|THE DEFENSE OF ARUBA IN WORLD WAR
|Aruba was a Dutch protectorate and when the Germans marched
into Holland Aruba was left undefended. There was a large American
Refinery on the island but America was neutral and had not entered the war.
|The Lago Refinery was producing high octane gasoline for the
British war effort so it was decided to send the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
to Aruba to defend the island and the refinery in the event of an attack by
|The Cameron Highlanders left Inverness by train on August 9,
1940 bound for Gourock where they boarded The Empress of Australia and put to
sea. The ship steamed to Halifax, Nova Scotia and the group of Highlanders
were split into two smaller groups. One sailed for Bermuda and the other for
Aruba. The Aruba contingent arrived on the island on September 3, 1940.
They made camp at Saveneta and were then assigned to defend the two refineries
on the island, The Eagle (Shell) refinery in Oranjestad and the Lago (Esso)
refinery in San Nicholas. The Highlanders were in Aruba at the request of
Holland's Queen defending vital British war suppliers but they lacked for any armament
with which to defend the island. It is dubious as to weather or not they
could have repelled a German attack.
|The Cameron Highlanders remained in Aruba until February 13,
1942 when they were replaced by the U. S. Army 498th Coastal Artillery
Battalion. The ship that brought in the well equipped American troops took
the Highlanders off the island and they were back in Britain by the 24 of March,
|The 498th Coastal Artillery Battalion took up residence at the
camp in Saveneta that had been vacated by the departing Highlanders.
|American troops remained in Aruba for the duration of World War
PHOTO FROM WORLD WAR II