The Story of Bodo Sandberg

Subtitle

Memories of Job and Steven Sandberg, Bodo's two sons

 

Wedding and “Honey Moon”

Dad and Mom (“Bodo and Lies”) married during the mobilization, on November 23, 1939 in the picturesque, historic Town Hall of Haarlem!

 

 

 

Problem was, because of the mobilization, Dad was NOT allowed off the Air Force Base (he was on duty 24/7!!). All he got for their wedding, and “Honey Moon”, was the special dispensation of:

24 hours OFF...!!  (WOW!!) (Some Honey Moon...)


Their last goodbye?

As said in my opening on page 1, the Nazis invaded on May 10, 1940 and, without any warning or provocation, bombed everything to smithereens, flattening the entire city of Rotterdam and obliterating much else of Holland, in a single day.

Three days into the war, when Dad was called to duty to fly the mission to bomb our own Moerdijk bridges, he was acutely aware that he would probably die that day.

Mom was 6 months pregnant when they had to say farewell, and in their teary goodbye he said:

“The worst is that I will never know if it is a boy or a girl...”

Miraculous home coming

Unbelievably, he did come home that night but, when he stood there in the doorway, having just witnessed his best friends being shot down and killed, he looked – quite literally – like a ghost, utterly devastated, turned inward, speechless, helpless, and disheveled, especially as he was dripping in blood:    Dad had bullet holes through his leather pilot’s jacket...!        It was a miracle that he made it home.

Into hiding

Mom must have helped him well in those dreadful hours. She was a very warm, kind and caring Mom. Dad went “under ground”, into hiding from the Nazi Occupiers. Obviously, as a fighter pilot, he was hunted.

Between October 1940 and May 1941 Bodo made his first attempt to escape to England, together with four other Dutch Airforce pilots* from where they could continue their fight against the Nazi invaders. Bodo's first attempt failed (see next chapter "Betrayed, caught and escaped") but in May 1942 he tried again and succeeded to reach London (see chapter "Second attempt: England!")

In total, during the five years of the war, there were about 1,700 Dutch heroes who were willing to risk everything to escape to England to continue their struggle from there to liberate Holland. These heroes are called “Engelandvaarders**.

* Ch. A. den Hoed, G. Haspels, E.A. Plate and J. Versteegh

** http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engelandvaarder 

and http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lijst_van_Engelandvaarders

To go to the next chapter, please go to the top of this page, in the left hand column and click on: "Betrayed, caught and escaped"

Diezelfdee maand besloten ook nog vijf reserve- en/of beroepsvliegers 
vann het wapen der Militaire Luchtvaart naar Engeland te ontsnappen. Zij 
kozenn de zuidelijke route. Hun namen waren: Ch.A. den Hoed, G. Haspels,, E.A. Plate, jhr. B. Sandberg en J. Versteegh. In het Franse Poligny 
werdenn zij gearresteerd en in een werkkamp vlak bij Lyon opgesloten. 
Toenn het hun duidelijk werd dat de doortocht naar Spanje zo goed als 
onmogelijkk was, ontsnapten zij uit het kamp en keerden zwaar teleurgesteldd naar Nederland terug.Ch. A. den Hoed, G. Haspels, E.A. Plate, jhr. B. Sandberg en J. Versteegh

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