1929 Chevy Sails Into Freedom

I was there

My father, Flip Winckel, and four fellow Dutchmen escaped Nazi occupied Holland on February 23, 1944. They left the Dutch Coast in a 7 M open boat powered by a 1929 Chevy engine. They were rescued on the North Sea by Royal Air Force High Speed Launch No. 185. The rescue was captured on film by USAAF Captain Hardy of the Mighty 8th. Captain Hardy was on board to film the efforts by the RAF to pick up downed U.S. and British pilots and their crews. Instead they found these 5 Dutch students. The entire story was covered by the British press.

But, of course the real reason they made it out safely to freedom is due to the "Cast Iron Wonder." If it had not been such a reliable engine, I would not exist let alone be able to pen these lines. Their escape and rescue is on record as the only successful escape from Holland by direct North Sea crossing in all of 1944.

I am pleased to share this story with the company that produced the engine that saved my father's life.

George Winckel
San Juan Capistrano, California