Geheim agent Sjoerd Sjoerdsma.
Copy for S.O.E
No. 23138 R.V.P.S. 13-9-1944
Born: 17-4-1921, Schagen.
Languages: Dutch, Swedish and school knowledge of French and German.
Father: Joute, aged 48, native of Friesland. Inspector 'Raad van Arbeid'.
Mother: Reina nee RIEDEL, aged 48, native of Ouderdijk. Parents address: 13 Zeewielenstraat, Alkmaar.
Sisters: (3) Nelie, aged 21, typist, living with parents, Eeke Reina, aged 17, student, living with parents.
Maria Geertruida, aged 10, living with parents.
Last permanent address: Seamans Hostel, Goteborg and Continental Hotel, Stockholm.
Documents: (1) Dutch passport No. A30634 issued by Dutch Consulate General, Stockholm 9-8-1943.
(2) Seamans book No. 12562 issued Amsterdam 20.8.43
(3) Health Certificate issued Rotterdam 4-2-1943.
(4) Health Certificate issued Alkmaar 21-8-1942
(5) Groningen Nautical School Apprentice Mate examination Certificate dated 22-7-1942
(6) Employment Certificate s.s. 'MAAS BURG', lying undergoing repairs Schiedam 16-11-1943
3-2-1943 issued by Halcyon Line, Veerkade Rotterdam 7-4-1943.
(7) Three construct Halcyon Line, dated 4-2-1943, 1-3-1943 and 12-5-1943.
Date of Port of embarkation: 10-9-1944, Stockholm
Date & Port of arrival: 11-9-1944, Leuchars ex 'plane G-GGI.
Date of arrival at R.V.P.S. 12-9-1944
1. SJOERDSMA left H.B.S. school in June 1940 and in October of that same year became a nautical student at Den Helder until this was closed in May 1941 by the Germans.
However, in September 1941 he resumed his studies at Groningen Nautical School until June 1942 when he passed his examination as apprentice mate.
2. In november 1942 he first obtained employment with the Halcyon Line of Rotterdam as watchman on the 'MAAS BURG' which was undergoing repairs in the wellknown Wilton Feyenoord Docks at Schiedam.
3. He became very fed up with this, however, and eventually obtained a transfer and signed on at the beginning of February 1943 with the 'STAD DORDRECHT' from which, he confirms, he deserted 7-8-1943 at Lulea with DOBBE (RVPS 20282) as recounted by the latter.
4. He confirms that he suggested to DOBBE, an old school and sports friend, that he should also try to join the 'STAD DORDRECHT' with a view to deserting with him in Sweden, and which with SJOERDSMA's guidance he eventually did succeed in doing after the 'STAD DORDRECHT' had in the meantime made two voyages to Sweden and back. SJOERDSMA adds that the reason why they did not desert on the previous visit to Lulea like KIVIET (RVPS 19414) who incidentally also mentioned him, was due to the fact that they then did not have sufficient money.
5. As is known, KIVIET got 50 Krone from the master, Captain KOSTER and SJOERDSMA confirms my original opinion that it is generally assumed that this man, although he has been a member of the N.S.B. up to 1941 or 1942, is really a person who goes with the most favourable wind. SJOERDSMA also steats that he is of the opinion that he actually gave the money to KIVIET so that after the war he could refer to the latter's father, an important man as director of SHELL as a wittness to his good deed. It is believed that KOSTER started to edge away from the N.S.B. as soon as he realised which way the war was going, though according to SJOERDSMA from remarks he had heard him pass, he certainly does not sound by any means pro-british at heart.
6. After first working in the usual manner in lubber camps in Central Sweden, SJOERDSMA was recalled to attend the Dutch radio course at Goteborg in February 1944 and finally to Stockholm from where on 10-9-1944 he was sent by aircraft to this country, his passport bearing Brtian Visa no 13010 authorised by H.O. No. 850916.
CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATION.
7. SJOERDSMA, although he does not give the impression of being very bright, is nevertheless an intelligent and honest lad, keen after the long delay in Sweden to do a job of work. He confirms satisfactorily DOBBE's story and does not give me any qualms from a security point of view.
8. Since I do not believe there are any grounds to suspect his loyalty, I would recomment his prompt release to carry out, if he is found suitable, the spcial work which he is prepared to do and for which, like his companions, he has apperently been sent over to this country.
Name: SJOERDSMA, Sjoerd.
P.T.C: 1-9-1944 (M.I.5 & C only)
M.I. 5 advise 19-9-1944: Our only information about this man is contained in LRC file RPS/23138.
Born: 17-4-1921 Schagen (N.H.).
Occupation: Marine Cadet.
Pte. Add. Relatives: 13 Zeswielenstrasse, Alkmaar.
Father: Joute, Dutch, born Westdongeradeel (FR) 8-12-1895.
Mother: Reina Riedel, Dutch, born Oudendijk (N.H.) 19-1-1896.
Sister: Eeke Reina.
Sister: Maria Geertruida.
All at above address.
Remarks: To be trained as W/T operator.
N/T 25-9-1944 in the field commencing 18-9-1944.
Landed: sept. 1944
SD signed: 23-10-1944
OSA signed: 4-10-1944
History: escaped from Holland. Now in Stockholm, c/o Dutch Ministry of Merine.
N to MT 12-9-1944.
This man has been specially brought to this country from Sweden to be a W/T operator for this section. He has been in the Dutch Merchant Navy and has been trained as a wireless operator. His present speed and capabilities as an operator is not known but we should like him tp proceed straight to STS-52where he should be brought up to the standard required, as quickly as possible, for him to work in the field.
D/CE.G.1 to N 15-9-1944.
Graf ..ing permission for him to enter training before clearance through the cards is given.
STS HQ to STS-52 15-9-1944.
Will proceed to 52 for training commencing 16-9-1944.
Sgt. French; STS-52 7-10-1944.
Arrived 16-9-1944. A pleasant type of person. He always tries to make the best of things and does his utmost to make himself sociable, although he has strains of an inferiority complex. He is keen on his work, but has slightly lazy habits. His security is satisfactory and so far has observed it well.
12-9-1944 Arrival in U.K. from Stockholm.
STS-HQ Cdt. STS-51 19-10-1944.
Will arrive for training at STS-51 for the week commencing 22-10-1944.
Parachute Training Report STS-51 29-10-1944.
This party, as a whole, showed good results, they were apt but did not exert themselves. They were keen to make the descents but were rather difficult at times and showed some lack of control. They completed three descents by day including one legbag and a night descent from aircraft. FOUR DESCENTS SECOND CLASS.
Sgt. French; STS-52 28-101944.
Arrived 19-10-1944. These students are all of about the same category. They are of a very cheerful disposition, rather much on the rowdy side, but always in the best of spirits. They do not, however, come up to the usual high standard of students, and their attitude is rather indifferent and to a certain extent casual in relation to their job. As a whole I do not believe that they are very reliable or that they could be trusted to a great extent. They would need strong and careful supervision in the field. They are all quite keen on drink and usually go out 'en masse' every evening and come home in rather high spirits. Their security at first was poor, but after having impressed on the importance and need for it and pointing out their mistakes continually, they have improved a considerable lot and have got quite interested in it.
Sgt. Ronnfeldt; STS-52 3-11-1944.
This student has a friendly and generous nature. At the same time, he drinks a lotand talks incessantly in a rather high pitched voice. He does not seem able to grasp the importance of security. When he has had a few drinks, it goes to his head rather than to his legs, and in such circhumstances he is a danger.
STS-32A FINISHING REPORT 27-12-1944.
This student is of average intelligence, practical and possesses good imagination and initiative. In character he appears honest and straightforward, inclined to be impatient and is unpanctual. He has a pleasant personality, rather quiet and unassuming. He is a good mixer. He was interested in the course, but is lazy. He appears to have a good grasp of security. He has not the qualifications for a leader but should make a competent W/T operator. CODES NONE TAUGHT.
5-1-1945 Left for the field.
5-4-1945 Arrived in U.K.
12-4-1945 Left for the field.
25-5-1945 Arrived in U.K.
9-7-1945 Sworn out.
1-8-1945 Sworn out by D/CE.M.
....k and Army or Personal No. 4472, 2/Lt.
Name: Sjoerd SJOERDSMA
2/Lt Sjoerd SJOERDSMA was parachuted into enemy occupied Holland on the 2nd January 1945 to act as W/T operator and ensure commications between the U.K. and the H.Q. of organised Resistance in the OVERIJSSEL area of Easter Holland.
During the three months which preceded the liberation SJOERDSMA carried out this task in an exemplary manner and was successful in maintaining communications during this most difficult period in circumstances of great personal danger. His post was one of particular importance in view of the situation of his operational area in relation to the advance of the Allied forces, and in view of the tasks to be carried out in support of these forces by the Resistance elements to which he was attached,
SJOERDSMA returned to the U.K. on the 6th April 1945 and straightway volunteered for a further mission He was asked to go to Rotterdam to be attached as W/T operator to the Commander of the Resistance there, and he was parachuted into enemy occupied territory on 12th April 1945. He arrived at this vitally important point at a particularly difficult time, when the Resistance Commander had just been killed and the other W/T operator on the spot had had little success in overcoming the technical difficulties of maintaining communications with U.K. and was dispirited in consequence. SJOERDSMA brought much needed help in the handling of the large amount of traffic and was successful in re-establishing good communications. He brought encouragement, skill and experience, essential requirements at a period when it was important that highly efficient communications should be maintained.
I t would be difficult to exaggerate the value of the services rendered by SJOERDSMA in his sphere of work during the period of four months covered by two missions. His courage and technical skill enabled him to perform his exacting duties with maximum success and he deserves the highest commandation.
It is recommandet that 2/Lt. Sjoerd SJOERDSMA be awarded the King's Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom.
R.W. Graddock, Colonel for Major-General Gubbins, absent on duty.
22 Nov 1945
Training Name: SJOERDSMA
Field Name: 1st Operation CHRISTIAAN or SQUEAK I, 2nd Operation GUNDER or SQUAEK II.
Interrogated by: Captain WHITTAKER on 31st May 1945.
W/T operator to EVERT (Lancker), RVV and organiser in Overijssel. Sent to replace W/T MAURITS (Beekman) who was to return to U.K. but who was unable to do so, not having been trained for Lysander operation. Informant was thus redundant, and was attached to H.Q. Zone 2, which included N.E. POLDER, OVERIJSSEL, and ACHTERHOEK, as W/T operator to EDUARD (Hotz), Zone Commander. He left the U.K. on 5th January 1945 and was overrun by Allied forces on 2nd April 1945, returning to U.K. through S.F. channels on 6th April 145.
Together with 15 containers and six special packages was parachuted to STEGERVELD, N.E. of Ommen, on the night of the 5th January 1945, this being the second attempt - the first attempt fialed to locate the pinpoint. He had not been given a password but recognised MAURITS from a photograph he had been shown in LONDON. Reception drill was orthodox; he was taken by MAURITS to a hole in the ground, which was inhabited by 6 or 7 of the reception committee - which numbered about 20 all told. He stayed there until early morning, by which time all the equipment had been collected safely. At daylight, he was taken to a safehouse belonging to a schoolmaster escorted by MAURITS and several other members of the reception committee. They travelled by bicycle; no patrols were encountered. They carried arms and intended to fight if challenged as they carried much compromising material. He stayed all day in this safehouse and at night, was taken to EVERT, who, after consultation with his staff, decided to send informant with Major HENK (Henk Brinkgreve) , a Dutch Paratroop Officer (Jedburgh), to EDUARD's H.Q. Zone 2.
A Mate in the Dutch Merchant Navy. He had been working on the HAMBURG Ship Yard of BLOHM and VOSS but, on account of a duodenal ulser had been given a medical certificate by a Hamburg doctor. This cover was never changed and gave no difficulty. LONDON papers were supplemented with others, supplied by the organisation, and only oce in three months were they inspected.
3. SITUATION IN THE AREA.
A large proportion of the population was unwilling to assist, being very afraif of reprisals, but many were sympathetic. Collaborator Dutchmen of the NSB were known to be in the area.
HQ Zone II, EDUARD Zone Commander. Courier: ALTERHOEK.
SQUEAK: WT operator.
HERMAN: Liaison (Herman Doppen).
REGION Kop van OVERIJSSEL including N.E. POLDER and ZWOLLE area.
REGION EVERT (RVV)
Districts (local Commanders)
Sections, each about 12 men, most of them living openly with some UNDERDIVERS.
The only information concerned his bodyguard, who was recruited after informant's arrival. He had taken part elsewhere in resistance, having participated in receptions. Used cover of Director of Water Works Installations.
Only information concerned bodyguard, who received instruction in W/T operation from informant himself.
No payment in the field other than expenses.
8. SECURITY RULES FOR THE ORGANISATION.
Does not know of any being specifically laid down by leaders.
H.Q. Zone II, was mobile, but was always laid out in the following way:
Farm, or house in town, containing: Major HENK, Chief of Staff; DAAN, Secretary; 1, 2 or 3 liaison officers; 1 girl courier (ANK) who alone knew address of Zone Commander and who also took messages to and from SQUAEK, (sometimes) 2 bodyguards.
Another Farm or House, sometimes 30 mins away by cycle, containing Zone COMMANDER, who visited the other Farm when necessary.
A 3rd Farm, containing: W/T operator and bodyguard (Wiebe Soetendal).
10. INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS.
No telephone because none was available. He told how the German lines were tapped by the Resistance and said that a conversation between HIMMLER and HITLER, in which the former announced the fall of BRUSSELS, was intercepted by the Resistance. For inter-urban calls, resistance leaders had access to a secret telephone line. No postal servises were available and there were no personal meetings or boites-aux-lettres, but couriers were used extensively. These were usually girls pretending to collect food, milk, etc.
Maintained by W/T. He moved from one house to another some eight or ten miles away every three months but, naturally, in emergency, moved immediately the alarm was given. He had one spare set avaiable. The average time on the air was 30 minutes and the maximum one hour. During transmissions the bodyguard patrolled the exterior of the house, keeping within 100 and 200 metres; he was armed and carried a pair of binoculars. Informent was also armed.
The courier brought the messages already enciphered and the incoming messages from LONDON were handed to the courier still in cipher. The messages were collected every day so that none were left on the premises. The set was concelled in a haystack or an attic; conceleament was not difficult when working in a country district. Couriers hid their messages in double bottomed milkcans, or in the hollow of a bicycle frame under the saddle. (Zie telegrammen)
D/F Activity by the Enemy.
On one occasion, the bodyguard saw a D/F van approaching, moving slowly about one km away. Informant received the alarm and interrupted his transmission. He packed and went to another house and the D/F car went away. Informant always had one place to which he could go if danger threatened; the address of which was provided by H.Q. staff.
Informant had no personal experience of pigeons, but knows that they were used in the operation of September, 1944.
12. ENEMY COUNTER INTELLIGENCE IN THE AREA.
The local police were generally quite all right, but informant states that some of the new, younger men were not reliable. He only experienced one control and was not searched. The S.D. were much more nummerous and included many more uniformed members than informant had been led to believe. They included many members of former members of the KRIPO, GRENZPOLIZEI, etc.
6 March 1945. Three Dutch SS men carried out a control on the farm which was being used as H.Q. They were checking clandestine slaughter of cattle by farmers. The farmer's daughter caused a commotion by rushing into the room to warm HQ staff. The SS man's attention was attrackted and he followed her and discovered the HQ staff dealing with clandestine mail, but still remained unaware of the true nature of the situation. he asked for theit identity cards. Major HENK attacked him but was over powered and shot dead. During the struggle, other members of HQ staff escaped with papers. The absence of guards was due to a recent move from town, where guards had not been posted as they would have been too conspicuoas.
There was an investigation by SS men but they were unable to identify HENK. The farm was guarded by SS men for several days but warning had been given and no members of the resistance came to visit it. The farmer's wife and his two daughters told their interrogaters that these people had only just arrived and hired a room, and their story was believed. The organisation suffered as a result of HENK's death, but the work continued.
He has heard of a friend of his bodyguard who was walking in town, accompmagied by his girl courier, when he was arrested by a snap control. The two were separated and interrogated separately. They were asked whether they were engaged, what was the date and birthplaceof the other, etc, but the stories did not tally. A fight ensued and the man was wounded and killed.
16. RECEPTION COMMITTEE.
17. PARALLEL CIRCUITS.
The BBC was listened to frequently and the news distributed from available sets. There was a feeling that RADIO ORANGE was viewing the situation through rose coloured spectacles.
19. CRITICISMS OF THE MISSION.
he was annoyed to find himself two crystals short, involving a complecated change of signal plan. He had to ask for them to be sent which took six weeks.
W/T operator to VICTOR (Marinus van der Stoep?), district commander of ROTTERDAM. VICTOR was killed on the eve of his arrival and was replaced by FRANS alias FERDINAND, VICTOR's other W/T operator was JOS (Bobby ten Broek, mission PING) who had not been able to make contact. Informant was sent out having had more experience.
By parachute on the night of 11/12 April 1945, and was accepted by reception committee to whom he gave a password. He landed safely near Alphen-aan-den-Rijn and, at dawn was sent by a lorry carrying milk churns, driven by two members of the transport section straight to ROTTERDAM, to a safehouse. He lived and received broadcast messages in this house, but did not use it for transmission skeds.
2. DURATION OF 2nd MISSION.
This was comparitively short, lasting from 11/12 April 1945 until the capitulation of the Germans in HOLLAND. He was not working with the organisation long enough to discover much about it, but supplied the following information.
Used successfully same cover as for first mission, suitable modified to explain his presence in ROTTERDAM.
b. Situation in the area.
Allies had cut off this part of HOLLAND by their drive to the North Sea and although controls still existed they were now carried out by Wehrmacht personnal, many many of the Gestapo and SD members having escaped back into GERMANY at the last moment.
c. Security of Organisation in Rotterdam.
Not very good. Underground workers were coming to the surface, messages about transmission houses were carried out in plain language.
Was controlled several times when in possession of messages and signal plans hidden in his sock. When on suchs journey, tried to get advance warning about likely controls. Once watched one from a distance before going through it himself.
e. W/T Communications.
Initial contact was made after much difficulty. Had three separate addresses and three sets. Protested to his organiser about excessive length of messages and having to transport his own set and aerial on one occasion. He worked unarmed and did not have a bodyguard.
De A Mk III kofferzend-ontvanger van Sjoerdsma in het Verzetsmuseum te Amsterdam