Operation "Market Garden" +68 Years
September 2012 was the month of the 68th anniversary of Operation ""Market Garden", the Allied plan to end World War Two in 1944.
This anniversary, again, was not a jubilee and we attended significantly less events than in previous years.
This is our report of "Market Garden 1944-2012".

Heeswijk Castle, Friday September 14th 2012
On this day we were invited guests at the official book presentation for the long awaited publication Orange is the Color of the Day by Belgian historian Michel DeTrez and co-author Peter Hendrikx.
After a kick-off ceremony for a three day historical event on the grounds of the Heeswijk Castle, both authors held a presentation in the castle's Knights Hall.
Our good friend Cor Geluk of the Yank Re-enactment Group was also present.
The two volume book shows more than 1200 photos and weighs over 13 lbs.
This agency has contributed to the creation of this book by doing research and we are mentioned on the Acknowledgment page.
After the official presentation of the first copy to US Army attaché Colonel Buzzerio an informal gathering was held at a WW2 tent camp near the Castle.
There we took the opportunity to interview veteran Jack Womer, member of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s Pathfinder team, also known as the "Filthy Thirteen".
Of course we had our own copy signed by the authors.
We also met our friend Guido Wilmes and found him setting up a display showing how Army chaplain Father Sampson had landed in the castle’s moat on September 17th 1944.
After posing with the belles of the camp we left this historical area.

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Son, Sint Oedenrode, Best, Eindhoven, Eerde, Heeswijk, Sunday September 16th 2012
In the morning of this September day, the men of the Remember September 1944 Foundation had organized a monument dedication ceremony.
A new monument on a raised road honors the men of the IXth Troop Carrier Command during operation Market Garden on the missions towards the drop- and landing zones north of the town of Son.
The area was used by six Troop Carrier Groups to fly in the 101st Airborne Division. Foundation Spokesman Tom Peeters, Mayor Galliard of the Municipality of Son & Breugel and Michael Larkin, son of a glider pilot, held speeches. An elegant monument was then unveiled from under a yellow period parachute canopy.

As on cue, the men of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Parachute Demonstration Team out of Fort Campbell, Kentycky made a perfect jump from a C-47 "Vomit Comet" on the original World War Two Drop Zone.

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It was then time for the annual Airborne Friends' tour along the monuments in the city and towns liberated by the 101st Airborne in the first days of Operation "Market Garden".
For the fourth year in a row, Tom was the 'master of ceremonies' during the various wreath laying ceremonies.
The Airborne Friends held their Remember September Dinner in Sint Oedenrode.
We attended the gathering.
Special guests were World War Two veterans Ken Woolley (British Royal Engineers) and Ray Nagell (321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion, US 101st Airborne Division).

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Entire Area of Operations of "Market Garden", Monday September 17th 2012

On this day, Tom hosted a private tour along most of the significant sites of Operation "Market Garden".
The trip started at the start of point of the ground troops of the British 30th Corps in Lommel, Belgium.
Stops were made at the British Cemetery in Valkenswaard, the Drop- and Landing Zones in Son, the Wings of Liberation Museum in Best, the locations where Lt-Col. Cole and PFC Joe Mann of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment had been killed in Action, the river bridges in Nijmegen and Arnhem and ended in the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek.

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In the evening we attended the annual Airborne Ceremony at the Geronimo Monument in Eerde.
Veteran Ray Nagell was present and British author Ian Gardner signed his new book Deliver Us From Darkness.
This agency has contributed to the creation of this book too by doing research for the author.

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Eindhoven, Tuesday September 18th 2012
This year we choose to limit our visit to the festivities commemorating the city of Eindhoven to the reception in the city hall. There we met with the men of the 101st Airborne Parachute Demonstration Team.

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1) 2) 3)

1) Mayor Van Gijzel of Eindhoven with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Parachute Demonstration Team
2) Battle Detective Tom with PDT members
SSGT Gough with Jan Coolen of the Dutch Airborne Friends and Jan Coolen of the Eindhoven Veteran's Home
We later joined the PDT to have drinks in the "Irish Embassy"; the O'Shea's Pub in downtown Eindhoven.

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This social gathering, very much like some of the men in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment had experienced during their liberation of Eindhoven, exactly 68 years earlier, concluded our involvement in this year’s Commemoration of Operation “Market Garden”.

Back to Commemoration Page

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