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About the Author

I was born in 1952. Studied dentistry, then philosophy in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Groningen. I have two super children. I founded and ran a small company producing medical electronics and disposables, with a variety of technical qualifications to back that up. Stopped all that, to give time to very different matters, free of the burden to make money. This started in 2002, when it became known that a Dutch RAF fighter pilot, P/O. Govert Steen, was born in my house. This led to ‘Steen - een geschiedenis door Huize Groenoord’, Baarn, 2005.

This again led to 'Lost', when it became apparent that so many of P/O. Steen’s colleagues shared his fate, and that most of these remained virtually invisible in literature.

In my extensive travels researching this study I used a small Peugeot camper as the most convenient way of visiting hundreds of remote places throughout Western Europe for field research. This picture was taken when freshly diagnosed with cancer, but I was climbing mountains again six months later. However, the illness returned in 2009, effectively seeing to it that this study is less complete than I had planned.

Additional Notes

Tragically, the author of this huge work died in late 2010, aged just 58. He had dedicated the last 10 years of his life to ‘Lost’ and was, in fact, adding to it until just a few days before he finally succumbed. Before he died, he asked that we complete his work and see to it that it was published so that the memories of the Dutch aviators may be recorded for posterity. Via his daughter we made Rob the solemn promise that this would be done to the best of our ability.

To our infinite regret this effort has taken us much, much longer than we initially envisaged. Life got in the way of our best intentions, with the Editor who was dedicated to the project being struck with carpal tunnel in both hands. He could obviously do no work for several years until he had restorative surgery, and it did not help our cause that our initial attempt at the project was abandoned half way through after man-years of work when the software we were using became prohibitively expensive. But perseverance and determination to keep our word to Rob have born fruit.

This huge body of original research and writing is the result of the tireless efforts and the passion of one great man, Rob Philips, to whom the world owes a debt of gratitude.

Holland has good reason to be proud of her son. Per ardua ad astra.

Our Method Of Treating Material

Rob envisaged this work being published as a physical book possibly with a DVD equivalent. It has not been possible to achieve either at this stage, though we do plan to do so in due course, if it is at all possible. It should be noted there will be considerable work to do before this could become a reality, however, because whilst partially completed content - which is the current state of Rob's manuscript in some places - is acceptable online because future additions are easy to integrate, this is self-evidently not the case for physical media when everything must be completed before a commitment to print is made.

Because of his original plan, he laid out his material in a form that included a page numbering system used throughout in internally cross referencing the text, and an indexing system the reader might use to locate material. Rendering the material as web material, as we have done, effectively removes the relevance of Rob's indexing and cross-referencing and all page numbering has been lost of course, but we have left internal cross references intact in the text for future use in a printed version. Of course, the web format we have employed makes for far more powerful searches than those used in physical books, and includes the use of our own custom search and highlighting code. Using our own custom designed and written software we have brought together every person named in the Archive into a single, comprehensive and powerful database which we feel sure would have amazed and pleased Rob.

As Rob was developing the material in the decade up to 2010, it is recognized changes will have inevitably occurred since then. If the reader comes across such changes - and any errors - we ask that you refer them to us so we can make suitable amendments to the text. Please do so via our Helpdesk.

Much of Rob's investigative work with the Dutch and other authorities was unfinished at the time of his passing and of course, his accounts as presented here will not include any developments that occurred subsequently. We would be glad to include such developments if the relevant authorities care to contact us.

Also, there were several instances where Rob indicated he was going to re-write the material but, alas, we do not know his intentions so have left the original intact. He also left some sections in note form, intending to expand on these later. These too are left intact in our treatment.

Likewise there are sections written in Dutch which Rob had not yet translated and for these we have left the original as this reflects Rob's precise thinking, with a Google-translated equivalent in English in certain instances which may or may not be an accurate reflection of this.

If a native Dutch speaker would be willing to provide accurate translations for the Dutch material we would be happy to include them. They would be a service to the memory of Rob Philips and to the Dutch aircrew he sought to honour.

Kelvin Youngs. Great Yarmouth, England. Director: AircrewRemembered.com

Stefan Pietrzak Youngs. Carmel CA, USA. Technical Director: AircrewRemembered.com


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