Netherlands – Amsterdam

Veteran Stories


>> My name is Tom Harsalehr.


>> I’m 87 years old.


>> When I was 22, I left, in 1950 … January 1953, and I came back in 1954.

>> But it was great.

>> It was radio work.

>> In Korea, my job was a radio man. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

>> I was a radio man, and I was up with the commanders, commanding officers. My children know nothing at all about my past, and I want to keep it that way.

>> Why?


>> Because I lost my two best friends there.

>> Hmm. How?

>> Killed.

>> Killed in action.

>> Killed in action.

>> Hmm, it must have been very painful.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> But you served, and you made a sacrifice, and something great came out of it, and aren’t you proud? Don’t you want to share that with your children?


>> I’ve always found it extremely difficult to talk about this.

>> Even after almost 70 years?

>> I have everything here and here. It’s for me and not for other.

>> Well, how about maybe not your personal, but how about your … Well, how about this? In war …

>> Yes.

>> There’s a lot of pain and suffering, but sometimes, there’s also humanity.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Like caring for the civilians, kids, I hear a lot about veterans remembering, soldiers remembering orphans. Do you remember anything like a touching story of humanity? You mentioned “M*A*S*H,” something laughing, something funny.

>> I got three friends over there, three dogs.

>> Three dogs?

>> Yes.

>> You had three dogs?

>> Three dogs.

>> Oh.

>> That’s after the war.

>> After the war, when you were a cook?

>> Yes.

>> Yes, do you remember their names?

>> I’ve got everything. No, I don’t know, but I can give to the dogs anything.

>> Yeah, dogs are man’s best friend. Well, so you mentioned that two of your best friends died, and I know 124 Dutch men, servicemen died. What do you think is … What do you think other people should know about the Dutch service?


>> Something different about Dutch service than other …

>> You mean what they do over there in Korea?

>> Whether what you did or what you think is very important, like protecting …


>> … other soldiers, and …


>> I will need … He doesn’t want to to discuss the extraordinary things that were particularly Dutch because …

>> No.

>> … of his friends.

>> No, but … No, I’m not talking about personal story. I’m talking about, well, numbers. You’re part of the Association. What … Why is the Association important? Why do you think Dutch or the rest of the world should remember this war? Because it’s called the Forgotten War.



>> Yeah, I …


>> Yeah, no, that’s my friends [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

>> I have … These are my comrades here, but we never talk about the things that we have personally experienced in the war.

>> I know, but I’m not talking about personal experience.

>> No.

>> I’m talking about …

>> No? Okay.



>> The important thing about this Association …

>> The Forgotten War.

>> … is that it’s … It remembers the Forgotten War that Dutch history books forgot, literally, and it is hardly taught at school [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]


>> I was introduced to the Korea Association by a Mr. Ralph who came to see me at home and told me about this, and that’s why I became a member.


>> I go to the annual ceremonies.


>> And I accompany all the … all my comrades here to the grave.

>> Explain to me about … You wanted to explain to me about the dog tags.

>> This is for the dog. Listen. In Korea, when you’re on the line, and you have them. This one and when you are dead or killed, then she take this. She take this.

>> Okay, mm-hmm, ah.

>> But the medics, she coming, and she take this one. Then she take this one, and then she know who you are.

>> Identification.

>> So you have the two of them. One is used if you are killed, and then the medics come along to pick you up.

>> Yeah.

>> And they just take the other tag and know who you are?

>> The medics take this one, and you have this one.

>> And because it’s stuck between your teeth, you don’t lose it.


>> Well, I am very, very glad that you have both.

>> Everyone present is glad that you have both.


>> It’s been hanging in my bedroom for 60 years.

>> I’m very grateful. Last question: Your tie, explain to me about your tie. I love …




>> Association.

>> The Korean Association tie …


>> … with the Indian emblem of the second division.


>> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] forwards and afterwards.

>> Yes, the emblem that was on the sleeves, when they went out there, the Indian was looking forwards, and when they came back to Holland, the Indian was looking backwards to Korea.


>> On the right or …

>> On the right or the left?

>> On the left, it’s looking forward.

>> Oh.

>> Yeah.

>> And that … What’s that looking?

>> That …

>> It’s looking on the …

>> That’s only the [FOREIGN LANGUAGE].

>> It’s just the Association tie.

>> Yeah.

>> Hmm.

>> You like it?

>> I love it.

>> You want it? You want to have it?

>> He’s looking to the right, so he was going out there.

>> You want one?

>> Yeah.

>> Last question, have you visited Korea?

>> Yes, 2 years ago.

>> Tell me about it.



>> November 2015, he was there.

>> All different, very, very different, when we come to Korea, we see only one thing: water, sand and [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] very bad. In Seoul, one bridge, and now … [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. You’ll … In Seoul, you have only one street [FOREIGN LANGUAGE].



>> There’s only one street which was paved.

>> Only one street, for the pigs, and rest of the land, nothing.

>> Mm-hmm, the rest of the land were just …

>> The houses, very …

>> … no roads.

>> Oh, very bad, very bad [FOREIGN LANGUAGE].

>> That was the first time.

>> And after that, I come back.

>> And the only time [FOREIGN LANGUAGE].

>> When you were a soldier, when you went out, then.


>> And now?

>> And now?


>> Things have improved so much it seems as if we are holding back. We are now primitive. They are very advanced.


>> They are way ahead.

>> Well, I hope that you saw that, and you were very, very proud.

>> Okay, thank you.

>> Thank you.

>> I am Case Mutzhaven, born January the 5th, 1928. I went to Korea on March 16th, 1951. When the war broke in Korea, I was, at that time, in Boston for 3 months to take over some ships: the USS Rinehart and the USS Burrows. I was still a good face on board. March 16th, I went to Korea, and I came back June 21, '52, and there was a celebration of my daughter. She was 1 year old. I had never seen her before. I was married just before I went to Korea. Yes, it was a very hard time. But I was in the Navy, of course, and at that time, we are serving in the Yellow Sea in Korea to kite the jeep carriers, were in there for planes who bombardments in Korea, and we have ... Also, every 3 weeks, we went back to Japan, Sasebo, to rest and to fulfill our equipment, and then we go back to the Yellow Sea again. Once we are also on the east coat, and we enter the Bay of Busan, and that was the celebration of 175 days of shooting at Busan to the trains who are entering to go from the North to the South for things to bring for the soldiers there. In the bay, there was ... Do you know Busan on the east coast? It is in the north, and there are the three ships, and every 120 degrees, we are shooting in Busan. There was 175 days of shooting, and when you look at the looking glasses, you see that everything is standing alone. Okay. No, and that is ... And what we have done there, it was very difficult things in the Yellow Sea. At night, there were also fisherman's vessels, small vessels, and they had a radio on board, but they don't know the procedures there. So when an American spotted on the PPI and spoke and they asked for the code for friend or foe, when they don't answer within 1 minute, they shoot, and that happens there. So we had several people on board who lost their legs, and it was very bad. So we talked together that we make an opportunity that we can send telegraphs at night to those vessels to protect those vessels, and we did. So I sat there along the board. When I came on board of a vessel, my contact with the captain, and I gave him a hand, and they can go to sleep, and I sit behind the radio, and I know the the procedures of course, and so we protected those vessels. It was a good thing. >> You were the past president of the association. >> Yes. Yes. >> When was the association founded? >> It was founded in 1977. >> Oh, wow! >> And it has been about 40 years this year. Forty years this year, yeah. Forty years. >> So 4,000 members fought from the Netherlands, right? And how many are surviving right now, and how many members are in the association? >> The members of the association, all over there is about ... >> Two hundred and seventy-four. >> No. No. No. There's only the veterans, not the whole. In all, there is about 500? >> Yeah. >> About 500 members. >> Five hundred members. >> And from the 500 members, there are 275 veterans from the 5,000, more than 5,000. The percent is that we have more casualties in the Korean War than the Americans, which is 30. >> Right. You're right. >> Yeah, 124. >> Yes, out of 5,000. >> Out of 5,000. It was a lot. >> That's more than 20 percent. >> Yeah, more than 20 percent. Yeah. >> Because Americans, 1.8 million fought. You're right. Wow. Wow. Well, what do you think ... Again, what do you think is ... What are you so proud of with the Dutch in the war? Let's just say all the presidents of different organizations meet and brag about, "Well, we did this." What would you say about Dutch contributions? >> The contribution was very good, especially in the Army. But in the Navy, we only were on the open sea. I one time was on Incheon, on land, and also in Busan. We also rescued, and we tried to rescue a pilot who was down in the Yellow Sea. We came there with his parachute, and behind his parachute, he was already drowned. So we brought him to Busan for the cemetery there. >> American pilot? >> American pilot, yeah. I was finding that was [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Do you remember other nations, other people? Americans, obviously, but do you remember others? >> Yes. When we got to the vessels, then we go by helicopter or by slope to go to the vessels. And when I got back to the vessel from the destroyer of Australia, the Warramunga, I slept there. That was a very good membership for the people there. >> Well, explain to me a little bit about your medals. >> My medals? >> Yeah, you have a lot of medals. >> Yeah, I have a lot of medals. This is the Knight of the Order of O'Ryan. This medal is the medal of the 4 days walking in the Netherlands. I did it twice. That is the United Nation medal. You know them, yes. And this is the war medal of Korea, and that's the peace medal. >> Talking about peace, you know that the Korean War never ended? >> Never ended, yeah. No. No. Still an armistice in this moment. Yeah, and I'm convinced that it will be this century that says, "We'll unify the whole peninsula." >> Well, I hope this century! I hope sooner than the century, but yes. >> I said within this century, okay? It can be next year but then also over 50 years. >> Hopefully in many of the veterans' lifetime we will see a unified Korea. >> But you don't know what Trump and the new president of Korea are doing. I don't know what's happened with him. >> And we don't know what's going on with the North Koreans either. >> North Korea, no. >> Well, have you been ... Last question. Have you been back to Korea? >> Yes, several times. >> Several times? >> Yes. Yes, the first time was with the Minister of Defence in 2001, and I was also convinced that the people were very friendly. That is so kind, and then I was also in 2003 there, 2007 with an invitation from Mr. Moon, and I was in his castle. Mr. Moon, you know that? Have you ever been there? No, you've never been there? >> Well, again, thank you so much for your service, and on behalf of the Korean people, I appreciate your sacrifice. Thank you. >> You're welcome.
>> My name is Jolke Rijsdijk. I born in [INAUDIBLE] in 1928 and served in [INAUDIBLE] versus the Korean ... >> Volunteer. >> Volunteer. >> Volunteer >> ... Volunteer in 1950 after 2 years in Indonesia service. I awarded the Medal of Honor from Indonesia and Korea, [INAUDIBLE], the medal of [INAUDIBLE] ... >> United [INAUDIBLE]. >> United Nations. >> [INAUDIBLE] Korean War Medal. >> And I was in Korea in 1950 with about the [INAUDIBLE]. After shooting in the range where there's the American troops, they say to us, "You can come to the front. You are ready for shooting everywhere every day." So we started in 1950 to go to the front line, first to Taegu, afterwards to Suwon and later to [INAUDIBLE]. >> Kusongpo-ri. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Above [INAUDIBLE] Hoengsong. >> Hoengsong. >> Hoengsong. >> Hoengsong. >> Hoengsong. >> Hoengsong. >> Hoengsong. >> And [INAUDIBLE] by the Chinese troops. We started to go to help three to five because the Chinese held the North Koreans in force, so on the upper side of the street [INAUDIBLE] died [INAUDIBLE] ... >> Preacher? Preacher? >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> ... priest died, and the paid boss died with 15 other guys, two corporal sergeants and so on. So [INAUDIBLE] little bit. >> What does this mean? Were you an artillerist? Right here. >> Combat rifle. >> Combat rifle. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Several days on the front line. >> Yeah. >> Ah, oh. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> If you are 90 days in the front line, you get from the Americans the Combat Rifle. It's the one. >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> Means that you have 90 days on front ... >> Ninety days on the front line, yeah. >> ... on the front line. >> Yeah, yeah, yeah. >> Straight? Ninety days straight? >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> Straight? Ninety days straight? >> Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. >> Straight on the line. >> Yeah, yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Radio man. >> Uh-huh. >> [INAUDIBLE] people I go with in the radio, and afterwards, North Korea, I came back in [INAUDIBLE] 40 years by the [INAUDIBLE] things. >> [INAUDIBLE] things. >> Connections. >> Connections, yeah. Telephone. >> Connections. >> Telephone, ah. >> Radio. >> Wireless operator. >> Oh, wow. >> I was wireless operator ... >> [INAUDIBLE] wired radios. >> ... and made steps in different ranks. >> Wow. In the Armed Forces? >> In the Armed Forces, yeah. >> He stayed there. >> For 40 years? >> Yes. >> For 40 years, yeah. >> Hmm, just like Grandpa [INAUDIBLE]. >> Every 36 years, you get a golden medal. >> Mm. >> Thirty-six years. >> Did he say that he received the Medal of Honor? >> No, that's ... What he's talking about is the medal that you are 36 years in the army. >> Army, 36 years, wow. >> But he stayed longer than that. >> You stayed longer? >> Yeah. >> Wow, so what are you proud about the Dutch in the Korean War? >> Wait a moment. I was in 1998. They came revisit in Korea with my son. >> Mm. >> And he works in Korea with the [INAUDIBLE] ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> ... oil platforms, to build oil platforms. >> In Korea? >> In Korea. >> Wow. >> And he brings it to start ... to Africa and all over the world. >> Does he still live in Korea? >> The Koreans platforms. They build in South Korea. >> So he lived in Korea, your son? >> And now he lives here in [INAUDIBLE]. >> Okay. >> But he goes everywhere with the platforms. He brings it back, and then during the start, they test it the [INAUDIBLE]. >> Wow. >> And the platforms bring to the power of the place. >> So you remember serving with many comrades because you were in the army for 40 years, long time. >> Yeah. >> So looking back, Dutch in the Korean War played a very important role, right? >> Yeah, yeah. >> Name couple that you feel are very important for young people to know about Dutch in Korea. >> Oh, yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] Yeah? [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] Yeah? [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I don't do that, but there are others today do that. They talk in schools, classes, over Korea. >> Mm. >> And now my four [INAUDIBLE] go in ... >> Grandchildren. >> ... go in May to Korea. >> Mm, good. Peacetime ... >> [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah. >> ... to learn ... >> Four. >> ... to learn about the Korean War. >> Going for a week now, Korea. >> Oh, okay. >> It's nice, isn't it? >> Yes. Do you ... Did you go back to Korea? >> No, I not. >> To 1998 ... >> Maybe I go to [INAUDIBLE]. That's far enough. >> You went to Korea with your son ... >> In '98. >> ... in 1998. How about recently? >> No, there were [INAUDIBLE] British over there now. >> Did you go recently? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] Yeah. >> And what's the last time? In 1998. >> Yeah, yeah. >> I hope you enjoyed it. >> It was very nice ... >> Very nice. >> ... to be there. >> Well, thank you so much for your service. Thank you. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Oh.
>> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Apikleiner, is his name. Born in ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> ... 1932 in Heerenveen, which is in the north. You were 22? [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Twenty-two, yes, 22 years old. Now, I'm 18 years old in military years. >> You went into the ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> ... military service when you were 18 years old. >> Yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], 21. >> I was 21 when I went to Korea. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> My parents wouldn't allow me to go. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> His parents were very cross with him, and his oldest brother was 27 years old, and he started crying because his younger brother was leaving. >> Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, and that was in September, the Korea [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> We went to Korea in September, and I was there for 1 year. >> Yeah, 1 years, and [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> He got homesick. He wanted to go back, but he knew he had to continue. >> Regulation that, it was [INAUDIBLE] before the ceasefire. The ceasefire was [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> They were there ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> ... before the ceasefire, and they knew it would be coming soon, and a few days more and a few days more. >> Yeah. >> Fourteen days later, it was announced, ceasefire. >> Ceasefire. >> And they were happy. >> Yeah, it happened on [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], all the fighting, fighting, fighting, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], and it was a ceasefire, and [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I was walking the patrols ... >> Yeah. >> ... every day, day-in, day-out, and that was very exhausting, and I do not [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Last year ... >> Last year. >> ... my friend and I went back in May. >> Yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> It was hardly recognizable at all in Hongseong. When we were there, it was just the bare mountains, and now it's green and beautiful. >> Yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> We went to the cemetery where all my friends, my comrades were buried, and that was very emotional. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> It was difficult to say, "Good-bye," when we had to fly back. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> I would like to go back there for the rest of my life now. It's so beautiful there. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> His dream is that it's one Korea. >> Yeah. >> Just one Korea. >> And [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> When he was leaving, the local residents there said to him, "What are you going to remember when you go back to Holland?" And he said, "That's also very emotional." >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Mm-hmm. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Oh, the parades. >> Yeah. >> Yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> He was referring to the border with North Korea, that they hold parades and ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> ... shows of spirit ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] South Korea is defiant for North Korea, but that isn't true. South Korea is defiant for North Korea. North Korea is defiant for South Korea, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], and South Korea [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom. >> But I want to mention his business out there. >> Did someone say for Ireland? >> I went to the schools, and I spoke to the schoolchildren about this, and they said, "What did you expect to find when you came back?" and he said, "Exactly this." >> Yeah. >> Maybe it's good to tell that this organization, yeah, the old Korean Warriors have adopted a school in Korea. >> Oh. >> This is what he is talking about. >> Yeah. >> So they went to that school, Alice Goldwinn, Samuel? >> Yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Samuel's school ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> And then Dutch school, and every year they're giving money to that school for their development. This is what we ... came through from our lost entities. >> Yeah, but you don't need it anymore because Korea is from a poor, poor country, now a rich country. >> Oh. >> Developed country, so we can only now special scholarship to people what had very good conduct. >> Scholarship? >> Yeah. >> Yeah. >> To students that have high achievements? >> Yep. >> Hmm, wow, for how long? Since when? >> Oh, oh, many years. >> Many years. >> Actually in the '70s, yep. >> Oh, my god. >> That school was all ... >> Yeah. >> Oh, my god. >> Yeah. >> ... supported by this association. >> So you have many grandchildren? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> He's not talking about that. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> This is a [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Blue, blue ... >> Blue eyes. >> Yeah. >> Hey, cut it out. >> Yeah. >> No, no. >> One more thing that I think is important that I'd say, the Dutch, because it is the Forgotten War. >> Yeah, yeah. >> It's called the Forgotten War, and the Dutch see everything upside down. They know very little about it, and they think that the South Koreans are the enemy of the North Koreans instead of the other way around. Many Dutch think that because they were not educated. >>[FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Yes, they've been brainwashed. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] South Korea is also failed, but that isn't true. >> Brainwashed. >> That isn't true. South Korea [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Yes, the North Koreans have been brainwashed to believe that the South Koreans are their enemy. >> Yeah, and I hope so maybe next years, back to Korea. >> You want to go back next year? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], yeah, yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> His son will go with him. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> You're making a mistake. >> Yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], but this, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Yeah. >> Yeah, I like Korea, yes, oh, yes. >> Well, Korea loves you. >> Yeah, Korea love me? Okay, thank you. >> Thank you. >> Yeah. >> Thank you. >> Okay. >> I'm so grateful. Thank you. Oh.
>> My name is Phil Altemus Ludovic Highmund. I was born in 1931. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Born February 18th, 1931. >> Yeah. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I joined the Limburg Military. >> I then to the war in Korea, and then it got [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], and I was 6 weeks in Korea until the cease-fire came. >> I was only in Korea for 6 weeks when the cease-fire came. >> I have 1 year in Korea with the patrol [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], Lex. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] I can't think of the name. I said, "Okay." >> After the cease-fire, I stayed in Korea for 1 year, and I was on patrol. I had a half-Korean boy who was my helper. I forget his name. It was a Korean name. >> I cannot speak a Korean name. I speak to the boy. I say to you, "Lex." >> I called him Lex, and he accepted that name. >> I have 1 year with Lex in Korea, and it was [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Lex and I spent 1 year together, but when I had to leave, of course, he stayed there. I also had a little girl in Korea called Long-Kyung. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] no same people can go ... Only the American military, military, military and [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. [ Chatter ] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. [ Chatter ] >> Lex was my best comrade. I spent a lot of time with just military people, but I really liked the Korean people who lived there, and they were very kind to me. I liked them. They were open and friendly. >> Lex had learned [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. Lex [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] no people, no people. It was [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> He was at the fort post with Lex, and he said, "I can hear people," and Lex said, "That's not people, that's frogs." >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I left Korea. I went home, and I forgot to ask Lex for his address. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Now, I think of Lex a lot of the time. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Next year, I'm going back. >> Maybe you can find him! >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Oh, I had photos but not of Lex. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I gave those photos, and they're now in the museum. >> Well, you were there for 1 year, right? And you were there after the Armistice. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Dinner is ready. >> Dinner is announced. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> You were there after the Armistice, after. >> Yeah. >> So before and after, what were some of the major differences? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I had changed. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I was very angry. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] I became very easily angry later. >> At one time, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> It was difficult to contain it. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I would relive my problems at night. >> Well, I hope that when you go visit Korea that you can let it go ... >> Yeah, maybe I go to [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> ... and that you can find peace in your heart. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
>> My English name is Bill Kramer. I'm born in Amsterdam, 19 December 1934. I joined the Navy when I was 16. After 2 years, then I was 18. I joined a ship for Korea. The Dutch Navy had six ships, always 1 year in Korea. We arrived just after peace fire, so I don't experience the shooting, but we did always patrol, checking for [INAUDIBLE] assistant to aircraft carriers and so on. But we had it a lot better than the ships before. We go regular to Japan to refuel food and R&R for the crew, rest and recreation for the crew. We go [Indistinct] and so we had a wonderful time in Japan, and in Korea, I really was only 9 days. Then I was ashore. We were ashore two times in Pusan and one time in Imjin. Imjin is the harbor of Seoul. Pusan was, during that time, nothing, only some American nationhood a couple concrete buildings but were nothing left. I was last May in Pusan, and I saw a wonderful, big city, and I was in 2008 in Korea. I was not to Pusan but before to the 38th border, and we saw just [INAUDIBLE] back in Korea, and we saw a nice train station that is built for connection from Pusan, Seoul to Paris, yeah. North Koreans don't allow to make railway complete, but impression of Korea is very, very high, and the people is so nice and friendly. I have no words for it, so don't ask me. It's too difficult. I was back in Holland in 1954, and I got an accident in 1957 and a medical discharge in 1960, so that's my story. >> Well, first of all, you must have been very proud when you went to Korea because you were part of Korea becoming what it is today. All right. So thank you very much, and not a lot of people know that the Dutch stayed after the war. People think, "Oh, armistice, and everybody go home," but that's not true. >> No, no, after my ship [INAUDIBLE] another ship that arrives in 1954 until 1955. >> Yes, a lot of people don't know that the countries that participated stayed until 1955. >> But from the Navy, only two men are died, one quartermaster. It's in very heavy storm overboard. He went to save one of the lifeboats, and he was not fastened and get overboard. They never find him, and a radioman in Korea was calling ashore, little, little boat to pick up a Korean officer that was wounded to give him medical help, but the engine of the Dutch boat [INAUDIBLE]. It was English, and it makes the same noise as not Korean fishing boats, so it was foggy, and it starts fire, and the boat had a noise, so it was friendly fire, okay? >> Maybe you can tell about what your experience, the revisit from last year with your ... >> Yeah, yeah, I was ... >> ... last experience with Korea. >> ... Back in 928 last year again, and last year, it was very special because the Korean government are allowed that people who died here in Holland that all Korean veterans that are cremated can go back to Korea and go to Pusan International Cemetery. In Pusan, the cemetery is the only in the whole world what is from the United Nations, and so [INAUDIBLE]. >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Next year [INAUDIBLE]. When we arrive on the air field in [INAUDIBLE] and complete guardian watch [INAUDIBLE]. After that visit, we got a DVD that a whole studio and DVD that pictures only about 700. He was there, and he was there and I. >> When? November? >> No, May. >> May. >> May. >> May. >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> Good weather. >> Good weather, yes. Monday, it was raining, raining, raining, and the director of veterans affairs told us, "Don't worry. At 2 o'clock when you arrive at the cemetery, it is dry." We call it [INAUDIBLE]. Rain, rain, rain. We arrive, ding, dong, 2 o'clock. The rain stops. >> Yeah. >> It was beautiful, yeah. >> It must have been very emotional when you went to the cemetery. >> Yes, and what my buddy told about South Korea and North Korea, we were the last soldiers in Seoul, and [INAUDIBLE] people walk around and a big sign, "What do you think about North and South together?" So we signed it and yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Yeah, it was beautiful. >> Yeah. >> I am going to visit Korea, Pusan, the United Nations cemetery last after I go everywhere around the world, and I know that there are many Dutch soldiers. >> One hundred twenty-four. >> Are they all there? No. >> Yes. >> Not all in the cemetery in Pusan. >> No. One is in Singapore because he died on his way back to Holland. >> That's [INAUDIBLE]. >> Two men are missing. >> How many are there in Pusan cemetery? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> All of them went back to Holland. Their families took them back to Holland. I don't know exactly how many. >> The Americans are all back. >> Yes. Americans always bring back. >> Yeah, yeah. >> But I learned that recently, some of the Dutch veterans have requested that they be buried at the United Nations cemetery along with their comrades, so I am looking forward to visiting them and paying tribute. I think it will be very emotional for me. >> I think so too. Yes. You speak Korean? >> I do. >> Oh. >> I will be there in May. >> Because in museum where I was this afternoon, I saw Korean boy that works [INAUDIBLE]. He's working by the Dutch police, and he goes back to Korea 2 years ago. He said it was so difficult because I'm a Korean, but he arrives in Netherlands, been there 6 months, so he don't speak one word Korean. >> But he is Korean. >> He is Korean, so it can be happen. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> My uncle adopted two Korean girls, and they had restaurants [INAUDIBLE] here in Holland, Korean restaurant. >> Really? >> Yeah. Well, they are my nephews. >> Oh. I told you, my uncle. >> I know. >> I told you. >> I know. It's permitted? >> Oh, yes, please. >> Thank you.
>> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> My name is Feri Titolata. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I went to Korea in 1953. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I was injured there in June '53. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I went back to Korea, and what I now think about the situation is ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Feri was amazed at the six-lane traffic, of course the modern version of what he had seen in 1953. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> There used to be only one bridge. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> And now there are 29 bridges. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> The hills were green. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> It used to be brown and bleak. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Feri remembers the nicer thing about his period there. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Seventy years of memories, it's hard to recall everything. >> What do you think is important about your comrades, the Dutch? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> We made a contribution ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> ... for the future, for the present-day. They made then the contribution for now. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> And I hope that everything will continue to go very well for Korea. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> What did you do in the war? >> Oh, fight! >> As a soldier? >> I was wounded. >> Soldier? >> Yes. >> Soldier. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I would prefer not to talk about that period. >> Okay. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I came from Indonesia to fulfill my service, and soon after I got here, I was sent to Korea as a volunteer, and this is my uniform. >> How old were you? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Twenty-two years. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Twenty-one! >> Twenty-one. >> Because his mother must sign. He was not 21. >> Oh, so he was underage, and his mother had to sign to go into service. >> And after the war, and stayed in the Army, and he retired in that uniform. >> Oh, wow! Why did you volunteer? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> You saw adventure. >> But ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> But the adventure became part of your life, your career. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Yes, stayed in service. >> Well, thank you for your service. >> You're welcome.
>> My name is Dick Hermanns. I'm born March 30, 1927, in Amsterdam. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]? >> I was 23 years old when I go to Korea. I was a volunteer. All the Korean soldiers, Dutch Korean soldiers are volunteers. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]? >> I was in [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], how call you that? >> An assistant, general assistant, you worked. >> What did you do there? What did you do there? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] fighting. We walked patrol, yeah. >> What do you remember? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], we go north and almost we have to go back south because the Chinese are coming. Yeah, I don't know more of this. Every day was the same. I don't know more. >> Do you remember seeing civilians? >> Civilians, the civilian people in Korea? >> Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. >> Yes, we walk on the street. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], she go and shout that I know. All the village are empty, and the winter, the cold, terrible, 25 degrees below 0 on top of the hill. We used [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. My sleeping bag was from the summer. A winter sleeping bag, I don't have. Cold, no washing, bad food, sheet rashes, you know what it is, sheet rashes? Our teaching was in the south with the Korean soldiers, which it was difficult to talk. She don't speak English. We don't speak the Korean language. We use our hands, and you ask something. What is this in the Korean language? And one Korean soldier told me, my sister, and I had a picture of his sister, and you have to say [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. That is what I know, remember that. The people, the Korean people, their clothes is terrible. War is terrible. When I go to the army again, I'd think it was the same in the navy. We don't know it was the very cold. We know nothing about Korea, but we know. I know now. We arrive in Pusan. We go by train to Daegu, hours, very cold. We make fire in the train because it was too cold. In Daegu, we get a little training of a few days, and the Dutch officers say, "Your shirt out. You have to walk sporting naked in the morning, about 10 degrees below 0," [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] the Dutch soldiers are very, very good, and after the training, we go to [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. I go to a school. All the years, we sponsored two students for to learn at the school, yeah, and we go to the front. Yeah, and then [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], and the Chinese attack, and we attack, and then we go after a few weeks' rest, yeah, yeah. Your memory, what's left of it, yeah. >> You fought in the Indonesian War before this. >> No, this, in Indonesia, was not a war. It was mere guerrilla, not a frontline in Indonesia. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], we set up an outpost. >> Hmm. >> From the outpost, we walked every day, not the same soldiers but order. Every day, you had an area, and you have to walk through it. You have to see that the people, oh, soldiers, okay. >> And you were there for 4 years, and ... >> Yeah, 3 1/2. >> Three and a half, and you came back in 1949. >> Yeah, at end of November, December '49. >> But why did you volunteer to go to Korea? >> Yeah, why? To help people there. I go to Indonesia to help them. I join the army after the war, after the Second War, still war between the Japanese. Japanese are still in Indonesia, and in Korea, I don't like the communist. Maybe I think that to help. We were a small unit there, one infantry battalion. It was not much, but, yeah, we did our best. Yeah, that is it. Thank you. Yeah, Indonesia was different, total different. In the city, oh, it was okay, out the city. >> And almost 5,000 Dutch served in Korea, and 124 died. >> Yeah, yeah, it's not much. >> But it's a large percentage. >> Yeah, but this ... >> Yeah, more ... >> And Indonesia, had a main battalion in Indonesia. They had about 60 killed in action for over 3 years fighting. >> Mm-hmm. >> We're fighting. We're fighting not every day. It is slow, small fighting. >> What year did you go to Korea? When did you go to Korea? >> I go to Korea in October 1950. >> That was a very difficult time, one of the most difficult times in the beginning. Right? >> Yeah, I know. >> Right after Inchon landing? >> The Inchon landing with the marines? >> Mm-hmm. >> Yeah. >> You were there from October to when? From October to when? >> Yeah. >> How long were you there? How long were you there? >> My time in Korea? Eleven months. >> Wow. >> Yeah. >> Not 6 months? >> No, no. >> You were there ... >> And the order, the [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] there, but our unit, the first unit, had the most casualties for the Dutch. >> Explain to us about the first unit. I don't know much about the first unit. >> That's because most of them are dead. Now here they are too old. From the 640 men, maybe living, 50? What we know maybe, when she a member of the reunion, a member of the association. The number shrunk. A lot of them are not a member of the association. We don't know if he's still alive or dead. >> When did you join the association? >> When [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]? >> When did you join the association? >> What are you thinking about the ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Oh! >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> When it was first founded. >> When? >> 1970, I don't know sure, about 1975 from the beginning. >> Wow. >> And every year I go to the reunion. >> Mm-hmm. >> This time, it's in Tronchburg. >> Do you think it's important for young people to remember this war? >> I don't know. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> No, do you think it's important? >> It is important, but if she don't care ... It is now each a little bit better. Many years ago, I walk on the street with this, showing people that I do this for my life, yeah? There's no better. There's no better. You walk over the street, no problems. Yeah, that was how we did it. >> And the Dutch, are you proud of Dutch being in the Korean War? >> Yes, yes, I'm very proud, yeah. >> You fought well. >> Yeah, and my daughter's name is Kim because one of the Korean soldiers killed in action, and his name was Kim. I know Kim is a last night. It's not the first name, and [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] Kim, yeah, yeah. >> Because you remember. >> Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], and I want to go for the second time. I meet my wife and done. I'm studying in the Netherlands. >> Have you been back to Korea? >> Yeah, three times. >> Three times? >> Three times, yeah, and I meet a soldier, a civilian and with men in group, three times. >> When was the first time you went back after the war? >> At 676, it's the first group ... >> First group? >> ... was about 18 men in all. >> What did you think? >> Everything, we're going for 5 days and a few days in Japan. Yeah, that was the first time in Seoul. You go to Pusan and the palace and the East Gate, yeah. I have a friend. Yeah, I don't know if he's still alive, of course. His name is Kim Jin-Mook. He lived in Seoul. Yeah. >> When was the last time? >> The last time, in the '80s. I don't know when. >> No, the recent time, recently. >> I don't know. >> No, when did you go to Korea, 2000? You said you went to Korea three times? >> Three times, yeah. >> When was the most recent? >> What is that word, recent? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Oh, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> What did you think of new Korea, new Korea or Korea now? >> Oh, it's very, very beautiful, big buildings. The roads are very good. In my time, the roads was terrible. Oh, there was nothing left there, but now, yeah, very, and the people are very ... I was there. There was no one who knew Korean and [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> Curfew? >> Curfew was, yeah. At that time, when I go to Korea, curfew, 12 o'clock, you have to go off the street, we also. >> Mm-hmm. >> The '70s, in the '70s. >> Yeah, yeah. >> Now it's ... >> Not anymore, no, no anymore, no. >> ... It's a free world now, free. >> Free, yeah. >> Yes. >> And when go to the [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] village right down the road, yeah, but there are some picture of me and my wife in clothes of the Korean, a man and a woman. >> Hanbok, hanbok. >> Hanbok? >> Yes. >> Hanbok. >> That's that it's called in Korea, hanbok. >> Oh, yeah. >> Yeah >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. >> You must be very, very proud. Right? >> Yeah, yeah. >> Mm-hmm. >> I always see my jacket from ... and jacket with the Indian head and the Korean flag. I walk on street. >> Mm-hmm! >> Not on Sunday, Saturday when I use other clothes. In the week, I use military clothes. >> Mm-hmm. >> You see it when you come in? >> Mm-hmm, because you're proud. >> Yeah, yeah. >> Hmm, well, thank you for your service. >> You're welcome. >> Thank you.
>> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I'm Pete Fond du Lac, born 21st of March, 1927. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] Which year? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Went to Korea in October 1950. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> It was for that, infantry. >> Infantry soldier? >> Yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> How long did you [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> You were there for 1 year, came back in November. >> It was a very difficult winter. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yes, of course, it was a very difficult time. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Cold, very, very cold winters. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Several of my comrades were killed and my foot froze. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> No. >> Yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Okay. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> PTSS. >> PTSS. >> Stress Syndrome. >> Stress Syndrome. >> Yeah. >> Hmm. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Our commander was killed. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> When I came back, I was just a civilian. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> It wasn't difficult. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Had you not had [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] from the [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> We were just the front, so I didn't meet any civilians. >> What do you remember about the 2nd Infantry Division, your comrades? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I don't remember much about them. >> Well, show us your ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I don't know the translation. >> No, no, no, not American. I said about the Dutch being part of the 2nd Infantry. >> Yes. >> I want him to show ... >> The ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] the 2nd Infantry [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah, show, show. >> Show, show them. >> And you were put together with them? Were you in barracks together? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] okay. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> The Netherlands unit, we were fighting for the same thing, of course, but we fought separately. >> You volunteered? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah. >> Why? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I was first in service in Indonesia, and then I came back to Holland, and then I wanted to go to Korea in order to stay in service. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I had a difficult situation at home in my youth, and when I heard that they were enlisting soldiers for Korea, I thought that would be a good chance ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> ... together with Dick Hermanns. >> But it was a brutal war. It was war, and you were young. >> It was [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah, [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I was 23, 24. >> Twenty-three years, yeah. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I never went back there. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> No, I didn't. >> Why? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah. He said, "I was never shipped back there. The war was nearly finished anyway, and I experienced enough to want to stay away after that." >> But did you go back to Korea Revisit Program? >> No. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I didn't want to go. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I had the chance to go back a couple of times, but I don't feel the need to go and visit the cemetery, and I don't want to go back. >> But today in Korea, Korea is a very successful country. >> Korea [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> ... successful land, and that's seen on the television. >> Yeah. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Dick Hermanns told me so because he's been back. >> Mm-hmm. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I hope that you are at least proud of your sacrifice. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yes, we're very proud. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> But I don't advertise the fact. Of course, it is [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah. >> Yeah, it's the forgotten war, and he doesn't talk about it often. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> He has sort of recurring memories which are too emotional for him. >> Nightmares? >> Nightmares? >> Yeah. >> Even now? It's been such a long time ago. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> When Dick Hermanns comes to visit, he's a good friend, and he comes regularly, then they talk about old times, and he has a difficult time later. >> Mm, well, I hope that I could bring you some peace because I don't want you to remember the horrors of war, but I am here to show you that thanks to you, I'm here. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] [ Chatter ] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> We always get a good reception when we go to the Korean Embassy too, and he understands fully that you are grateful for his services. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> He goes once a year. >> I come here not as just myself but all my family, my friends in America and Koreans all over the world ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> ... but not only Koreans but everybody because you defended Korea and the world from the threat of communism. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah, I know it. >> So I know maybe it's difficult thinking about it, but I will pray that you find comfort. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Okay.

Paying Tribute

Yes, It is OK to communicate with me via email

Memorial Site

The Kingdom of the Netherlands participated in the Korean War from July 1950 to January 1955. The Regiment van Heutsz is a line infantry regiment of the Royal Netherlands Army that was formed during the Korean War. It was named after Governor-General J.B. van Heutsz who sent an infantry battalion and 3 destroyers to Korea.

In total, the Netherlands deployed 5,322 soldiers and suffered 768 casualties. According to the statistics provided by the South Korean government, there were 120 killed in action, 645 wounded in action, and 3 prisoners of wars.

The memorial in the Netherlands is located near Amsterdam, inside the military compound in Arnhem. Outside the Korean War Museum stands a beautiful obelisk paying tribute to the fallen, their names engraved on the side panels.