Valuable cargo

The Netherlands




Near Haskerhorne, a plane dropped valuable cargo on the night of 1 to 2 November 1944: two secret agents, Peter Tazelaar and Lykele Faber. The men had an important mission: to set up a secret transmitter to communicate with London.

With the phrase "If the shoe fits, wear it," an arms drop near Haskerhorne was announced in early November. But the plane also contained other important cargo: secret agents Peter Tazelaar and Lykele Faber. Their mission involved connecting resistance groups, establishing radio contact with London, and coordinating arms drops.  

To move around Friesland safely, the agents had carefully chosen false identities. Tazelaar went by the name 'Paul Christiaan Wouters', a veterinary student. Lykele Faber became pastor 'Arnold de Bruin'.  

For both secret agents, this was not the first time they were back in occupied territory. Tazelaar had once returned to the Netherlands in late 1941 for Operation Contact Holland, and Faber was dropped near Son during Operation Market Garden.  

After the drop, Tazelaar and Faber were taken in by the Frisian resistance, who provided them with a hiding place. To everyone's amazement Faber, who lived in Friesland for some time, was recognised at his first hiding place by a resistance fighter saying: "Hey, you're Faber's son, aren't you? I lived next door to you in Drachten." 

After a first short night, the secret agents soon moved to the village of Swichum below Leeuwarden, where the Friesland NBS regional headquarters was located. There, they acquired further information about the resistance and installed their secret transmitter. In the months that followed, they moved around regularly to avoid detection of the transmitter.   

At one of their hiding places, they met the experienced wireless operator ​​​​Alfred Springate, a crew member of a Halifax bomber that crashed near Stavoren on the night of 13 to 14 October 1944. Springate assisted Tazelaar and Faber for the rest of the occupation period.  

On 2 February 1945, disaster struck the Frisian National Domestic Forces. In the village of Tjerkwerd, one of the dropped containers ended up in the yard of a farmer with German sympathies, who reported it to the local rural constable. House searches were then carried out in the village. One of the addresses raided was the hiding place of resistance leader Philip Willem Pander. With his arrest, the entire administration of the Frisian NBS fell into the hands of occupiers. A nerve-racking time followed for Tazelaar and Faber, during which they narrowly escaped arrest several times.  

Faber, Tazelaar and Springate eventually saw liberation in Heerenveen. Pander was shot on 10 April 1945 at the Katerveer near Zwolle. After the liberation, Tazelaar remained adjutant to Queen Wilhelmina for some time. He lived in Hindeloopen from 1981 until his death in 1993. In this town, there is a bronze statue in his memory.  

Here, near the Nannewiid, Tazelaar and Faber hid on the cabin yacht 'Paliter' at the end of the war, not far from where they were dropped on the night of 1 to 2 November 1944.