Albert Jan IJtsma (later changed into Ytsma) served in the 1st Infantry Regiment, Royal Dutch Army from 5 October 1936 until 15 July 1940 and from 19 July 1945 until 25 May 1947. He also fought during the May 1940-campaign in Emmer Compascuum when German troops crossed the Dutch border.
During the war he worked for the 'Rijks Kolen Bureau' (State Coal Company), department of Economic Affairs in Assen. This meant he was exempted from forced labour in Germany. The work brought along he was mobile and as such he was able to gather intelligence about German fortifications and positions and pass that on to the resistance. He had to hide from Germans several times.
In 1950 he emigrated to Canada where he made career with Union Gas Company in Chatham, Ontario
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