Joe Crilley

Wim and Dir van den Bosch

The explosion that killed Captain Froemke causes my father to crawl back to look for a medic. Worried that he needs medical attention quickly my Dad gets out of the ditch but is shot again. this time through the right leg. The German soldier who shoots him is trying to finish him off when my father runs into a paratrooper most likely from Company H/506th who picks off the German after exposing himself and drawing fire, thus seeing the enemy's position by the flash of the shot. Here another trooper helps him to look for a medic. As they move towards the houses the trooper sees an air raid shelter with Dutch civilians inside. He asks for help and two Hollanders, Wim and Dir van den Bosch, come out and bring my father into their home. Since he is soaking wet from crawling through the watery ditch, the civilians remove his uniform and wrap him in blankets. They also put sulfa power on his wounds. In appreciation my father gives them a pack of cigarettes which the brother and sister are astonished they are dry. Wim, who has been writing a diary since the German invasion on May 10, 1940 that would later be published into a book. is told by the paratrooper that my father is lucky to be alive in the deadly battle in the fields outside. The soldier then leaves to return to fight while Wim and Dir decide to return to the shelter only 50 feet from their home. Seeing my father was very anxious about being left alone they decide to stay with him when he begins to go into shock. As it turned out, Dir was a nurse and began to heat up some water while Wim reads from a Dutch Bible to keep him awake. The strain of events causes my father to pass out cold while Dir places a hot bottle at his feet. The heat from the bottle revives him and he awakes with Wim only inches from his face praying over him. To the right my brother Dave and I stand next to the doorway that my father entered the van den Bosch home on October 5, 1944.

[Photo by ?]
Wim and Dir [Cont.]

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