I probably owe my life to a pair of Dutch men I'll never meet. (Memorial Day story)

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Popovio, May 28, 2018.

  1. Popovio

    Popovio The poster formerly known as "MouseCop"
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    My grandfather, Stan, was a C-47 pilot with the 101st Airborne during World War 2. I don't think he really talked to his sons about his experiences during the war. All my family really knew was that he got shot down over Eindhoven during Operation Market Garden (the Allies attempt to open a route into Germany through The Netherlands), and that he had managed to rejoin U.S forces after a few days. If anyone is familiar with Operation Market Garden, they'll know it was a pretty spectacular failure. The area that the 101st and my grandfather (unintentionally) landed came to be known as Hell's Highway, a lot of vicious fighting took place there.

    Back in 2006, out of the blue, my dad received an email from The Netherlands. It was from a Dutch family inquiring about what had happened to my grandfather. Unfortunately, my grandfather died years before I was born (back in '81), and my dad told this to the Dutch family, and what he knew of his own father's experiences during the war. The guy who had contacted my father was the son of a Dutch man whose name was Jan Soontiens. He too hadn't talked to his sons about his experiences during the war, but in 2006 he asked his sons if they could use the internet to inquire as to what had happened to an American man that he had met in 1944. When my dad replied with what had happened to my grandfather, Jan's son Adri informed his dad that Stan had died. Jan then recounted what had happened in September, 1944 to his sons. Adri (his son) wrote down what his father said and then sent it to our family.

    So, here is Jan and my Grandfather's story. (My grandfather's name was Edward, but he went by Stan)










    My grandfather had hidden himself in a haystack after he was shot down, until this pair of Dutch brothers came along and prodded him with their pitchforks. Then they hid him in a secret room underneath some hen houses until the 101st had cleared the area, because a squad of German soldiers ate dinner every night at the farm he was hiding at.

    None of my family knew any of this, just that he had gotten some help from some locals. Immediately after we got this email, my dad and uncles flew to The Netherlands with bottles of bourbon to meet Jan and the rest of the Soontiens family. I hope one day I might be able to fly to the Netherlands and meet Adri and the rest of his family, unfortunately Jan and his brother Nico passed away back in 2015.

    So, I'd just like to say that Wicket and his Dutch brethren will always be stand up sons of bitches in my book. Who knows if I'd even be alive if it wasn't for Jan and Nico. Anyways, just thought I'd share.


    TL;DR - Grandfather shot down over Holland during World War 2
    - Family is contacted by Dutch family saying that their father hid my grandfather from the Germans until he could link back up with U.S forces.
    - My family had no idea, goes to The Netherlands to meet Dutch Family, they bring bourbon.
     
    #1 Popovio, May 28, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  2. BayouMafia

    BayouMafia I'm not superstitious but I'm a little-stitious
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  3. Cardeja12

    Cardeja12 Well-Known Member
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    Awesome. Thanks for sharing
     
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  4. Kirk Fogg

    Kirk Fogg "Tell them what they've won Olmec!"
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    Great story
     
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  5. lechnerd

    lechnerd low energy lech
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    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  6. H/T

    H/T Top 3 Swansea City AFC Poster
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    Now that’s a motherfucking Memorial Day story!
     
  7. ashy larry

    ashy larry marcy projects, son
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  8. Vinegar Strokes

    Vinegar Strokes Suck our Dicks. Fire Everybody
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    Great story. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  9. BlazingRebel

    BlazingRebel Dog Crew Founder Migraine Connoisseur
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    :bananallama: that was awesome to read thanks for sharing.
     
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  10. Paddy Murphy

    Paddy Murphy Well-Known Member

    thank you for sharing. The bond that the realities of war creates among men who pass each other in life for only fleeting moments is a powerful subject. Something only they can understand but that gives me chills trying to comprehend. Not that a situation like that is easily forgettable, but that the Dutch men were curious about the American pilot 60 years later, and that an answer on who he was brought them satisfaction and happiness, and frankly maybe closure to to a chapter in their life is a glimpse into a part of the human experience many of us will never understand.
     
  11. AIOLICOCK

    AIOLICOCK Well-Known Member
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    tldr cliffs?
     
  12. Paddy Murphy

    Paddy Murphy Well-Known Member

    He put tldr at the bottom of the post but take the 10 min to read it, it’s a great story.
     
  13. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    Thanks for a great story. Can confirm that none of my grandfathers talked about any of their war experiences either. My grandma, who did land on dday as a nurse and aa leuitenant did like to occasionally tell a story though.

    Glad there were enough good men in this country even though our initial defense was a joke
     
  14. Beeds07

    Beeds07 Bitch, it's Saturday
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    Thanks for sharing
     
  15. Popovio

    Popovio The poster formerly known as "MouseCop"
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    I find it kind of funny that both men didn't tell the story to their families, at least Jan didn't for 60 odd years. Thank god for this newfangled internet contraption, or else my family would never have known what had actually happened.
     
  16. Toast

    Toast Doowutchyalike
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    Great story!
     
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  17. Fancy Pelosi

    Fancy Pelosi anyway...here's Wonderwall
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    Fucking awesome story. Thank you for sharing.
     
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  18. matistic

    matistic Well-Known Member
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    That is an amazing story but I’m going to be a total prick and note that Memorial Day is for those that died in service.

    This is a Veterans Day story.

    I know, I know. We all have our pet peeves.
     
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  19. milquetoast

    milquetoast I hate grapes
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    Maybe not now?
     
  20. Arkadin

    Arkadin inefficiently efficent and unclearly clear
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    Why? It's not like that post was inappropriate
     
  21. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?
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  22. leroi

    leroi Rival Shark Boat Captain
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    OP's mom had a memorial day gangbang with 30 european men and 2 dutchmen came inside her
     
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  23. Popovio

    Popovio The poster formerly known as "MouseCop"
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    Fair point. I always watch some kind of war flick on Memorial Day; yesterday I watched "A Bridge Too Far" (my favorite). I suppose it made me start thinking about that story more than usual, which is why I posted.
     
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  24. HoosDaMan

    HoosDaMan Grumpy
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    I was hoping for a plot twist with an illegitimate Dutch uncle.
     
  25. Hide&SeekChamp

    Hide&SeekChamp Well-Known Member
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    Posters are actually trolling this masterpiece? This is the best thing I've seen on this board in years. And we wonder why we can't have nice things.
     
  26. We$tTxO&G

    We$tTxO&G Well-Known Member
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    fantastic story. thanks for sharing!
     
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  27. Popovio

    Popovio The poster formerly known as "MouseCop"
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    Update: I finally managed to find an email address for Jan's son Adri using google, my Dad somehow lost the one he had. I thought I'd tell him a bit about what's been going on with our family. Luckily it was an email address he's still using and he replied, it turns out he has pictures of my family that I don't even have.

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