Monday, February 15, 2010

Certificate from the City of Antwerp 1945

At the end of WWII the City of Antwerp's board of the Burgomaster and Aldermen presented all the individual soldiers serving in Antwerp a certificate of gratitude. This was in appreciation of the danger they risked from falling V-1 and V-2 rockets. Produced on September 4, 1945, these documents were highly valued by the recipients. My grandfather's certificate hung framed on his dining room wall for decades. Equally proud, the other veterans I speak to have treated their certificates similarly.

The engraving is quite nice, don't you think?

6 comments:

  1. My Dad was in the 358th Engineer Regiment in Antwerp. He has just recently (at age 89) been talking about some of the work they did there in rescuing civilians trapped in building collapses and recovering bodies after rocket attacks. His certificate like the one above always hung on the wall in the stairway in our house when I was growing up. As a kid I remember he would have "disparaging words" to say every time he saw Werner Von Braun on television speaking for the US Space Program! Always looking for information about the 358th. Thanks for your research on this important part of WW2 history.

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  2. Thanks for the comment Eric. You might be interested in reading the V-rocket books I briefly reviewed. Unfortunately, rescuing civilians was a common task in Antwerp.

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  3. Andrew:

    My dad was in the 267th Port Company and has a certificate like the one above. It was never hung on a wall but kept in an envelope in his dresser. He had great love for his fellow soldiers, and never really talked about the war. His commanding officer was Capt. Glen L Nichols.
    My dad had 2 Bronze stars issued. He always limped from a war injury when he was blown out of a jeep. He did talk about how no one would put in for a purple heart because they only wanted a day of leave- not to dress up to receive a medal.

    Now that he has passed away, my mom is trying very hard to find anyone who could help her track down his injury or hospitalization while in Antwerp. The Army records center had a major fire and the only way to document the injury would be by another person with direct memory or actually finding field records. Where would you recommend someone look?

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  4. Anonymous Nichols, Shoot me an email (it's displayed in the banner at the top).

    Thanks, Andrew

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  5. I am doing some research with a gentleman who served with the 302 Port Company in WWII. We've discussed the book and this certificate in particular. By chance, should the 302 Port Company have received the same certificates?

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  6. Dave, I would love to speak to the veteran you are talking to. Can you pass on my email or contact me for my telephone number? Yes, the 302nd men should also have received the certificate from the Antwerp city government. However, if a GI entered the company the war, then he would not have received it.

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Thank you for your comment! You can email me too (see at right).