Gripsholm sails with 796 aboard (3-6-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (March 6, 1944)

Gripsholm sails with 796 aboard

Lisbon, Portugal (UP) –
The Swedish exchange ship Gripsholm, carrying 796 North and South American repatriates and 15 special passengers, sailed today for New York.

The repatriates included diplomats and civilians who had been in internment camps in France and Germany. They were exchanged for an equal number of Germans who came here aboard the Gripsholm from the United States.

Among the last to arrive was John Brown, 58, a native of Portland, Oregon, who estimated that there were still 280 men – most of them Brazilians, Cubans, Hawaiians, Filipinos – at Compiegne, France.

The youngest of the repatriates is four-month-old Edwige Derkes, who was born in Vittel, France. Her parents, Joseph and Jadwiga Derkes of New Britain, Connecticut, have two other children and for all of them they received about a pint of milk daily, although the baby seemed in good health despite the hardships.

Hendrik James Vantvelt, a native of the Panama Canal Zone, said the Germans were flooding North Holland in preparing defenses for an expected Allied invasion and have the Dutch furious because the seawater ruins the soil and will make it useless for at least 10 years.

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