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KONINKLIJK INSTITUUT
voor de
MARINE


ROYAL NETHERLANDS
NAVAL ACADEMY


K I M


[Ben Oostdam's
Autobiography
Years 1950-1952]



Back at the Institute, 1951 - Part 2

My best mates and members of the "GPC"('Geschikte Pieven Club'
or Club of the Right Type of Guys)
were:
Frans van Oudheusden, whom I still visit at his home in Burg-Haamstede;
Henk Jaspers, who left the Navy to study law; and
J.Ch.M. de Keyser, with his unbelievable memory allowing him to remember a page-full of such data as shown below;
Jan was instrumental in setting up the excellent radar system for Europort.
I also still keep in touch with our Indonesian fellow cadets,
who became high flag-officers:
Asmaning Tjipto Wignjoprajitno, a most gracious host
and Subagjo Sangidi Reksodihardjo, a true officer and gentleman.
I did attend one of the big reunions of our year, and am definitely looking forward to our 50th, in the year 2000 A.D.


Our class-officer was the very sympathetic Lt.Veldkamp, our navigation teacher the incomparable LtCdr. Gregory.
I enjoyed the Navigation classes as much as I abhorred courses on Mines, Torpedoes and other weapons of mass-destruction. Wonder why I joined the Navy?
(below): Some of my worked out class-notes on spherical trigonometry and a four-star position calculation.
That was all done using logarithms, and I am mighty proud of my record time of 20 minutes for a fix I made in the Indian Ocean in 1952.
Amazingly, using a Geosatellite Positioning System (GPS) this can now be achieved by any dummy in a few minutes. I know because I used the instrument in my oceanography lab.classes; but do not try using it in Russia...

Some of our other teachers included two Professors in Math and Physics, and a former Major in the Marines who sported a pegleg and once jumped on a table before a committee deliberating on his physical condition.


That summer, we were promoted to corporal midshipmen, wow! (left)this is my picture, notice the practiced cold stare

The fall was hectic as usual, with as non-academic focus the extensive preparations for the ASSAUT, a 3 day feast a few days before Christmas.
Since I did not have an official "fee" ("fairy", c.q girlfriend) I was assigned a busty daughter of a Rear-Admiral, and made a general nuisance of myself blowing my bugle during the trip across the Institute's lofts instead of availing myself. My single memorative is a bill for a corsage, while I also recall singing the stirring and passionate official "Adelborsten Lied" - Song of the Naval Cadets with some internal reservations.

to continue to next page: Back at the Institute - 1951, part 2
BLO fecit 8 VII 1998; corr.20020326