The Brabant village Oisterwijk and Operation Market-Garden

Conclusion

Shortly after the liberation of Oisterwijk, according to the archives at the end of October, doctor de Sain possessed an oval green Willys-Jeep.

Various older residents of Oisterwijk have told me that they don’t now any different than that this was the Willys-Jeep that was transported by the Waco glider Queen-City.

Some even told me they where always told by there parents that the Doctors Willys-Jeep was given to him by the Germans, while others learned that De Sain got it from the Allies shortly after the liberation.

 

But, is all of this possible, could it have been possible that the Scots at Oisterwijk would have allowed the doctor to drive around in a military vehicle?

Or even, would they have allowed non military personnel to drive around in, or even posses a military vehicle so closely after the liberation.

Some of the Oisterwijk inhabitants knows the answer, they say, as credit to his good deeds and courage, that was an important contribution the village liberation, Doctor de Sain was allowed to use the Willys-Jeep that was abandoned by the Germans after their retreat.

 

In any case, doctor de Sain travelled around in the Willys-Jeep for years after the war and used it for numerous visits to his patients.

A very important issue of course for the village, a doctor with fast transportation so closely after the war.

Because lots of vehicles and even horses where confiscated by the Germans during their retreat lots of villages where without transportation let alone vehicles.

If the Willys-Jeep, in which the doctor drove around after the war, was the Jeep from the Queen-City, it could perhaps still have done something good for the local population of Oisterwijk, and possibly even have onces saved ones life.

 

Sadly the doctor passed away in 1959 and what exactly happened to the Willys-Jeep is not certain.  

It is certain though it was sold to an unknown buyer after his death.

The data of the Willys-Jeep is locally known and was ones pictured in a local history book about wartime Oisterwijk.

The identification plate with the serial number and year of construction was located on the dashboard of every Willys-Jeep.

This ID plate was taken by someone as a souvenir shortly after the crash of the Waco glider Queen-City.

This plate was pictured in a local book and with it the Willys-Jeep could one day be identified.

Of course there has to be a match with serial numbers stamped somewhere else in the Willys-Jeep chassis because the original registration plate is gone.

 

During my research to the whereabouts of the Willys-Jeep I was told a local Oisterwijker by the name of Mr Aan de Stegge had bought the doctors Willys-Jeep after his death.

Mr Aan de Stegge was the owner of a little private museum dedicated to Oisterwijk and its WW2 history and a collection of several WW2 vehicles, small planes and other war items were on display at the museum.

According to what I was told to the Willys-Jeep was bought and brought to Oisterwijk at the time when the doctors widow resided in the city of Leiden.

In this way this Willys-Jeep, that was of particular interest to the buyer and our villages history,again ended up back in Oisterwijk but then to be placed in a museum.

 

In this museum three different Willys-Jeeps were on display of which one was build in 1944.

This particular vehicle was, for some reason, painted in the Red cross Colours, red and white.

Unfortunately the museum is not there anymore as is its owner.

it disappeared that after the owner had passed away the collection was split up and sold to unknown buyers.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The  identification plate of the Willys-Jeep:

 

WILLYS
NOMENCLATURE Truck 1/4 ton truck 4x4
Supply Arm or Service
Maintence vehicle     Ordnance Dept.
Make and Model   WILLYS MB ORD
Serial Number 313624
Payload 800 lbs.
Trailerload 1000 lbs
Date of Delivery 3-14-44

 

A side note:

 

After Oisterwijk was liberated the Canadian army took over the area from the Scots.

The Scottish troops soon had left to fight the war in another place so the Canadians came in to Oisterwijk.

These Canadians soon installed a Canadian ‘leave camp’ on the grounds of the leather company.

This leave camp was meant to take care of, and resupply and even entertain Canadian troops that would be returning home or send to another area in Europe.

Also a medical service and dentist where situated in this leave camp.

At this camp the oldest daughter of doctor de Sain, who also worked for the Red Cross, was friendly with a Canadian assistant dentist, a sergeant.  

This Canadian sergeant one day told her he was in need for transportation to Antwerpen to pick up supplies.

The doctors daughter told the sergeant that she could help himand arranged to secretly borrow her fathers Willys-Jeep that was parked in front of the house and for some reason wouldn’t be missed that day.

 

The doctor, who also acted as dentist in our village himself, was in the possession of a small case with his dentist tools that he always carried in the back of the Jeep.

When the Canadian sergeant, the assistant dentist, secretly borrowed the Willys-Jeep the small case indeed appeared to be on the back seat.

Before his drive to Antwerpen the sergeant first went to the leave camp for a late and highly necessary dentist appointment for a Canadian mechanic in the camp.

During his treatment other mechanics took the time to do some repairs on the Jeep because it was in a rather sorry state.

After the mechanic was treated the Canadian sergeant drove to Antwerpen to pick up his supplies an later that day returned to Oisterwijk.

He parked the Jeep back in front of the doctors house without it ever was being noticed that it had been gone that day.

The next day, without any assumption to the fact the Jeep was borrowed the day before, the doctor took his Jeep for a drive.

Later that day the doctor would mention that the Jeep handeled and felt totally different than it had before.

 

To commemorate and remember Doctor de Sain a local villager restored a Willys-Jeep in the 80’s and named here the “Dr Sain Jeep”.

Out of respect and admiration for the doctors deeds during the war this man had painted the doctors name on his Willys-Jeep.

After research I found that this was not the Willys-Jeep from the glider the Queen-City but a different one, a 1942 model.

The picture shows the “de Sain” Willys-Jeep in front of the Oisterwijk Red Cross building which was named the Dr de Sain house.

The name of the building was painted in Dutch above the entrance of the building which unfortunately was demolished years ago to make room for a big store.

Conclusie