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Dutch War Memorial Rusthof Cemetery Ridderkerk

Rusthof Cemetery in Ridderkerk contains the collective grave of five soldiers from Ridderkerk, who fell in the May days of 1940:
Willem Johannes Klootwijk
Jan Hermanus Zwiers
John Dykesman
Ari Huizer
Dammis de Hon

A brick memorial wall with bronze plaques has been placed behind the five graves.
The top plaque contains the names of the seven soldiers from Ridderkerk who fell in the former Dutch East Indies:
Arie van Driel
Cornelius van Halem
Cornelius Put
Jan Cornelis Blaak
Johannes Breedveld
Hendrik Johannes van Die
Johannes George Trouborst

The bottom plaque on the left contains the names of three soldiers from Ridderkerk, who are buried elsewhere:
Hendrik van Gorkum
Fleuris Kruithof
Jan Stuyt

On the bottom plaque on the right side are the names of the five crew members of an aircraft T-5-856, which crashed in Ridderkerk.
Willem Fredrik Anceaux
Olaf Waldemar Douwes Dekker
Gerrit Arnold van Riemsdijk
Bernard Swagerman
Joachem Wijnstra

These are 5 Dutch soldiers who tried to bomb the Moerdijk Bridge on May 13, 1940 with, among other things, a Fokker T-5 856. This bombardment (with two Fokker G-1s and one Fokker T-5) failed and two of the three aircraft were hit by a superior force of German Messerschmitts.
The Fokker T-5 crashed in flames in the pilot whales of Ridderkerk, killing the 5-member crew. The bodies were recovered by farmhands on May 15 and laid out in a barn.
The day later, 4 of the 5 bodies of these soldiers (one body was collected by family and buried elsewhere) were temporarily buried in a collective grave in this cemetery.
Three of the five soldiers were later buried at Military Ereveld Grebbeberg.
In Dordrecht, at the foot of the Moerdijk bridge, there is a war memorial with the names.
Every year on May 13, the ''Stichting Herdenking Bombardement Moerdijkbrug 1940'' organizes together with students (who have adopted the monument through the national Committee 4 and 5 May) in the presence of the mayor of Dordrecht, a delegation of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, eyewitnesses , family members, veterans' delegation, war and resistance museums and interested parties.

Finally, a plaque has been placed with the name of a soldier who fell during the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
Philippus Wilhelmus de Koning

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  • Text: Dick de Bruijne, Fedor de Vries & Wim Anceaux
  • Photos: Dick de Bruijne

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