|Birth: ||Apr. 3, 1917|
|Death: ||Sep. 26, 2007|
Dutch World War II Resistance Hero. Known as the "Soldaat van Oranje" ("Soldier of Orange"). Born in Indonesia when it was a Dutch colony, he was attending the University of Leiden when the Nazis occupied the Netherlands. Roelfzema fled to England and became a member of the Dutch resistance movement. In service to the Dutch royal house in exile, he carried out many covert missions delivering radio equipment to the Dutch coast and returning to England with Dutch resistance fighters. He later joined the British Royal Air Force, was sent to Canada to train, and returned to England joining the elite Pathfinder Force. As a pilot he carried out 72 successful missions of marking targets for bombing raids against Germany. In 1945 he was appointed adjutant to Dutch Queen Wilhelmina who honored him after the war with the Militaire Willemsorde (Military Order of William), which bestows knighthood for bravery in battle. He also received the Distinguished Flying Cross from Britain. He wrote of his war memoirs in "Soldier of Orange" (1971), which was made into a movie in 1977. Hazelhoff-Roelfzema is quoted as saying "I became a war hero because I stuck out, because I wrote about my experiences. But behind every soldier decorated with military honors, there are a hundred anonymous heroes, some of them greater. I had the fortune to be recognized and to grow old." After the war he immigrated to the United States, working in various media. Returning to Europe in 1955, he became a producer for Radio Free Europe. In the late 1970's he went to work as a director for Tennessee-based energy company Barnwell Industries. He later convinced the company to move their operations to Hawaii, where it became a major gas and oil developer. In his biography, "In Pursuit of Life", Erik Hazelhoff-Roelfzema commented, "I accept death as I accept life, because there is no choice. He who acknowledges one, can not reject the other. Life didn't scare me, as soon as I knew it worked. For the same reason I do not fear the Dark Prince. I respect his grim task and have to admit: he has put up with a lot from me." (bio by: Nan)
Specifically: Ashes will be returned to the Netherlands to be buried with full military honors.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Nan
Record added: Oct 01, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21874987
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.
Do you have a photo to add? Click here