Fleeing to Holland

“Their next challenge was to stay alive and get down to the rescue ship.”

“They were supposed to still stay in (the) contained area because of the revolutionary Indonesians. They survived 41 months of starving and then you faced the other danger of perhaps as your truck was going down to the ships, the rescue ships, that you might be attacked and killed then… (Anna) told her mother she was going to go ahead and go down to the rescue ships, take Monica and Tonneke…to return to the Netherlands…At that time there was a strike of crew members. So they got the college students from Holland to volunteer to crew these ships, and my father was one of those college students. But my father already knew my mother (from school in Holland). He saw her on the ship and recognized her red hair. She was so happy to be on this ship that she broke out into song. They didn’t get together immediately but they stayed in touch and then eventually got married.”

Editor’s Note:

Java is one of the islands that makes up the country of Indonesia. The Battle of the Java Sea ended in the defeat of Allied American, British, Dutch, and Australian naval forces by the Japanese Navy. The battle lasted for seven hours on August, 17, 1942. This paved the way for the Japanese occupation of Indonesia. Japanese forces landed on August 18, 1942.