From Janette and Leopold Pander

[click here] for next picture ---
[click here] for next picture ---
 

This is the story as our parents told it to us …
When the Americans came to deliver us from the claws of the Japs they drifted down from the skies ― from a B-24 in fact ―  in magnificent white parachutes. 
When the B-29 bombers flew over the camp ― a few days later ―  they bombed us with the most needed food, clothing, and with all that the US army could spare for us … in large-big-heavy canisters drifting down and held by a multitude of beautifully coloured parachutes. Of course, all these parachutes were very welcome to make shirts, skirts, and whatever our women prisoners’ fantasy could think of. We were all wearing rags after two and a half years of surviving behind walls and electrified wires. Even after the cutting and the sewing there were piles of parachutes left and so … the members of the committee with the Americans’ permission decided to give us as a souvenir … one section of parachute per individual. So, we all had “one section” of a US parachute to take home with us. We were five in our family and we received 5 sections of a red parachute. Mum didn’t want to keep it but Dad was quite sentimental about this and so … we took it back to Tientsin with us. And wherever we went the parachute came with us. Since that day, the red parachute is preciously kept by our family and goes wherever we go. The new generation is now the rightful owner of this very sentimental object and it will stay in the family for still many years to come.
On the photo, I am holding the parachute on one side and my sister Janette is on the other side. Pierre (Janette’s husband - not visible on the photo) is holding the parachute from behind, perched on top of a very high and unstable ladder. 

Leopold

 

1946 - first pictures after camp
 
We were 5 and received 5 sections of a parachute that was droped from a B-29 with a container full of food

 

back to  main index