RAF Cardington Camp

Dutch military heads regrouped in London and began making plans to form a National Dutch Air Force when the war came to an end. In early 1945 Holland was slowly liberated and young Dutch volunteers were selected and sent over to the Recruitment Training Centre at Cardington for basic training. These young recruits spent almost 4 months at Cardington before moving on to other centres for specialised training.

"Hello Jane – here is my story

Early 1945 I left home, Nijmegen in The Netherlands, and ended up in Blankenberg Belgium. Here we got a ride in an L C T. There were 6 of us, it was a rough night. We landed in England in the morning, where I don’t know. Dry clothes and a warm breakfast was a good start. We were interrogated for two days. Next stop, Cardington, there I got my basic training. Then a transfer in to the Dutch Navy Airforce, more training in Dundee Scotland. Next a cruise to Shri Lanka then back to a Dutch 321 squadron in the R A F, to get in to Indonesia.
Two years in Soerabaja. Return to the Netherlands. Next trip on a maiden voyage on the Dutch aircraft carrier The Karel Doorman. After a couple of airforce stations in 1949 I got my discharge as a p/o aircraft man OVW. Next two years as a civil servant in the Navy Airforce before I emigrated to Canada and became a Canadian citizen."

Thank you Hank you certainly are well travelled!

Hank Helmink dutch jpeg