Captain C.L.J.F. Douw van der Krap
Captain Charles Louis Jean François "Siki" Douw van der KrapBorn Surabaya, Java October 8, 1908 - Died Wassenaar, December 9, 1995
"Siki" Douw van der Krap became famous after World War II as a particularly determined "escape artist" in German POW camps, but his evenful career started in 1929, when he graduated from the Dutch naval academy. He requested assignment to the Dutch naval air service, where he was trained as observer and aviator. In August 1939, he returned to Holland after his tour of duty in the Netherlands East Indies. In Hellevoetsluis, he assumed command of the river gunboat Balder one day after Germany invaded Poland.
On May 10, 1940, his ship was in overhaul at Rotterdam. Looking out his window, he witnessed German paratroopers seizing key positions in the city. After making his way to the local naval barracks, he took command of a company of untrained navy recruits. With them, he helped to check the German advance.
After the Dutch capitulation four days later, he bluntly refused to promise not to engage the German occupying force in any hostile action. He spent the following years in various German prison camps, often trying to escape. His fourteenth attempt from Stanislau, Poland was finally successful. With his colleague Lieutenant F.E. Kruimink, he made his way to Warsaw, where he joined the Polish underground army. With the help of employees of the Dutch Philips company, he assumed a new identity. During the summer of 1944, he witnessed the horrors of street fighting during the Polish uprising. While the fighting was still going on, he was evacuated to Holland with the rest of the Philips staff. After joining the Dutch underground around Arnhem, he commanded a group of Dutch civilian volunteers during Operation Market Garden, the failed Allied attempt to seize the important bridges at Nijmegen and Arnhem. After the Germans had countered this attempt, he made his way across the river Rhine to liberated territory, together with the remnants of the Allied paratroop units. From there, he was flown to Britain, where he requested detachment to the Royal Navy.
In 1981, he wrote his wartime memoires titled "Contra de Swastika".
Peter Gerritse "Charles L.J.F. Douw van der Krap, alias "Siki" (De Opmaat, February 1996)
Ph.M.Bosscher "De Koninklijke Marine in de Tweede Wereldoorlog", volume 1, Franeker, 1984
C.L.J.F. Douw van der Krap "Contra de Swastika", Bussum, 1981