The Brabant village Oisterwijk and Operation Market Garden
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
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
This plate was pictured in a local book and with it the Willys-Jeep could one day
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
This particular vehicle was, for some reason, painted in the Red cross Colours, red
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
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
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.