Shards of Metal from a V2 Rocket
From the private collection of Ron van Vleuten
In September 1944 fourteen-year-old Ron van Vleuten, from the Bezuidenhout neighbourhood in The Hague, began to hear the menacing sounds of V2 rockets being launched in the distance: ‘Will it pass us by? Quiet. Listen. Is it going to make it? Yes... luckily it’s going further!’ Ron sighed in relief. That deadly V2 bomb didn’t fall from the sky prematurely, like so many others, but was headed for England.
On 8 September 1944, the German occupier fired the first V2 rocket from the Dutch town of Wassenaar. It was meant to explode in London a few minutes later. Several sites, installed in the vicinity of The Hague, launched more than 1000 V2 rockets. On 25 January 1945 Ron’s street took a heavy hit: his entire body shook from the enormous blast. He saw an orange glow and ran outside. A bit further down the street a row of five houses were completely destroyed. Ron and his father Sam found these three shards in the ruins and took them home.