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Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.

Sights in Antwerp,   pp. 50-52 PDF (729.4 KB)

Page 50

This airfield had been badly beaten up. The Germans raided
the Brussels airport early New Year's Day this year, figuring that
the British would be sleeping off the New Year's Eve celebration.
The officer who told us said that the Germans were pretty near
Major Nims motored us to the Palace Hotel, a leading hotel,
which had been taken over by the British Army. We were given
excellent rooms, but no hot water, no towels, no soap.
People told us that you can buy anything you wish in Brussels
-if you have the price to pay. Food shops quote butter at $8 a
pound. One does not see much of the famous Belgian lace but
small handkerchiefs are $15 apiece. The Belgian franc is 44 to
the dollar.
Sights in Antwerp
After luncheon in the Army mess, we motored to Antwerp
which, we have been told, is the finest port in the world. Here
we met Col. Noble, in charge of the port, and were told that the
Belgians deserved unusual credit, especially the civilians who
worked to put the port in shape. 12,000 Belgians worked on the
port under fire last winter at $4 per day. An aggregate of some
5,000 V-E bombs landed in and about Antwerp, but immediately
after a bomb would hit, the workmen would return to their jobs
and assiduously perform their duties. Col. Noble spoke in the
highest terms of the Belgians.
Motoring on the splendid highway from Brussels to Antwerp,
approximately 32 miles, one sees nothing but huge American
trucks hauling supplies. We passed a convoy of huge trucks haul-
ing trailers-on each trailer was a huge Sherman tank. These
trailers perform invaluable service, as they save the roads by
taking the tanks up to the front so that their tractors can not
chew up the roads.

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