The Never-Ending War by Martin Roemers

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Piet de Visser (born 1923), a Dutch veteran of World War II (WW2).  He was with the merchant navy from 1939.."In England we were given weapons training, as each merchant navy ship had to be able to defend itself. We would dismantle a weapon, reassemble it and get five bullets to fire.  It didn't really amount to much. In February 1941, I sailed on the Beursplein and we went in a convoy of thirty ships to America to collect old iron for the war industry in England.  One night, a ship was torpedoed by a German submarine.  I went on deck to look and saw another ship get hit.  I didn't realise how serious it was and I just went back to bed. The next day we were bombed by a German plane. Fire broke out, there were casualties on deck and we abandoned ship in complete chaos.  I helped to get the biggest sloop into the water.  I wanted to get in it myself, but it drifted away.  The boatswain at the helm even waved to me.  That sloop, carrying 21 men, disappeared and was never found.  When I was on a new ship later, I was much more frightened. 'Dear God, please let me get through this', I used to pray when our convoy was attacked.   But once we were safely through it, I never said 'thank you'.". CHECK with MRM/FNA