Major Stanley Winfield
was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1923, and served as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force from December 1941 to June 1946.

Liberator of the Netherlands

In February, 1945, I was stationed with an R.C.A.F. Unit in Peterborough, England, at which time I was selected to serve with the Allied Control Commission (Air) and I proceeded to London in March to attend a four week course, the aim of which was to prepare the candidates with a knowledge of the historical and psychological foundations of Germany, the German Airforce organisation and methods of disarmament and control with particular attention paid to the attitude to be adopted by disarmament personnel towards the military and civil population of Germany once victory was attained. I completed the course in April and on May l2th, 1945 I was flown to Airport B 106 at Enschede, Holland. I was the first Canadian Airforce personnel to arrive and was then transported to Delden, Holland, to await the arrival of the advance party. Delden was at that time the headquarters of General Crear. I stayed at the city of Delden until May 25th, 1945, on which day a convoy of 4 vehicles left for Germany.  Squadron Leader Ted Aplin was in charge of our small party and our destination was Celle, Germany. On crossing the Dutch-German frontier into Germany, I felt that I was entering a land of the dead - the same feeling that I had when I went into Germany the first time when my destination was Meppen. The first leave allocations have finally come in - for Amsterdam.  Since I had been observing the non-fraternization ban, I could hardly wait to get to Amsterdam and some female companionship. 
The beautiful German girls working our Mess as waitresses were not helping our morale any.
So, after an uncomfortable fourteen hour
truck journey, we finally arrived in
Amsterdam and were taken to
the Red Lion Hotel.


 What a change-- soft beds with sheets, hot and cold running water, telephones ( but we didn ' t know anyone to phone). After a wonderful dinner (it is amazing what a good cook can do with straight Army rations), we went downstairs to the bar, fortified ourselves with a couple of glasses of gin, and set out to see what Amsterdam had to offer. According to the map supplied by the Canadian Army, there were clubs, cabarets, dances all over town, laid on especially for the troops, with entertainment assured. We went to a place called Polmans which was just across the street. Armed with a Dutch-English dictionary, we surveyed the assortment of Dutch girls who had volunteered to act as hostesses that night. We decided on two - one very good looking in a Dutch sort of way and the other not so bad. We both figured on dancing with the good-looker but I got there first and so began a beautiful friendship with Greet Van Lanser. Unfortunately she didn't speak a word of english and I don't speak dutch, so we had to depend upon George's girlfriend Corry who spoke a "leedle" english to translate when necessary, which was not too often.  The girls became our companions for the entire three days, and we partook of movies, swimming, dancing and even horseback riding. Expenses for the whole time cost us 1,000 cigarettes a piece, which we sold on arrival at two
guilder per cigarette.

a Dutch
-English dictionary

Courtesy of
‘The canadian letters and images project’
Malaspina University College

 – Dr Stephen Davies.

  photo: June 1, 2005, Calgary AB