be a member of Campers on Mission and we went coast to coast building churches.  Angie was on a roof top at age 76 doing roofing, however we finally had to leave the organization account of her health.  I may return to that group and have an invite to go to arizona in Jan for church building or another one to go to Athens texas for same thing. Or may get started in something else here...Thanks for your prayers and will see you again as soon as get little time...Best, roy
                                    • doulos00@earthlink.net
                                      Hello Roy, My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. My prayers are going out for you. Stay the course my friend. Piet. ... From:
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Dec 7, 2004

                                        Hello Roy,

                                         

                                        My heartfelt condolences to you and your family.  My prayers are going out for you.  Stay the course my friend.

                                         

                                        Piet.

                                         

                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: royangie3@... [mailto:royangie3@...]
                                        Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 10:25 PM
                                        To: PBY@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: [PBY] Re: Photographers on WWII PBYS

                                         

                                        Hi Doug, thanks for the answer and be glad to discuss with you any matter, however there may be a delay in answering you as tomrrow we have the funeral for Angie who is now in Gods Heaven.  Then wednesday be pretty busy and thursday I have to have some laser on  my eyes.  But will eventually answer or talk about anything.  Please pray for me as I go thru this transition.  We used to be a member of Campers on Mission and we went coast to coast building churches.  Angie was on a roof top at age 76 doing roofing, however we finally had to leave the organization account of her health.  I may return to that group and have an invite to go to arizona in Jan for church building or another one to go to Athens texas for same thing. Or may get started in something else here...Thanks for your prayers and will see you again as soon as get little time...Best, roy

                                      • Douglas Ratchford
                                        Roy and family, You re all in our thoughts and prayers. May the Lord watch over you and guide you. In His love, Doug Ratchford. -- ... matter, ... the
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Dec 8, 2004
                                          Roy and family,
                                          You're all in our thoughts and prayers. May the Lord watch over
                                          you and guide you.
                                          In His love, Doug Ratchford.

                                          --


                                          - In PBY@yahoogroups.com, royangie3@w... wrote:
                                          > Hi Doug, thanks for the answer and be glad to discuss with you any
                                          matter,
                                          > however there may be a delay in answering you as tomrrow we have
                                          the funeral for
                                          > Angie who is now in Gods Heaven. Then wednesday be pretty busy and
                                          thursday
                                          > I have to have some laser on my eyes. But will eventually answer
                                          or talk
                                          > about anything. Please pray for me as I go thru this transition.
                                          We used to be
                                          > a member of Campers on Mission and we went coast to coast building
                                          churches.
                                          > Angie was on a roof top at age 76 doing roofing, however we finally
                                          had to
                                          > leave the organization account of her health. I may return to that
                                          group and
                                          > have an invite to go to arizona in Jan for church building or
                                          another one to go
                                          > to Athens texas for same thing. Or may get started in something
                                          else
                                          > here...Thanks for your prayers and will see you again as soon as
                                          get little time...Best,
                                          > roy
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