Robbert Jacques Emile Marie van Zinnicq Bergmann, DFC

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Robbert Jacques Emile Marie van Zinnicq Bergmann, DFC

Also Known As: "Bergy", "Mr. Robbert (Robbie) van Zinnicq Bergmann"
Birthplace: 's-Hertogenbosch, Noord-Brabant, Nederland (Netherlands)
Death: June 15, 2004 (87)
Vorden, Gelderland, Nederland (Netherlands)
Immediate Family:

Son of Eugène Emile Joseph Marie van Zinnicq Bergmann and Thérèse Henriette Maria Lefébure
Husband of Caroline Irmgard Barones de Vos van Steenwijk
Father of Private
Brother of Therése Henriette Marie Justine van Zinnicq Bergmann; Floris Jeroen Joris Marie van Zinnicq Bergmann and Henri Emile Adam Maria van Zinnicq Bergmann

Managed by: Private User
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About Robbert Jacques Emile Marie van Zinnicq Bergmann, DFC


BIOGRAPHY Robbert (Robbie) Jacques Emile Marie was born on 11 April 1917 in 's-Hertogenbosch, the son of Mr. Eugène Emile Joseph Marie van Zinnicq Bergmann and Thérèse Henriette Marie Lefébure.

Robbie grew up in 'huize De Ridderspoor', Vught as a member of a Catholic family of lawyers. While studying law in Utrecht in 1939 was called up for military service and became a cavalry officer. In May 1940 he fought the invading Germans and was wounded. After he left the hospital he became involved with the resistance. Robbie tried to escape from the Netherlands but, due to betrayal, he failed and had to go into hiding. From Dr. Hendrik Wiegersma in Deurne he received false indentification papers and with those was able to go to Belgium on a boat. Via France and Spain he arrived in Portugal and in Lisbon his second cousin, Mr. Joseph Luns, was able to assist him to go to England.

Through the assistance of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, he was able to join the RAF. He became a fighter pilot and flew a Tiger Moth, Harvard, Master, Spitfire and the Hurricane. He was active above Germany and was decorated with the D.F.C. for his involvement in an attack on German tanks.

The English called him 'Bergy' when he was part of the 181 Squadron. 'For me the Typhoon was love at first sight. Of all I had seen this was the most aggressive.'

After the invasion of Normandy, Bergmann was stationed on one of the first English airports in France. He took part in more than 100 missions in Western-Europe, including 'Operation Market Garden' and the attacks on the head quarter of Seyss-Inquart.

On Saturday 4 November 1944 an attack took place on one of the royal stables near Het Loo Palace. Typhoons of the 181 Squadron flew from Eindhoven to Het Loo which had originally been used as a hospital by the Germans. However the stable attacked had been the headquarter of the Waffen-SS. The building was destroyed and never rebuilt. To distract the Germans the 247 Squadron attacked another place in Apeldoorn. One of the Typhoons was shot down and pilot David Wallace was killed. After the German capitulation, van Zinnicq Bergmann found a Messerschmitt 262 which had been hidden close to Lübeck.

The Messerschmitt 262 Schwalbe (Swallow) was the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work had started before World War II, but engine problems prevented the aircrafts from attaining operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944.

On 8 September 1945 in Wijhe Robbert married Caroline Irmgard, Barones de Vos van Steenwijk, daughter of Mr. Jan Arent Godert, Baron de Vos van Steenwijk, and Marie Alwine Rodolfine Sophie, Gräfin von der Goltz.

After having been demobilised, he intended to work in the business world, but accepted Queen Wilhelmina's appointment as her adjudant. His wife also had an appointment at Court as 'grootmeesteres'. In 1946 Bergmann was asked by Queen Wilhelmina to accompany Sir Winston Churchill on his visit to the Netherlands.

His working life was his dedication to the Dutch royal family. On 6 February 1947 he was appointed 'hofmaarschalk', which he was until 1 June 1980 under three queens of the Netherlands.

From 1977 onwards he had health problems, because of which he was given two assistants and in the end those two were appointed full time in the two aspects of his work. He had been 'hofmaarschalk' as well as 'intendant'.

Despite his full occupation at Court, he continued his studies and became a doctor of Law. He was also 'grootofficier van het Koninklijk Huis', 'intendant van de Koninklijke Paleizen te 's-Gravenhage', 'jagermeester voor Zuid-Holland' and 'kamerheer in bijzondere dienst van de koningin.' In the air-force he became Commodore titulair, however this was not a function requiring involvement. He received many decorations including the 'Croix de guerre'.

Bergmann wrote his war memoires 'Het Doel Bereikt' (The Aim Achieved) and the first copy was on 23 April 1990 in Apeldoorn, presented to Prince Bernhard on the place where the stable had been he had assisted in destroying. In 1998 he published his autobiography 'In dienst van drie vorstinnen. Het leven van een Hofmaarschalk.'

Mr. Robbert van Zinnicq Bergmann died in Vorden on 15 June 2004. His widow died on 30 Setptember 2013 in 's-Gravenhage.

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Robbert Jacques Emile Marie van Zinnicq Bergmann, DFC's Timeline

April 11, 1917
's-Hertogenbosch, Noord-Brabant, Nederland (Netherlands)
June 15, 2004
Age 87
Vorden, Gelderland, Nederland (Netherlands)