Opa: Dutch for Hero.

The Indo Project highlights a touching memoir of grandson Jason A. Dixon about his Opa, Richard E. Coert. Read about Opa’s courageous journey.

Name: Richard E. Coert
Born:   October 5, 1922, Dutch East Indies
Died:   October 17, 2003, California, USA
POW:   Burma-Siam Railway

Richard E. Coert was born in 1922 in what is now Indonesia, where he grew up.  He dreamed of becoming a pilot in the Dutch air force, but before his 18th birthday German forces swept through the Netherlands during World War II.  He was promptly drafted into the army where he became a mechanic.  In the following two years he saw the Dutch declaration of war on Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the invasion of Java, his home island, and his capture.  As a prisoner of war he was forced to work on the Burma-Siam railroad.  Three years later, after being tortured, contracting malaria, suffering from malnutrition, and seeing many of his friends die, he was liberated by American forces.     The Indo Project

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