Joe Crilley

Letter From Bernard Florissen

Opheusden, 19/08/03

Dear Doug Wilber,
I am Bernard Florissen from OpheusdenClick for larger image and I am very interested in the story of WWII. On my desk I have a letter with the questions you asked to J.C. Koppes. It is about your father who was wounded by a gunshot. This happened October 5th 1944 in my village Opheusden. It is possible that you are very amazed when I tell you that I knew exactly the story about your father who was wounded by a gunshot. To my family and my friends I told this story a lot of times.

The story is that two children of my uncle Wim (Wim and Dir) have taken care about a wounded American soldier during WWII. In the diary that my nephew has written during the War I can find exactly the story about your father who was wounded. The two children Wim (born 1919 24 years old) and his sister Dir (born 1916 28 years old) took care of your wounded father. Unfortunately this two people have passed away. Wim died in 1990 and Dir died in 1998.

They told me exactly the story of the wounded soldier (who was your father). They were alone in the house at the moment your father was brought in. The other family stayed in the air raid shelter at that moment. I also know exactly where Captain Donald H. Froemke was found after the War. This is not necessary the place where he was killed, because after the fighting in October the Germans have blown up the dike and the area was over floated with maybe three foot of water. When the reminds were found after the War (1945) he was buried at the Cemetery in Opheusden and in February 1951 the reminds were brought up to the War Cemetery Margraten. I think that nowadays his reminds are buried in America.

I also met Frank Halloran from 326th E in 1984. He was also wounded in the same area as your father was wounded. His story you can read in the book "Hell's Highway".

I can tell you that I started up the action to make three Monuments for the Airborne troops at Opheusden. The monuments were paced in the year 1989 at the Town Hall, in 1994 at the Major Horton Bridge and in 1999 for some soldiers who were killed in the area of another first aid post.. In the year 1979 there was already placed a small Airborne Memorial Sign in the Town Hall.

I have enclosed some maps of Opheusden and on this maps I marked the places where the things happened. I hope it helps you to get your information complete.

When you decide to visit Holland I want to be your guide and I can also make an hotel arrangement for you in the area of Opheusden. With warmest regards,

Bernard Florissen
Tielsestraat 14
4043 JS Opheusden
The Netherlands

Reply to Bernard

Previous / Next

Website design / JustHuck Productions