I was fascinated to read the article ‘Ships We Forgot to Remember – Willem Ruys’ in the June 2014 issue of Sea Breezes.
I served on the Dutch Rescue tug Antic and in November 1944 we were the first Dutch ship to enter Vilissingen (Flushing as we knew it) after the opening of the Scheldet. This was an important occasion for our Captain as he had been one of the last tug captains to leave Holland in 1940. We moored in the shadow of the shipyard where we were aware of an unfinished vessel looming above us.
The shipyard canteen had been requisitioned as a canteen, bar come meeting place for the troops. One of the Dutch girls I met there was the daughter of a shipyard manager and I learned the story from him of how they had delayed any progress on finishing the ship and how they were supplying power to the surrounding area.
Sadly I lost touch with the family (who I believe were called Van De Velde) and what happened to the ship so it was amazing to discover the outcome 70 years later.
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