Joe Crilley

Wim and Dir van den Bosch


As the hot water bottle revives my father, the battle outside of the home intensifies. The Germans have launched a new attack with heavy artillery, mortar and small arms fire. Because of this, Wim and Dir decide that they can not make it to their families air raid shelter in the backyard. Because they have family staying with them that have fled German occupied area, there are mattresses in their living room. They take two of these mattresses and hide behind them next to the stove. One mortar round hits the roof and knocks a part of the roof off. While they are there, they hear the back door open and don't know if it is an American or a German soldier that walks into their room. If it is a German, they face the death penalty for helping an Allied soldier. This edict was issued by Hitler after the D-Day invasion on June 6,1944. Luckily, they hear the soldier speak in English as he talks to my Dad under the dining room table which also has a blanket over it to give my father further protection from the glass spraying around caused by the many expolsions outside. As Wim peeks between the mattresses, he is noticed by the startled American who nearly shoots him with his rifle. Fortunately the American recognizes Wim as the Dutch man that gave him a meal the day before and doesn't fire. Finally, after three hours, two medics from the 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion, Cpl. John Gring and PFC Stanley Matycich take him by jeep to a aid station and later to a field hospital. With my father is a small white Dutch Bible which Wim left him but unfortunatley is lost in transit. Below, Wim and Dir as they looked in 1944.

[Family Photos courtesy of ?]
Wim's Diary

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