February 24, 1946 – February 23, 2023
Peter was an expert at networking. Because of his infectious enthusiasm and innocence, he managed to win over many people. He made countless friends. They now have to do without him, because Peter died on Thursday, February 23 after a short and hopeless battle against cancer.
We will miss Peter immensely. His optimism in the ups and downs and perseverance in the face of adversity were contagious. These qualities have contributed greatly to the arrival of the visitor center at the former naval air base Valkenburg. He was the best promoter the Naval Aviation Service could wish for.
Promotion for the MLD
Peter would have liked to serve in the Naval Aviation Service himself, but his mother did not approve. Later in civilian life – he became head caretaker of the Rijnlands Lyceum in Oegstgeest – his preference for the MLD grew. In 1980 he started his promotional activities. He started writing books about the MLD and Valkenburg Naval Air Base and published aviation calendars for 25 years. You could find him all over the Netherlands at aviation and naval events, where he sold MLD paraphernalia and books in his promotional stand. At home he built up an impressive collection of documentation and photographs.
Immediately after the closure of the air base in 2006, he started collecting things and using his network. That is why the Central Government Real Estate Agency (RVB) asked him in 2012 to search the former base for objects that had to be preserved. For example, he managed to save the engine of a Lockheed SP-2H Neptune and a few airplane stairs from demolition.
The memory remains alive
Founding a ‘museum’ on the former air base was Peter’s greatest wish. He wanted to keep the memory of the base alive for the people who served there, the local residents, the future residents of the site and for the following generations. He gathered a small team of enthusiastic people around him for the last big steps: establishing the Stichting History Vliegveld Valkenburg in February 2016 and finding and furnishing a building.
He became chairman of the SHVV. In 2021 he decided to take a step back and continue as honorary chairman. However, he remained as active as before. Until he became too ill for that last December. But his wish has come true: thanks to Peter, there will be a place where the memory of the airport will be kept alive for years to come. The volunteers and the board of the SHVV will continue that work in his spirit.
We wish his wife, children and close relatives a lot of strength.
The volunteers, the board advisory council and the board of the SHVV