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KONINKLIJK INSTITUUT
voor de
MARINE


ROYAL NETHERLANDS
NAVAL ACADEMY


K I M


[Ben Oostdam's
Autobiography
Years 1950-1952]



1952 Training Cruise on the "van Kinsbergen", to New Guinea, part 2

February 15, 1952, 13:00: Made good headway, speed 16 knots, windforce 4, gentle weather,
position roughly off the cape of Normandy.
This morning navigation lesson by Gregory,down below in the dumpy small dayroom. A continuous struggle against seasickness. Yesterday morning Beusekom could not hold it any longer and barphed all over van Dam and Gregory!
Last evening at dinner, Piet Bakker ran away with bulging cheeks and pursed lips. When he could not find his cap soon enough, he spouted out a stream hitting - out of the 40 or so raincoats hanging from the back of the door - his very own coat!
Edu Steinmetz kept on playing with a rubber band all morning, which made me dizzy. He could, however, not stop, because it distracted him from the only and obsessive thought we all have right now...Suddenly the rubber band broke and hit him in the face. Lo and behold, I was instantly beter!
Today is the day King George of England is buried.
February 15, 1952, 21:00: This afternoon was just like I always imagined a saylor's life. We were sitting on the afterdeck enjoying the pleasant weather and doing some marlinspike work; it almost felt as if we were in the Sailing Age! ....
I bought a pipe for Nf 1.25 and wrote a letter to Lony.
Right now, we are in the infamous Gulf of Biscay!
February 16, 1952, 20:00: Announcement on ship's radio: "For those of you with good eyes, the Spanish coast can be seen on port side!" Five minutes later, the ship's lookout reports: "Land in sight, 15 degrees red". Response by Officer of the Watch: "I already heard that on the radio 5 minutes ago!" Stored away the "blauwe trui" (Navy-blue sweater) which my mother knitted for me... must write a poem about it!

1735-1819 Jan Hendrik van Kinsbergen
After 10 years service in the Netherlands, he fights with great success in Russian service against the Turkish in the Black Sea.||Returns to Holland and managed to obtain favorable peace conditions from the Sultan of Morocco by virtue of his courageous and steadfast attitude.||Distinguishes himself in 1781 in the Battle of Doggersbank in which the crew which he had trained and accustomed to strict discipline deemed themselves invincible.|| Is promoted to Lieutenant Admiral in 1793 when he prevented the French army under Dumourie to enter our country.||Leaves the country's service in 1795.|| Under the reign of King William I, he laid the foundation of the new Dutch seaforce.|| His burial site is in the New Church in Amsterdam.


From 1932-1946, I lived in Amsterdam on the Admiralengracht around the corner of the Van Kinsbergen Straat
Prins Willem Alexander, the Prince of Orange, fulfilled his draft service in the Royal Dutch Navy from 1985-1987. After several months of training at the Royal Naval Academy in Den Helder he served aboard the frigattes HMS Tromp and HMS Abraham Crijnssen. In 1988 he served for several weeks as Watch Officer aboard the HMS Van Kinsbergen.
BLO fecit 17 VII 1998 to continue to next page:
1952 Training Cruise on the "van Kinsbergen"
to New Guinea, part 3