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Ocean Liner History and Stories from the Sea, Past and Present. With an In Depth focus on Holland America Line

Westra, Hendrik Berend.

Captain Hendrik Berend Westra (photo approx. 1973)

Name:  Hendrik Berend Westra

WHO CAN HELP AS I HAD BIG PROBLEMS FINDING INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CAPTAIN. He joined HAL in 1938 and the personnel lists are held by the Dutch Sailors pension fund and they refuse access. The fleet lists of the company after 1965 are not complete so I am puzzling his career together passenger list by passenger list, menu card by menu card. Any other personal information is not yet on line as he has not been death long enough. And so far I have not found any family who can help.

In an ideal world I would ask for: Seamans book, what he did do during the war, family photos, and family information, to complete a nice biography.  IF YOU CAN HELP, PLEASE CONTACT ME AT CaptAlbert1@aol.com.

Born:  14 May 1916 at the “Lange Nieuwstraat 29 in Tilburg, The Netherlands.  His father was Schelte Westra (born 8 June 1886 at leeuwarden) and his mother was Gonda Woltera Baron (born 17 Feb. 1888 at Zwolle). His father was listed as being and Engineer. The parents had married on 22 Oct. 1912.

The two witnesses of the birth registration at City hall had both  functions with the National Railways, so for the lack of better it is assumed that his father worked there as well. Plus the fact that his father, the captains grand father  wasa  Senior Ticket master, which is train function. The family moved to Rotterdam on 31 October 1918.

He moved on 17 Sep. 1934 to the Maritime School “Abel Tasman” at Delfszijl. After two years he returned to Rotterdam on  02 July 1936 and signs on for this cadet year with the VNS. (Verenigde Scheepvaart Maatschappij or United Shipping)

Then joined Holland America in 1938.

Early sailing days still to be researched.

His wife was born in Indonesia.

Promoted to Chief Officer in 1950

Promoted to Captain in 1956. First ship the ss Arnedyk

Made last 6 voyages of Maasdam  as Captain before the ship became the Stefan Batory.

Was awarded on 09 October 1972 the silver medal of the KNSMI

Sailing List:

Date:                     Function:                             Ship:                                      Wages and/or remarks.

Xx xxx 1936         Cadet                                    XX                                           Sailed for the VNS

Xx xxx 1938         4th. Officer                           Burgerdyk


Xx xxx 1950         Chief Officer                      xx


Xx xxx 1956         Captain                                 Arnedyk

13 Jul. 1956         Captain                                 Sommelsdyk                      Until 30 Oct. 1957

15 Nov.1957       Captain                                 Axeldyk                                Until 12 Dec. 1957 (one voyage)


25 Feb. 1959       Captain                                 Kinderdyk                           Until 16 Jun. 1959

04 Jul. 1959         Captain                                 Kamperdyk                         Until 10 Jul.  Coastal voyage.

19 Jul. 1959         Captain                                 Kloosterdyk                        Until 22 May. 1960


07 Aug.1960        Kamperdyk                         Kamperdyk                         11 Aug. 1960       Coastal voyage


22 Oct. 1960        Captain                                 Arnedyk                               Until 16 Dec. 1960

28 Jan. 1961        Captain                                 Arkeldyk                              Until 21 May 1961

10 Jul. 1961         Captain                                 Kinderdyk                           Until 18 Jul. 1961 coastal voyage

21 Jul. 1961         Captain                                 Kerkedyk                             22 Mar. 1962

08 May. 1962      Captain                                 Almdyk                                                 01 May 1962 Coastal voyage

09 May. 1962      Captain                                 Andyk                                   19 May. 1962 Coastal voyage

28 Jun. 1962        Captain                                 Dinteldyk                             13 Jan. 1963


31 May.1963       Captain                                 Dongedyk                           09 Dec. 1963


26 Mar.1964       Captain                                 Gaasterdyk                         23 Jul.1964

01 Aug. 1964       Captain                                 Dongedyk                           07 Nov. 1964


02 Sep.1965        Captain                                 Moerdyk                             25 Sep.1965 coastal voyage

08 Jan. 1967        Captain                                 Kamperdyk                         14 Mar. 1967


06 jun.1967         Captain                                 Dinteldyk                             27 Aug. 1967


06 Jul. 1968         Captain                                 Maasdam                            29 Sep. 1968


29 Jan. 1969        Captain                                 Ryndam                               27 May.1969

21 Jul. 1969         Captain                                 Nieuw Amsterdam          24 Nov. 1969


Xx xxx. 1970       Captain                                 Nieuw Amsterdam          not dates yet


05 Apr. 1971       Captain                                 Nieuw Amsterdam           07 May 1971

06 Mar. 1971      Captain                                 Ryndam                               17 Apr. 1971

27 Nov. 1971      Captain                                 Poeldyk                                                03 Dec. 1971 coastal voyage


25 Jun. 1972        Captain                                 Nieuw Amsterdam          TBA


Xx.xxx. 1971       Captain                                 Rotterdam                          Xx.xxx. 1971/72


Xx.xx 1973           Captain                                 Statendam                          TBA

08 Nov. 1973      Captain                                 Prinsendam                        First Captain of the Ship

01 Jan. 1974        Captain                                 Prinsendam                        23 Feb.1974


XX XX.1980          Captain                                 Volendam













  1. Linda Mullins (nee Nielsen)

    June 29, 2020 at 1:35 am

    Hi, I recently found your website, and hope you can tell me when Hendrik Berend Westra was born and died – I am trying to put the family tree together on the myheritage website.
    My aunt Helen (nee Nielsen / van Epps) was married to him in 1950/60’s, but we lost contact when my family came to Australia. We heard that Helen died in Spain 1973. In 1945 Helen was married to David Arnold van Epps and had a daughter Chris. They were divorced about 1949.
    In recent years, I have reconnected to Chris purely by chance through the internet, and learnt of her mothers death and that she lives in New York. Am hoping she is safe as I have not heard from her since February, and her area has high CO19 figures.
    Hoping you can add a piece into my puzzle, Kind regards, Linda Mullins

    • Captain Albert

      June 29, 2020 at 8:27 pm

      Good morning,

      thank you for visiting my website and commenting. For Captain Westra’s history is also still full of riddles. So what I have done now is uploaded what I know. Have a look at the web page again. It might help hopefully a little bit. At least it gives the birth information. About the family I have not information yet. I as told by later captains that I sailed with that his wife was Indonesian or born there. So if you have any information, photos, what ever it would really be appreciated. I have extracts from his birth certificate etc. so if your dutch is good enough I can forward those. I will also send this reply from my email address.

      Hope to hear something soon.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

      • Saw this article, from paperwork left after my mother died, found menu cards
        with his name on it. Was curious what I could find about him and Captain Greidanus, also on the menucard. Nice piece of work you have done with all these articles! My father worked for 25 years with the HAL, last position Chef Personeels Dienst Zeevarenden and knew from his position quite a number of Captains and other staff. Rds Ed Meyer Note: if interested in a copy of the menucards let me know. at:e.meijer24@telfort.nl

  2. Thanks for collecting this information.
    You will find more information on family at:


    If this information cannot be opened then please email me and I will copy the information in an email

    • thank you very much for trying to help me

      , but as I do not have a subscription I only get advertisements when using the link.

      I will send you a request via my hobby email.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

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