A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Autobiography of Carl Kaas

A Member of the Dutch Underground in World War II

Chapter 7: Airplane Down

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Another incident stood out in the history of Hamersveld. One nice sunny day, Pa came home from his daily trip to the dairy and said, "There is an airplane down in the meadow of Job Vrijhoef." "Oh, Papa, can we go and see it?" "Well, sure."

So we got Mama's bike, the only one in the family, and away we went with me sitting on the carrier over the rear wheel and Pa peddling.

At last, here we had one of those birds we'd seen a hundred times in the air - and practically in our backyard. Many people were already there admiring the wonder of modern aviation. It seemed the pilot ran out of gas and had to make a forced landing. Now what? "No problem - get some gas and fly away." "Oh, Pa, can we wait and watch?" "Sure," said Pa since he had never seen anything like this before either.

When the plane was ready to go, everybody had to stand back. I don't know how they did it, but all of a sudden a mighty roar came out of that machine and the wind started to blow. The noise got even worse and the wind became a hurricane. Then it started to move, faster and faster heading straight for a barbed wire fence. I was so thunderstruck, I could not even holler, "Watch out for the fence!" He must have seen it too because, just before the impact, he shot up in the air like a grasshopper and he was gone. I was so excited and when I got home I told Ma all about it. I was 5 years old already at the time.

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