NO.13 AIRBORNE MAGAZINE / A publication by the Society Friends of The Airborne Museum 27/11/2018

3. 2018 in retrospect – The new board’s first year

5. Special find at Arnhem Bridge – II

7. Fighting the British at Arnhem A new book by R.M. Gerritsen

9. “Far more important to me than any top athlete ever”

12. Traces and finds relating to the figh-ting around the Westerbouwing

16. The 1st Independent Parachute Brigade in Operation Market Garden

22. A letter laid aside

24. MINISTORY 129: Location of famous photo discovered (3)

27. Teerosen op de Veluwe – W.H. Tiemens

29. Personal stories at the Oosterbeek Cemetery

32. Albin’s enigma

33. Taxis, T-shirts, and more

34. Reactions – “I probably learned more from the tour than from an entire book”

35. Program

On the cover: Two soldiers from the 1st (Polish) Independent Parachute Brigade practice with radio equipment during training in the United Kingdom. (source: Narodowe Archiwum collection Cyfrowe, Polen)

Reenactors during the Border Regiment battlefield tour on October 6th.

It’s common among organisations and companies to look back and evaluate the performance at the end of the year. Partly to focus on celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve and partly to make the balance between the set of planned targets and the results. For us as the newly appointed Board even more important since it was our first year that we were in charge.
Let me start with one of the most urgent matters: the relationship between the Society and the Museum. As mentioned in Airborne Magazine 12 we promised to report back on the meeting which was scheduled between the Foundation of the Museum and a representation of the SFAM Board. This meeting took place on the 13th of September. Contact between Museum and SFAM remained limited to a formal correspondence by letter for more than two years. This meeting was the first conversation with sufficient room to explain each other’s point of view. It turned out to be a convenient meeting.
SFAM representatives and Museum agreed that we will respect each other’s different ambitions and chosen directions. The Society’s first mission remains the deepening and sharing of knowledge and understanding of the Battle of Arnhem. If required and requested the Society will assist and support the Museum. To add deed to the word the Society transferred an amount of € 2000 to the Museum, some days after this meeting, to help them to facilitate the construction of a silent room in the Museum. This gesture was appreciated and resulted indirectly in the restart of a structural contact between representatives of Museum and Society.

The second topic the board is concerned about is the issue of the English membership. As mentioned in Airborne Magazine 12 the number of English members has decreased substantially since the beginning of this year. We assume that this is the result of a lack of communication due to the inward focus of the SFAM and the long delay between the publication of the English version of the Airborne Magazine. In the hope of regaining some goodwill it was decided to carry all English members over to 2018 for free. Together with the promise to publish three editions of the Magazine in English, this measure was communicated with an accompanying letter, signed by me personally. Although we have realised three editions this year we must conclude that the desired effect didn’t occur. At this time just 29 English members remain. Apart from honorary and life members, who pay no dues, only six English paying members remain. The production, translation and distribution of the English version of the Airborne Magazine costs the Society between €2000 and 3000 per year. The board feels the effort and costs are disproportional and will present a solution at the General Members Meeting in March of 2019.
Besides these challenges, some positive developments should be mentioned as well. We expected a decrease in our membership as a consequence of the chilled relationship with the Museum. This has not come to pass. Over the course of last year a net 28 members joined the Society. Additionally we searched our membership file to rule out a significant number of nonpaying members. With some justified pride we can now report that the Society has 636 paying members. Financially the Society is healthy.
With regard to our ambition and primary mission the announced intensification of our Battlefield Tours and the qualitative investment of the Airborne Magazine has been widely appreciated. The Battlefield Tours attract many participants. As a result, the Society has money to spare for new initiatives.
Separate to the planned Battlefield Tours, we have responded proactively to adhoc requests to organise tours for specific audiences. We accommodated a large group of UK military personnel, participating in the Nijmegen 4Days Marches, and guided them along the Arnhem battlefields. An activity which was followed by a group of German officers and NCOs originating from the German Rapid Reaction Division. Finally, the Airborne Themeevenings turned out to be successful and demonstrated an increasing amount of visitors. Reason why we decided to proceed with these events for next year.
In 2019 we now have planned four.

Since we now have stabilised relations with the Museum, and hope to solve the issue of the UK members, we are in a position to focus our energy towards 2019. An important and remarkable year because it marks ’75 Years Battle of Arnhem’ which will bring a widely carried increase in activities. A perfect opportunity to demonstrate our relevance as a knowledgebased Society. With regard to the 2019 activities I’m proud to announce that our Board will be augmented by a professional Public Relations official. We hope to report more on how we plan to contribute to ’75 Years Battle of Arnhem’ in Airborne Magazine 14.
This finally brings me to wish you and all of your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
– Otto van Wiggen

SFAM board members Otto van Wiggen and Erik Jellema in front of Sosabowksi’s headquarters on Molenstraat in Driel.

In Airborne Magazine nr.12 we reported a special find next to the Arnhem Rhine bridge. The editors received a number of responses upon publication that shed more light on the role of the British antitank guns when the Panzer IV was knocked out.

Grenadiere at Bravado II. Kriegsberichter Adendorf photographed the Bravado II by Sgt. Kill on the corner of Ooststraat and Westervoortsedijk. (source: IWM MH3955)

In the previous article, the location of the 6pounder antitank gun, based on Wilkinson’s Gunners at Arnhem, was located next to the factory. This No.3 gun from Btroop, together with the gun from Sgt. Robson covered the access to the bridge from the east (via the Westervoortsedijk). However, on a photo after the battle, the gun can be seen on the corner of the Eusebiusbuitensingel and Westervoortsedijk. This is the piece by Sgt. Kill. It was set up in such a way that it could bring fire to the main road in the northerly direction and not to the Westervoortsedijk.

Based on the photo with the location, and shot direction of both British pieces, it is very likely that the gun from Sgt. Robson took out the Panzer IV ausf. H. It was the only antitank gun that could fire onto Westervoortsedijk on Monday morning 18 September.

Oblique. The position and shot direction of the pieces of Sgt. Robson and Sgt. Kill displayed on an aerial photograph of September 18, 1944. (source: B. Gerritsen)

The antitank guns had names. Eugène Wijnhoud let us know that the piece by Sgt. Kill was named ‘Bravado II’. Shortly after Wijnhouds reaction, the editors received a photo showing the devastation on the northern side of the Westervoortsedijk, with an antitank gun among the rubble. It’s missing a wheel and the gun is on its side. The debris has been moved away to make way for the Foulkes and Simonds Bailey bridges that were laid next to the destroyed bridge. Is this the last evidence of Bravado II?

Track link with connecting pin (photo: L. van Midden)

The editors do not yet know what will happen to the recovered track. Since the release of the previous issue, the track link has been cleaned and letter codes have become visible. On the link pins that connect the track segments, wear can be seen from the many kilometers the vehicle traveled to the end point next to the Camiz. – Leo van Midden With thanks to Eugène Wijnhoud and Bob Gerritsen for their help with this article.

Westervoortsedijk. An antitank gun is visible among the rubble along the Westervoortsedijk: the Bravado II? (source: GA1584-745 Westervoortsedijk Camiz- Nico Kramer)

On 21 September 2018 Fighting the British at Arnhem was presented at the Oosterbeek bookshop Meijer & Siegers. Bob Gerritsen previously published Arnhem, a Few Vital Hours, Retake Arnhem Bridge and Arnhem Bridge, Target MIKE ONE, in collaboration with Scott Revell, Niall Cherry, David Truesdale and Martijn Cornelissen. With Fighting the British at Arnhem he now has an important and very relevant book in his own name.

A jeep captured by the Germans is investigated (source: B. Gerritsen)

The book places in great detail, the combat actions of the SSUnterführerschule Arnheim within the performance of the Kampfgruppe Von Tettau during the Battle of Arnhem. This makes the cohesion of the battles clear for the first time in postwar his
tory, and sheds new light on the often underexposed performance of Von Tettau’s troops. The fact that Von Tettau’s share has never received much attention is due to the fact that until recently hardly any extensive archival research has been done into this unit. Bob Gerritsen fills up that gap with Fighting the British at Arnhem. Partly because of his large network he has been able to make surprising finds.
The SSUnterführerschule Arnheim was founded in 1943 to train executives for the WaffenSS. Four companies were stationed in barracks in Arnhem.
For me it was surprising to see that SS officers were photographed at the Saxony Weimar barracks, in front of the building and my desk where I myself was a company commander in 1990. The description of the locations that the SS-Unterführerschule in Arnhem has had will be familiar to many readers.

August 1944 in the Saxony Weimar barracks: the framework of SSUnterführerschule Arnheim for one of the alloy buildings. LR: SSHauptsturmführer Hermann Meyer, SSObersturmführer Heinrich Oelkers, SSUntersturmführer Friedrich Voigt and SSOberscharführer Wimmer. (source: B. Gerritsen)

In August 1944 the school was moved to the Dutch coast, in defense of the sector The HagueKatwijk aan Zee. In addition to duties in coastal defense, the training of executives continued. In September 1944 the school was moved again, this time to the socalled Waalstelling. For example, the bridge at Zaltbommel had to be set up for defense.
On September 17 1944, the SS Unterführerschule came under the command of the Kampfgruppe von Tettau and the units were deployed against the British who fought on the western side, roughly the 1st Battalion The Border Regiment.
The SS Unterführerschule Arnheim, led by SSStandartenführer Lippert, consisted of two units of battalion size: Bataillon Schulz and Bataillon Eberwein. Bob Gerritsen makes clear how these units moved from Wageningen, towards Renkum and Heelsum. Bataillon Schulz was strengthened with 10.Schiffsstammabteilung, naval soldiers whom encounter afterwards in the battles with B Coy 1st Borders at Renkum. Later this unit will be relieved at the Westerbouwing by German air force soldiers. With a description of the actions of Bataillon Wossowski, supported by Panzerkompanie 224, who reached the battlefield from Naaldwijk with seventeen captured French flamethrower tanks, Gerritsen added new insights to the battle on this hill.
It goes too far to describe these battles in detail, but it is a relief to read now which units of Kampfgruppe Von Tettau where exactly fought on the west side of the British perimeter. Bob also describes in detail which units of Von Tettau were erected from Ede over the Ginkelse Heide until finally reaching the Sonneberg area, just north of the Utrechtseweg near Hartenstein.
The book does not end, as is often the case, in the evacuation of the British over the Rhine on 26 September, but also discusses the role played by the SS Unterführerschule in the formation of German bridge heads south of the Rhine, at the brickworks De Korevaar and Terwindt.
It is the merit of Bob Gerritsen that he has linked the action of SSUnterführerschule to the actions of Von Tettau, a part of the struggle of which many have heard the clapper. Gerritsen now shows us the clock for the first time. – Erik Jellema R.M. Gerritsen, Fighting the British at Arnhem, SSUnterführerschule Arnheim (RN Sigmond Publishing 2018), 224 pages, English, hundreds of annotated blackandwhite photos, clear maps, appendices, acknowledgment and index, ISBN 9789081270397.

Running In the footsteps of John Frost. Over unpaved paths, through streams, over obstacles, and past famous locations from the Battle of Arnhem. The Airborne Freedom Trail, a trail run which saw its first edition on September 8th combines endurance sports with a deeply felt historical awareness of the events around Arnhem in September ‘ 44. “You could call it a modern form of commemorating”, initiators Bart Koopmans and Richard Kaper say.
”Imagine: it is September 1944. The ground below you is still far away. Above the roar of the aircraft engines, you hear the heart beat of your comrades. Or is it your own heart that thumps in your throat? You go over your equipment once more, looking down to the country that is not your own. One more time: recheck your stuff. This country is not a safe place. You swallow. And then you jump. No, you fall down with dizzying speed, to an unknown fate.
Your parachute pops open and the world becomes quieter. You look around you, amazed. Curious, a little scared, but ready to execute the tasks you were given. You don’t think of tomorrow, you don’t know anything about tomorrow. For many there is no tomorrow. Welcome to the Bridge To Bridge. Run. To Remember Freedom.” (source: Studio Halfvol)

These probing words started the trial edition of the Airborne Freedom Trail for a handful of people in 2017. “It is a ‘fire baptism’ to which all participants are subjected, played in a darkened army tent on Ginkel Heath, moments before the start of the off road running competition. “Although competition is not really the right word,” says Bart Koopmans (1988) of Oosterbeek, a trail runner himself, an army reservist and one of the two organizers. “It’s not a contest in the sense that it’s about who reaches Arnhem Bridge first. It is the combination of the individual achievement and the historical setting that makes this run so special and sets it quite apart from other runs.
Before you go on your way, you sit on a bench in an army tent and you are ‘charged’ with the realization that you are in a unique historical place. With that we will send you off, and that is also the reason why most of the runners participate: to get connected with the past and the historic events that took place here.”

Trail runs were called ‘forest runs’ just fifteen years ago. Over the years this extreme endurance sport has been given a professional character. One look at the site of MudSweatTrails, thé Dutch site on the internet for trail runners and trail running, or the Airborne Freedom Trailaftermovie on YouTube is enough. Koopmans: “The organization of Bridge To Bridge was looking for an event on Saturday, the day before the big event on Sunday. That’s how Richard and I got in touch. We soon came to the area west of Arnhem. The three advance routes to Arnhem from the battle have been taken as a base for setting up three trails. Participants get sent a route book in advance with detailed information about the routes to the bridge, and about the events that took place 74 years ago. Along the way you’ll pass photo screens with images from the battle. You don’t just run over the DZ’s and LZ’s, but you’ll also visit the cemetery and the old church in Oosterbeek while running. Afterwards we’ll send an aftermovie to every runner.
For next year we are already thinking of giving the routes appropriate names, naming them after prominent people from the battle perhaps, and of adding more information on the battle, to give the run even more depth. In this way we try to blend in the historic facts with personal experiences.”

The 2018 Freedom Trail proved that the latest addition to the wide range of Airborne commemorations appeals to a large audience: some 800 runners participated. “Our goal for next year is 1250, with 250 English participants, if possible”, Richard Kaper (1973) adds. Richard is head of sport participation at NOC*NSF that is based on Papendal. Richard is from Arnhem and is an active trail runner. “I have been running far too little recently.
What binds all trail runners in any case is a deep passion for nature and the environment in which we practice our sport. And trail running is meditative. Participants in the Freedom Trail often have their own gripping story, a personal motivation to take part in this particular event. What is striking is that, for example, we have had a rather large group of Srebrenica veterans at the start. If I may say so, Dutch people generally have a somewhat volatile way of commemorating. In this trail run you experience quite a different thing: people really taking the time on the Airborne cemetery to find a place for the wooden Remembrance Cross that we provide them with, people who get completely silent when they run the old church at the Benedendorpsweg… When we started this trail run, we thought: ‘ How do we let runners stand still at certain points, how do we make sure that they actually get a feel of the events od September ‘44?’ But that proved no problem whatsoever. Participants are totally ‘switched on’ during the run, without a doubt. I think this has to a large extent to do with the fact that this sport revolves around the individual achievement.
When you arrive at the cemetery, you have already had time to think about things. Such a feat makes you even more aware of what the men had to endure at the time.” Kaper’s observations cannot be better illustrated than with Thomas Dunkerbeck’s words. Thomas is one of the best endurance athletes in the Netherlands. In the Aftermovie from 2017 he says about his greatest examples, two veterans he got acquainted with at a young age: “They are far more important to me than any top athlete ever”. While standing in his running kit between the headstones on the cemetery, he lets his tears run freely. You don’t get closer to the past as a sportsman. – Alexander Heusschen

The Airborne Freedom Trail consists of three different routes: the 44 km route, which starts on Ginkel Heath, a 28km one and 18 km trail, starting at the Papendal training centre. The finish is near the Airborne at the Bridge visitors’ centre in Arnhem. In 2019, the Freedom Trail will take place on September 14th. For more information: or

Since the 1990s an organized and appropriately authorized group of volunteers has searched for the remains of soldiers missing in the Arnhem area. In the course of their activities, they often unearth objects that are in some way related to the Battle of Arnhem. This group examined the field between Westerbouwing heights and Veerweg, the southwestern part of the Perimeter in november 2005. In a separate development, the regional Archeologisch Werkgemeenschap Nederland (Volunteer Archaeological Society Netherlands, AWN) started a World War 2 taskgroup which focuses on traces of military conflict in the landscape. This group made an inventory of the foxholes at the nearby Oorsprongbeek in 2017. Before discussing the remaining traces and finds from this area, we need to look at the events of 1944.

On and around the mentioned field heavy fighting took place in september 1944. I’ll specifically look at the events on Wednesday September 21st. At this time, the Westerbouwing heights were still occupied by B Company, 1st Battalion The Border Regiment, though they were under pressure from the Heveadorp area. They fiercely resisted the attacks by 10. Schiffsstammabteilung, a training unit of the Kriegsmarine. In the night of 20 on 21 September, this unit was replaced by another. This 3. Kompanie of the Ersatz und AusbildungsRegiment ‘Hermann Göring’ (another training unit, this time belon-

The spot of the destroyed Renault Char B of Leutnant Höser and the findspot of the exploded shell cartridges (within the white circle) shown on an Allied aerial reconnaissance photo. The photo combines multiple chronological moments: the tank is a relic of the attack in september 1944 from Westerbouwing in the direction of the Perimeter to the east. On this photo from February 14 1945, the vehicle is almost entirely surrounded by new trenches. These were part of a new defense line, set up áfter the Battle of Arnhem. The section of the socalled PantherStellung shown here used the nearby Rhine as a natural tankditch and was aimed to the South. The trench system at this time was not yet complete. Photos taken at a later date show that further trenches and positions had been dug. (collection: Wageningen University & Research, Special Collections).


Objects found in the field between Westerbouwing and Veerweg include a variety of brass shell cartridges for both the 4.7 and the 7.5 gun from the French tank of Leutnant Höser. This tank was disabled on September 21st, 1944, the ammuniation subsequently exploded. A small sign with French text was found as well. The text suggests the sign indicated the location of the spare parts and accessories (“accessoires & rechanges”) of (the carriage of) the 4.7cm gun. All these items were found at the location where the tank was destroyed, shown circled in white on the photo on page 12.

ging to the Luftwaffe) is also called the Wossowski Bataillon, after its commander.
In the early morning of the 21st, they were able to push the Borderers off the Westerbouwing, all the way back to the crossroads of Veerweg and Van Borsselenweg. For the situation that pertained henceforth, see the elevation map on page 15.
Wossowski itself took the strategic heights, but the infantry was supported by four tanks of Panzer Kompanie 224. This unit comparised a total of 18 French battleready tanks, most of them of the Renault Char B2type. These tanks had been captured much earlier in the war and had been repurposed by the German army.

Much is already known about this unit and its vehicles from earlier publications. We know, for instance, that in most tanks the 7.5cm hull gun had been replaced with a flamethrower. This horrible weapon was deployed in and around
Oosterbeek against the British. It should be noted that apart from the hullmounted flamethrower or 7.5cm gun, each tank also had a 4.7cm gun in a turret.
Most of these tanks met a sticky end. That goes for the attack by the Wossowski Bataillon and its French tanks as well. They moved east from the area of the Valkeniersbossen and Westerbouwing, both straight through the woods and across the Veerweg and Benedendorpsweg. The tank in front was put out of action on the field mentioned before. It was hit by the portable antitank weapon (PIAT) fired by Private George Everington (12 Platoon, B Coy, 1 Border), which forced it to a stop. Its commander, Leutnant Heinrich Höser was killed by British MG fire while trying to escape from the tank turret.
The tank remained right in the middle of the field.
All in all three of the four tanks deployed during this attack were quickly destroyed, two by Private Everington. The fourth tank withdrew soon after. The attack by Wossowski’s infantry went equally badly, suffering heavy casualties and Oberleutnant Artur Wossowski himself was killed.

Some of the finds that have come to light at the spot the tank was stopped in the field are quite interesting in the light of this history: exploded cartridge cases of both 4.7 and 7.5cm shells manufactured in France. These archaeological finds of cartridges in both calibers strongly suggest that the tank in the field was not a socalled Flammpanzer, as the tank still had both its original guns of 4.7 and 7.5cm. It also offers something to consider: was it a conscious decision to deploy this variant of the tank with both its guns instead of a flamethrower version? And if so, who made that decision? Did the open terrain in the field play a role, in constrast to the wooded area around it?
The condition of the finds also proves that the ammunition in the tank exploded after it was hit by British fire. The cartridge head has been torn loose from the rest of the cartridge and has curled up: obviously the shells exploded violently after the tank had caught fire. This object isn’t just a testimonial for the Germans’ use of unusual weaponry in their arsenal, but its condition also attests to the destructive force of a tank destroyed by British weaponry.

One of the elongated traces along Oorsprongbeek. Together with some other dips in the terrain, this trace has been interpreted for decades as a group of British foxholes from the Battle of Arnhem, even though recorded sources do not mention this location. (photo: Leo van Midden, Archeologische Werkgroep WO2 AWN17).

After much effort the Germans did succeed in capturing the VeerwegVan Borsselenweg crossroads. The remaining soldiers of B Coy 1 Border had already retreated in a (north) easterly direction. The positions of these units have been drawn on the map (see elevation map), but it is certainly possible that the written sources are incomplete.
With this in mind, it’s important to point to the foxholes still visible along Oorsprongbeek (again, see the elevation map). These foxholes have been known for decades and are often pointed out during Battlefield Tours. The (new) owner of the area, Geldersch Landschap & Kasteelen (The Gelderland Landscape heritage & Castles foundation), however, only recently requested the WW2 Archaeological taskforce of the AWN to write a report on these foxholes, so the foundation is better able to take these traces into account. This better enables the foundation to maintain these traces for the future.
It is generally supposed that the British foxholes date no later than September 22nd, 1944. The positions are elevated in relation to VeerwegVan Borsselenweg crossroads, the defended objective,

Elevation map of the area around Westerbouwing on the western edge of the Perimeter. British platoons belonging to B Company 1 Border were dug in here. The Wossowski Bataillon was under orders of Kampfgruppe ‘Von Tettau’. The map shows the situation of the attacks on September 21st 1944. It is easily visible that the Westerbouwing heights provide an important strategic advantage compared to the valley formed by the Oorsprongbeek brook, which ends at the crossroads. (source: AHN2, modified by the author).

and behind Oosprongbeek which acts as a sort of natural barrier. During the examination of these traces, it struck the researchers that the locations of these positions do not match the recorded deployment of units of 1 Border.
The registration of the traces along Oorsprongbeek and the finds in the field across from it are a great example of how traces of combat in the archaeological record and landscape can provide additional information to the wellknown written sources. – Martijn Reinders With thanks to Hans Timmerman, David van Buggenum and Leo van Midden.
• S. Eastwood, C. Gray en A. Green, When dragons flew; An illustrated history of 1st Battalion The Border Regiment 193945 (1994) • B. Gerritsen, Fighting the British at Arnhem; The SSUnterführerschule Arnheim, Its origins and operations against the 1st British Airborne Division September 1944 (2018) • Ph. Reinders, Panzer Kompanie C (No) 224 in the Netherlands 19431945 (2010) • M. Zwarts, German Armoured Units at Arnhem, September 1944 (2001)

Guestspeaker Florian Huiskamp on the role of Sosabowski before and during the battle.

On Friday evening the 19th of October the SFAM organised its second Airborne themeevening. The theme for this evening was the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade during Operation Market Garden. Dr. Florian Huiskamp was our main speaker for this event. He was promoted on the subject of‘ Polish soldiers in western Europe during World War 2’ in 2015 and turned out to be a real subject matter expert. In the presence of 42 attendees he went back in time to the September days in 1944 and zoomedin on the combat operations north and south of the river Rijn.
Anyone who wants to understand the Polish military presence in western Europe during World War 2, will find its prelude in the Interbellum; the years between the First and Second World War. Dr. Huiskamp briefly elaborated on the consequences of the founding of a renewed Polish state in 1918, the importance of a militarised society and the meaning
of Polish patriotism. A society in which young men were prepared to serve in the Armia Krajowa, the Polish Army in Poland. Most attendees were, besides the role of the Polish Parachute Brigade, undoubtedly aware of the contribution to the liberation of southern Netherlands by the Polish Armoured Division. The size of these, and other Polish forces however turned out to be a surprise. After the release of Polish soldiers from Russian imprisonment, as a consequence of the SikorskyMaisky treaty in July 1942, more than 150.000 of them found their way to the West. An additional 200.000 fought, whether or not under pressure of the Russians, in the Red Army against the Germans.

With regard to this theme it is important to understand that it has been stipulated by the Polish government in exile that the newly created Polish Parachute Brigade primarily was to participate in the liberation of Poland. For that reason they didn’t take part in the operations in Normandy in the summer of 1944. The Brigade solely was to be used in smaller operations and would have been extracted in case it suffered more than a 15% casualty rate. This prerequisite might explain MajorGeneral Sosabowski’s sceptical attitude towards Operation Market Garden’s feasibility. We have to take into account that the Polish paratroopers presumably considered the developments with regard tot the Warsaw uprising more important than their contribution to the liberation of Holland. The uprising in Warsaw started at the 1st of August. For a long time the Polish paratroopers to play a role in this uprising.

The meaning of MajorGeneral Sosabowski as the commander of the Polish Parachute Brigade, and his attitude towards his British superiors didn’t remain unmentioned. Dr. Huiskamp portrayed MajorGeneral Sosabowski as a patriotic, social and paternal leader who, with a strong developed sense of ethics, really took care of his soldiers. It’s true that Sosabowski was critical on the initial plan of Market Garden and its underestimation of the German military strength, but he was determined as well.
Field Marshall Montgomery’s critics after the operation, and his accusation that ‘The Poles fought very badly’, as a consequence of Sosabowski poor leadership, also is completely unjustified.

In his presentation Dr. Huiskamp clarified the challenges and setbacks the Polish Brigade was confronted with. According to the initial plan the Polish paratroopers were supposed to land on Tuesday 19th of September just south of the bridge at Arnhem. Due to bad weather conditions in England the drop was postponed until the planned drop south of Arnhem bridge was no longer an option. An alternative Dropping Zone was allocated close to the village of Driel. From there the Polish paratroopers were supposed to cross the river Rhine making use of the ferry and reinforce Major General Urquhart’s beleaguered troops at Oosterbeek. Major General Sosabowski was forced to make this new plan while waiting at the airstrip of Saltby airfield. He shared this plan with his battalion and company commanders on Wednesday the 20th. But the departure was again postponed, just after the engines of the aircraft were started.

Maj.-Gen. Sosabowski inspects his troops.

Another day later, the Poles departed for Holland on Thursday the 21th of September. Of the original 114 aircraft, just 72 arrived at Dropping Zone K at the end of the afternoon. The remaining 42 aircraft were ordered to return to England during their flight due to bad weather conditions. Instead of the 1568 departed Polish paratroopers just 1003 reached Dropping Zone K. They belonged to 2nd and 3rd Battalion. The casualties during the landing were limited despite the fact that the Germans were able to bring effective machine gun and mortar fire at the Dropping Zone. Immediately after the landing the Poles were heading towards the southern river banks
only to find out that the ferry is not present anymore and the opposite side of the river in German hands.

On 2230 hours in the evening Captain Ludwik Zwolanski reports to Major General Sosabowski. Zwolanski is the Polish Brigade’s liaison officer at 1st Airborne Division HQ. He has swum across the river and is carrying a message from Major General Urquhart. His urgent request is to cross the river this night using im provised rafts. These rafts will be ready at 0100 hours. Anxiously the Poles wait until 0300 hours. When no rafts show up, Major General Sosabowski is forced to withdraw his soldiers to the village of Driel.

In the early morning of Friday the 22th of September, the first elements of 30 Army Corps’ reconnaissance unit, the Household Cavalry Regiment, arrive at Driel. Two platoons commanded by Captain Wrottesley were able to make use of the dense morning fog and arrive at Driel via Valburg and Heteren. Later that day they are followed by a battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry reinforced by a squadron of tanks of the Dragoon Guards.

In the evening a second attempt is made to ferry troops to the northern bank of the river. This time 8th Parachute Company is tasked to do so. Unfortunately only 5 small inflatable boats are available. With these boat 52 Polish paratroopers are ferried across the river. Saturday the 23rd of September is used to plan a collaborative effort to bring more Polish paratroopers and infantry units of 130th Infantry Brigade across the river. Sosabowski’s Chief of Staff is assured that more boats will be made available and that the crossing will be supported by 30 Army Corps’ artillery. In the afternoon the remaining Polish paratroopers, who were called back at Thursday, finally arrive in Holland. They land by parachute close to Grave and march on foot to Driel were they arrive on Sunday.
The third attempt to cross the river is made in the night from Saturday to Sunday. In the end only a limited amount of boats is made available. This results in an additional 153 Polish paratroopers reinforcing the defensive positions in Oosterbeek.

On Sunday morning the 24th of September Lieutenant General Horrocks, commander 30 Army Corps, visits Driel. To Major General Sosabowski’s surprise he is not accompanied by Lieutenant General Browning, commander of 1st Airborne Corps.
From the church tower Sosabowski informs Horrocks about the current situation. Horrocks is listening but doesn’t react. After the update he orders Sosabowski to report that afternoon at the HQ of 43 Wessex Infantry Division at Valburg. It turns out to be an inconvenient meeting. Besides Lieutenant Generals Horrocks and Browning, the commander of the 43 Wessex Division, Major General Thomas, is present. Initially Sosabowski’s translator Lieutenant Dyrda is not given permission to be present during the meeting. Only after some Polish urging does Browning agree. Major General Thomas opens the meeting by informing Sosabowski that his brigade is now under his command. He continues by announcing this night’s upcoming crossing operation. An operation to be executed by 130th Infantry Brigade with its 4th Battalion The Dorset Regiment and 1st Polish Parachute Battalion. The operation will be lead by Brigadier Walton, 130th Infantry Brigade’s commander. It’s an overt provocation. Not just because Thomas is deciding which Polish battalion is to take part in the operation. But specifically because the crossing operation is to be executed by a general lower in rank than Major General Sosabowski. It results in a serious disagreement after which furiously Horrocks reacts at Sosabowski that ‘you are under my command and you have to do as ordered’.

Intermission during the theme evening at ‘t Huukske.

In the end the operation is carried out that night. Not with the purpose to reinforce the existing bridgehead of 1st Airborne Division, but to hold the perimeter in own hands and to facilitate 1st Airborne Division’s retreat. With just 9 inflatable boats the Dorsets are the first to cross. Their mission is to seize the Westerbouwing heights. Just half of the battalion succeeds in crossing the river. Most of them are taken prisoner when they reach the opposite bank. This last attempt to bring forces to the northern bank turns out to be an additional failure.
In the afternoon of the 25th of September the decision is made to retreat the remaining elements of 1st Airborne Division to the southern bank of the river. This operation will take place the same night.
Under cover of darkness and artillery support Urquhart’s men silently move in the direction of the river. The soldiers of 8 Parachute Company are among the forces to act as rearguard. Just 2323 soldiers of 1st Airborne Division reach the southern bank of the river. Amongst them 160 paratroopers of the Polish Parachute Brigade. Approximately 120 Polish paratroopers get captured. That same day the Polish Parachute Brigade leaves Driel on foot. They march from Driel to Nijmegen. On the 6th of October the Polish Brigade is transferred to a British base close to the Belgian Canal coast. From Oostende harbour they return to England by boat on the 10th and 11th of October. – Otto van Wiggen

Dr. Florian Huiskamp’s thesis ’Without fear and without reproach’ (‘Zonder vrees en zonder verwijt’) can be viewed and downloaded for free on

The Hague 2006: Queen Beatrix awards the Order of William to members of the 6 Brygada Powietrznodesantowa (the 6th Polish Parachute Brigade from Krakau), the successors of the 1st Brigade.

The Polish paratroopers who fought in Holland in September 1944 had to wait 62 years before their rehabilitation. This postponed rehabilitation came too late for most of them. Just one official action could have initiated the formal award for the Polish Parachute Brigade already during the sixties of the previous century.
It’s late in the afternoon of the 21th of September when the first Polish paratroopers land by parachute south of the Rhine near the village of Driel.
At that moment Operation Market Garden is in its fifth day. The situation on the British side at Arnhem is severe. The Arnhem bridge has been retaken by the Germans and the 1st Airborne Division is surrounded in a small perimeter in Oosterbeek. Polish suport is much needed. In the days to follow Polish paratroopers are ferried across the
Rhine to support their besieged comrades. Despite these attempts the 1st Airborne Division is forced to retreat on the 26th of September. As a result of the combat operations more than 100 Polish paratroopers are killed in action. In the aftermath of the operation British army command blames the Poles for ‘not having being combat ready’ and ‘not having fought bravely’. As a result the British command forces the brigade commander, Major General Sosabowski, to resign on the 9th of December.

55 Years after the battle, Dutch student journalism, Geertjan Lassche, is in the process of making a documentary for the Evangelical Broadcasting about a Dutch nurse from Driel, Cora Baltussen, and a Polish veteran: Corporal Wladislaw Korob. The movie describes their experiences in the vicinity of Driel during the Battle of Arnhem. When Lassche learns about the fact that the Polish paratroopers have never been awarded for their contribution, he commits himself to produce a television documentary about the Polish participation in the battle.
In January 2004 Lassche is given permission and a budget from the Evangelical Broadcasting to start the production. In the following months he is able to interview a large number of veterans, eye witnesses and previous commanders about the case. Bit by bit Lassche discovers that various efforts have been tried in the past to honour the Polish Parachute Brigade. In the summer of 2004 he opens up a document in the archives of the Ministry of Defence in which Queen Wilhelmina approves a presentation to award 10 Polish paratroopers for bravery. Additional to this, a letter written in 1961 by Cora Baltussen is found in which she requests the Queen to award the Polish Brigade. It turns out that Queen Wilhelmina’s approval has been sent forward to the Ministry, but that it has been pushed aside because it concerned ‘a political sensitive issue’.
Lassche thereafter tries to contact Prince Bernhard. The Prince is willing to cooperate. At that moment he is unaware of Queen Wilhelmina’s approval. In September television channel Netwerk informs the Ministry of Defence about the existence of these documents. They request an interview with Henk Kamp, the Minister for Defence. Henk Kamp responds that a Ministerial Decision, originating from 1952, prevents him to reward acts of bravery committed during World War 2. Prince Bernhard calls upon the Dutch Parliament to reward the Polish Parachute Brigade and their commander posthumously with the highest Dutch award, the Military Order of William.
Television Channel programme broadcasts an condensed version of Geertjan Lassche’s documentary ‘God bless Montgomery’, ‘the forgotten Poles in the Battle of Arnhem’ on the 14th of September. This is followed by an interview with Prince Bernhard. Additional new facts emerge about the Polish contributions demonstrated during the Battle of Arnhem. After the broadcast questions are raised in Parliament by Frans Timmermans (Socialist Party) and Hans van Baalen (Liberal Party). The formal reaction of Henk Kamp is that the Ministerial Decision from 1952 precludes an official award. Timmermans and van Baalen are tenacious. They submit a resolution in which they request the Parliament to task the Capittel of the Military Order of William to investigate options to reward posthumously. This resolution is accepted unanimously.
One year later, on the 9th of December, sufficient evidence has been collected to demonstrate that soldiers of the Polish Parachute Brigade fought bravely indeed. Their contribution was more than important during the entire operation. The investigation team lays hands on an encrypted message of Field Marshall Montgomery in which he accuses the Polish soldiers of not fighting well.
This statement is the most important evidence of the British humiliation of the Poles.
On the 31st of May 2006, Queen Beatrix, reaches out the Order of William to the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade. Major General Sosabowski’s relatives receive the Bronze Lion, in the name of the deceased General. – Otto van Wiggen

Photo 1: German soldiers from various units (photograph: Kriegsberichter Pospesch. Source: Bundesarchiv)

For the time being this will be the last photo in the series ‘discovery of an unknown location’ of a photograph taken during the battle of Arnhem. It’s not sure if this picture was taken at the time. The official caption only reads: “Schlacht um Arnheim (…) Zu den rasch zusammengefasste deutsche Kräften, die gegen die gelandeten Truppen eingesetzt werden, gehören Grenadiere des Heeres, Männer der Polizei, Fallschirmjäger und SSPanzergrenadiere.”

The location was unknown. The photo is much used in books on the battle because it illustrates the diversity of German troops quite well, and thus the German improvisational abilities. A Waffen SS officer, Fallschirmjäger, Luftwaffe soldiers and regular Wehrmacht soldiers can be seen. The details in the background have often led to wrong conclusions. The scene was often wrongly placed at the railway yard in Arnhem, because of the visible overhead lines. It turns out that it is not Arnhem, but a city further south: the photo was taken in the Keizer Lodewijkplein (nowadays the Trajanusplein) in Nijmegen! The trees in the background are in the Hunnerpark. We are looking northwest, the Waal bridge is behind the trees. The SS Hauptsturmführer, identifiable by the rank insignia, is most likely Karl Heinz Euling, the commander of the German positions in that area. The pylons and other posts can be seen on several photos from 1944-45 (see pictures 2 to 4).

Photo 2: A German 88mm gun in Keizer Lodewijkplein, looking south to the Meester Franckenstraat. (source: collection of the Regional Archive, Nijmegen)

Aerial photos show there were six roads leading into the square and two tram lines across it. Both tram lines came from the St. Jorisstraat on the southern border of the Hunnerpark, a double line led to the Meester Franckenstraat, and the other single line ran down Ubbergseweg, along the back of Huize Belvoir. The dark pylon right in the middle of the Pospesch photo belongs to the Ubbergseweg tram line. The curved crossbar on which the overhead line hangs is situated on the left of the tram. The other white poles and the ‘portal’ only appear on photos from 194445. Perhaps it is a kind of emergency suspension for the overhead line of the other tram line. Finding a location like this is like looking for a pin in a haystack. The trick is to make the haystack smaller. In addition, you have to be lucky. This time part of the solution, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts, was photographer Pospesch. Only a handful of photos are known of him during Market Garden, including a few from the battle around the Pannerden ferry. He was attached to the Frundsberg division and made photographs of the units crossing there. In these photos in Market Garden then and now from Karel Margry (p. 359) you immediately encounter a Hauptsturmführer in the description: Euling. His unit was one of the first to cross and would eventually arrive in Nijmegen around noon on the 18th.

Photo 3: Keizer Lodewijkplein, looking east. In the background the burntdown Huize Belvoir, the position of the Fallschirmjäger (source: collection of the Regional Archive, Nijmegen. Photo 4: Keizer Lodewijkplein, looking south. Left, behind the post: Graadt van Roggenstraat, right: Meester Franckenstraat (source: collection of the Regional Archive, Nijmegen

Euling took command of the position that protected the southern ramp of the Waal bridge, in the Hunnerpark and around the Keizer Lodewijkplein. Searching on photos from 1944/1945 then yielded the result of photos 2 to 4.

With that, all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. It is known that Kampfgruppe Euling consisted, among other things, of units of Fallshirmjäger, Luftwaffe (Hermann Göring) and WaffenSS. This is exactly the same as the soldiers depicted in Pospesch’s photo (1). We also know that Pospesch was in Nijmegen because of the statement from miss C. Omboo from Lent: “On Sunday evening, September 17th, a German press photographer came to ask us for quartering. The photographer said: “Ich mache das Sie nicht mehr Soldaten bekommen! The name of the photographer was Carl Pospesch. He came back from Nijmegen with holes in his trousers, from the shooting at the Valkhof’.”

Photo 5: Obersturmbannfuhrer Otto Paetsch (who also fought in Arnhem), Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel and Euling. The photo was taken in February of 1945. (Source for photo 6: Bundesarchiv, 18320060819500)

If September 18th is correct, then the photo must have been taken on the afternoon of the 18th, because Euling was not there before that date. And then about the identification of Euling: on famous photographs of him from the war he almost always wears a field cap. That was not very common, but it was also not exceptional (see photo 5). There is certainly a similarity in the Hauptsturmführer of photos 1 and 5. That, added to the time and location, makes it almost certain that our man is Euling. A few years earlier and we could have asked him; he passed away in 2014.
– Paul Meiboom With thanks to Karel Margry for the original caption (photo 1) and Bob Gerritsen for the quote from Mrs. Omboo from Lent.

Teerosen op de Veluwe by Willem Tiemens, a book that was published over 30 years ago, is still something special. Not only because it is about the then new Ylevel system of the Luftwaffe, but also because it relates extensively about the daily life of the women and men who where billeted on Terlet and the Zijpenberg (a ridge of hills in the province of Gelderland) during the Second World War. Both positions were codenamed Teerosen T for Terlet.
Before Teerosen on the Veluwe came out Tiemens had already published another book: Facetten van de Slag om Arnhem (1984): it contains a number of subjects that deal with the Battle of Arnhem, such as the alleged betrayal of double spy Christiaan Lindemans, aka King Kong. But it also carried a story about Diogenes and Teerosen, the German Luftwaffe command bunker of the 3. JagdDivision on the Koningsweg in Schaarsbergen and both Teerosen radio traffic interception units, where hardly anyone knew anything about it at that moment.
The most interesting chapter of this book is the translation of a diary of a noncommissioned officer of Teerosen 2, under the title ‘I like it here …’.
This diary was found shortly after the war in one of the vacant barracks at the huge Diogenes command bunker. Tiemens later managed to trace the family of the author in question and was given permission to publish the diary notes from 17 February to 23 July 1943 in translated and anonymized form. This story gives a special insight into the daily life of the men and women on the Zijpenberg and Terlet and has undoubtedly been the reason for Tiemens to find out more about the two Teerosen positions, through the contacts with the Interessengemeinschaft Luftnachrichten Regiment 201. During the annual meetings of this veteran club Tiemens spoke with the elderly men and women, and he got access to unique photo material from private collections.
In the end these stories and photographs formed the basis of what we now know as the Teerosen book, a publication of which, to my knowledge, there is no equivalent worldwide.

Teerosen op de Veluwe Written by: W.H. Tiemens Publisher: Lunet, Naarden 1986 ISBN: 9071743012 Format: 125 pages

Usually this type of publications deal with military actions, the tactics used and the technical background, but they are not the main focus of attention in this book. Teerosen op de Veluwe is mainly about how the boys and girls of the Luftnachrichtendienst in the two new Teerosen positions on the heath near Arnhem tried to get through the war as pleasant as possible. It will came as no surprise that amorous encounters happened between the soldiers, the conscripted men and female volunteers of the Luftnachrichtendienst. It all can be read extensively in this book and in Facetten van de slag om Arnhem. Marriages and possibly also Teerosen children have occurred.
For some of the Teerosen men the war ended less peacefully: about 50 of them were deployed at the battle in Elden and Elst from 20 September 1944, under the leadership of Hauptmann Willi Weber.
In Teerosen op de Veluwe it is stated that Weber was ‘mainly interested in an award’, which he was told by his former colleagues after the war. Interesting in the context of the historiography surrounding the Battle of Arnhem is also the correspondence that Tiemens had with FliegerHauptingenieur Wolfgang Fricke, a civilian DiplomEngineer with the military rank ‘auf Kriegsdauer’,
who together with his chief Oberleutnant dr. J.A. Schaeder was responsible for the technical development and tests under war conditions of, among other things, the new Ysystem. This technical staff was housed in Arnhem in the Christelijk Lyceum on the Utrechtseweg. Fricke describes in his letters exactly what happened on 17 September 1944 in the city and how they had to leave the battle front.

Facetten van de Slag om Arnhem Written by: W.H. Tiemens Publisher: De Gooise Uitgeverij Weesp 1984 ISBN: 9026945701 Format: 192 pages

Visitors at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek.

That the technical and tactical information written down by Tiemens about the Ylevel system is incomplete and is now somewhat outdated here and there, is easily said with hindsight. Tiemens did not have a medium like the internet at that time, forty years after the end of the war. All information had to be recorded from existing publications, where available, correspondence and conversations with eyewitnesses. That all interviewed exservicemen and women did not exactly know what happened and when, after 40 years had passed, is even less surprising; the Ysystem was top secret after all and information was provided purely on a ‘needtoknow’ basis. Willem Tiemens, who passed away in 2005, cannot be condemned for that. It is his merit that he has taken the trouble to speak and write to the people who where there and who lived through the days, and thus to record an important piece of Arnhem war history. It is only right and proper that the Teerosen book is still wanted today. Years ago I bought my copy at De Slegte for a few Guilders. Mint copies are worth at least ten times that amount in Euros now. – Willem Kleijn More:
In this new section Forgotten work we highlight publications that have withstood the test of time well, and which for that reason are still important for a broader understanding of the military operations in the east of the Netherlands during World War Two.

Every year in September, when the streets of Oosterbeek are marked by maroon flags, the fallen airbornes are commemorated. Increasingly this is done by personal messages and stories which are left close to the graves on Oosterbeek cemetery. What do these messages tell us?
In the leafy northern edge of Oosterbeek, the Airborne cemetery is situated, fringed by oak trees which hardly tend to autumn on this beautiful day. In the silence, acorns can be heard plumping down. High in the blue sky the thin cry of a buzzard can occasionally be heard. On the sundrenched cemetery, flowers attract the attention: on the white natural stones with the inscription ‘Stone of Remembrance’ and to the lawn in front of the tombstones. The flowers disturb the tight rhythm of white and green. The asters, golden daisies, sunflowers, white roses and little bouquets in red, white and blue have been laid down here a week ago by local school children; on each of the 1754 graves. A tradition started in 1954.
Messages have been placed on many graves, attached to flowers or wreaths or just on a piece of paper. Quite often it is a personal message directed at the deceased, like ‘My darling Dad, Love and miss you always’. A wooden memorial is inscribed ‘from your grandsons who never knew you, from your son who never forgot you’. Not just family members come to Oosterbeek to commemorate their dead, but other relatives as well. On behalf of the cadets and students of St. Mary’s College Crosby plastic poppy wreaths are placed at two graves of former pupils of this school in the vicinity of Liverpool.
Often the framed and laminated messages are addressed to the visitors. Some concise, others more lengthy. The stories illuminate the military career and explain where and when the one died. Corporal Henry Large’s family narrates that he reenlisted voluntarily after he got wounded in June 1944 at Caen in Normandy. He fought with the 5th Battalion the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry and ‘was killed in action at Driel, Holland, we think’.

Other messages go beyond just the personal level.
They comment on historiography such as at Canadian Sapper McKee’s grave. McKee is one of the seven Canadian soldiers who perished during Operation Berlin, the evacuation and crossing of 1st Airborne Division to the southern bank of the river Rhine.
The author notes that most reports about the Battle of Arnhem don’t pay attention to the evacuation and often even ignore the Canadian contribution to the operation. ‘Buck’ McKee was hit by shrapnel, while he was engaged in dragging the canvas boats from the trucks to the bank of the river.
Some texts go one step further yet, by commenting on the identification of a few Polish graves. They show portraits with an explanation attached in English and Polish, and are accompanied by email addresses. On a tombstone of an unknown Polish soldier, with just the rank and the indication ‘September 1944’ on it, a note is placed that reveals the name and unit, but also where, when and how the soldier was killed in action. At the graves of two unknown Polish soldiers, an attached piece of paper explains which person is buried in one of them. This Polish soldier was shot shortly after the landing, after he surrendered to the Germans. Three additions can be found, on one of them at a named tombstone.
Spread around Oosterbeek cemetery one can witness the report of one Pole’s passionate search for the identity of his killed compatriots. A noble aspiration, but you have to be absolutely certain to argue who the unknown dead are at a cemetery, and even more so to report a wrong name on tombstone. Try to imagine what Polish relatives must feel who find such a text on the grave of their loved one.

Except through the written notes, the memory of the dead is kept alive by pictures. Many graves are decorated with individual portraits, often posed, some in uniform, mostly black and white and some coloured. Some pictures, made during the battle, stand out. One shows private William Preen of the Parachute Regiment. A famous war time photo is stuck in the ground in front of his grave. It shows some airbornes defending a trench along the Van Lennepweg in Oosterbeek. Preen turns out to be the most left soldier, equipped with a Stengun. The text refers to a Market Garden website of a Dutch teenager. At sergeant Turl’s grave, a Glider Pilot, lies another well known picture, hidden behind a vase of roses. A picture revealing two glider pilots cautiously entering the burntout school along the Kneppelhoutweg.
John Turl is the man in the back armed with a Lee Enfield rifle, according to the handwritten note. The picture was made on the 21st of September, just four days before Turl was killed. It’s jarring to see these pictures not in a book, but on the grave of the man in the photograph.

Messages are left on war memorials as well. In fact, I came across the same message in different places.
It creates the impression of family members conducting a commemoration tour. A framed message at the grave of Sergeant George Edward Thomas tells us how he commanded a 17pounder antitank gun positioned in the flood plains nearby the Old Church in Oosterbeek. There he was fatally injured. The message mentions how his wife’s ashes have been scattered over his grave, 62 years after his own death. His family visited the Old Church at Oostbeek as the identical framed text placed at the memorial behind the church tells us.

Even after the war deceased veterans were commemorated in various locations around Arnhem and Oosterbeek. Even veterans who were buried elsewhere, like Ken Fleet, B company 156 Parachute Battalion. His friends commemorate him with flowers at lieutenantcolonel Des Voeux’s, his Commanding Officer, grave. Flowers have been laid for him on locations where this battalion fought. Such as the battlefield markers at the Dreyenseweg and at Hackett’s Hollow close to Valkenburglaan. Fleet died in 2005 at the age of 89. Signaller George Wray, 2nd Parachute Battalion, survived the war. He was able to reach Arnhem bridge, got injured and was taken prisoner. The signaller managed to escape, married after the war and got two children, according to the text which is illustrated with pictures of Wray. Pictures where he is behind the wheel of a jeep, posing in front of a Dakota airplane and drinking beer with his comrades. Messages about George Wray can be found on Oosterbeek cemetery in front of the ‘Cross of Sacrifice’, but at the Airborne Memorial in front of Hartenstein and at the Old Church in Oosterbeek as well.

The Polish researcher who is investigating the missing persons also made a tour along the battlefields. He attached a written note to a tree at the Hemelse Berg. Two additional Polish soldiers are thought to be buried in a field grave close by. They died the day after they successfully crossed the river Rhine and reached Oosterbeek. Two bouquets, a red rose and a small Polish flag turn this tree into a memorial place. Through these messages left behind, some soldiers get a face. We get a glimpse of their fortunes and feel how they are missed. They are just a few of the 1754 buried dead. The ones without a name, a face or a story are not missed less. This realization speaks from the contemplation laid down at some unnamed graves by a visitor. Every name is a face Every face is a human Every human an empty place Every empty place sadness Every face a unique sadness. – Ruurd Kok Thanks to Geert Maassen commenting previous versions of this article.

Albin Krzysik

Objects that have a relationship with the Battle of Arnhem can ben found not only at the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek, but also at various museums in the Netherlands and abroad. The collection of the Overloon War Museum holds a service dress of a Polish parachutist that raises some intriguing questions.
In the nineties, the Airborne Museum was notified by the Polish embassy that a Polish veteran wanted to donate his service dress to the museum. The Polish military attaché at the time felt, however, that the uniform was a better fit for the War and Resistance Museum in Overloon (now: Overloon War Museum). The Airborne Museum already had a number of Polish uniforms and Overloon gladly added the desired item to the collection.

Krzysik carried the following batons:: Top row: Krzyz Walecznych 19391940 (‘Cross for bravery’), Krzyz NA POLU CHWALY 1944 (Cross ‘On the field of honour’), Medal WOJSKA with buckle for the 2nd award (Army Medal) Bottom row: The War Medal; The Africa Star; The France and Germany Star. On the left chest pocket we see the badge of the prewar Polish Highland Rifle Brigade.

The service dress was worn by 2/Lt. Albin Krzysik.  Albin was, according to tradition, part of

On the uniform we see his parachutist badge with laurel wreath. The wings are numbered 553, the number of the laurel wreath for combat jumps is 26. The current uniform has the rank of a captain. For his dedication, Krzysik received the Cross for courage. The right and left collar bears the emblem of the Polish parachutists. These are embroidered and are probably a private purchase.

the Polish front detachment and landed, so the story continues, north of the Lower Rhine during the Battle of Arnhem. This is not very likely, according to Jan Lorys’ 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade Group: Polish Airborne Forces at World War II at ArnhemDriel 1944: list of participants. On page 66 I read that Krzysik belonged to brigade headquarters and landed on an unknown date. And by glider.
But how did Albin get the laurel wreath for his battle jumps? The only jump he could have made during Market Garden was on Driel. Unless he landed with the main force of 1st Airborne on September 17th. I once again picked
up a book. In George Cholewczynski’s The Poles of Driel I read that on that day only one Polish parachutist jumped, namely: Alphons Pronobis, 1st Lieutenant, wing number 1353, Battle Jump No. 14. Alphons was a scout for the brigade. Interestingly, according to the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum, Alphons did not land on 17 September, but on 18 September 1944. Also by glider. One of these ten Polish gliders transported a detachment of the brigade headquarters.
That Cholewczynski is wrong is not very likely. The name and date are too specific for that.
But how the laurel wreath ended up on Krzysik’s uniform probably only Albin knew. – Wybo Boersma

At the start in 1993 the website was one of the first websites on the Dutch internet. The globally operating Market Garden Foundation (MGF) now has quite a track record that goes far beyond running a site. A brief history of the foundation from the 60th commemoration of the battle onwards.

2004: Unveiling of the Digital Monument, officially launched during the 60th anniversary with a live broadcast on television. The Digital Monument contains files with data and photographs of more than 3,363 airborne troops, support units and 640 civilians who died during Operation Market Garden.
Many files contain information about the circumstances in which or where the person has been killed.
The Digital Monument is still being expanded. In 2004, the MGF also launched a tshirt campaign for the school children of Oosterbeek. The shirts, with the famous quote “I am a child of freedom” on them, are now a collector’s item.

2005: Publication of the book All men are brothers, containing the roll of honour of the 1st (Polish) Independent Parachute Brigade

2006: Unveiling of the Aircrew monument, at the back of the Airborne Museum. Since 2006 a commemoration has taken place every year. 2006 was also the year of the rehabilitation of the Poles; MGF is supervisor of the Bronze Lion of the Sosabowski family.

2012: Taxi crossing from England: 86 London cabs carrying 160 WW2 veterans to attend the Dutch May 4th commemorations and the celebration of Liberation Day on the 5th.

2013: Creation of the RECCE monument, behind the ‘needle’ opposite the museum.

2015: 4 and 5 May: the last big ‘taxiaction’ of British WW2 veterans, including a large number of Market Garden and Arnhem veterans.

2016-2018: Organization of a guest of honour event for the 70th Airborne Walking Tour: five Arnhem veterans who also came by taxi.

2018: Unveiling the monument for Dakota 626 at the Bakenbergseweg in Arnhem, in collaboration with The Royal British Legion Holland Branch. For further details see: More about this monument in the next issue of Airborne Magazine.


Why, ‘battlefield tours only for middleaged men, clad in polo shirts with regimental badges?’ Teun van Ingen, a teenager with a keen interest in military history, proves otherwise. He wrote to our magazine about the Border Regiment trip he went on in October.

Hello, my name is Teun van Ingen, I am thirteen years old and I live in Rhenen. On 6 October I went on a battlefield tour with my father. It was about the 1st battalion of the Border Regiment. I knew almost nothing about this battalion beforehand, so at first it was a bit difficult to understand which company landed and in what direction they were going.
I take an interest in the Second World War and I already did a presentation at school about the Grebbeberg. I take part in the Airborne walking tour every year and have been to the museum a few times, but I never really thought about the battle of Arnhem. By the way, I am a Vitesse fan and I know that Vitesse plays a game in the Airborne shirt every September. But I did not know that much about Market Garden.
Because I wanted to know more about the battle, I joined a battlefield tour of the VVAM. I really liked it! I was amazed by what had happened everywhere, not just by the movements of the troops, but also by a lot of personal stories of soldiers and civilians. The break was very nice; the reenactors made the whole story very special. They did several mockups of what had happened on the very spot where it all took place in 1944, and they showed how certain actions had developed.
I learned a lot about the landing zones and the various units that landed around Oosterbeek. But I learned a lot from the Allies also, even from the German side and what happened there. I have now been to a number of places where I often pass during the walking tour and where something very important has happened.
For me the best thing of the tour were the guides: Erik and Luuk. They were so attentive. And the further we came the more I felt I had to know more about the battle. If I ever have the chance to go on a tour again, I would definitely do so. I may have learned more from this tour than from an entire book. To sum it up in one word: great!!!
Best wishes, Teun van Ingen

15 February: Theme night ‘Antitank during the Battle of Arnhem’

16 March: General members meeting with a lecture on the Landstorm

13 April: Book fair

27 April: Battlefield tour: 156 Parachute Bn 1216 May: Battlefield tour: Normandy

18 May: Halfday theme ‘The Glider Pilot Regiment’

June: Theme night (to be decided)

7 September: Battlefield tour: Lombok (Arnhem) September: Battlefield tour: Market Garden (to be decided)

5 October: Battlefield tour: Pegasus 2

16 November: Airborne Day

13 December: Theme night (to be decided)

For further information concerning the various activities, to sign up for events, or to make changes to reservations, please visit or send an email to:

Member displays at Airborne Day 2018.


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THE BACK COVER: On 11 November 2018, Independence Day in Poland, president Andrzej Duda handed out posthumously the Order of the White Eagle to Stanislaw Sosabowski (18921967). This year it is 100 years since Poland regained its independence. The Order of the White Eagle, Order Orła Białego in Polish, is the highest award of Poland awarded to both citizens and soldiers for their great earnings. The order has been posthumously awarded to 24 other famous Poles.

The Airborne Magazine is a publication by the Society Friends of the Airborne Muse-um, Oosterbeek and is released three times a year. The purpose of the magazine is to promote the Airborne Museum, the activities of the Society of Friends, and the general history surrounding the Battle of Arnhem.
Editorial staff:
Alexander Heusschen (, Jasper Oorthuys, Otto van Wiggen
Contributions by: Wybo Boersma, Alexander Heusschen, Teun van Ingen, Erik Jellema, Willem Kleijn, Ruurd Kok, Paul Meiboom, Leo van Midden, Martijn Reinders, Otto van Wiggen
Archive and magazine back
Design and layout: Christy Beall
Printing: Grafi Advies, Zwolle
SFAM Email address: SFAM telephone number: +31 06 510 824 03.
Mailing address: VVAM, Wissenkerkepad 22, 6845 BW, Arnhem.

Oil painting of Maj. Gen Stanislaw Sosabowski at the Muzeum Wojska Polskiego, Warsaw Poland. (see also page 35)

NO.12 AIRBORNE MAGAZINE A publication by the Society Friends of The Airborne Museum 30/08/2018

3. From the board: Society affairs

5. Obituary of honorary chairman chairman Chris van Roekel

7. Archaeology: A recently discovered shell fragment

9.Arnhem Lombok 18 / 19 September 1944

10. Learning about the Battle of Arnhem by listening

12. 1st Battalion the Border Regiment during the Battle of Arnhem

24. Ministory number 128: Determining the location of a famous photo (2)

27. Germans on the west side

28. An exciting discovery by Arnhem bridge

32. Soldiers of the Air Mobile Brigade visit the Airborne cemetary

35. 2018 Program

Cover: The tank track recently found near the bridge most likely comes from the Panzer IV depicted on the cover.

After the conclusion of the general members meetins on March 17th, retired Captain Jack Bakker, curator of the Special Forces Regiment’s historical collection, gave a lecture on the history of the unit.( Photo: Willem Kleijn)

A formal report of the General Members Meeting (GMM) of March 17 this year will appear in due course on the Society’s website, but the board feels it is important to draw your attention to some important matters at this time.
First of all, the relationship between the Society and the Airborne Museum. At the start of January we received written notification from the Airborne Museum that it had decided to cancel the existing cooperation with the SFAM. As far as the Airborne Museum was concerned there was not
enough reciprocity in our collaboration. From the point of view of the Museum, the SFAM remitted too little of its income to the museum and the Museum considered the Society was not sufficiently willing to match its activities with those of the Museum. For this reason, the Museum decided that the entrance to the Museum would no longer be free for members of the SFAM. In February, the chairman of the SFAM attempted to sit down with the chairman of the Airborne Museum Foundation. The Foundation did not respond until well after the GMM. After some postponement, a meeting has been agreed for September. The board hopes to be able to report on this meeting in the next issue.
Despite the difficult relationship with the Museum, the board is happy to see that the new direction for the SFAM is apparently appreciated.
At the time of the General Members Meeting, barely three months into the new year, the SFAM had grown by 35 members. Fifteen among them had cancelled their membership earlier.
Apart from the relationship with the Museum, the board is very concerned with regard to the

English membership. The number of English members has decreased substantially over the last few years. In part this is the result of a lack of communication due to the, necessary, inward focus of the SFAM. Moreover, the long delays between the publication of the Dutch and Eng-lish-language versions of this magazine under-standably caused considerably irritation.
At the General Members Meeting several possi-ble ways of solving this situation were put forward. The board is currently investigating the possibility for a closer cooperation with the Airborne Fellowship, which has many more Eng-lish members, and has decided to carry all 2017 English members over to 2018 for free in the hope of regaining some goodwill and growth.
Moreover, the SFAM will publish all three editions of the Airborne Magazine in English as well, which will be sent to all English-speaking members. This promise was sent in the form of a letter by the chairman with the English edition of Airborne Magazine 11. However, the board is forced to conclude that producing and distrib-uting a separate English version of the Magazine is so expensive that SFAM can only afford to keep doing so if the number of English members increases substantially.
Finally, the board calls on the members of the SFAM again to consider if they are willing and able to help the Society. There is a great need of members to take responsibility in the areas of PR and communication, as well as for members will-ing to help organize the events of the Society and produce the Airborne Magazine.


The SFAM tries to keep up with the times by way of, for instance, a new website and developing its Social Media presence. It is also looking to improve direct contact with its membership through, among others, digital newsletter. Therefore we would like to ask you to forward your email address via so this information can be added to your existing data. Of course, you are free to submit a family member’s or friend’s email address if you do not have one yourself.
The new General Data Protection Act which went into force last May, affects the SFAM as well.
The board has taken action on this new law and has enacted a new, appropriate privacy statement about its membership data. The full text can be found at
Very succinctly, the privacy statement contains a description of the different elements of member data controlled by the SFAM, how and why those data are collected and saved, and how members may see the data collected about them, how they may submit changes and, if they so desire, how their data may be erased from the SFAM files. For any questions, please contact the membership administrator via

Chris van Roekel passed away at the age of 84 on June 1st. Chris was born and raised in the village of Oosterbeek, where he experienced the Battle of Arnhem. The events of the battle left a lasting impression on his life. His interest in World War Two, and in particular the battle in and around Oosterbeek, never wavered; it occupied him constantly. Hence it should hardly have been a surprise that he put all his considerable energy into the Airborne Museum and the Society of the Friends of the Airborne Museum for over forty years. He initiated countless activities for both organisastions, some of which we’ll mention here.

Chris van Roekel, 19342018. (Photo: Berry de Reus)

For the Society, Chris helped organize battlefield tours, among which journeys to the United Kingdom and Normandy. He lectured about the battle of Arnhem and took the initiative to start the Ministories which accompanied the SFAM Newsletter. Together with a number of volunteers he prepared, sorted and mailed the newsletter. With the secretary at the time he ran the Society’s shop and for many years he was chaired the organization as well. It made perfect sense to name him Honorary Chairman when he stepped down.
He visited the Airborne Museum nearly every day, and volunteered at the register and in the museum shop. He developed the ‘School Project’ for the benefit of the Museum, and helped develop the walking, bicycle and car routes for the area in which the battle raged in 1944. In 1993, he organized a lottery to raise money for the redevelopment of the museum. He collaborated in the restauration of the Canadian Sherman tank and the 17pounder guns around the Museum. Chris was one of the driving forces behind the purchase of the small bulldozer of the type that was transported to Arnhem by glider. His technical expertise was very welcome during the restauration of this special vehicle.
Chris was also a very active author of articles and books, among which a volume about the British Chaplains during the Battle and two books about prewar Oosterbeek. Many years he chauffeured the Leader of the Pilgrimage during the September commemorations of the Battle of Arnhem. Via a health care insurance company in Doorwerth, he was able to raise money for travel and hotel costs for disabled veterans. The Arnhem Veterans Club awarded him a silver Pegasus statuette for his efforts.
Chris was an organizer, an active worker and a fount of knowledge. He managed to achieve much, helped by his amiable character and welldeveloped sense of humour. We miss him greatly. – Wybo Boersma

The board of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum wants to encourage its members to visit the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek regularly, despite the fact that the original arrangement with the Museum was invalidated as of January first. The board is trying to come to a new agreement, but has not yet succeeded.
To continue to offer its members free entry to the museum, the board has decided that members will pay for their ticket at the Museum, but that they will be reimbursed by the society treasurer. A short email or letter to the treasurer with a scan, photo or copy of the entry ticket accompanied by the member’s bank data suffices. Please see the colophon for address information.
Moreover, if you own a Dutch Museum card, the board would encourage you to use it at the Airborne Museum. This benefits both the Museum and the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum.
Taken together this means that the membership card, which has no other function within the SFAM, has been cancelled at least for 2018 to save on cost. That is why none was sent to you this year.

The firing line of the Pack Howitzers deployed around the Oosterbeek Old Church to Arnhem bridge( off-map).

In 2013 and 2014 a combined archaeological and explosives examination was conducted in the southern floodplain of the Rhine across from the city of Arnhem in preparation for the Ruimte voor de Rivier (“Space for the river”) project. Both traces and finds were recorded which are connected to the building of the road bridge, a German light antiaircraft artillery position (leichte Flak), as well as the postwar Canadianbuilt Bailey bridge. It will hardly be a surprise that during this examination many fragments of ammunition were found. Any live ammunition recovered was handed over and destroyed, once all information useful for answering the research question was taken down.
Some iron shell fragments (37 in totaal), hardly significant at first sight, as well as a single brass remainder of a timed fuse were found near the abovementioned German AA position. These indications of incoming artillery fire were found immediately around the gun positions, which proves that the battery was shelled. Interestingly, Frost’s men, who were dugin north of the bridge between the evening of September 17 and the morning of September 21, received artillery support from guns deployed in Oosterbeek, a distance of some 5 kilometers as the crow flies. This fire was concentrated at targets near the southern onramp of the bridge, where the German positions were located.
This gets all even more interesting if we combine these data with the remains of some of the gun positions recovered around the Old Church in Oosterbeek in 1997 and 1998. The results of these examinations were recorded by a group of dedicated volunteers using a metal detector.
With the explicit permission of local authorities, this wellorganised group searched for missing soldiers in the Arnhem area in the 90s and 00s.
The finds recovered around the Church once belonged to the positions of F Troop, including the Troop Command Post, belonging to number 3 Battery of the 1st Airlanding Light Regiment. They were equipped with M1 75mm Pack Howitzers. From that area, to the south and east of the Oosterbeek Old Church, the group retrieved among other things several 75mm shells with their packaging materials, keys to set and modify the detonation (Setter Fuse M14), a British airbornestyle helmet, as well as a fragment of a maroonred beret with the Royal Artillery insignia still attached.

Finds from around Old Church. (Photo: Hans Timmerman)

It doesn’t often happen that both traces of the artillery positions and the results of their fire can be found and connected with any certainty. The archaeological report states that it is theoretically possible that the shell fragments belong to shells fired from the area around the Old Church in Oosterbeek, though the possibility that they were ‘normal’ 25pounder shells is not excluded. These might have been fired at the bridge area in the period betewen October 1944 and April 1945. Written sources show that the Howitzers around the Church fired in support of the British troops at the Bridge. This is thus hardly new information, but it is a kind of physical remainder of the contact that existed between the British troops within the Perimeter and those isolated around the Bridge. This way, one of the millions of shell fragments from the area can illustrate the historical narrative. – Martijn Reinders


• Bosman, A.V.A.J./R.C.A. Geerts/D. Sam (red.), 2017. Een brug te ver onderzocht. Archeologisch onderzoek in StadsblokkenMeinerswijk, gemeente Arnhem (ADC Monografie 22). • Buggenum, D. van/D. Timmerman/H. Timmerman, 1999. Weiland Nederlands Hervormde Kerk Oosterbeek. Een historisch onderzoek naar overblijfselen van de gevechten, die zich in september 1944 rondom de kerk hebben afgespeeld. • Truesdale, D./M. Cornelissen/B. Gerritsen, 2015.
Arnhem Bridge. Target MIKE ONE. An illustrated history of the 1st Airlanding Light Regiment RA 19421945. North Africa – Italy – Arnhem – Norway, Renkum.


In this new feature of the Airborne Magazine an archaeological find will be discussed, which is related to the Battle of Arnhem in the wider sense of the word. These may be finds from recent archaeological examinations, an accidental find, or something found in the area many decades ago. The objects under discussion here are never anonymous objects obtained at a militaria fair, or museum objects without known provenance. Nor will they only be weaponrelated matters.
Every object, however small or seemingly insignificant, has its own story to tell. They are tactile memories and sometimes personal witnesses of everyone involved in this black period of our collective history.
Martijn Reinders is an archaeologist at Greenhouse Advies, specialised in the history of the Second World War. He writes about a variety of topics related to the war, in which he combines historical and archaeological research.

Some of the audience listening attently, somewhat later in the evening at ‘t Huukske.( Photo: Bernhard Deeterink)

On the 11th of May the SFAM conducted a successful themedevening for both members and nonmembers. The theme for this evening was the combats in the western edge of Arnhem on Monday the 18th and Tuesday the 19th of September 1944. For this event we found an appropriate location in the neighbourhood café ‘t Huuske. A cosy place adjacent to the backyard of the Zwarteweg 14. In this house MajorGeneral Roy Urquhart was forced to hide himself in the company of two other officers during the crucial phase of the operation for nearly 14 hours.
The theme for this event was chosen due to the fact that the overall picture of this decisive phase of the battle is still obscured. It’s still unclear how a substantial force of four British battalions was concentrated in this area in the evening of Monday 18th of September, just 1500 metres short of the northern side of the road bridge, without any leadership and command of the 1 Parachute Brigade.
Despite this substantial force, it could not link up with 2 Parachute Battalion of John Frost. It turned
out to be the turning point of the battle of Arnhem. By making an inventory of the insights and discussing the views of the various subject matter experts, we succeeded in creating more clarity on the course of the battle. We will present this picture during a walkthrough Battlefield Tour sometime next year combined with corresponding publications in the Airborne Magazine.
On behalf of the SFAM the evening was initiated by Erik Jellema of the Activities Commission, assisted by contributions of Dirk Hoekendijk and Gerrit Pijpers. Dirk Hoekendijk, as the owner of Battlefield tours Arnhem 1944, elaborated on the German response and their operations. Gerrit Pijpers, coauthor of Arnhem Their Final Battle. The 11th Parachute Battalion 19431944 explained 11 Parachute Battalion’s role.
SFAM’s ambition is to organise an additional themeevening on the 26th of October. The theme will then be ‘the Polish Independent Brigade’. – Otto van Wiggen

(Photo: Erik Vos)

“When you walk this street, the Brugstraat, you will reach the railway. During the Second World War a boy called Cornelis lived in that neighbourhood. Cornelis is not afraid of anyone. One day, Cornelis witnesses a German soldier washing himself with a bucket of water. He notices that the soldier puts aside his pistol and is not paying attention to Cornelis. Cornelis grabs the pistol and runs away…..”
This is one of the stories you can be informed about by listening to Airborne Stories. It’s a new listening tour about the Battle of Arnhem. The story about Cornelis continues. ‘Later that day Cornelis steals a small flag from a German military car’. It sounds like an exciting boy’s book. But then the story teller addresses you directly. ‘What is your opinion about Cornelis’s behaviour? Would you dare to do something similar? Don’t answer this question too easy with a yes. Stealing a weapon from a German soldier in these days would have you shot immediately.
Even if you were a kid’.
Airborne Stories is based on a walking tour and an app which can be downloaded on your mobile phone. By activating the app, you will be guided along a tour that comprises 25 locations where various stories are told about what happened during the Septemberdays of 1944. The app has been developed by Erik Vos and Marko van der Vegt. They both are from Arnhem. They won a competition organised by the municipality of Arnhem. ‘We wanted to create something to connect the past with the present’ both producers explain. ‘By standing on a spot you will be thrown back in time hearing the story. Not a history lesson read out, but a lively radio play’. Every now and then the story teller will ask you questions in a provocative way. ‘What would you do? Or: how would you react if your house were on fire?’
‘At every listening location you may choose the subject and perspective of your choice’ the writer of the stories, Richard Derks, explains. ‘You may choose the military perspective. It’s about the German and British combat operations conducted during the battle. You may also choose the perspective of the civil population of Arnhem, who suddenly found themselves entrapped on the battlefield and were forced to evacuate their home town after the battle.
And there is the opportunity to listen to youth stories. What was it like to experience the battle form a child’s perspective? I imagine walking the tour as a family. Some on is listening to one storyline, the others to a different one. Informing each other on the way what they just heard’.
Listening location nummer 18, Utrechtseweg, the military perspective: ‘Imagine. It’s twilight.
Beyond the street you suddenly observe shades of men moving along the facades of the houses. They carefully avoid making noise but the become more visible. They are British soldiers. They dislike streets like these. Too narrow and to close, without any co
verage. William Loney and Norman Shipley are at the front. Their weapons at ready. Suddenly German machine gun fire opens up on them…’
‘Producing Airborne Stories was a lengthy process’ Erik Vos explains. ‘Firstly, you have to do a lot of research. Luckily we were supported by historical military advice from Leo van Midden and Dirk Hoekendijk who proved themselves real experts’. Secondly, we had to translate the entire content into the English and German language. After we did so, the voice actors could get to work. Claire King, Erik van Schaaik and many others taped the 75 stories.
Finally, Rien Valk was able to produce the sound editing. The singing of the birds, the sound of footsteps, the buzz of various people speaking to each other….But the sound of gunfire, rolling tanks and aircraft flying overhead as well. After that, developing and making the app needed to be done. All in all the project took us more than a year’.
Listening location 25, Boterdijk, civilian perspective:‘Take a look at your feet. You are literally standing on the remans of the city. After the liberation in May 1945, the inner city of Arnhem was turned into a mess. More than 3000 houses were completely destroyed. After the war, district by district needed to be cleaned and rebuilt.
The centre of Arnhem came last. Usable material was stored here at the northern side of the Rhine river and to be used for the reconstruction. The remaining debris was used to fill up the Old Harbour. That harbour once was here….right were you are standing’
The route is easy to be followed using the app, or a small hiking map that is for free. But you can also follow the red sidewalk tiles. The listening locations are indicated by metal ‘pushpins’ in the sidewalk.
The app is accessible in three languages. The hiking map is for free. The project Airborne Stories has been accommodated by the municipality of Arnhem.


Antitank gun Gallipoli 2 taking out a Char B at Koude Herberg.( Photo: credit this)

On Saturday the 6th of October the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum (SFAM) will conduct the Battlefield tour 1st Border Regiment during the Battle of Arnhem. Erik Jellema and Mr. Luuk Buist will act as your guides. This article is to provide background information and is mainly based on the book ‘When Dragons Flew’.
1 Border was part of 1st Airlanding Brigade. After landing on September 17th 1944 in gliders on Landing Zone (LZ) S, its task was to secure LZ X for the first and second lifts. After accomplishing these tasks the battalion was to withdraw to phase 2 positions in the divisional airhead. 1 Border exactly executed its mission according to the plan. In the end the battalion was responsible for the defence of the western perimeter.
In England the battalion was stationed around Woodhall Spa, in Lincolnshire, about 120 kilometres north of London. September 17th. 1 Border flew in 56 Horsa gliders from the airfields Broadwell and Blakehill Farm and in Hamilcar gliders from Tarrant Rushton. September 18th another 6 gliders flew from Down Ampney. 1 Border left England with 788 men; during the battle 121 were killed in action, 235 escaped crossing the Rhine and 432 men became POW, some of them wounded. This operation turned out to be the most difficult for the battalion during WW2.
The Border Regiment had seen heavy battles in the past. The oldest inscription in the Border cap badge is “1811 Arroyo dos Molinos”. The Battle at Arroya was part of Wellington’s campaign against Napoleon in Spain. The regiment was a British Regiment formed in 1881 by amalgamation of the 34th (Cumberland) Regiment of Foot and the 55th (Westmoreland) Regiment of Foot. The district of the regiment consisted of the counties Cumberland and Westmoreland and the depot was, and still is, Carlisle Castle.
During WW1 the regiment fought amongst other places at Gallipoli 191516, Cambrai 1917, Arras 191718 and on the Somme 19161918. 1st Battalion The Border Regiment in 19391940 was part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).
After Dunkirk the battalion trained for mountain warfare, but in October 1941 transformed into an air landing battalion of 1st Airborne Division. In July 1943 it saw action on Sicily. During this operation the battalion suffered heavy casualties. Out of 796 officers and men only 200 returned from this campaign. Many were drowned at sea due to gliders prematurely landing on the Mediterranean Sea after being shot down at by allied ships.
Due to the losses of the Sicily campaign the battalion was transferred back to England in December 1943. The battalion was stationed in and around Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire. Nowadays every year in July there is the Woodhall Spa WW2 Festival. During a whole week the town is dressed up as if it was WW2.
After Sicily Major Haddon as 2nd in Command took command of the Battalion. Visits followed by Major General Urquhart, Field Marshall

Border Regiment cap badge.

Montgomery and the King at Woodhall Spa. During that time Canadian officers were welcomed in the battalion under the so called Canloan Scheme. In 1944 the battalion took part in big airborne exercises. After DDay the battalion was alarmed many times for operations that were cancelled at the last moment.

One of the operations, Operation COMET, planned for September 10th, changed into operation MARKET, in which most of the 1st Allied Airborne Army, including two US Airborne Divisions, was involved. At 1700 hours on the 12th of September Major General Urquhart conducted his Orders Group for his brigadiers. This took place at Moor Park, the HQ of 1st (Br) Airborne Corps. Urquhart had his caravan located here. In this caravan Urquhart planned the Concept of Operations of 1st Airborne Division within the given restrictions. As part of this plan 1st Airlanding Brigade was to secure the landings of the 1st and 2nd Lifts. After the 2nd Lift on Monday the 18th 1 Border was to occupy defensive positions in the divisional airhead.

Phase 1:

• Establish a strong company group at Renkum 6276;

• Protect DZ X and LZ Z until Divisional Troops are clear.

Phase 2:

• Move on orders the Brigade Headquarters to occupy area Koude Herberg 6873;

• Establish a post in Heveadorp area;

• Block the route between RenkumArnhem

• Dominate area between Koude Herberg and Westerbouwing (with special reference to ferries).

The Operational Orders for Operation Market show how Support Coy placed its MMG, antitank, and mortar platoons under command of the infantry companies. Moreover, it stands out that BCoy had to seize and hold ferries in Phase 1 at Renkum and at Westerbouwing in Phase 2, but the intention of seizing the ferries is not made explicit.
After September 5th the battalion was stationed around Burford near the Broadwell airfield. On september 17th, after a good breakfast, the battalion left for the airfields Broadwell and Blakehill Farm. The trucks delivered the units next to the de gliders directed by the chalk numbers. 44 Horsas flown by pilots of 16 Flight, F Squadron The Glider Pilot Regiment (GPR) augmented by pilots of 2 Wing HQ and a section of 10 Flight, G Squadron, left from RAF Broadwell.
C Coy and jeeps of the mortar platoon left with 12 Horsas from RAF Blakehill Farm flown by pilots of 14 Flight, F Squadron GPR. The two Bren carriers left in a Hamilcar flown by pilots of C Squadron GPR from RAF Tarrant Rushton. Nowadays, the former RAF Broadwell is largely a solar power park. RAF Tarrant Rushton was besides base for the heavy Hamilcars an airfield for SOE (Special Operations Executive).
This airfield was also used for the Coup de Main at Pegasus Bridge on DDay.
The first glider left at 0945 hours. Five gliders crashlanded in England. The 6 pounder
antitank gun with the name ‘Suvla Bay’ had to stay behind. ‘Suvla Bay’ was an invasion beach in the Gallipolicampaign of 1915. The glider with the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Haddon, did not leave England either. 13 platoon of B Coy, commanded by Canadian Lieutenant Wellbelove, struck the same fate. 19 platoon of D Coy and the Transport platoon with the reserve ammunition were earmarked to fly with the 2nd Lift in 6 Horsas from Down Ampney, flown by pilots of E Squadron, GPR.
Landing Zone S was marked by 3rd platoon Pathfinders. At 1300 hours the glider landings started. 134 of the planned 153 gliders arrived safely at LZ S (source: Martin Middlebrook). For the glider landings 40 minutes were reserved. After the gliders the paratroopers were to jump. The southwest part of LZ S was earmarked for 1 Border. The battalion rendezvous was the southwestern forest point just north of the railroad. Martin Middlebrook (page 100) is convinced that the glider flown by Lieutenant Colonel John Place, with on board Private Johnny Peters of 14 platoon B Coy 1 Border, was the first glider to land. Near the farm Reijerscamp and hotel Buunderkamp several German soldiers were made prisoner.
Some Germans had fired at the gliders. Private Stripp of 20 platoon of Lieutenant Alan Green was wounded in the arm. The landings were a success, there were only a few casualties. But some gliders crashlanded in England, on the North Sea or over the Netherlands. These losses were felt. Within the arrived platoons the losses were light. 1 Border suffered two killed by German fire. But if a glider did not arrive a complete platoon was missing a simple consequence of using gliders.

Positions 1 Border 17/18 September 1944

Retrieving some antitank guns turned out to be problematic. But in the end, seven out of eight 6pounders were retrieved. The gun ‘named ‘Suvla Bay had remained in England.
Gun ‘Gallipoli II’ was attached to A Coy of Major Montgomery. Guns ‘Ypres’ and ‘Somme’ were attached to B Coy of Major Tom Armstrong. The guns ‘Hellespont’ and ‘Scimitar Hill’ went to C Coy of Major Jock Neill. ‘Cambrai’ and ‘Arras’ were found at D Coy of Major Charles Breese. An air landing battalion, like 1 Border, had its own antitank platoon consisting of eight 6pounder guns. Contrary, a parachute battalion did have an antitank platoon commander, but its guns were attached from 1st Airlanding AntiTank Battery Royal Artillery. This 1st Airlanding AntiTank Battery detached its A, B and C Troop to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment. D Troop with 17pounders was detached to the Division and Z Troop with three 6pounders was tasked to defend the Division Headquarters. P Troop with 1 pounders was attached to the Light Regiment RA.


Landing Zone S. 1 BORDER landed in SW corner; RV in SW forest point.

After the drop of 1st Parachute Brigade, 1 Border moved to its Phase 1 positions (see Map 1). The Battalion HQ and Regimental Aid Post (RAP) moved into the farm Jonkershoeve. A Coy dug in at the North west corner of DZ X. B Coy had a long way to go in order to arrive at the ferry at Renkum. This Coy followed the Telefoonweg (road) over Heelsum to Renkum. C Coy crossed the LZ Z and dug in just SW of Wolfheze. In the same area was the Division Headquarters until it came under bombardment from Nebelwerfer (rockets). Then the Division Headquarters moved into 6 Horsas on the landingzone. D Coy secured the crossroad Telefoonweg in Heelsum.
Mortar support for A and C Coy was provided by 23 Mortar Platoon. 24 Mortar Platoon accompanied B Coy to Renkum. Also accompanying B Coy were two Vickers Medium Machine Gun sections and two antitank guns (‘Ypres’ and ‘Somme’). On the road to Renkum B Coy had its first (4) German Prisoners of War (POW) and found two German machine guns MG34. In Renkum B Coy had its first firefight. A German lorry was fired at. After this engagment more POWs were taken. At the Renkumse ferry more Germans were located.
On arrival at Renkum 12 platoon took position between the ferry and the road Wageningen-Arnhem, with its front West and Northwest. 14 platoon dug in North of that road, front West. 11 Platoon moved into a brick factory, front East. 13 Platoon, as mentioned, did not arrive on the first day. At Renkum the problems with signals started for B Coy. At night more and more German soldiers moved into the brick factory. During the night a flare was fired and some Germans were shot.
D Coy in Heelsum had a firefight with Germans arriving in a lorry.
At Battalion HQ it became clear that the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Haddon did not arrive. A change in command took place. The deputy commander, Major Cousens, became acting battalion commander.
On the other side of the hill, opposite 1 Border, was Kampfgruppe von Tettau. This ad hoc unit consisted of several German units who happened to be in the area. There was Fliegerhorst Bataillon 2, a Luftwaffe unit from airfield Soesterberg, SSBataillon Schulz, SSStandartenführer (colonel) Lippert’s Unteroffiziersschule (NCO school) Arnheim and Schiffsstamm Abteilung 10 of the German Navy. Later the SS Wachbataillon 3 arrived, Dutch SS under command of Hauptmann (captain) Helle. Further in reserve the 184 Artillerie Regiment acting as infantry. This year, at the end of September 2018, a new book from Bob Gerritsen will be published, describing the actions of SSUnterführerschule Arnheim (see also p.27).
At 0700 hours in the morning B Coy at Renkum discovered a large German group at about 200 metres in front of their position. This Schiffsstamm Abteilung 10 (German Navy) was tasked to ad
vance east. The Germans were not aware of B Coy in the brick factory and were assembling around a motorcycle. 10 Lee Enfields and two Brenguns opened fire. After this initial success the Germans recovered. With new reinforcements arriving, they started to mortar the British position. At 1400 hours B Coy was ordered to withdraw in the direction of Heelsum. This turned out to be impossible. B Coy was almost surrounded. The only way out was following a track along the Rhine dyke in the direction of Doorwerth castle. 11 Platoon acted as rearguard. The Germans attacked at 1500 hours, but B Coy already left its previous defensive positions. The withdrawal was a success, but some vehicles, two antitank guns and the mortars were left behind. The Vickers MMG’s and the ammunition were carried by hand.
D Coy in Heelsum was attacked by SS Bataillon Schulz that advanced to contact. Fliegerhorst Bataillon 2 (Soesterberg) advanced north of Heelsum and got in contact with 20 platoon on DZ X. In this fight Sergeant Sears and Private Walker were killed. 21 Platoon of Lieutenant Holt was fighting off infiltrating Germans. Even in the forest “Laura” just east of D Coy some Germans were seen.
British artillery was tasked on this forest. Antitank gun ‘Cambrai’ accompanying D Coy was hunting a captured French Char B tank of Panzerkompanie 224. This German training unit drove all the way from the Dutch coast!
At 1100 hours 30 ME 109 Messerschmidts (Fighter Aircraft) machine gunned the Drop and Landing Zones. This resulted in 7 killed and 14 wounded in A Coy. The coy initially thought these aircraft to be British Typhoons.
The 2nd Lift was delayed and arrived at 1500 hours. They were 4 hours late. The Germans fired at the landing gliders at LZ X. The Border gliders that crashlanded on September 17th in England arrived with the this Lift, but (again) not the one with Lieutenant Colonel Haddon. His glider was shot over Herentals in Belgium and had to land on the Albert Canal.
They were able to contact troops of 30 Corps.
The missing platoons 13 of B Coy and 19 of D Coy and 17 of C Coy arrived safely and were able to report to their units.
At 1900 hours, after the successful execution of the 2nd lift, the sub units of 1 Border moved towards their phase 2 positions. A Coy moved cross country over LZ Z to the forest edge near Wolfheze. On this open terrain A Coy was fired at. This firefight caused an enormous delay. It took 5½ hours for most companies to arrive at their designated positions. A Coy dug in positions between Graftombe and castle ‘De Sonnenberg’, northeast of the crossroad Koude Herberg. Platoons 17 and 18 were near the crossroad, platoons 15 and 16 a bit more east of them along the “Van Lennepweg”. Here the antitank guns ‘Hellespont’ and ‘Scimitar Hill’ took position. Only pictures of ‘Gallipoli II’at the Van Lennepweg are known. That is a bit strange because ‘Gallipoli II’ was attached to A Coy. B Coy arrived at Westerbouwing. Probably via the road RenkumDoorwerthWesterbouwing, but maybe some sections MMG passed through Heelsum and the positions of C Coy and following the “Van Borsselenweg”.
B Coy, now without antitank guns and mortars, was left behind in Renkum. D Coy spent the night near a feature Hoog Oorsprong before it took positions on Van Borsselenweg, halfway between Koude Herberg and the Westerbouwing. 19 Platoon D Coy established a separate position a kilometre west of D Coy HQ. Battalion HQ moved into a house at the Van Lennepweg 3. Just north of this location (in villa Geldershof ) the Regimental Aid Post moved in. Just south of Battalion HQ the mortars of 23 platoon were dug in. Iconic footage and pictures were taken of one of the mortar positions of this platoon. 1 Border, in the end, was defending a frontage of 2500 metres as the crow flies in woodland terrain. The positions could not cover this entire area. This offered the Germans opportunities to infiltrate wherever they wanted. Map 2 with phase 2 positions depicts the platoon positions.

Major Neill, OC C Coy and Lt McCartney in their position at van Lennepweg.

In the morning reports came in that German troops were attacking along the entire defensive position of 1st Border. C Coy suffered several wounded due to mortaring. At 1500 hours A Coy was machine gunned (again) by 12 ME 109 fighter bombers. This coincided with the arrival of the 3rd Lift at Johannahoeve. One hour later at 1600 hours the first resupply took place. On this day Flight Lieutenant David Lord, VC was shot down. Around 1900 hours firefights started with troops of Kampfgruppe von Tettau that advanced towards Oosterbeek.

Phase 2 positions of 1 Border.

On the same day 82nd Airborne Division supported by tanks of the Grenadier Guards seized the bridge at Nijmegen, there was heavy fighting in Oosterbeek. At 0600 hours all units of 1 Border were shelled and mortared. The crew of the gun ‘Hellespont’ in C Coy position was hit. Attacks from Kampfgruppe von Tettau were supported by tanks of Panzerkompanie 224. A and C Coy were attacked by SS Bataillon Eberwein en Fliegerhorst Bataillon 2 coming from Wolfheze. D, and B Coy were attacked by SSBataillon Schulz, Schiffsstamm Abteilung 10, and Bataillon Wossowski of the Hermann Goering Ersatz und Ausbildungs Regiment. These attacks were supported by Nebelwerfer. At 1000 hours the first serious attack was launched against A Coy. 10 Platoon reacted with a burst from a Brengun that killed the German tank commander. Moments later, C Coy was attacked. That attack was also supported by tanks. From this day it became almost impossible for D Coy to transport the wounded to the RAP. 19 Platoon still in the westerly outpost position North of Heveadorp on the Oosterbeekseweg could fight off an attack by an armoured vehicle using a PIAT. The platoon commander of 19 platoon had no communication with D Coy and decided after he repulsed this attack to fall back to the defensive positions pf D Coy. During this withdrawal the platoon ran into various German patrols which caused the platoon to fall apart. It took the platoon commander two days to reach the positions of D Coy.
Iconic picture of 23 Mortar platoon.

Iconic picture of 23 Mortar platoon.

B Coy also was attacked. The sound of tracked vehicles was heard. Some Germans on their bicycles even rode into the position undetected.
At 1500 hours C Coy was attacked. The attack at Koude Herberg was supported by two flamethrower tanks of Panzerkompanie 224 and a third armoured vehicle. Sergeant Walker of the Army Film Unit filmed how antitank gun ‘Gallipoli II’ (van Lennepweg) disabled a German tank at a distance of 90 yards. Another Char B flamethrower tank was destroyed by one of C Coy antitank guns. At the end of the day a further resupply took place.
The day started with German shelling and mortaring causing many wounded. Field cables were also destroyed which resulted in chaos.
Von Tettau had reorganised his Kampfgruppe and ordered infantry to secure the tanks of Panzerkompanie 224. On this day the German main effort was directed against B Coy. As of 0900 hours the Bataillon Wossowski, supported by 4 Char B tanks, attacked. B Coy had left its 6pounder antitank guns behind on Monday already. In order to support B Coy, the battalion had sent two new mortars, but could not afford
sending additional antitanks guns. B Coy however succeeded in destroying 3 out of 4 Char B’s with PIATs. Apparently a dead cow was used as cover for the PIAT. The fourth tank disengaged.
The Wossowski battalion (600 men) however outnumbered B Coy and were able pushed the British of the Westerbouwing. The Germans suffered many casualties caused by British artillery fire. During a counter attack of 13 platoon Canadian Lieutenant Wellbelove was killed.
Sergeant Watson, who commanded 14 platoon, also was killed that day.
After the loss of the Westerbouwing Major Tom Armstrong with 50 men conducted a counter attack. This attack failed and Major Armstrong was wounded and became a POW. After this, B Coy was no longer an effective fighting unit.
Lieutenant Royal located his 12 platoon at a gas factory a bit more east. Remnants of 11 platoon of Lieutenant Barnes fell back on villa Dennenoord. This platoon was able to link up with the ad hoc unit Breese Force that was located between D Coy and the remnants of B Coy. A second counter attack to regain the Westerbouwing was initiated but it failed before it started.
After the seizure of the Westerbouwing the Germans turned their attention towards D Coy. When they attacked the defensive positions of D Coy Lieutenant Holt of 21 platoon was killed by mortars. This German attack was again supported by tanks. From the west using the forest track, two tanks advanced to the D Coy positions. The first tank fired, which killed Lieutenant Brown, platoon commander of 22 platoon, and at that moment acting deputy company commander. The tank drove into the D Coy position. A 6pounder antitank gun was pointed in the wrong direction. The tank fired an created more havoc. A second antitank gun (Arras) was brought into position. Arras fired 6 shells into the German tank from a very short distance. Lieutenant Alan Green of 20 platoon tried to attack the second tank with a PIAT. The stiff opposition of D Coy using antitank guns, PIATs and artillery made the Germans abort their efforts. All officers of D Coy, except Captain Hodgeson, were killed or wounded.

C Coy complained about infiltrated snipers between them and battalion HQ. A patrol was successful in taking out two snipers. A Coy was thinly spread. Despite this, they were able to repulse three attacks Lieutenant Coulston with 9 platoon was send to reinforce Breese Force.
On this day Division Headquarters established radio contact with 64 Medium Regiment, Regimental Artllery at Nijmegen. From now on German attacks could be answered by heavier calibre artillery. That night the first Poles crossed the Rhine from Driel in order to reinforce the perimeter.
During the usual morning shelling the 1 Border ammunition store was hit. An enormous explosion and threes all around lost their leaves. The Regimental SergeantMajor (RSM) was killed by this explosion. There were no longer any serious German infantry attacks, but shelling and mortaring took its toll. D Coy had still only 2 (wounded) officers and 35 soldiers in fighting condition. D Coy felt itself surrounded by Germans who could infiltrate at will. The Regimental Aid Post was informed not to to transport wounded anymore to the Dressing Stations.
Dressing Station (DS) Schoonoord was too crowded itself and there were no medications and dressing materials available.
On Saturday morning de positions of A Coy were reinforced (14 men) by some troops of the Divisional reserve. A and C Coy were attacked by German infantry supported by tanks and armoured vehicles. A Coy destroyed a flame throwing tank. Captain Ingram, commander 1 Borders mortars, became acting company commander after the loss of Major Montgomery (fatally wounded). For his accomplishments Captain Ingram was Mentioned in Despatches.
Lieutenant Coulston, sent from A Coy with his 9 platoon to reinforce Breese Force, was killed this day. On Sunday Breese Force discovered that two tanks had infiltrated its position. Sergeant Clark was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for destroying a tank with hand grenades. On Saturday and Sunday reinforcements crossing the Rhine were expected. Lieutenant Colonel Haddoen was one of the men who succeeded in crossing the Rhine with 4th Battalion Dorsets, hoping to finally be able to reach his battalion. He succeeded in crossing the Rhine, but was taken POW on the northern bank.
The withdrawal (Operation Berlin) of the remnants of 1st Airborne Division over the Rhine started in the northern part of the perimeter. A Coy, consisting of only 42 men, started at 2240 hours followed by C Coy and battalion HQ. The route went from Van Lennepweg via Hoofdlaan, Kneppelhoutweg through Breese Force via Benedendorpsweg and through 12 platoon positions at Dennenoord to the river. The evacuation of 1 Border was executed in a disciplined way. The War Diary mentions that the last Border swam the river at 0515 hours. D Coy was not informed and waited for reinforcements that never came. On the morning of September 26th the 1 Border battle was over.
Some sources mention the losses. Out of 41 officers and 754 men, 10 officers and 115 men were killed. Only 10 officers and 269 men returned over the Rhine. The rest was taken Prisoner of War.
Wounded prisoners were initially treated in the Dutch Army barracks Willem III in Apeldoorn. 1 Border suffered the most killed of all British battalions during the Battle for Arnhem. (Erik Jellema)
• When Dragons Flew, Stuart Eastwood, Alan Green • Glider Pilots at Arnhem, Luuk Buist en Mike Peters • Arnhem 1944, Martin Middlebrook • 1st Battalion The Border Regiment, Alan Green • Airborne forever, the life story of an Arnhem veteran (Johnny Peters), Laurens van Aggelen • No return flight (13 Platoon at Arnhem 1944), Haks Walburgh Schmidt • It never snows in September, Robert Kershaw

Photo 1 – SS-mechanised infantry in action. (Tillmann, archief NIOD).

In Airborne Magazine 10 we announced we’d track down the location of the picture above.
We succeeded in doing so. Here is the argument.
Photo 1 can be found in the collection of the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation and was used in the wellknown book series ‘Reports from the Second World War’ published in 1971. This picture, taken by SS warreporter Tillmann had been released at the 26th of October 1944. The original caption reads ‘Report from the main effort of the war in the West.
British forces have taken defensive positions in houses located at the edge of a city in Holland. SS mechanised infantry, belonging to the SSArmoured Division ‘Frundsberg’, fire from various directions at the basement windows of this house which has been barricaded’.
The picture looks like it has been taken in Arnhem or Oosterbeek in 1944. But the question arises if this is actually true. In any case it can’t have been taken in the early days in May 1940 since the German Army didn’t use the machine gun MG 42 yet. This MG 42 is clearly visible in the picture. Closer study reveals that it either consists of two pictures of the same scene pasted together or that a certain part is missing. Somewhere in the middle a sharp vertical line can be seen. The two halves do not exactly match each other.
The picture shows a number of interesting details like the veranda at the house at the right side of the picture, the mast of the overhead line of the tram and the peculiar fence with barbed wire. But the real evidence this time can be found in the vague but just visible background left of the middle. If you look very closely you can observe right next to the facade of the house on the front, a taller building equipped with a steeple such as, for example, the Elisabeth Chapel. A similar building, equipped with a steeple like this, is the Boarding School ‘Insula Dei’ located in the centre of Arnhem. (see photo 2) ‘Insula Dei’ didn’t survive the war, but the building (spike, façade with intrusion) and the details of the house immediately left to it, match perfectly with the Tillmann picture (Photo 1). (Slanted white roof corners, chimney right behind and dormer window at the front). What can’t be seen is the house with veranda which is visible on the Tillmannpicture. This indicates we have to go slightly backwards which brings us to the Boulevard Heuvelink. The German corporal Karl Kracht (who was part of Kampfgruppe Knaust/ Tank company Mielke) has taken a picture from this spot (Photo 3) during the battle.


Initially this spot doesn’t seem to match, but if we zoom in, many details seem right: the low wall to the house on the right with the hedge on top. Tram rails an masts for the overhead line, two basement windows at the pavement and the four windows in the façade. Not on this picture but visible on another picture, the house can be seen which has an extension of an orangery at the back. Unfortunately there is no picture found of this house right from behind.
The house was demolished in 1977.
Striking on this picture also is the road sign. When we zoom in on the Tillmann picture, right in front of the house that is left of Insula Dei, a road sign can be seen exactly like that. It doesn’t stand out at first because the picture is overexposed. However there can be no doubt. Even the stripes on the post can be seen. The photographer’s location and both German infantry men must be on the left side just out of sight of Photo 3. The kerb is still visible. Both infantry men are positioned at the front yard of the house at the southern edge of Boulevard Heuvelink. They fire in western direction under the trees crossing the Eusebius Buitensingel and Brouwersgracht. The Walburgis Church is just out of sight and is situated left outside the picture or behind the trees.

Photo 4 Boulevard Heuvelink 1945 (Gelders archief).

Photo 4 demonstrates the row of houses on that side of the street, just after the war. On this picture trees can be seen on the pavement. And again if we zoom in, a fence is visible that corresponds to the Tillmann picture (Photo 1). Additional indirect evidence exists through another picture taken by Tillmann in the same vicinity. This picture was taken when British soldiers were taken prisoner on the 20th of September at the Van Limburg Stirum School. This makes photo 1 a more than commonly interesting picture since it must have been taken during the first days of the battle. After Monday 18th of September the fighting shifted away from this spot. The corner house later became badly damaged and partly collapsed. It’s visible in Kracht’s picture, but not on the one taken by Tillmann.


For a long time, the German perspective of the Battle of Arnhem got a lot less attention in literature than the British side. There were Corps and Divisional histories by Tieke en Furbringer, but it took It Never Snows in September appeared until we had a book exclusively focused on the German reaction to Operation Market Garden. More studies have appeared since, but without exception those are focused on the fight around the Bridge at Arnhem and the operations on the eastern side of the Perimeter. This is about to change.
The almost random mix of units fighting the 1st Airborne Division from the west has been called the Divison Von Tettau since the 1950s. Although the units on the eastern side were equally mixed, they were a more or less cohesive whole around the core of the (remains of the) 9th SS Panzer Division. This was hardly the case in the west. The largest unit, and the one with the most combat potential, was the Unterführerschule ‘Arnheim’, under command of SS Standartenführer Michael Lippert. A new book by Bob Gerritsen about this unit, entitled Fighting the British at Arnhem, will be published on on 21 September from R.N.Sigmond Publishing.
The biggest problem, so says Gerritsen when questions, is the condition of our sources. On the Allied side, people started to save reports, personal narratives and analyses almost immediately after the end of the war. Moreoever, the veterans were relatively easy to track down and generally easily encouraged to write down their personal experiences. In so far as any reporting was done on the German side, much did not survive the final months of the war, or ended up scattered over a variety of national archives worldwide, depending on who happened to capture the documents. In some cases, the problems have a legal cause. Some information is availabel in the Dutch archives of the Special Court of Justice in The Hague Michael Lippert himself was charged there but because of privacy concerns of those charged and their relatives, this archive can only be examined under special and limiting conditions.
As far as the veterans are concerned, and insofar as they have survived the war and the often many years as prisoner of war, they were often reluctant to get attention for understandable reasons.
The retired Dutch colonel Th.Boeree succeeded in talking to a variety of German POWs after the war, but only few managed the same since. Many years ago, Bob Gerritsen was able to contact Erwin Heck, the Ordonnanzoffizier of the Unterführerschule. Over a period of years, and often with Heck’s help, Gerritsen was able to collect a vast amount of new information. That has now been recorded in this new book.

Fighting the British at Arnhem: The SSUnterführershule Arnheim

Written by: Bob Gerritsen Publisher: R.N. Sigmond Publishing 2018 ISBN: 9789081270397
Format: 224p, lavishly illustrated Price: € 34.50 / GBP 30.00

Photo 1: De track wordt met de kraan gegrepen en in de laadbak geplaatst (Photo: M.Clements, C. Beumer).



At the beginning of May this year a truck stopped next to the fence of the Cobercoterrein on the Westervoortsedijk in Arnhem. Curious bystanders saw that the crane grabbed a large piece of steel. Was it a piece of the old bridge railing that was removed? Then an elongated piece of rusted iron was picked up that was unmistakably a caterpillar track. The cargo disappeared in the back and the truck left the location. The scene was recorded and the images were shared. But what happened with the cargo that disappeared in that truck? The editors of Airborne Magazine describe in this article what they have been able to discover about that piece of track.

On the eastern side of the bridge lies the site of the old dairy factory. Among older inhabitants of Arnhem, it is better known as the CAMIZ (Coöperatieve Arnhemse Melkinrichting en Zuivelfabriek) or Coberco. In 2015, the development of this area was described in the zoning plan ‘Cobercoterrein’. This is where the Cobercokwartier, a new district where creativity and culture are going to be the main focus. This zoning plan was the reason for the archaeological examination that yielded the special find. On the Coberco area, during the September days in 1944 ferocious fighting took place. The area was fired at by artillery of both parties and hit in the aerial bombardment of the bridge on the 7th of 7 October. The fact that material from that period was found during the examination will not have been a surprise to the researchers. The objects that were taken away with the truck were found in a bomb crater on the site next to the CAMIZ.

Photo 2: The old CAMIZ factory site (Bron: Google Earth – Image @ 2018 – DigitalGlobe).

The truck that picked up the objects took them away for further examination. From there, the objects are to be further assessed and the results are recorded in a report for the client.
In anticipation of the publication of this report, a number of facts can be mentioned about the track. The track visually looks like the type for a PanzerKampfwagen IV. Some letter codes are references to a factory in Austria. It concerns ‘cbv’ which was used for products from SchoellerBleckmann AG in Ternitz. On the connecting pins connecting the links ‘kjk’ is visible. This goes to Hengstenberg & Freund from Essen. Finally, in this context it is worth mentioning that close to the spot where the track was found, after the war two tank wrecks were still on site. These were both tanks of the PanzerKampfwagen IV type. What is known about these wrecks?

Photo 3: Aerial photograph of 15 March 1945 showing the many craters that are the result of the bombing at the 7th of October 1944. The morning shadow accentuates the PanzerKampfwagen IV in the middle of the Westervoortsedijk, right next to the dairy. The track is found in the circled area just below the middle of the photo (21506 3174/Arnhem 1945, WUR).

In the night of Sunday 17th of September and Monday 18th of September, B Troop of the 1st Airlanding Antitank Battery was able to reach the 2nd Parachute Battalion at the bridge with five antitank guns. These 6pounders were placed in position in the morning twilight.
Two guns covered the eastern access road. Sgt Robson’s antitank gun was positioned west of the bridge and the 6pounder of Sgt Kill stood next to the milk factory on the east side of the road bridge. The Defense Platoon of the Brigade Headquarters and the 8th platoon of CCoy 3rd Battalion had positioned themselves at this location at the eastern side of the bridge and defended the access which came from the Westervoortsedijk.

Photo 4: Oblique view from 18 september with the positions of the gun emplacements manned by Sgt Kill and Sgt Robson. The detail shows something is under the bridge. Is that the PzIV? (Bron – B. Gerritsen).

This route to the bridge was used on Monday morning for an attack supported with PanzerKampfwagen III and PanzerKampfwagen IV tanks. Robson’s gun destroyed one of the tanks. The timing of the attack, with regard to the presence of a PanzerKampfwagen III, raises questions. Based on available information we can assume that vehicles of this type were still on the move to Arnhem on Monday morning. The only tanks that could possibly advance towards the bridge on the early morning of the 18th September were the armoured vehicles of the II. Abteilung of the SSPanzerRegiment 10. This unit had about sixteen tanks, including PanzerKampfwagen IVs. This unit is known to have been initially directed to Nijmegen via the Arnhem bridge, but because that road was blocked, the unit was dependent on a ferry connection to the Betuwe. However, on the available aerial pictures of the 18th of September no tank wreck is visible at that location. The aerial photograph of the 19th of September shows a vehicle on the corner of the milk factory and in the shadow under the pipe bridge at the gun of Sgt. Kill the other PanzerKampfwagen IV might be located. Both tanks on the Westervoortsedijk were destroyed between the 18th and 20th of September. In his book German Armored units at Arnhem, Marcel Zwarts makes a distinction between the two wrecks, so it is clear that the tank under the pipe bridge was a modified version used by combat units. The wreck that was left somewhat more to the east was an older type ‘G’ that was used by training units. This brings us to the assumption that the tank closest to the crater, in which the track was found, was used by the SSPanzerRegiment 10.

Photo 5: Aerial photograph from the 19th of September 1944. Armoured vehicles are visible on the bridge and plumes of smoke come from the CAMIZ. To the right of the factory is a vehicle which could be the tank belonging to the training unit. Whether this vehicle is already disabled is not clear. Under the pipe bridge of the dairy, a large shade partially obscures a rectangular vehicle. Could this be the second PanzerKampfwagen V? (Bron: 240083030, Arnhem 1944 WUR)

After the liberation in 1945, the crater landscape next to the bridge was soon leveled to build a bailey bridge. The easiest solution would have been to fill up the craters by bulldozing the debris of the devastated environment. It might be possible that the track has been pushed into a crater in this way, where it remained buried for 73 years.

Investigating the collected data it seems very likely that the found track belongs to the PanzerKampfwagen IV Ausführung H which was destroyed on the 18th or 19th of September on the Westervoortsedijk. The destruction of this tank can be attributed with great certainty to one or both guns from B Troop led by Sgt. Kill and Sgt. Robson. The report on the Cobercoterrein will perhaps reveal new facts about the track. It may bring new facts on the story of this spectacular find. With the completion of that research the question arises what the destiny of the track will be. It would be a right if the object was given a proper place in a publicly accessible place in the new Cobercokwartier, near the place where it was found as a reminder of this special chapter in the history of Arnhem. (With thanks to: C. Beumer, M. Clement, B. Gerritsen, W. Schwabe and H. Timmerman) Leo van Midden

• Gerritsen, B., & Revell, S. (2010). “Retake Arnhem Bridge”: an illustrated history of Kampfgruppe Knaust: SeptemberOctober 1944. Renkum: R.N. Sigmund Publishing. • Steer, F. (2003). Arnhem: the bridge. Barnsley: Leo Cooper. • Wilkinson, P. W., & Dauncey, B. M. D. K. (1999). The Gunners at Arnhem. East Haddon: P W Wilkinson. • Zwarts, M. (2003). German armored units at Arnhem, September 1944. Hong Kong: Concord Publications.

(Foto: Dutch Defense Press)

Visiting the fields of honour at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek, is a fixed ritual at the end of the basic training of new Airborne soldiers of 11 Air Assault Brigade. Just a few hours of darkness before the physical and demanding Airmobile selection course ends by marching into the barracks at Schaarsbergen, they gather at the cemetery. During this ritual they commemorate their predecessors and are called upon symbolically to take over the torch. An act of commitment to live and act the same culture and dedication of their Airborne predecessors and an obligation to themselves and their comrades.
At Thursday night 2400 hours on the 30th of May, 52 soldiers of the Airmobile Basic Training
visited Oosterbeek Cemetery. Below Chaplain Joosen’s speech, the chaplain attached to the Airmobile Basic Training Centre, is addressed. ‘Just a few hours left before you will be badged by the maroon beret. But first, we are here, on the Airborne Cemetery. This field of honour is a place where the past rests and even we are given some moments to unwind. A quiet moment in which the past, present and future merge together. We commemorate and try to find the proper words and tell each other known and unknown stories from the past. It adds colour to the Air Assault Brigade. It gives soul to our existence and character to our regiments’.
‘These 1700 tombstones are the witness of a fierce battle which raged in this area. After the Normandy landings the Allied advance was halted due to the lack of supplies and a fiercer resistance of the Germans. That situation resulted into the making of plan Market Garden.
A bold and ambitious plan to cross three rivers and form a foothold north of the river Rhine and to press on to encircle the German industrial centre. On Sunday the 17th of September 1944, 10.000 British and American paratroopers landed by parachute on various places in our country. In the end the bridge at Arnhem turned out to be a bridge too far. So many paratroopers, who left home and hearth, never to come home again’. ‘That was also lieutenant John Hollington Grayburn’s fate. He landed at Heelsum on the first day of the operation and succeeded in reaching the roadbridge at Arnhem. There, with his comrades of 2 Parachute Battalion and others, he was supposed to hold on until to be relieved by the advancing ground forces of XXX Corps. That night lieutenant Grayburn tried to press on to the southern edge of the bridge. He was fired upon by a German machinegun and got hit in his shoulder. He continued to press forward with the greatest dash and bravery until casualties became so heavy that he was forced to withdraw. Later his platoon was ordered to organize the occupation of a house that was vital for the defence of the bridge. Despite ceaseless attacks by enemy infantry, mortars, tanks and selfpropelled guns it did not fall to the enemy. He exposed himself constantly while moving among and encouraging his platoon. When the house was finally set on fire on the 19th of September it had to be evacuated. Again he took command of the elements of all arms and succeeded in organizing a defensive position to cover the approaches to the bridge. As the enemy succeeded in laying demolition charges under the bridge on the 20th he organised a fighting patrol which drove the enemy off temporarily. He was again wounded but refused to evacuate.
When he personally directed the withdrawal of his men to a new position, he was killed’. John Grayburn became 26 years old. For supreme gallantry and determination he was awarded the highest Britsh military award for bravery, the Victoria Cross. For that reason we have positioned a torch at his grave tonight’.

(Foto: Dutch Defense Press)

‘A commemoration like this is entering the land of silence. We are on holy ground. The commem
oration of those who died during Market Garden has a clear purpose. It’s an opportunity to connect you with them through the colour of the beret. Of course, the Second Wold War is over, but for many on earth, every day is still black and without hope. The battle for justice is never over.
Within 11 Air Assault Brigade we understand that this might bring risks to us. That’s why we commemorate, brother in arms wearing the red beret, who died during missions in the service of our Brigade. We call with reverence: Raviv van Rensen, Jeffrey Broere, Dave Steensma, Bart van Boxtel, Cor Strik, Jos Leunissen, Tim Hoogland, Mark Weijdt, Henry Hoving, Kevin Roggeveld,

‘We honour them with our respect’

‘Later on, when you will put on your red beret you will connect their story with the future. You will take over the torch which brings responsibility. It’s up to you to meet the expectations. That’s not just
an obligation for yourselves and your comrades, but to all the others who have preceded you’. ‘To support you I will end with the holy words originated from a fierce battle that raged here.
Within the centre of the Perimeter in Oosterbeek, where British and Polish soldiers defended until the 25th of September, a 1000year Old Church is located. On the wall of the church the so called Airborne Prayer is attached in two languages. A prayer for all soldiers, anywhere in the world, indifferent in what kind of conflict or war’.
May the defence of the Most High be above and beneath around and within us, in our going out and in or coming in, in our rising up and our going down, all our days and all our nights, until the dawn when the son of the righteousness shall arise, with healing in his wings for the peoples of the World, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Foto: Dutch Defense Press)

Battlefield tour Arnhem “The nine day battle at Ede, Arnhem and Oosterbeek, September 1944.“
Starting location: Talsmalaan, Oosterbeek.
Next to the Airborne Museum.
Time: 09.00 – 17.00.
Cost: SFAM members € 40.00, nonmembers € 45.00.
The tour included bus transport and lunch. All participants receive a guide for this tour.
Battlefield tour: “The contributions of 1st Batallion The Border Regiment.“
Location: Talsmalaan, next to Airborne Museum Hartenstein.
Time: 09.00 – 17.00.
Cost: SFAM members € 40.00; nonmembers € 45.00.
Erik Jellema will lead this tour. The tour includes bus transport for the morning section and lunch. The afternoon section is a walking tour.
Theme night: “The Polish Brigade“
Location: ’t Huukske, Mauritsstraat 22, Arnhem Time: 19.30 – 22.00.
Cost: Free Themed evening with introductions by a variety of experts about the operations of the Polish Independent Brigade, followed by general debate.
Airborne Day
Location: Concertzaal, Rozensteeg 3, Oosterbeek.
Time: 10.00 – 15.00.
Cost: € 2.50.
Presentation and discussion of Airborne materials and documents belonging to members. Trading is possible, along with a book sale and other activities.
A simple lunch will also be available. For more info please contact Wim Boersma (
March: General members meeting with a lecture by Landstorm March / April: Bookfair tbd: 156th Battalion Battlefield Tour tbd: Theme night 12 to 16 May: Trip to Normandy
September: 75th anniversary Battle of Arnhem Battlefield tour September/ October: Lombok Battlefield tour October: Pegasus 2 Battlefield tour October: Theme night November: Airborne day For further information concerning the various activities, to sign up for events, or to make changes to reservations, please visit or send an email to:
The editors are eager to hear your comments and suggestions, and welcome any articles you may want to send in. For an efficient process, please request the submission guidelines via the email address

The Airborne Magazine is a publication by the Society Friends of the Airborne Museum, Oosterbeek and is released three times a year. The purpose of the magazine is to promote the Airborne Museum, the activities of the Society of Friends, and the general history surrounding the Battle of Arnhem.
Editorial staff: Alexander Heusschen Jasper Oorthuys Otto van Wiggen
Archive and distribution of magazine back issues:
Design and layout: Christy Beall
Printing: Grafi Advies, Zwolle
SFAM Email address: SFAM telephone number: +31 06 510 824 03.
Mailing address: VVAM, Wissenkerkepad 22, 6845 BW, Arnhem.

The Westervoortsedijk in Arnhem nowadays, at the approximate location where the Panzer IV tank shown on the cover was stopped by shots fired by the 6pounder antitank guns of sergeant Robson and/or sergeant Kill located in Frost’s positions. (Photo Alexander Heusschen)

3.Restarting the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum

6. Interview Ben Kolster

7. Altered arrangements for entrance to the Airborne Museum

8. Helmet of SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor Heinz Harmel

9. British Empire Medal for Hiltje van Eck

10. Mixed feelings for the demolition of Hotel Dreijeroord

11. 82nd US Airborne Division at Nijmegen

22. SS-paraphernalia in a museum: dilemma?

25. Ministory nummer 126: Memories of an eight year-old of the Battle of Arnhem

30. Book review: The Lost Company

31. Ministory nummer 127: Location discovered of two famous ‘Arnhem’ photos

34. Villa Hartenstein to be restored to its original condition

35. Programme 2018

Cover: Hotel Dreijeroord in September 2017.

The new board of the SFAM, left to right: Leo van Midden, Jasper Oorthuys, Erik Jellema, Otto van Wiggen, Herman van Ingen, Bernhard Deeterink, Wybo Boersma en Gerard Gijsbertsen. (Photo: Willem Kleijn)


During the general meeting on the 2nd of December, I was privileged to accept the presidency of the Society. From now on I’m responsible for a brandnew board together with Erik Jellema (Activities and Events), Leo van Midden (Website), Jasper Oorthuys (Airborne Magazine), Herman van Ingen (treasurer), Bernhard Deeterink (membership administrator) and Gerard Gijsbertsen (secretary). This new board will be counselled by general advisor Wybo Boersma. The Society no longer depends on the outgoing board chaired by acting chairman Gerard Gijsbertsen, a situation which arose after the sudden passing of designated president Alex Koning on the 10th of January 2017. In this column I would like to express my gratitude to the members of the discharged board Eric Paap (treasurer), Frits Miedema (membership secretary) and Will Rieken (minute taker) for their contributions and involvement in support of the Society. Second, I would like to thank Okko Luursema and Paul Tirion for their efforts as part of the ‘commission of wise men’ assisting the outgoing board in creating a new board.
With the appointment of a new board, the Society can now follow through on the restart of its activities. This restart has become necessary due to the differences of opinion that have originated between the Society and the Airborne Museum. These differences were caused by a written appeal by the chairman of the Airborne Museum Foundation to put more effort into transforming the Society into a fundraising partner for the Foundation. According to the chairman “the activities of the Society were too dissociated from the Airborne Museum” and “the financial contribution of the Society to the Museum was disproportionate compared to the financial resources of the Society and the needs of the Foundation.” As you all are aware, the members of the Society decided not to accede to this request of the Foundation. The Society unanimously rejected the appeal to transform itself into a fundraising and support Society in the service of the Airborne Museum Foundation. Instead the membership decided to adhere to its principal goals. This decision was announced to the Foundation in the beginning of April 2016 by the chairman at that time, Ben Kolster. In his letter he expressed the ambition to “collaboratively publish the Airborne Magazine and to continue the mutual cooperation with regard to the website of the Foundation.” This hoped for continued cooperation unfortunately turned out to be unachievable. A month later the Foundation responded in the negative. The Foundation announced that “the separate pages on the website linked to the Society would be removed.” Moreover, the Foundation decided that Societymembers would be asked to pay for their visit to the museum in the future.
This onesided cancellation of our friendship was the subject of a conversation Gerard Gijsbertsen and I initiated with the Foundation in August 2017. The purpose of this conversation with the chairman of the Foundation was to explore options to heal the disturbed relationship. Unfortunately, the outcome was disappointing. It became clear that the Foundation favours a businesslike approach and has the ambition to “follow the requirements of the market.” As a consequence of this approach the Foundation perceives the Society “being nothing more than just one of its external stakeholders.”

This has led to a situation in which the Airborne Museum Foundation and the Society are more separated from each other than ever.  The Society’s views on friendship are not recognised by the Foundation. Moreover, the Airborne Museum Foundation states it is in need of a Society that exclusively adds value to the interests of the Airborne Museum.
It appears to me that the new members join the Society because of two reasons: they are interested in gathering knowledge about the Battle of Arnhem and the involvement with the Airborne Museum. Members of our Society perceive the Museum as the actual place and symbol which keeps the memory alive about the Battle of Arnhem and the sacrifices that have been made.

This brings me to the planned direction for the restart of the Society:

  • The Society will primarily invest in “promoting and disseminating knowledge with regard to the Battle of Arnhem, and the Operation Market Garden in a wider perspective as well’. By doing so, the Society will adhere to its primary goal.
  • The Society will develop its own website. This website will have a prominent role within the Society. It will not only support the activities, and the member administration, but will also offer exclusive access to publications for members.
  • More emphasis will be put on conducting Battlefield Tours, excursions and presentations. All these activities will, primarily, be focussed on the Battle of Arnhem.
  • The Society will continue to publish the Airborne Magazine (initially every four months).
  • The Society continues supporting and assisting the Airborne Museum if required and it is asked for. The foreseen assistance and support relates to financial support, providing knowledge and finally making volunteers available in support of activities.
  • In order to facilitate free access to the Airborne Museum for its members, the Society will donate a reasonable amount of money. This contribution will be determined every year in a close dialogue with the Museum board.

No drastic adjustments, one might argue. True, but by clearly appointing the direction of the reboot we, as the Society Board, hope to offer clarity. Apart from the relation with the Foundation, I’m worried about the size and the composition of our membership base. It’s obvious that the average member is getting on in age and predominantly originates from the Oosterbeek area and its close vicinity. Just a small portion of members participate in the Battlefield Tours and the activities the Society organises. For most of the members the Airborne Magazine is the only tangible evidence of their membership, checking in just three times a year. This is one of the reasons why we strive to increase the interaction with our members by a professional website and an attractive and challenging Airborne Magazine. To attract the younger generation into joining the Society we must be more proactive. We must approach young students by facilitating excursions and presentations based on their interests. Not just High School students, but those from Secondary education as well. I’m convinced that the legacy and the lessons which can be drawn from the Battle of Arnhem will appeal to the imagination of the younger generation. As an example I would like to offer my own experiences when I was a cadet at the Royal Military Academy in the seventies of the last century. My thesis was the Battle of Arnhem and the military lessons learned which could be derived from it. My findings inspired me to join the Regiment Special Forces (Korps Commandotroepen) and the Air Assault Brigade (11 Luchtmobiele Brigade) as an officer.

Finally, I would like to enhance our ties with the Air Assault Brigade (11 Luchtmobiele Brigade),
a comparable elitemilitary unit like the British and Polish paratroopers. It is part of the Royal Netherlands Army encamped on the Oranje Barracks at Schaarsbergen, north of Arnhem. Having such a unit located in 1st British Airborne Division’s intended bridgehead of 1944 offers a unique relationship between past and the present. This relationship has been existed for several years and is not limited to just the September commemorations. It is felt most deeply during the Oosterbeek cemetery ceremony prior to the official graduation of new recruits after a mentally and physically exhaustive basic training. The events and lessons learned related to the Battle of Arnhem have proved to be timeless. They are worth the effort to be studied on a regular basis and should be mandatory for all air assault soldiers and units within the Air Assault Brigade – Otto van Wiggen
The new chairman Otto van Wiggen outlines his vision for the future of the SFAM at the General
Members Meeting. (Photo: Willem Kleijn)

The new chairman Otto van Wiggen outlines his vision for the future of the SFAM at the General Members Meeting. (Photo: Willem Kleijn)

During the special general assembly of members on November 19th, 2016 Ben Kolster officially retired from his position as chairman of the Association Friends of the Airborne Museum. His retirement seemed like a good moment to take a look back at an eventful period in the history of our organisation. Robert Voskuil sat down for am interview with the departing chairman.

Why did you decide to resign as chairman?
I feel that the SFAM has reached a turning point in its history. That’s not only due to a change in our relationship with the Airborne Museum, but also to the passage of time in general. We’ve sadly reached a point where the generation that lived through the Battle of Arnhem – either as a soldier or civilian – is really starting to disappear. As they die off, we lose the witnesses who truly experienced that event. As a result, the commemorations and stories we tell about September 1944 are inevitably going to change and take on a new character in the coming years. Given these developments, I really believe it is also time for our organisation to have a new chairperson. When you are in charge of an association like this one, you really have to be constantly asking yourself what the extra things are that you can bring to the table, and that’s certainly even more true after a period of seventeen years.
My personal conclusion was that it was really time for something new. I was very hopeful that we’d found such a successor in Alex Koning. He was a man that had a great affinity for all things Airborne, was an experienced leader, and above all a great guy. I really thought he’d be the perfect person to improve the awkward relationship that the association currently has with the museum. You’ll surely understand what a great shock it was for both me and the rest of the board when he suddenly passed away at the beginning of January 2017.

The general assembly of members on November 19th, 2016 was the last time that Ben Kolster as-sumed the role of chairman. (Photo: Arjan Vrieze)

You’ve been chairman since the year 2000. How do you look back on that period?
It has been a very interesting time, in which a great deal has happened. Certainly, the complete renovation of the Airborne Museum itself has been one of the most significant events in that time. It was clear that changes needed to be made so that the story of “The Battle” could continue to be told in an adequate fashion in the decades to come. It was inevitable that concessions would have to be made in order to fit the tastes of a modern audience, but I think it’s unfortunate that some of these changes were quite radical, and in fact seem to me to be in opposition to some of the traditional values that the museum itself still espouses. Aside from that, some of the changes to the museum seem like they were very much based on the fashions of the moment. It seems as if certain trends in the museum world change very quickly. Take for instance the use of dioramas. At the beginning of this century they were considered oldfashioned, but now they’re starting to come back again in an updated form in museum displays across Europe. It shows how things can change! But to return to my time as chairman, I’ll certainly never forget the many opportunities I had to meet with and talk to the men and women who experienced the events of September 1944 firsthand. And of course, most importantly, there was the experience of working with all of the many board members and advisers to the SFAM since 2000. I even managed to convince a few of them to work with me on my radio and television programs. That’s turned out to be a wonderful way that we can share the story of “The Battle” with the rest of the country.

How do you see the future of The Airborne Museum and the VVAM?
As far as the museum is concerned, I hope that the visitor numbers in the coming years will continue to grow and that the museum will remain relevant for a long time to come.
However, I do think that means learning to strike a good balance. On the one hand, you have the modern public, for whom the events surrounding The Battle of Arnhem aren’t completely obvious you must make sure that the museum remains relevant and accessible for them. On the other hand, you must also try not to lose the traditions and history that are irrevocably tied to Hotel Hartenstein and those days in September of 1944. If we can do that, then I think there’s a lovely future in store for the Airborne Museum. I also really hope that we’ll very soon be able to return to a good and productive working relationship between the museum and the Association of Friends. I think that this cooperation, even if it becomes less direct in the future, is only beneficial to the museum. Both the association and museum are important parts of Oosterbeek and the Story of Arnhem. – Robert Voskuil

The closely felt connection of the SFAM and its membership to the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek is an important principle for the new board.
Therefore, members of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum are encouraged to regularly visit the museum. Free entrance to the museum for SFAM members encourages such visits.
The original entrance agreement was valid to January 1 2018. Unfortunately it has not appeared to be possible to come to a proper new agreement with the board of the museum in the short time that has passed since the General Meeting of December 2nd 2017. That will require more time.
To still allow members free entrance to the museum, the board has decided on the following arrangement. Members will pay for their entry ticket at the museum, but they are encouraged to submit their receipt to the treasurer of the SFAM. He will then reimburse them their entry fees. A simple email with a copy of the receipt and bank information suffices.
Please refer to the colophon for contact details.
Members who possess a Dutch Museum card are strongly encouraged to use this card at the museum. That benefits both the Museum and the Society financially.

In this photo, taken during Harmel’s visit with Adolf Hitler, one can clearly see that Harmel’s right ear is covered in bandages. During this meeting, he was presented with both the Knight’s Cross and the Iron Cross for his service and valour. (Photo via Wybo Boersma)

On many occasions in the past, the Airborne Museum was visited by retired Major General Heinz Harmel, the former commander of the 10th SS Panzer division and SSBrigadeführer.  After he passed away in 2000, the Association Friends of the Airborne Museum continued to have contact with his son, who also visited the Airborne Museum. Additionally, he has loaned various historical documents to the museum archive so that copies can be made.
Harmel’s helmet has also been offered to the museum as a longterm loan. The only condition is that it must be put on view in one of the exhibits. Harmel wore the helmet during combat in Russia. On the lower edge of the helmet’s right side a hole is clearly visible: this was caused by the impact of a bullet or piece of shrapnel. In March of 1943, SSObersturmbannführer Heinz Harmel’s ear was wounded during fighting near Loswaja and Bereka. Afterwards, he was made commander of the SSInfanterieregiment Deutschland, a part of the Das Reich SS Division. In a photo taken during a visit to Adolf Hitler, in which Harmel was awarded both the Knight’s Cross and Iron Cross, a bandage can be clearly seen on the General’s right ear. During Operation Market Garden, Major General H. Harmel was commander of the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg, which had suffered great losses in Russia and during the action around the Falaise Pocket in France.

The helmet of Major General Heinz Harmel. In March 1943 SSObersturmbannführer Heinz Harmel received an injury to his ear during combat in Russia. The shrapnel or bulletstrike that caused the injury was also responsible for the hole in the lower righthand edge of the helmet. (Photo Wybo Boersma)

In September of 1994, the division was sent to the countryside near Arnhem to recover, though there would be little time to rest.
Thanks to Operation Market Garden, units from the division soon end up in combat on the DutchBelgian Border, the Rhine Bridge at Arnhem, and the Waal Bridge at Nijmegen.
The helmet is a 1935 model. The SS emblem is visible on the right side; the emblem on the left side was removed during the war. A size 55, it was manufactured by Quist.
If the conditions set forth by General Harmel’s family are met, the board of the Association Friends of the Airborne Museum will present the helmet to the Airborne Museum Hartenstein for longterm loan and display. If acquired by the museum, the helmet will be a unique artefact representing one of the most decorated SS generals of WWII who also played an important role in Operation Market Garden. – Wybo Boersma

During the 1980s, retired Major General Harmel visited the Airborne Museum on various occasions. Wybo Boersma, dressed here in a rather loud sweater, often guided him around. On the far left of the photo is Ben de Vries, who was the chairman of the Airborne Museum foundation at the time. (Photo via Wybo Boersma)

On 17 March 2017 our member Mrs. Hiltje van Eck from Ede was decorated with the ‘British Empire Medal’. She received this high British decoration from the British Ambassador to the Netherlands, Sir Geoffrey Adams, during a spe
cial ceremony at the British residential villa at Plein 1813 in The Hague. Hiltje (75) was raised in a house on the Lunterseweg in Ede. During the war her parents gave shelter to Jewish people in hiding and after the Battle of Arnhem their close neighbours offered a hiding place to Brit-ish Airborne soldiers that tried to evade German captivity. One of these British paratroopers was Major Tony Hibbert, who in October 1944 played an important role in organising the es-cape operation ‘Pegasus I’.
With help of the Dutch Resistance some 138 allied soldiers managed to escape over the riv-er Rhine to the liberated south of the Neth-erlands. After the war some of these British soldiers returned to the Netherlands on a reg-ular basis. A close friendship grew between the Van Eck Family and the veterans. In 1984 Tony Hibbert asked Hiltje van Eck to organise a reunion for all, military and Dutch civilians alike, who had been involved in the Pegasus Operations. This reunion was subsequently re-peated every five years, all of which Hiltje or-ganised. Apart from this, over the last 30 years Hiltje has worked very hard on behalf of the veterans, especially during the annual remem-brances of the Battle of Arnhem.
She still is the Point of Contact for the members of the Arnhem 1944 Veterans Club (this society today is part of the British Parachute Regiment).
As such she is a member of the Airborne Com-memoration Foundation and a board member of the Arnhem 1944 Fellowship.

At the end of december 2017 the final sections of the historic Hotel Dreijeroord in Oosterbeek were torn down. At the same time, it was announced that the initiative to save the building had been nominated as one of the candidates for the “Citizen’s initiative of the municipality of Renkum for 2017.” This good and bad news has engendered mixed feelings with the foundation “Preservation World War 2 Heritage Gelderland” which has fought so valiantly to keep this remarkable building safe.

The back of Hotel Dreijeroord, photographed after the Battle of Arnhem in 1945. (Gelders Archief)

After struggling for over a year, a terrain full of broken pieces is all that remains of the building so heavily fought over in those days of September 1944 when British airbornes combated German and Dutch SS units. British veteran Geoff Roberts called the “Second battle for the White House”, according to Wiljo Pas of the aforementioned Foundation. “It strikes a nerve when you speak to someone like that and can sense his emotions about the demolition. Geoff fought around this hotel in september 1944 and we would have been so pleased to preserve this spot out of respect for him and his comrades in arms.” Fortunately the new building will, thanks to the protests, look like the old Hotel, and the nomination has been an encouragement for such initiatives.

On June 23rd 2018 VVAM will organise a battlefield tour in and around Nijmegen. For details see VVAM website and the colophon of this magazine.
During the general VVAM meeting of December 2nd our new president restated the VVAM mission. One of the targets is to study the Battle for Arnhem in the context of operation Market Garden.
This article is to provide background knowledge for that tour. On the day, two big maps will be used, one of which is published here.
This article is mainly based on the book of Norbert A. de Groot Als Sterren van de Hemel.

It is still admirable that Norbert de Groot in an age before the internet was able to gather so much information. To my knowledge there are still no new books that describe the battle for Nijmegen in such an integral way. I am convinced that if such books had been available in English in the late seventies, criticism about the American performance at the battle for Nijmegen would have parallelled such critique about the battle for Arnhem.
Books of the last decade describe mostly actions of one of the regiments, of single battalions, or tell of personal experiences.
The books by Phil Nordyke are especially worth mentioning. • All American, All the Way: a combat history of the 82nd Airborne Division in WW2; • More than courage (504 PIR); • Put us down in Hell (508 PIR); • Four stars of valour (505 PIR) and • An irresistible Force, lieutenant colonel Ben Vandervoort and the 2nd battalion, 505 Parachute Infantry in WW2. • Descending from the clouds van Spencer Wurst.
The last two books provide details about the fighting at the Valkhof. The book Battle for the Bridges by Frank van Lunteren provides new details on German units.
On September 17th, 2017 two new books Pictorial History of the 82nd Airborne Division in the Holland Campaign were presented. This took place at Klein Amerika near Groesbeek. 73 years ago 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (505 PIR) landed exactly there. Authors: Peter Hendrikx and Michel De Trez, Volume I Burning Bridges, Volume 2 Bridges are Ours (DDay Publishing). In almost 1000 pages, divided over two bigsize volumes, 1600 unique pictures show the actions of the 82nd US Airborne Division.
Publications of the last decade provide a more complete picture of the battle. Over the same period of time, however, the battlefield changed enormously. At Breedeweg many new houses were built, and north of the Waal at Lent complete parts of the battlefield have disappeared into the river.
September 10th 1944 Montgomery convinced general Eisenhower to swing the main effort to Monty’s 21st Army Group. Montgomery ‘s intention was to cross the River Rhine at Arnhem and start an offensive in the direction of the heart of Germany.
Lieutenantgeneral Brereton’s 1st Allied Airborne Army would be involved in operation MARKETGARDEN. Marshall had told Eisenhower to use this Airborne Army with more fantasy.
The staff of Brereton’s 1st Allied Airborne Army was convinced that the earliest possible day to start the operation was September 17th 1944.
In contrary to Sicily en Normandy, the landings should be daylight droppings. Only one lift a day would take place and all three airborne divisions were ordered to capture their targets on the first day.
With that commander’s intent, lieutenantgeneral (Boy) Browning invited the divisional commanders and the commander of the independent Polish Parachute Brigade to Moore Park in London. Browning acted as commander of all allied airborne army’s ground forces.
The Scottish majorgeneral (Roy) Urquhart received the mission with his 1st British Airborne Division to capture the Rhine bridge at Arnhem (or bridges) and hold till a linkup on D+3.
The AllAmerican 82nd Airborne Division of brigadiergeneral James M. Gavin was ordered to capture (and hold) the long bridge over the Maas at Grave, at least one of the bridges over the MaasWaal canal, and subsequently the Waal River bridge at Nijmegen.
The 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles) of majorgeneral Maxwell D. Taylor was responsible for the southern part of the corridor. This division was to capture the bridge at Son over the Wilhelmina canal, the bridge over the Dommel at St. Oedenrode and bridges over the ZuidWilhelmsvaart (canal) and the river Aa at Veghel. At last the 1st Allied Airborne Army had received an imaginative (fantastic) mission.
That same night the staff of the 82nd ABD started to gather information on German units in the area of operations. Of special interest were the German anti aircraft units. Based on their locations the most suitable drop and landing zones would be determined.
General Gavin visited the British Airborne Division. The Brits had recently planned the aborted operation COMET in that same area. The amount of available gliders and transport aircraft determined the available troops on the first day.
Gavin decided to take three of the four Infantry Regiments, a battalion of artillery, Engineers and some antitank guns with command and control elements with him initially.
The Drop and Landing zones had to be within reasonable distance of the targets. They had to be accessible for transport aircraft and free of anti aircraft artillery. The landing zones had to be suitable for gliders. The area between Groesbeek (GT0340) and Reichswald (Forest) (GT0536) was suitable for paratroopers and gliders. The terrain near Overasselt (FT9238) was only suitable for paratroopers, at least that was the idea.
At Overasselt 24 Pathfinders with the socalled EUREKA radio beacon landed to guide the airborne armada. Nice to know is that the pathfinders commander, luitenant Jaubert is pictured on the volume “Burning Bridges”. Striking is that he is using a part of a British parachute harnas!
His son attended the book presentation on September 17th 2017. He received the first volume, fitting as the son of the pathfinder who landed among the first of the 82nd ABD at Overasselt.
Near Groesbeek and Grave (FT8938) 4 light Flakbatteries were discovered. At Nijmegen there was heavy Flak. Along the MaasWaal canal trenches were spotted. East of Groesbeek was an antitank ditch. Rumours were that the Reichswald was full of Germans, even tanks! Locations of German reserves were unknown.
German units in the 82 ABD area of operation were mainly training battalions.
After watching the landings the German Stadkommandant fled to Germany. A German colonel Henke of the Fallschirm Lehr Stab started organising the defence of Nijmegen at his own initiative.
After talking to Browning it was clear to Gavin that occupying the dominant Groesbeek heights was more important than trying to capture the Waal bridge on the first day. He decided to initially commit only three of his four infantry regiments. They were transported in 482 dakotas and 50 gliders.
Landing zones north and south of Groesbeek got the codenames DZ TARA, LZ TARA, LZ NAN en DZ NAN. The DZ near Overasselt was called OBOE.
504 PIR. 504 Parachute Infantry Regiment, nicknamed ‘Devils in Baggy Pants’ with its 2000 paratroopers was tasked to capture and hold the bridge at Grave, occupy the area Grave Heumen (FT9638) Hatert (FT9543) and capture and hold at least one bridge over the MaasWaalcanal.
Commander 504 PIR was colonel Tucker. 505 PIR. Colonel Ekman with his ‘Panthers’ was tasked with clearing Groesbeek of enemy, defend the area south of Groesbeek against German counterattcks from the direction of the Reichswald. 2-505 of lcol Vandervoort was divisional reserve. LZ NAN had to be available on D+1 and 2 for subsequent lifts and resupply. 508 PIR. Colonel Lindquist was to defend the area north of Groesbeek. Gavin told Lindquist to send a battalion to the Nijmegen bridge as soon as circumstances were favourable.
After preliminary bombardments the division landed between 1300 and 1400 hours, September 17.
At Grave bridge a Feldwebel was killed. He was in charge of the demolitions. Now a Gefreiter (corporal) was made responsible. Shortly after two lonely Dakotas dropped 24 pathfinders near Overasselt. They had 20 minutes to put up their beacons, panels, and coloured smoke.
At 1302 hrs 505 PIR landed around Groesbeek.
It should only have used DZ NAN but 2505 dropped later due to evasive manoeuvres and landed at the Kamp in DZ TARA.
At 1312 hrs 504 PIR landed near Overasselt and south of the Maas near Velp, 1 km southwest of Grave. 508 PIR landed at 1330 hrs northeast of Groesbeek as planned on DZ TARA.
Around 1330 hrs 307 Engineer Battalion was dropped on Knapheide. Twelve 75mm Pack howitzers of the 376 Field Artillery Battalion were dropped by parachute. This was a first! At 1800 hrs the first shells were fired into the Reichswald as a warning.
Around 1345 hrs Dakotas with Waco gliders appeared. Most of them landed at Knapheide instead of at LZ NAN. Finally, Browning’s headquarters arrived in 35 Horsa gliders. They landed at LZ NAN just north of Breedeweg.
505 PIR. This regiment “The Red Devils” landed with two of its battalions at DZ NAN. 2505 landed near the Kamp just north of Groesbeek.
This battalion of lieutenantcolonel Vandervoort was divisional reserve and assembled at 1545 hrs on height 81.1 (Hoge Hoenderberg). 3505 destroyed two FLAK at Ashorst and Lage Horst. The commander, major Kaiser, sent his H en G companies in the direction of Groesbeek.
His third company, I/3-505, was sent in the direction of the Reichswald.
Gavin landed alongside 1-505 of major Talton Long on the Knapheide DZ NAN. 1-505 was ready for action within 30 minutes. Most of them assembled in the Bisselt woods. From there fighting patrols were sent to Grafwegen, Plasmolen and Mook. A patrol near the railway bridge of Mook witnessed it blown up. Around 1500 hrs a defensive line was formed from Kamp, just east of Groesbeek over Breedeweg to St Jansberg. It was here that the Germans reacted first. 504 PIR. At 1315 hrs 504 PIR landed north and south of the Maas. 1-504 of major Harrison landed in the eastern part of DZ Oboe. Major Harrison was tasked to capture at least one bridge over the MaasWaalcanal. A/1504 within 15 minutes was heading for the bridge at Malden (nr. 8). Before their eyes the bridge was blown. C/1-504 headed for bridge nr. 9 at Hatert. After of forced march of 6 kilometres they reached the bridge to see it blown in their faces. B/1504 was more fortunate.

LZ Oboe, with the Maas bridge near Grave visible in the top left portion of the photo.

Captain Thomas Helgeson was able to capture the bridge at Heumen intact after a long fire fight.
Most spectacular was 2504 of major Willems. His mission was to capture and hold the long bridge at Grave. One of Gavin’s rules was that a bridge had to be attacked from two sides simultaneously. For LZ Oboe, with the Maas bridge near Grave visible in the top left portion of the photo.
this the commander of 504 PIR, colonel Tucker, had ordered Ecompany of 2504 of captain Van Poyck to land at the south side of the Maas.
The German defence rested on the Gefreiter.
Upon landing a soldier and a captain of the Intel section headed for the bridge and came back with valuable intel for F/2504. This company attacked the bridge from the direction of the cemetery along the winter dike. F Company came under fire from a 20mm canon on top of a warehouse. There was a prolonged fire fight.
Eleven Dakotas C47 (skytrains) dropped Van Poyck with his E/2504 near Velp. 10 Dakotas dropped the paratroopers a kilometre too far south. Only one aircraft with lieutenant Thompson dropped at the right DZ. It was this group under Thompson that captured the Grave bridge intact. 2504 sent reinforcements over the bridge. Only then major Willems reported: “The bridge is ours”.
3-504 of major Julian Cook (played by Robert Redford in the film “A bridge too far”) landed at 1320 hrs on DZ OBOE near Overasselt. 3504 was regimental reserve and was tasked to expand the bridgehead in northerly direction. For now it was easy in Cook’s sector. 508 PIR. The regiment of colonel Roy Lindquist dropped last at 1328 hrs on DZ TARA north of Groesbeek. 1 and 2508 landed in the hills round Voxhill (GT0343), 3505 at Den Heuvel (GT0442). Around 1500 hrs the battalions were ready and left for Nijmegen. D/2508 was left to defend the DZ. 1508 of lieutenant colonel Shields Warren marched from Groesbeek over the Nijmeegse Baan towards the centre of Nijmegen. This march ended around 1830 hrs near Heilige Landstichting (FT9944). Here was hotel Sionshof. The Dutch resistance reported to captain Bestebreurtje, the Dutch liaison officer to Gavin, that the Waal bridge was only lightly held by the Germans. On this report lieutenantcolonel Shields Warren senta patrol of C/1508 towards the centre. This patrol reached Mariaplein at 0300 hrs but returned around 0800 hrs to the command post.
Around 1800 hrs Gavin realised that Lindquist had not directed a battalion towards the Nijmegen bridge. Gavin ordered Lindquist to send a battalion, but the momentum was gone. 2508 of major Holmes had covered 10 kilometres when at 2030 hrs he reached the line HatertBrakkestein (FT9744). He occupied the St Annastraat, a most important route into the town centre.
Due to failure in communications 508 PIR was not aware that the bridge at Hatert was blown. A patrol of 508 PIR confirmed the bridge blown, but also reported that bridge nr.10 at Honinghutje (FT9345) was still intact. Lindquist ordered major Holmes to capture that bridge (actually a railway and road bridge) that night.
In the meantime at 1400 hrs at Neerpelt in Belgium 13 artillery regiments commenced a bombardment on a 1500m wide front in order to start operation Garden, the advance of 30 Corps. Starting point was Joe’s bridge over the Albert Canal.

Within an hour of the allied airborne landings the commander of the II. SS Panzerkorps, general Bittrich reacted by sending the reconnaissance battalion of the 9th SS Panzer Division (Hohenstaufen) to the Waal bridge. The II. SSPanzerkorps by coincidence had its assembly area northeast of Arnhem.
In the meantime at Cleve that Sunday afternoon decisions were taken that resulted in the D+2 counterattacks. The recently retired captain
Schwarz of Wehrkreis IV was made responsible.
Wehrkreis IV had the 406. Landesschütz Division available. This division, however, had a broad front. Captain Schwarz got reinforcements from the Navy Hospital BedburgHau. Remnants of the II. Fallschirmjägerkorps from Cologne were earmarked as reinforcements. German paratroopers of Fallschirm aufklärungsabteilung 12 and the 3rd. Fallschirmjägerdivision boarded trucks and were available the next morning. With this captain Schwarz had 3000 soldiers. The plan was to organise three counterattacks against Mook, Groesbeek and Beek (GT 0246).

The Germans already counterattacked on the evening of September 17th. Around 100 soldiers marched over the road Gennep Mook. They hit a platoon of B/1505 near Riethorst (GT0236).  After a heavy firefight the Germans retreated.
The counterattacks on September 18th were more serious. The whole 7000meterwide eastern front was defended by only five companies.
At dawn the Germans attacked. 508 PIR. Beek saw German patrols at noon. American artillery was able to break up the attack.
Between Kamp and Voxhill only D/2508 defended the front. Everywhere the attacks were stopped at the foot of the hills. At Voxhill however the Germans broke through.
This emergency forced Lindquist to desperate measures. 1508 was told to return from Nijmegen in order to clear the landing zones.
As a result the Germans in the town centre could reinforce their defences. G/3508 in the early morning was at 400 meters from the bridge. This company however could advance no more. The 2nd lift arrived four hours late due to fog in England.

Lt Thompson at the bridge near Grave.

This resulted in more time to clear the drop and landing zones. At 1300 hrs 1508 attacked with C/ and B/1508 followed by A/1508. This attack pushed the Germans back over the Wyler Baan. The Germans lost 50 men and sixteen 20mm guns. 505 PIR. At Breedeweg and Grafwegen the Germans were all over the drop and landing zones.
Here C/1505 (captain Stefanich) supported by a platoon of I/3505 cleared the landing zone.
During the 2nd lift the Germans were able to fire artillery shells from the Reichswald. 450 gliders landed at 1400 hrs on LZ TARA and LZ NAN. 10 minutes after the last gliders 126 B24 bombers (Liberators) arrived over the Knapheide for a resupply.
At Mook the German attack was serious. From Broekpolder (FT9936) the Germans attacked at noon, entered the village heading for the bridge
at Heumen. American paratroopers stopped this attack at the railway underpass.
In the centre of Nijmegen the Germans were in control. With the pressure gone they improved their defences. At the end of the day the Americans left outposts and withdrew to the dominating high ground. It was getting dark. 504 PIR. September 18th was an easy day for colonel Tucker. In the afternoon Gavin proposed a plan to Browning. This plan, which involved 2505 (Vandervoorts divisional reserve) and 3504 (Julian Cook), was to attack the Waal bridge from two sides. Browning judged this plan too risky.
September 19th at 0820 hrs the Guards Armored Division made contact with the 82 Airborne Division at Grave

At De Elft paratroopers of Van Poyck’s E/2-504 made contact with the Household Cavalry, a British reconnaissance unit equipped with Humber armoured vehicles and M3 halftracks. The Cavalry drove off to Honinghutje bridge, but the damage to the bridge was considered too much for Sherman tanks. They turned and headed for Heumen and Berg en Dal. There they reinforced lcol Mendez’s 3508.
Gavin and Browning hurried to Overasselt. At 1015 hrs they made contact with 30 Corps. Browning and Gavin agreed in the following plan The Grenadier Guards (tank unit) had to assemble near the monastery Nebo (FT9844). Gavin was to provide the infantry in order to launch a combined attack towards the Nijmegen bridge.

Browning and Gavin wait for 30 Corps, at a point just slightly west of Overasselt

Gavin put his divisional reserve under command of the Grenadier Guards. Vandervoorts 2505 headed for Nijmegen. 3504 of major Julian Cook was sent to Jonkerbos (FT9544).
Gavin was looking for an opportunity to attack the railway and road bridge over the Waal from two sides. For the river crossing he had the battalion of the young major Cook in mind. The challenge was to get boats.
That same day (19th) the Grenadier Guards and 2505 launched an attack on the south sides of the bridges. These attacks were stopped late in the evening by Panzergrenadiere. In the defence were 88mm FLAK in an antitank role. The soldiers were from the 10. SSFrundsberg division. These Panzergrenadiere had relieved the reconnaissance unit of 9. SSPzdiv of Gräbner. Hauptsturmführer Gräbner drove back to Arnhem were his unit was destroyed by Frosts 2nd Parachute battalion.
The German defence was known under the name Kampfgruppe Euling (II. Bat PzGrenRgt 21).
After all attacks were countered Gavins plan to cross the Waal with boats became urgent. Horrocks, commander 30 Corps, was in favour and promised to provide the boats.
Wednesday September 20th was the day of the river crossing. After clearing the nearby area 3504 of major Julian Cook with 26 boats near the NYMApower station (FT9549) started crossing the Waal at 1500 hrs.
Tanks of the 2nd battalion Irish Guards, heavy weapons of 2504 and 81mm mortars were firing at the northern bank. The German strongholds in the Valkhof and the Hunnerpark were attacked by tanks and infantry. From the Goffert stadium (FT 9545) British 25pounders fired into the melee.
The How en Itemcompany of 3504 reached the other side of the Waal river. This took place right under the present day powerlines. The river crossing was under continuous fire. Soon the numbers of dead and wounded were mounting. Only half of the boats (13) were able to return in order to get Georgecompany across. After a grim attack some 20mm Flak guns and several spandau machine guns were destroyed by hand grenades. After the arrival of reinforcements the attack was resumed in the direction of the railway bridge. At 1800 hrs the railway bridge was captured. No prisoners were taken. 3504 advanced further towards the road bridge.

A diorama of the Waal crossing, from the National Liberation Museum 19441945, Groesbeek.

There was fighting in houses and orchards. Around 1930 hrs major Cook with his men captured the northern bridge driveway. 3504 lost 107 men this day. Soon the first Sherman tanks drove over the bridge. That was possible due to the successful attack on the southern parts of the bridges.
The Germans tried to blow the bridge, but somehow the demolition charges did not work.
The bridges over the Waal were captured. The 82nd Airborne Division had accomplished all her tasks. However the hardest fighting was still to come. During the struggle for the Waal bridges three German Kampfgruppen attacked Mook, Groesbeek and Beek. The situation at Mook was so critical that Gavin had to leave the Waalcrossing site and head for Mook. At the Wasserburg  Castle in Cleve Field Marshall Model was coordinating the counterattacks in person. The main effort was at Beek. Here Kampfgruppe Becker attacked.  Kampfgruppe Herrmann was tasked to attack Malden and Hatert via Mook. Kampfgruppe Greschick attacked north and south of Groesbeek towards the MaasWaalcanal.
The situation at Mook developed into a real crisis. Near Riethorst and Plasmolen American platoons were surrounded by a German battalion of Fallschirmjäger. Another German battalion was stopped near the railway underpass.
After September 20th it was a race to get reinforcements faster than the enemy. Units of 30 Corps did relieve the American paratroopers, but the 82nd Airborne Division had to stay in the area of operations.
The paratroopers jumped with the idea that they were to be relieved after the linkup after 24 hours. The need for infantry however was such that it took till November 10th to relieve 82nd Airborne Division as a whole. Recuperation took place at Mourmelon in France. The rest lasted till December 17th. The division was alerted. This time the division had to block Kampfgruppe Peiper during the Ardennes Offensive.

Every museum is thrilled when individuals donate or offer historical objects on loan, but in the case of SSparaphernalia it calls out the question on how to handle this. After all, there are few organizations so directly associated with nazi crimes as the SS. On the other hand, there is much interest in all kinds of objects that have to do with the SS, which is reflected in the often skyhigh prices collectors pay for SSparaphernalia.
The recent loan of the personal belongings of SS Generalmajor / Brigadeführer Heinz Harmel, 10.SSPanzerDivision ‘Frundsberg’, to the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek coincided with the exhibition ‘The SS – versatile extremism’ in the National Liberation museum in Groesbeek (which was on show until April 15). This museum states on its website that the image of the SS is romanticized by sensation driven pulpdocumentaries, organizations of former SSwarriors and neoNazis. This makes the topic susceptible for malicious pseudohistory. The Liberation Museum chose to presentan exhibition with a mission: “to prevent misinformation about the most evil organization of the Second World War and to provide a broader, more complete picture of the SS.” A great opportunity therefore to discuss this dilemma with historian Jory Brentjens of the Liberation Museum. “It remains a fraught theme of course, but the idea behind it is that we have noticed that there are a lot of misconceptions about the SS as an organisation in our society. Most people have a very limited vision of the SS. One common association with the acronym is, in first instance, the Aryan soldier, blond with blue eyes, in a black uniform with a skull on it, the ‘creme de la creme’ of the nazi regime that goes to war in the WaffenSS. That only matches with reality for a small part. Or people think of the concentration camps, which in itself is justified, but are often not aware of the fact that these camps were preceded by a whole development history, which was also supervised by the SS: that of the Einsatzgruppen, or the mobile gasvehicles, in fact the whole prelude to the death camps. What we want to show with this exhibition is that the SS was a broad organization, with underlying companies and semiscientific institutes. We want to show that the criminal character of this organization ranges much wider than most people think. This is the core idea behind the exhibition.” An exhibition on the SS — no doubt that provoked a strong response? “We realized very well that such an exhibition would raise many a question and calls for comments. You know that if you’re holding this laden theme, you also will get comments from people who feel that a war museum should be deathly silent about this subject. But by not addressing it, you do not change history. The SS had a major influence on the war, it has done what it’s done.

Historian Jory Brentjens of the National Liberation Museum Groesbeek (photo Willem Kleijn)

That you should be able to explain. It is through this dark piece of the history of the war history, that you give a warning. But again, you have to take great care not to mark the SS as this mythical organization it is in the eyes of some: a fanatical elite army, the best of the best. You will get criticism from different angles which produces a curious combination of arguments. We have received comments from rightwing corners that we criminalise the organization and give no attention to the alleged positive aspects of the SS. On the other hand we were criticised by the CIDI (Centre for Information and Documentation Israel) on the press release of the exhibition, which they found too positive. It remains a very sensitive topic, and you must be very precise in choosing your words.
The key is the embedding in your exhibition, and the story that it tells.” When you start displaying personal belongings of a famous or notorious SSsoldier, such as a helmet, a uniform and medals, you put such a figure in fact on a podium. How do you ensure you do not put out the wrong message? “The personal story of general Harmel can be used just fine in principle, but one has to be be careful to choose the correct angle. You should not put the man on stage to show what a fantastic soldier he was. Point is, that the story of Market Garden is not complete if the German reaction is omitted. The 10th SSPanzerdivisie ‘Frundsberg’ was in fact present during Market Garden in Netherlands and did fight against the Allies. In our exhibition, we included a biography of Kurt Meyer, Major General of the 12th SS Panzer Division ‘ Hitler Youth’1. He was the youngest General to the German side during the Second World War. He started his career in the 1st SS Panzer Division ‘Leibstandarte ‘ and fought in Poland, The Netherlands, Greece and Russia. With the 12th SS Panzer Division, he fought his unit almost to annihilation in Normandy. This individual compares well to other generals within the SS like Harmel. Both have been awarded high awards2 and both of them are, with their Division, responsible for, to say the least, questionable actions. About Meyer you could even say that he has been responsible for war crimes. His unit, for example, burned down villages and commited cruelties against civilians oin the the Soviet Union. He was never accused and sentenced for those facts, only because the Allies did not want to extradite him to the Soviets.” “During the preparations for the exhibition a discussion arose over a sentence that I had included in the accompanying text. I had written that he had qualities as general, as commander of the troops. That raised the question of whether this was the story that we want to tell here. We wanted to show that he made sixteen, seventeen yearold boys in his division fight to their death in Normandy. But as far a his personal qualities as General are concerned, we have consciously said this exhibition is not the place and the time to go into that. If you would want to say anything about that, you should explain the matter more extensively, and in this exhibition we simply don’t have the space. So that’s a very conscious choice “. “With General Harmel it might be a bit different, because on the basis of his helmet and distinctions you could explain what his direct role in the

A Knight’s Cross with oak leaves and crossed swords. This version was only awarded 159 times during World War II. A replica like the one shown above only costs a few dollars, while an original is worth at least £25,000… (internet photo)

Battle of Arnhem was; what his choices and considerations were at that time. You have to look closely at how you do incorporate this into the story. In this case you’re talking about embedding it in the MarketGarden story, more specifically in the Arnhem –part. But that’s different from our SSexhibition.
We tried to tell the entire history SS, in which also the Holocaust is included along with all sorts of aspects that are less or not at all familiar.” Does the exhibition explain the Dutch contribution to the WaffenSS? “Yes, in relative and absolute terms, the Dutch contigent volunteers in the WaffenSS with 20,000 to 25,000 men, was is the greatest of all

countries. That we illustrate in the section on the WaffenSS by the story of Gerardus Mooyman, a Dutch volunteer who was the first ‘foreigner’ in the WaffenSS that received the Iron Cross”.
Allegedly Harmel signed the guestbook of the Airborne Museum with the addition “the victor of the ‘Battle of Arnhem”3

“This quote is extremely interesting, if true, it would also tell us something about the man. That information you could use with the display of his helmet and awards showing that after all this time, he still looked upon it that way. No excuses along the line of ‘we fought hard, but realized afterwards that we unfortunately fought for a terrible regime.’ These Germans claimed subsequently not having being aware of atrocities, but so many years after the war, all the facts were well known. At the moment he visited the museum Harmel was well aware about what had happened. It is interesting to see how someone in retrospect does or does not distance himself from what happened.”
– Willem F. Kleijn (accredited Int. GBG Guide / Badge #61)

1 After the war Kurt Meyer was accused, prosecuted and sentenced to death by the Canadians, but that sentence was changed to lifetime inprisonment after German dignitaries protested. In 1954 he was released at the urging of Adenauer. Meyer died on his 51st birthday in 1961.

2 The Knight’s cross with Oak leaves and Swords was awarded only 159 times during WW2. This award was nominated by Hitler personally and granted to soldiers who played a decisive role during a military operation.

3 Assuming that this is true, it is akward that he did not want his name to be associated with the film ‘ A Bridge too far ‘. Hardy Kruger plays Harmel’s the role as ‘Generalmajor Ludwig’

Generalmajor Heinz Harmel, in this photo you can not only see his Knight’s Cross with oak lea-ves and crossed swords, but also the wound he received to his right ear. (photo Bundesarchiv)

We, my parents Berend van Zanten and Cornelia Wilhelmina Zoetekouw, my brother Berend (nickname Ben) and I, lived at 20, Cornelis Koningstraat, at the corner of Johannaweg in Oosterbeek. My parents had a grocery shop there. In September 1944, I was eight years old.
Sunday 17 September 1944 was a day never to forget. It was lovely weather. With my mother, I went to our church, the Dutch Reformed Church on the Benedendorpsweg. Via the Weverstraat, it was roughly a kilometer’s walk from our house.
As usual, we entered the church through the rear entrance, which was on the southern aisle.
Leader on that memorable Sunday, was The Reverend J.G.L. (Jaap) Brouwer. The organist was Henk Meijer, the local shoemaker. The Sexton was Mr Haksteen senior, who also was an undertaker. At the opening of the service, the Vicar, the churchwardens and the deacons arrived in a procession all dressed in sober black. The church service started at 11.00am.
During the church service, unexpectedly, the Germans opened up at British aircraft from an antiaircraft gun, which was sited in the meadow just 50 meters behind the church. A deafening noise which, even so, was quieter than the thunderous noise of exploding bombs. The church shook on its foundations and the chandeliers scarily swung back and forth. I cannot remember if I was afraid, but during the sermon, I desperately needed to go to the toilet.  This was located in the vestry, right next to the church entryway. You could reach this vestry via the door next to the pulpit. The outside door of the vestry that morning was open, due to the lovely weather. Curious as I was, I looked outside and just at that moment, an English fighter plane (a Spitfire or Typhoon??) swooped in, flying low and firing at the German ackack site with his machine guns. Thereafter the German firing stopped!
We sang, amongst others, “Our God is a fortress, a haven for refugees” and “What the future brings will be guided by the Lord’s hand”. At the end of the service, we sang with full energy, the first and sixth verses of the “Wilhelmus”, the Dutch National Anthem.
After the church service, we hurried home, via the Weverstraat. Now and again, we had to take shelter from the dangers of the fight going on over our heads. We took refuge, first, in the “Klompenschool” (The Clogs school) – that was a public junior school, where many children wore clogs, hence the name, and in a few other houses.
I still remember exactly which houses, including the house of our GP, Doctor Brevée, between the Weverstraat and the Fangmanweg.
When we got home, Ben sat on our roof to watch the parachutists dropping in the distance. To our utter amazement and surprise, airborne landings had started west of Oosterbeek!
From our street, we watched it all happen. It was an event never seen before. The white parachutes made an enormous impact on us and released powerful

Wim van Zanten at his adopted grave of Corporal William Leslie George Simpson (Joe) at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek. (Photo from the collection of Wim van Zanten)

emotions. We also saw some aircraft that towed yet more aircraft. It appeared the latter were gliders that landed on the fields near Wolfheze. We thought: Shall we finally be liberated from the damned “Krauts”? The Germans living in the local Association building had suddenly disappeared… Father thought it sensible to spend the night of Sunday to Monday in the air raid shelter. He had built one in our back garden in 1943. It was a long style shelter, about 2.5 meters wide and 4 meters long, with benches along the sides on which the four of us, Father, Mother, Ben and I could sleep. The sides were supported with wooden planks and on the wooden roof, the excavated earth was placed, just under a meter thick. Using the rather steep wooden ladder, made by my Father, you could reach the shelter below ground level. My father had planted tobacco plants in the dirt on the bunker roof.
That night our house was hit by a shell. A section of the roof was damaged, right over my bedroom! I shall never forget that my bookcase, full of books, was thankfully not damaged!
In the morning of Monday 18th September, we found a letter on the counter of the shop, on which the message was: “Aunt Kee, I have taken a bottle of Maggi (soup flavouring sauce) – here is the money”. I do not remember who that was, but it showed the honesty of the local people.
Monday was traditionally ‘Washup Day’. For Grandma Zoetekouw, who lived next door to us, the war changed nothing when it came to such traditions. She took no notice of the heavy shooting and did the washing outside under the leanto, and hung the clean items on the washing line in the back garden, that, partly ran alongside our shelter. In spite of warnings, she hesitated to go indoors saying, “They will never hit me”.
On the Utrechtseweg, on the edge of the path running down hill between the premises of the flower shop Houthuyzen and Villa Maria, stood an enormous beech tree. (to clarify, there is a substantial height difference between the Utrechtseweg and the street running parallel to it, the Cornelis Koningstraat). In the beech, a German sniper had hidden himself, but we knew this. British troops were seeking him but could not get a bead. At the corner of Cornelis Koningstraat and the Weverstraat, a jeep appeared, carrying four British soldiers. They were looking for the German sniper. Ben, who spoke a few words of English, walked up, bending down behind the partly still standing wall that originally protected the whole area, hidden from the German until he reached the soldiers. He pointed out where the sniper was hidden, whereupon the British soldiers followed him along the Cornelis Koningstraat. Then using an old trench, they surrounded the tree and asked the German to surrender. He roared “Nein” and fired with his weapon. As a result, he was shot out of the tree by a British soldier with a spray of fire from an automatic weapon. Dead! We watched as this all took place. The shout of “Nein”, the rifle shot, the noise of the automatic weapon, the breaking off of the tree branches and the falling of the German, I can still hear to this day, if I think about it or if I am telling someone.
In the area surrounding the old trench, during the following days, heavy fighting took place. After the War, in that area, several more soldiers were found buried.
Tuesday 19th September my Father and I went via the Lukassenpad to the Utrechtseweg hoping to see British troops. On the way, I saw dead soldiers. My Father told me not to look, but naturally I still looked and still see the dead English soldier lying with his head on the large boulder which lay at the top of our street, to protect the corner of a workshop. He had tried to look inside the Post Office which lay to the south, down the street. In the Lukassenpad, I saw more dead soldiers. At the corner of the Lukassenpad and the Utrechtseweg, by the cafe of Wiep de Vries and the distribution office, with other interested and happy Oosterbeekers, we met some British troops and some managed to hold a conversation with each other. My Father was given some cigarettes by a soldier. They had taken some Germans as POW’s.
On Wednesday 20th September my brother, wearing his blue overalls and with the badge of the air raid precautions service on his arm, went to Uncle Wim in the Weverstraat, to listen to ’BBC “Radio Orange’’ and also to see if baker Koning had any bread. When he was close to my Uncle’s business, he saw German soldiers and he fled indoors at Uncle Wim’s. Sadly there were Germans there too and Aunt Alie whispered to him “Say that you are

After the commemoration of the Battle of Arnhem in 2003 we (my wife Else and I) with others on Monday 22 September, at the Town Hall Square in Oosterbeek, said goodbye to our friend and veteran of the Battle of Arnhem, Harold Padfield and other veterans. One of the veterans was not going with the others to Schiphol.
Tanno Pieterse from the Lest We Forget Foundation, was taking him there. I began a conversation with him before they left. So as always when I chat with British veterans, it centres on September 1944, this time as well.
He asked if I had experienced the Battle of Arnhem, what I did then, where I lived at the time etc. I told him that on 17th September with my mother we were in the Old Church and also explained that our house sat almost 50 metres directly south of where we were
standing. I wanted to tell him the story about the German sniper and said to him “Over there (pointing to the spot where the beech had stood) was a very big beech”, whereupon he interrupted me with the words “with a German sniper”. I stood perplexed and temporarily was speechless. Then I asked him if he could remember the jeep with the four soldiers on board and that someone had gone to them saying he knew where the sniper sat. I told him that the someone was my brother.
He could remember everything, including my story about the “Nein”, the German’s shot and that, after the wave of automatic gunfire, he fell dead out of the tree.
Then he said “I did it, it was my job and I was paid for it”. The veteran who I stood talking to was Bob Laing.

looking for bread”. That apparently was accepted by the Germans. They took him home, with a gun in his back. When my brother came home and told what had happened, he got his bottom kicked by Father and was forbidden to go again or to listen to BBC “Radio Orange”.
When we were staying in the air raid shelter, my Father or my brother regularly went home to get some food. It was only about ten meters walk. Although thus far, the four of us managed to sleep on the benches, suddenly, I cannot remember exactly when, Grandma, Auntie Bet, Uncle Gerrit, Dinie and Bertus, all arrived to share our space, such that we had to sleep sitting up!
In the meantime, the battle moved back and forth. One moment we heard English being spoken and the next moment German. It appeared that the Germans were at the front of our house and the English at the rear and sometimes the other way round. I can still see a German laying behind his machinegun in the scullery of the Marks family home, ready to fire.
During one of these days, a German soldier stood at the entrance to our shelter with his automatic weapon aimed downwards and screamed “Sind hier Tommies?”. My Mother who was not troubled by this, shouted back “Bugger off – there are no English here”. The man responded by shooting a salvo through the tobacco plants and departed.
Thursday 21st September our house was again hit by a shell, now on the rear, as a result of which, Father thought it advisable to move to Uncle Wim’s in the Weverstraat. He thought it would be safer in my uncle’s basement. It cost us about ten minutes to get there and luckily, noone was hurt. I was allowed to take my scooter with us.
My Grandma, Aunt Bet, Uncle Gerrit and the
children stayed put and did not go with us. What Mother took with us were the ration coupons that were already partly stamped, empty wholesalers passes and naturally, the cash takings. I can still see her carrying the bag, in which everything was kept safe. I also remember that, on the roof of the Aarts butcher building, on the corner of the Weverstraat and the Meester Meijers pathway and opposite Uncle Wim’s shop, a green parachute lay, carrying a supply basket.
We weren’t the only ones who thought to find safety at Uncle Wim. As well as Uncle Wim, Aunt Alie, Willy, Judith and Hans, also Mr & Mrs Vreem, Mr & Mrs Köhler with their daughter (Mr Köhler was a poulterer with a business on the Annastraat at the junction with the Weverstraat), Mr & Mrs Roza and the Mother of Aunt Alie with her second husband, Mr Versteegh who all hoped to find a safe hiding place in the basement. I and the other children were made absolutely clear in no uncertain terms that we were forbidden to go outside.
It must have been Saturday 23 September when my Father and my brother went back to our house. They brought the stock of food storage jars to the basement, covered them with carpet and then threw the stock of winter potatoes on top (after the war, the potatoes had all rotted but the storage jars were still OK.) The news got steadily more somber with the passage of time. One day, it must have been 24 September, totally unexpectedly, a deafening noise from cannon fire opened up and then from the barrage of shells. Every time we heard from the direction of the Betuwe the noise of cannon fire, we were scared into silence and if we heard the whistling noise from passing shells, we knew we were safe. Uncle Wim’s building received a direct hit just as my Father was cooking upstairs in the

Detail from an aerial photo of Oosterbeek, taken on 6th September 1944 by an RAF photo reconnaissance aircraft. Utrechtseweg runs across the top in the photo and parallel to it, the Cornelis Koningstraat. In the centre of the photo, the Johannaweg runs from the Cornelis Koningstraat in a southerly direction, finishing in a circular culdesac. On the lefthand (western) corner of the Cornelis Koningstraat and the Johannaweg was the house and shop of the Van Zanten family. On the open ground north of the Cornelis Koningstraat, opposite the house, a zigzag shaped trench was dug at the start of the war. It provided shelter in case of strafing from the air. This trench can be seen in the photo as a dark zigzag line. In the lower lefthand corner of the photo, a part of the Lukassenpad and to its left a small piece of the Annastraat can be seen with some difficulty. In the lower righthand corner part of the Weverstraat is visible. (Photo: Royal Air Force, Gelders Archief collection)

kitchen; he always loved cooking. We sat waiting in the basement to enjoy the result of Father’s cooking arts. My Mother screamed after the shell exploded, with her voice made hoarse by her fear: “Berend?”. Through the partly damaged chimney, my Father shouted down “Nothing happened – everything OK with me”.
On Monday 25 September, all the residents of Oosterbeek received an order from the Germans to leave the village. I wanted to take my scooter, but it needed a new valve in the rear tire. Aunt Alie did not agree that a valve could be taken from her hidden new bicycle, so I could not take my scooter with us. Later, the bicycle of my Aunt, my scooter, and the building where they were hidden, were all destroyed by fire.
We left Uncle Wim’s building via the basement in the Zweiersdal, came onto the Vredeberg and walked through the Jacobaweg, the Wilhelminastraat, where we sought cover in the Teesink site, over the Utrechtseweg, over the Schelmseweg and along the railway line UtrechtArnhem to the Mariëndaal gate and via the viaduct under the railway line.
In the lane leading from the Utrechtseweg to the Mariëndaal gate, stood German ackack guns.
We hid under the gateway when the guns began to fire heavily at passing British aircraft. We saw to our horror, how an aircraft was hit, burst into flames and crashed. I saw how the German soldiers congratulated each other! Moving via the Mariëndaal and the Arnhem part of the Schelmseweg, we finally reached the Apeldoornseweg.
On the eastern corner of that junction was a German tent camp. From the older Austrian soldiers based there, we received some bread. Some of them had tears in their eyes.
In a stream of evacuees from Arnhem and Oosterbeek, we walked further towards Apeldoorn. Later that day, we were picked up from the “De Groenendaal” in horse drawn wagons and taken to Apeldoorn. So, for us began the evacuation period that lasted until May 1945. Apeldoorn was liberated on 17 April 1945 by the Canadians. Because we owned a grocers shop, we were allowed to return to Oosterbeek in May 1945. Freek Gerritsen took us home with horse and cart. Entering our village we were shocked at what we saw. Houses and shops were reduced to rubble. Oosterbeek was largely unrecognisable. Everywhere lay piles of rubble, especially on each side of roads, also in our street.
Our house and shop had been plundered and much of the fixtures and fittings had gone. The Christmas decorations had been thrown from the loft and lay in smithereens on the landing. If we went to the bedrooms we walked over the stairwell now open to the sky, a result of the grenade explosion. Therefore, if it rained, we had to use an umbrella indoors. My bedroom was unusable, due to the explosion on 17/18 September. The shop windows lay in smithereens.
The glass Droste advert board had all the paint decoration scratched off, with the intention of using the glass as a window repair. The rest of the shop windows and the shop door were repaired with dark brown planks taken from the trenches.
With planks of differing colours, recovered from here and there, our roof was finally repaired.
The children could not go to school and thus I played every day with my friends in the damaged village. What we all experienced then, is a whole new story!
– Wim van Zanten

The Lost Company
Written by: Marcel Anker Publisher: Maca Publishing, 2017 ISBN: 9789082571509
Format: 126 pag; ill.; English; Price: € 27.50

Marcel Anker is hardly unknown in our Society. He’s a wellknown expert on the combat along Utrechtseweg on 18 and 19 September 1944. He has also cooperated in a variety of Battlefield Tours. Everything he’s collected over the years has now been published in The Lost Company. It relates the history of C Company, 2 Para down to its smallest details.
After a chapter about the unit’s training and combat actions before September 1944, the author explains the Company’s mission. Its initial task was the capture of the railroad bridge at Oosterbeek. This failed task — the bridge was blown — often gets less attention than it deserves. A clear picture is drawn with the use of maps and photos. Next follows the second mission, the occupation of the Ortskommandantur on Nieuwe Plein in Arnhem. The Company got embroiled in street fighting along Utrechtseweg while trying to perform this mission.
The exact chain of events is explained to the level of the individual using clear maps. Using this book, much of the fighting can be followed on site. The book concludes with the aftermath and some appendices, including the fighting around the socalled Airborne House, Utrechtseweg 72.
This book is certainly worth reading, and it does justice to a company that tried to execute its mission despite strong enemy resistance. – Wybo Boersma

Pictures 1 and 2. On September 24 Quartermaster SergeantMajor Dave Morris (right picture) and Assistant Adjutant & Quartermaster general of the Independent Polish Parachute Brigade lieutenantcolonel Marcin Rotter (left picture) were interrogated in front of probably the same villa by a German officer.

In newsletter 87 from 2002 information was requested concerning two famous Battle of Arnhem photos. The pictures were probably taken at the same location. Given that the two British prisoners and the date of their capture were known, the location must have been somewhere in the eastern part of Oosterbeek.
Quartermaster SergeantMajor Morris describes the scene in the book Arnhem Their Final Battle, page 151): “I was handed to a German officer, who could speak perfect English. He asked me the usual questions, my name, what unit, how many comrades I had left behind, etc. Of course, he only got my army number, rank and name. He did not pursue his questioning. In fact he became quite pleasant. He said: ‘you must feel quite proud to be a Red Devil’ and insisted that I pose with him for a photograph. When in front of the camera he asked me why I did not speak German. I Replied ’Why should I speak German when you can speak English?’ I think he appreciated that, for he patted me on the shoulder and took me inside the house. There I was offered a mug of tea and a piece of bread. I could not believe this was happening!
After about an hour a party of wounded and captured British paratroopers was being marched past the house and I was ordered to join them. When this party reached the St Elisabeth hospital, it was halted and some of the wounded were taken inside.” The rest of the war Dave was a prisoner.
Many a researcher has tried and failed to solve this puzzle. But now, finally, the location is known.
By chance VVAM member Peter Vrolijk found an old picture of villa ‘Heuveloord’ on the north side of Emmastraat in Oosterbeek (picture 3).

Picture 3. Villa Heuveloord at Emmastraat 31 in Oosterbeek. After the war the villa was demolished and a new road, the Beatrixweg, was built here.

Studying the pictures 1 and 2 we notice two big windows left of the main entrance. On the left, there is a construction situated a bit deeper. The details match: the subdivision of the window frames, the profile of the left corner of the main building, the rain pipe left of the main entrance and the arms of the blinds.
The fact that the villa was demolished in 1945/1946 and replaced by newer type buildings and a road contributed to the delay in finding the exact location. Many researchers were looking for the location on the ground in vain in the eastern part of Oosterbeek, but the villa simply no longer exists.
The picture of the villa Heuveloord is printed in part 2 of Blik Omhoog, a series of books (1996) by Cor Janse about wartime Wolfheze (page 779). Many VVAM members will have this series in their bookcase. Because it describes wartime Wolfheze, it is not the most obvious place to look for a picture of a villa in Oosterbeek.
But some people from Wolfheze did shelter in its basement. One of them was even found dead in the garden. The villa was well known, because it used to be the house of the Mayor Van der Moolen from 1919 till 1934. As of 1936 it became a retirement home.
A series of well known pictures were taken of Dave Morris being taken prisoner on September 24. See Magry, Operation Market Garden pages 622623. The surrender scene was also filmed and appeared in the Deutsche Wochenschau newsreel of October 5, 1944. The first frames show Quartermaster SergeantMajor Dave Morris, Private Jimmy Carr and LanceCorporal Harold Cook (all members of 11th Battalion the Parachute Regiment) at the spli of Weverstraat and Dam (picture 4).
Shortly before they had been taken prisoner at the house ‘Vredehof ’ of family de Soet on Beneden(lower part)Weverstraat. Later they were filmed in front of Fangmanweg nr. 35 (picture 5). That house still exists today.
The location Emmastraat fits the route WeverstraatDamFangmanweg to the hospital St Elisabeth’s Gasthuis in Arnhem, see picture 6.
Blik Omhoog, the series of books by Cor Janse mentions the villa several times, but does not reveal the identity of the selfassured German officer talking to Morris and Rotter. Some researchers believed it was the same German in both pictures, but there are doubts about that know. Details of the leather jacket (collar) do not correspond.

Picture 4. Carr, Cook and Morris on the split of WeverstraatDam. De Dam continues left towards Fangmanweg. Picture 5. Screenshot of David Morris in front of house Fangmanweg 35

Many names as Model, Harmel en Bittrich were suggested in hopes of identifying a prominent German. But a striking detail and common sense point in another direction. The German on picture 1 has a black field hat with white (or silver) piping and a death skull. Without doubt, this is an officer of a Waffen SS Panzer unit. Only members of the Panzer regiment 9 of the 9th Waffen SS Hohenstaufen Panzer Division would have worn that kind of black field hats.
This narrows down the number of possible candidates. There are two officers who fought in Oosterbeek might be candidates: Hauptsturmführer Klaus von Allwörden of the Panzerjägerabteilung of the Hohenstaufen Division (but Panzerjäger were not part of the Panzerregiment) and Obersturmführer A. Harder of the 7th Kompanie of the Waffen SS Panzerregiment 9. Harder was the name giver of the “Kampfgruppe Harder“. Harder is the only Panzer officer of which we know that he fought in Oosterbeek. Kampfgruppe Harder consisted of tank crews without tanks, augmented by other troops.
Known pictures of Von Allwörden do not show similarity with the German officer at villa Heuveloord. Unfortunately, we have no pictures of Harder. His Kampfgruppe fought in the southeastern part of Oosterbeek roughly between Fangmanweg and the river Rhine. So it is very likely by deduction that the German officer on picture 1 could be Obersturmführer Harder.
Then there is the German officer on picture 2.
Janse mentions that the basement of the villa Heuveloord was used by the Germans as a small hospital. Two or three German doctors were working there. And contrary to most Germans it was not unusual for German doctors to speak English. –Paul Meiboom

Picture 6. Part of RAF aerial photograph of March 15, 1945 of Oosterbeek. The trenches are German defensive positions, constructed after Market Garden when the river Rhine became the frontline. 1 = House Vredehof at the split of Fangmanweg/Weverstraat. 2 = Location picture 4. 3 = Location picture 5. 4 = Villa Heuveloord.

Villa Hartenstein is covered in scaffolding. The building is a nationally protected monument and it is one of the few remaining countryseats in Oosterbeek that was not destroyed during the last year of the Second World War. The history of the building goes far beyond the war however, and in the near future that can be seen as well.
The airs and rich history of Hartenstein as a countryseat will be fully restored with this renovation, with authentic features of the past. As a result of the fierce fighting in 1944, these were partially destroyed and have disappeared. Soon the museum can tell both the history of the Battle of Arnhem and the history
of the countryseat Hartenstein. During the renovation necessary maintenance will also be executed.
Professional painting and repair of (hidden) rotten wood is essential. At the moment, the façade is covered with a layer of rubberbased paint. This prevents the façade from ‘breathing’, which can cause severe damage in the long term. This will have to be replaced entirely, and the underlying plaster restored and repainted in prewar colours.
Finally villa Hartenstein will regain its original ‘attiek’, a raised and partially decorated rooftree, that used to ornament the building. Once complete, the museum will look like its countryseat self again.

Villa Hartenstein is ‘packed up’ for the restoration currently being carried out on the building’s exterior. A large poster hanging on the front face announces a new exhibtion commemorating the 75 year anniversary of the Dutch Red Berets, and the 25 year anniversary of the Air Mobile Brigade. This exhibit opened on September 1st, 2017. (Photo: Robert Voskuil)

General meeting SFAM
Location: Concertzaal, Rozensteeg 3, Oosterbeek.
Time: 10.30, open to the public at 10.00.
Entry only for members of the Society on proof of membership. Followed by a presentation by Mr. J.Bakker, curator of the Commando Museum.
Presentation by Mr J Bakker, curator of the Commando Museum, about no 2 (Dutch) Troop, No 10 (Inter Allied) Commando
Location: Concertzaal, Rozensteeg 3, Oosterbeek.
Time: 14.00 – 17.00, open to the public at 13.30.
Entry free for members of the SFAM, for others € 2.50. There is a small exhibit of items around no 2 Dutch Troop from member’s collections.
Annual book fair for secondhand books and documents related to World War 2
Location: Concertzaal, Rozensteeg 3, Oosterbeek.
Time: 09.30 – 14.30.
Free entry. For more information mail
9 – 13 MAY
Battlefield Tour Normandy.
For more on the planning and general information, see of get in touch via
Battlefield Tour Nijmegen.
Campaign of the 82nd US Airborne Division
Start: Talsmalaan, Oosterbeek.
Next to the Airborne Museum.
Time: 09.00 – 17.00.
Entry: Members SFAM € 40.00, others € 45.00.
The tour will be led by Erik Jellema. The price includes bustransport and a lunch.
Battlefield tour Arnhem “Nine days of combat near Ede, Oosterbeek and Arnhem.“
Start: Talsmalaan, Oosterbeek.
Next to the Airborne Museum.
Time: 09.00 – 17.00.
Entry: Members SFAM € 40.00, others € 45.00.
The price includes bustransport and a lunch. All participants will receive a guidebook of the tour.
Battlefield tour: “The actions of 1st battalion The Border Regiment.“
Start: Talsmalaan, Oosterbeek.
Next to the Airborne Museum.
Time: 09.00 – 17.00.
Entry: Members VVAM € 40.00; nonmembers € 45.00.
The tour will be led by Erik Jellema. The price includes bustransport in the morning and a lunch.
The afternoon tour will be on foot.
Airborne Day
Location: Concertzaal, Rozensteeg 3, Oosterbeek.
Time: 10.00 – 15.00.
Entry: €2.50.
Display with explanations of Airborne materials and documents owned by members of the Society. Trade, book fair and other activities are possible. A simple lunch is an optional extra. More information: For any extra information about the activities, applications for participation, and any changes, please check our website at or send an email to

The Airborne Magazine is a publication of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum Oos-terbeek (SFAM) and appears three times per year. The objective is to promote the Airborne Museum, the SFAM and the history of the Battle of Arnhem.
Editors: Jasper Oorthuys Otto van Wiggen
Archiving and distribution of back issue of the magazine:
Design and lay-out: Christy Beall
Printed by: Wedding Proson, Harderwijk
E-mail adress SFAM: Phone SFAM: +31(0) 6 510 824 03.
Postal address: SFAM, Wissenkerkepad 22, 6845 BW, Arnhem.
Representative in the UK: Niall Cherry, email address:

DOWNLOAD een PDF versie

Rear view of Hotel Dreijeroord as it was torn down last Fall. A new building, which will look very similar on the outside as the soldiers of 7 KOSB found it in september 1944, is expected to be completed by the end of this year. (Photo Berry de Reus)


3. Huize Hartenstein teruggebracht in oorspronkelijke staat

4. Interview Ben Kolster n.a.v. zijn afscheid als voorzitter van de VVAM

5. Koninklijke Onderscheiding voor onze leden Wil Rieken en Willy Keus

6. Menselijke resten gevonden op ter-rein Dreyeroord, explosievenonder-zoek afgerond

7. Helm van SS-Brigadeführer en Gener-al-Major Heinz Harmel (1906 – 2000)

8. ‘British Empire Medal’ voor Hiltje van Eck

9. Nieuwe Catalogus Airborne Museum

12. Boekenbeurs weer zeer geslaagd

12. Recensie: Gesneuvelde Waarheid

13. Ministory nummer 126: Herinneringen van een achtjarige jongen aan de ‘Slag om Oosterbeek’.

19. Programma 2017

Omslag: De Arnhemse Rijnbrug en omgeving, enkele jaren geleden gefotografeerd vanuit een historische C-47 (Dakota) door Wybo Boersma.

Huize Hartenstein is ‘ingepakt’ in verband met de restauratie van de buitenkant van het gebouw. Op de voorgevel is een grote poster aangebracht met daarop de aankondiging van een tentoonstelling over ‘75 jaar Rode Baret en 25 jaar Luchtmobiele Brigade’, die op 1 september a.s. open gaat .(Foto: Robert Voskuil)


Huize Hartenstein staat de toekomende maanden in de steigers. Het gebouw is een rijksmonument en het is een van de weinige buitenplaatsen in Oosterbeek en omgeving die niet zijn verwoest in het laatste oor-logsjaar. In de septemberdagen van 1944 was Villa Hartenstein het hoofdkwartier van de Britten tijdens operatie Market Garden en sinds 1978 herbergt de villa het Airborne Museum. Maar het gebouw heeft een veel langere geschiedenis, en daar zal in de naaste toekomst ook aandacht worden besteed.
De allure en de rijke geschiedenis van Hartenstein als buitenplaats worden met de restauratie in ere her-
steld, met de authentieke kenmerken van vroeger. Als gevolg van de zware gevechten in 1944 zijn die namelijk deels verwoest. Straks vertellen we hier het verhaal van de Slag om Arnhem én de geschiedenis van buitenplaats Hartenstein.
Met de restauratie worden authentieke details teruggebracht, maar wordt ook noodzakelijk onderhoud verricht. Het aanpakken van het schilderwerk en herstellen van (verborgen) houtrot is van essentieel belang. De gevel is op dit moment voorzien van een verflaag op rubber basis. Deze verflaag zorgt ervoor dat de gevel niet kan ‘ademen’ en kan op langere termijn zeer veel schade aan het casco veroor-zaken. Deze verlaag zal in zijn geheel worden verwijderd en het onderliggende stucwerk zal worden hersteld. Hierna zal de gevel worden voorzien van een minerale ‘ademende’ verflaag.
Ook zal het pand op basis van een historisch kleuronderzoek en pigmentanalyse terug wor-den gebracht in zijn historische kleurstelling van voor de oorlog. Als ‘bekroning’ op deze werkzaamheden zal villa Hartenstein weer worden voorzien van zijn originele ‘attiek’, een verhoogde en deels versierde daklijst, die vroeger het gebouw sierde. Met de werkzaamheden krijgt de villa weer het uiterlijk van de periode aan het einde van de 19e eeuw.
Ook wordt er in 2017 in villa Hartenstein in samenwerking met een cateringsbedrijf een be-scheiden museumcafe gerealiseerd, met buiten, aan de zuidzijde, een prachtig terras.
De restauratiewerkzaamheden zullen naar verwachting tot en met oktober/november van dit jaar gaan duren. (Persbericht Airborne Museum)


Tijdens de extra Algemene Ledenvergadering op 19 november van het vorige jaar heeft Ben Kolster afscheid genomen als voorzitter van de Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Mu-seum. Een mooi moment om terug te kijken op een enerverende periode in de geschiedenis van onze vereniging. Robert Voskuil sprak met de scheidende voorzitter.

Waarom ben je gestopt als voorzitter?
De VVAM staat op dit moment op een kantel-punt in haar geschiedenis. Niet alleen wat betreft de relatie met het Airborne Museum, maar ook in tijd. We naderen jammer genoeg het moment waarop de generatie die de Slag om Arnhem heeft meegemaakt, zowel militairen als burgers, aan het verdwijnen is. En daarmee verdwijnen de getui-gen die het allemaal hebben meegemaakt. Rond het herdenken en het vertellen van het verhaal van september 1944 gaat dan ook onvermijdelijk de komende jaren een verandering optreden. Kij-kend naar die ontwikkelingen, vond ik dat onze vereniging toe was aan een nieuwe voorzitter. Je moet je als voorzitter van een club immers altijd afvragen wat je nog aan extra’s te bieden hebt.

Voor Ben Kolster was de Algemene Ledenverga-dering van 19 november van het vorige jaar de laatste vergadering, waarin hij als voorzitter op- trad. (Foto: Arjan Vrieze)

Zeker na een periode van 17 jaar. Mijn persoonlijke conclusie was dan ook: het is tijd voor iets nieuws. Daar kwam nog bij dat ik in de persoon van Alex Koning een perfecte opvolger zag. Een man met een grote affiniteit met de Airbornewe-reld, een ervaren bestuurder, maar bovenal een erg leuke man. Iemand die ik in staat achtte om de vastgelopen relatie tussen vereniging en muse-um weer vlot te trekken. Je zult begrijpen wat een grote schok het voor het bestuur en mijzelf was, toen hij begin januari 2017 plotseling overleed.

Hoe kijk je op je bestuursperiode sinds 2000 terug?
Het is een zeer interessante tijd geweest, waarin heel veel is gebeurd. De totale transformatie van het Air-borne-museum zelf is natuurlijk de belangrijkste gebeurtenis geweest. Het was onvermijdelijk dat
er iets diende te gebeuren om het museum ook de komende decennia op een adequate manier het ver-haal van De Slag te laten vertellen. Dat er concessies aan de tijdsgeest moesten worden gedaan, was ook onvermijdelijk, maar het blijft wel jammer dat op sommige punten te ingrijpend met de traditionele waarden, die het museum ook vertegenwoordigt, is omgesprongen. Daarnaast is er soms iets te modieus meegegaan met wat op dat moment en vogue was.
Bepaalde trends veranderen ook in de museumwereld heel snel. Denk maar aan het fenomeen diora-ma. Begin van deze eeuw als ouderwets gezien, ke-ren ze thans in veel moderne museuminrichtingen in heel Europa weer, zij het aan de tijd aangepast, terug. Het kan dus verkeren!  Voor mij persoonlijk zijn de vele ontmoetingen met de mensen die de strijd van september 1944 zelf hebben meegemaakt ervaringen geweest die ik nooit zal vergeten. En bovenal natuurlijk het werken met alle bestuursleden en adviseurs van de VVAM sinds 2000, waarvan ik een groot aantal ook zo gek wist te krijgen, mee te werken aan mijn radio en televisieprogramma’s. Zo sneed het mes aan meerdere kanten en werd het verhaal van De Slag ook aan de rest van Nederland verteld.

Hoe zie je de toekomst van het Airbornemuseum en de VVAM?
Wat het museum betreft hoop ik dat men de bezoekerscijfers de komende jaren kan blijven vast-houden en dat het museum nog lang relevant mag blijven. Maar dat betekent voor mij wel dat er
blijvend een goede balans moet worden gevonden, tussen enerzijds de eisen van een modern publiek, voor wie de geschiedenis van de Slag om Arnhem niet meer vanzelf sprekend is en de tradities en de geschiedenis die onlosmakelijk met het gebouw Hartenstein en de septemberdagen van 1944 ver-bonden zijn. Dan zie ik een mooie toekomst voor het Airborne-museum. En verder hoop ik dat er op redelijk korte termijn weer een goede en werk-bare verhouding zal ontstaan tussen museum en vriendenverenging. Want ook die samenwerking, misschien in de toekomst iets meer op afstand, komt het museum alleen maar ten goede. Ook dat hoort bij Oosterbeek en het Verhaal van Arnhem. (Robert Voskuil)


Op 26 april jl. ontvingen onze leden Willy Keus en Wil Rieken uit handen van de waar-nemend burgemeester van de gemeente Ren-kum, Mr. Hein Bloemen, de versierselen die behoren bij de koninklijke onderscheiding ‘Lid in de Orde van Oranje Nassau’. Beide vrouwen hebben zich al meer dan twintig jaar ingezet voor verschillende organisaties in de gemeente Renkum, waaronder het Airborne Museum. Willy Keus heeft onlangs afscheid genomen als vrijwilliger, maar Wil Rieken is nog steeds actief bij museumwinkel, die tevens dient als VVV-infocentrum. Wanneer (vooral Britse) bezoekers horen dat Wil Rieken als meisje in september 1944 de slag heeft meege-maakt, krijgt zij allerlei vragen, die ze met veel enthousiasme beantwoordt. Nog altijd heeft zij veel contacten met veteranen en hun families. Wil Rieken is ook al jaren notuliste bij het bestuur van de Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum. (Persbericht)

Willy Keus (l) en Wil Rieken (r), na afloop van de ceremonie in het Gemeentehuis in Oosterbeek, waar zij beiden werden benoemd tot ‘Lid in de Orde van Oranje Nassau’


Op het terrein van Hotel Dreyeroord is tijdens de Slag om Arnhem in september 1944 zwaar gevoch-ten. Vanwege bouwplannen is bodemonderzoek naar niet gesprongen explosieven nodig voordat de aannemer echt aan de gang kan. Er is onder-zoek verricht in het park achter het hotel en direct rondom het hotel. Het onderzoek heeft eind 2016 plaats gevonden. Het officiële onderzoeksrapport is nog niet beschikbaar, maar hieronder volgt een kort overzicht van de belangrijkste vondsten.
Verspreid over het terrein zijn diverse, veelal klei-nere, niet gesprongen en verschoten explosieven gevonden. Vaak waren dit kogels, maar er zijn ook enkele (hand)granaten en twee wapens met muni-tie gevonden. De explosieven zijn geruimd door de Explosieven Opruimingsdienst. Veldgraven zijn er niet gevonden. Wel zijn verspreid over het gebied enkele botten gevonden van waarschijnlijk verschil-lende personen. De Bergings- en Identificatiedienst Koninklijke Landmacht (BIDKL) heeft de botten
meegenomen en onderzoekt deze de komende tijd.
Daarnaast zijn enkele voorwerpen gevonden zoals lege munitiekisten, parachutistenhelmen, onderde-len van dropcontainers en een klein pistool zonder munitie. Deze voorwerpen heeft de gemeente in-middels overgedragen aan het Airborne Museum.
Overgedragen voorwerpen aan het Airborne Mu-seum ‘Hartenstein’ in Oosterbeek: » 3 x Engelse parachutisten helmen model m42 » 4 x Cradle voor Engelse dropcontainers » 1 x stootkussen dropcontainer CLE.III » 3 x lege munitiekisten Vickers .303 » 1 x houder voor twee Duitse Teller Minen » 2 x metalen plaat met ronde gaten erin (onbekend) » 1 x klaverblad eindstuk van 75mm munitie of 6 ponder granaatverpakking » 1 x meetinstrument Clino mortar mk.IV nr. 5927 » 5 x Engelse spijkerbajonetten » 1 x wapen (pistool) (Persbericht)

Op deze foto, die gemaakt is tijdens Harmel’s bezoek aan Adolf Hitler, waar hem het Ridderkruis bij het IJzeren Kruis verleend werd, is te zien dat het rechteroor van Harmel in verband zit.( foto via Wybo Boersma)


In het verleden heeft de voormalige commandant van de 10e SS Panzerdivisie, SS-Brigade-führer en generaal-majoor Heinz Harmel diver-se malen het Airborne Museum bezocht. Nadat hij in 2000 overleden was, heeft de Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum contact gehad met zijn zoon. Onlangs heeft deze zoon het Airborne Museum bezocht. Bij deze gele-genheid hebben we een aantal documenten te leen gekregen om te kopiëren voor het muse-umarchief. Tevens heeft hij aangeboden om de helm van zijn vader in langdurig bruikleen te geven aan het museum. De enige voorwaarde is dat hij dan ook daadwerkelijk tentoongesteld wordt. De helm is door Harmel gedragen tijdens de gevechten in Rusland.
De helm heeft aan de rechterzijde, in de onderrand, een gat ten gevolge van een scherf- of kogelinslag. In maart 1943 werd SS-Ober-sturmbannführer Heinz Harmel bij gevechten bij Losowaja en Bereka, Rusland, gewond aan zijn oor. Hij is dan commandant van het SS-Infanterieregiment “Deutschland”,onderdeel van de SS divisie “Das Reich”. Op een foto die gemaakt is tijdens zijn bezoek aan Adolf Hit-ler, waar hem het Ridderkruis bij het IJzeren Kruis verleend wordt, is te zien dat zijn rechter oor in verband zit.
Generaal-majoor H. Harmel was gedurende de Operatie Market Garden commandant van de 10. SS Panzerdivision “Frundsberg”. Deze divisie had grote verliezen geleden in Rusland en bij de Zak van Falaise in Frankrijk. Voor rust was ze in september 1944 in de Achterhoek gelegerd.
Eenheden van deze divisie vochten in september 1944 bij de Nederlands-Belgische grens, de brug van Nijmegen en de brug bij Arnhem.

De helm van generaal-majoor Heinz Harmel. In maart 1943 werd SS-Obersturmbannführer Heinz Harmel bij gevechten in Rusland, gewond aan zijn oor. Duidelijk is te zien dat bij de helm aan de rech-terzijde in de onderrand een gat zit, ten gevolge van een scherf- of kogelinslag, die ook de verwonding veroorzaakte. (foto Wybo Boersma)

De helm is van het model ’35. Aan de rechterzijde is het SS embleem aangebracht, het embleem aan de linkerzijde is tijdens de oorlog verwij-derd. Het fabrikaat is Quist. De maat is 55.

Mits aan de bruikleenvoorwaarden wordt voldaan wordt door bemiddeling van het Bestuur van de Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum deze helm in langdurig bruikleen gegeven aan het Airborne Museum Hartenstein. Hij zal dan eerst in de aanwinstenvitrine tentoongesteld worden.
Het museum bezit dan als enige in Nederland een uniek uitrustingsstuk van een van de meest gede-coreerde SS generaals, die ook nog bij de operatie Market Garden een grote rol gespeeld heeft. (Wybo Boersma)

In de tachtiger jaren van de vorige eeuw bracht de gepensioneerde generaal-majoor Harmel verschil-lende keren een bezoek aan het Airborne Muse-um. Wybo Boersma, hier gekleed in een opvallen-de trui, leidde hem meestal rond. Geheel links de heer Ben de Vries, die toen voorzitter was van de Stichting Airborne Museum. (foto via Wybo Boersma)


Op 17 maart jl. werd ons lid Hiltje van Eck uit Ede onderscheiden met de ‘British Empire Me-dal’. Zij ontving deze hoge Britse onderscheiding uit handen van de Britse ambassadeur, Sir Ge-offrey Adams, tijdens een speciale ceremonie op de Britse residentiele villa aan Plein 1813 in Den Haag. Hiltje (75) groeide op in een huis aan de Lunterseweg in Ede. Tijdens de oorlog hadden haar ouders Joodse onderduikers en na de Slag om Arnhem verborgen naaste buren Britse para-chutisten die niet in Duitse krijgsgevangenschap wilde vallen. Een van de die Britse parachutisten was Major Tony Hibbert, die in oktober 1944 een belangrijke rol speelde bij het organiseren van ‘Operatie Pegasus I’, waarbij met hulp van het Nederlandse Verzet meer dan honderd geal-lieererde militairen over de Rijn naar bevrijd ge-bied konden ontsnappen. Verschillende van die Britse militairen keerden na de oorlog regelmatig terug naar Nederland en er ontstond een nauwe vriendschap tussen de familie van Eck en de ve-teranen. In 1984 vroeg Tony Hibbert aan Hiltje van Eck om een reunie te organiseren voor iedereen, militairen en burgers, die betrokken waren geweest bij Operatie Pegasus. Deze reunie werd vervolgens iedere vijf jaar herhaald, waarbij Hiltje altijd als organisator fungeerde. Daarnaast heeft Hiltje zich de afgelopen 30 jaar met hart en ziel ingezet voor de veteranen, vooral tijdens de jaar-lijkse herdenking van de Slag om Arnhem. Zij is nog steeds contactpersoon voor de leden van de Arnhem 1944 Veterans Club, die tegenwoordig qua organisatie valt onder het Britse Parachute Regiment. In die hoedanigheid heeft zij ook zitting in de Stichting Airborne Herdenkingen en in de Arnhem 1944 Fellowship.


Onder deze oud-Nederlandse titel verscheen in de jaren ’50 van de vorige eeuw in de Volkskrant een bundel verhalen van Jan Bouman over merkwaardi-ge en raadselachtige zaken in steden in Nederland.
De onlangs door het Airborne Museum Hartenstein uitgegeven museumgids zou in deze serie passen.
Volgens het voorwoord biedt deze gids verdie-pende informatie bij authentieke objecten in het museum. Deze objecten zijn met zorg gekozen en beschreven door een groep specialisten. Het doel van de museumgids is de bezoeker meer te leren over een aantal (33) objecten uit de collectie.  Hierin wordt de lezer niet teleurgesteld. Maar hij verneemt helaas ook bijzonderheden waarvan de juistheid in twijfel kan worden getrokken.We zullen er enkele voorbeelden uitlichten.

De smock werd ook gedragen door andere eenheden dan Airborne eenheden zoals commando´s en scherpschutters. In de gids staat:“De ‘staart’ de flap die tussen de benen zat, zorgde ervoor dat de jas niet over het hoofd van de parachutist kwam tijdens de sprong en landing”. Onzin. Dat kon nooit, want er werd een oversmock overheen gedragen en ook het parachute harnas hield de smock op zijn plaats. Even ver-der lezen we: “Ook tijdens operaties tegen de Duit-sers kwamen de staarten naar voren. Ditmaal met de naam rode duivels. Dit had natuurlijk betrekking op de rode baretten maar ook op de staart van het uniform”. Een merkwaardige zin. Wat hiermee bedoeld wordt, moet de lezer maar raden. En als laatste over de smock van generaal Urquhart: “Of hij precies deze smock droeg tijdens de Slag om Arnhem is onbekend omdat hij meerdere smocks bezat”. Dit is in tegenspraak met de verklaring die de dochter van generaal Urquhart gaf, toen deze smock tevoorschijn kwam bij het ontruimen van het huis van haar vader. Hebben de deskundigen misschien een andere bron van informatie?

De wimpel met het Pegasus embleem zou de persoonlijke wimpel van generaal-majoor Urquhart zijn geweest. Neen, het is een divisiewimpel, die zijn oppasser na de Slag om Arnhem aan Generaal Urquhart heeft gegeven. “Er zijn tijdens de Slag om Arnhem diverse fo-to´s gemaakt waarop Urquhart hiermee te zien is”. Behalve de bekende foto die bij Harten-stein is gemaakt, zijn er ook na ruim 70 jaar nooit andere afbeeldingen hiervan gevonden.  We wachten dus maar af.
Overigens toont de foto waarop zogenaamd het gevleugelde paard Pegasus staat een beeld uit Parijs, dat staat op de Place de la Concorde. Deze gevleugelde paarden, cheveaux ailés, staan bij de toegang tot de tuinen van de Tuilerieën en zijn afkomstig van het kasteel van Marly. Op de foto staat een vrouwenfiguur (‘Faam’) op een gevleugeld paard niet Bellerophon, die op het embleem van de Britse Airborne troepen staat!

Wat moet de lezer zich voorstellen bij de volgende informatie: “Het bestaat uit twee delen: Het Rebecca luchtzender antennesysteem en de Eureka grondont-vanger. De Rebecca berekent, met behulp van een zeer directionele antenne het bereik en de relatieve positie van de Eureka, gebaseerd op de timing van de terugkeer van de signalen”. Dit is niet verhelderend.
Zelfs een technisch geschoolde lezer zal hier moeite mee hebben. Het volgende gegeven is niet juist: “Het systeem werd gebruikt om aan ver-zetsstrijders in bezet Europa de plaats van de luchtdroppingen aan te geven”. Neen, de mensen op de grond konden o.a. met dit systeem de positie van de dropping aangeven, niet omgekeerd!
De informatie dat de Pathfinders met een tweetal zweefvliegtuigen richting dropzones gestuurd werden met het Eureka systeem is echt onzin. Eveneens dat bij de vliegtuigen waarmee de parachutisten vervoerd werden het Rebecca systeem aan de buitenkant van het toestel hing. Dan was het voor de piloot wel erg lastig om het scherm af te lezen. “Het museum heeft 2 sets in de collectie”. Dit zijn zowel de Amerikaanse (AN/PPN 1) als de Engel-se (Eureka Mk II Transmitter-Reciever TR 3174).
De eerstgenoemde is alleen door de Amerikanen gebruikt en was een cadeau van een radioamateur.
De Britse Eureka is nog niet compleet. De voeding daarvan is enige tijd geleden door de Vereniging Vrienden aangekocht. Op de bijgaande foto in de gids is het Eureka baken te zien niet de Rebecca zoals het onderschrift vermeld. De afgebeelde a-tenne is van de Amerikaanse AN/PPN 1

“Dit project kreeg de codenaam ‘Rupert”. Neen, Rupert was de codenaam van het figuurtje. De poppen waren niet opgevuld met hout, explosieven en papier, maar alleen met zand en ze werden natgemaakt, waardoor het jute veelal is vergaan. De explosieven zaten op een speciaal houten frame. Zie daarvoor het boekje “Bruintje beer bij Arnhem”.

Volgens dit hoofdstuk is de Gammon bom uitgevonden om een einde te maken aan de veelheid van soorten handgranaten. Dit terwijl de Gammon bom alleen als een explosief gebruikt kon worden, niet als rook of brandgranaat. Hij zou dan eerste scherpgesteld moeten worden voor hij geworpen kon worden. In werkelijkheid werd hij tijden de vlucht naar het doel scherpgesteld, doordat de veiligheidspin er dan uitvloog. De ontsteker was dezelfde als die van de aanvals-handgranaat.
Waar de informatie opgebaseerd is dat de parachutisten geen handgranaten bij zich hadden, maar deze uit de containers moesten halen is onduidelijk.

Een onduidelijk verhaal over de fabriek die deze uniformen gemaakt heeft, maar verder geen uitleg. Of zou iedere bezoeker weten wat een M44 of M43 wollen uniform is? Hier ontbreekt een goede kleurenfoto.

Het Nederlandse Korps Commandotroepen is niet in Groot Brittannië opgericht. Wel werd daar No 2 (Dutch) Troop van No 10 (Inter Allied) Commando opgericht, die de voorloper is van het huidige Korps Commandotroepen.

Dat de fiets aan een koord zat “waardoor de parachu-tist kon merken dat hij de grond raakte” is een Utopie. Tussen het moment dat de fiets de grond raakte en dat de parachutist landde lag maar een fractie van een seconde. Dat had dus geen meerwaarde. Voorop de fiets kon een draagrek bevestigd worden dat normaal op de rug gebruikt wordt. Dat was geen standaard bagagerek. Van alle vouwfietsen die het museum bezit is er geen enkele afkomstig van de Grote Markt in Groningen. Wel heeft het muse-um in de jaren ’80 een ongerestaureerde fiets van het Friese Verzetsmuseum gekregen.

“Hij was zo ontworpen dat hij in een zweefvlieg-tuig kon worden vervoerd”. Hier wordt de sugges-tie gewekt dat de Clarkair speciaal voor vervoer met zweefvliegtuigen was ontworpen. Dat is on-juist.”De bulldozer in het museum werd ontdekt in een papierfabriek”. Dat is onjuiste informatie. De Clarkair werd gebruikt door een tuiniersbedrijf in België. Hij is aangekocht door de Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum, gerestaureerd door vrijwilligers van de Vereniging en vervolgens aan het Airborne Museum geschonken. Deze in-formatie wordt gemist in het huidige geschrift.

De vaandels zijn niet “neergelegd” maar ‘opgelegd’ in het Airborne Museum. Ze worden dus bewaard in het Airborne Museum. Mocht het bataljon ooit weer in dienst gesteld worden, dan gaan deze vaandels terug naar de eenheid.
Dit zijn slechts enkele correcties. We hebben het dan nog niet over het onjuiste gebruik van hoofdletters bij de rangen in het Nederlands, de verschillende benamingen van hetzelfde onder-deel en andere grammaticale fouten. Hoewel er veelal gekozen lijkt te zijn om één voorwerp per pagina te behandelen, is dit niet altijd doorgezet, zodat sommige voorwerpen meer dan een pagina lang zijn en anderen weer een halve pagina. Mede daardoor is de lay-out rommelig.
De plattegrond op de achterflap met de lokaties van de voorwerpen in het Airborne Museum was kennelijk niet goed. Daarom is hij dichtgeplakt, waarna een aangepaste plattegrond is bijgevoegd.
Als we deze museumgids vergelijken met de gid-sen van gerenommeerde musea zoals het Imperial War Museum in Londen en Duxford, het National Army Museum in Londen, het Musée de l’Armée in Parijs, het Mémorial du Caen in Caen, het Musee de la Resistance in Saint-Marcel of het Bevrijdingsmu-seum 1944-1945 in Groesbeek, dan zien we dat voor dezelfde prijs ook een aantrekkelijk kleuren product gemaakt kan worden. Deze museumgids is het Airborne Museum onwaardig en het is dan ook geen aanrader. Beter is het te wachten tot er een nieuwe, betere editie uitkomt.
Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’ Museumgids, Uitgave in het kader van het vrijwilligersbeleid van het Airborne Museum, 2017, 42 pag, geill, zwart/wit deels bruin; prijs € 7,95. (Wybo Boersma)

‘Een boek over het gemarkeerde nieuws van kranten en verzetsbladen tijdens de septemberdagen van 1944.’

Welke informatie kregen de Nederlanders in een tijd zonder radio, televisie en sociale me-dia? Men was in 1944 aangewezen op een beperkt aantal dagbladen die onder Duit-se censuur stonden, of op geheel pro-Duitse dag- en weekbladen. Verder was er een keur aan ondergrondse bladen en een beperkt aan-tal, veelal Duitstalige, bladen. In diverse ar-chieven en historische collecties kunnen we deze raadplegen. Tegenwoordig zijn veel van die collecties digitaal ontsloten, wat een in-teressante bron van informatie oplevert, waar eigenlijk nog te weinig gebruik van gemaakt wordt. Ons lid Wim van Zanten heeft veel van deze archieven doorgespit en is nagegaan wat er tijdens de Slag om Arnhem en kort daarna over de operatie Market Garden en gevechten bij Arnhem geschreven is. Het geheel is aan-gevuld met delen uit dagboeken of andere pu-blicaties. Duitse en Engelse publicaties zijn in
hun eigen taal weergegeven. Het boek maakt geen aanspraak op compleetheid. Dit zou ook onmogelijk zijn. Zo zien we in de bronvermel-ding weinig uit het archief van het NIOD in Amsterdam of, dichterbij, uit het archief van het Airborne Museum. Maar deze archieven zullen waarschijnlijk nog niet geheel digitaal toegankelijk zijn. Wel worden de Ministories van de Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum met regelmaat aangehaald. Ook het Gelders Archief was een bron van informatie.
De verschillende publicaties zijn zo veel moge-lijk op datum gerangschikt. Soms is het lastig, vooral voor de minder goed ingevoerde lezer, om te zien wie de uitgave verzorgde. De diver-se gescande krantenkoppen geven niet altijd voldoende informatie. Bij de illegale bladen zou een verwijzing naar de catalogus ‘De on-dergrondse pers’ van Lydia E. Winkel nuttig geweest zijn. Ook bij de dag- en weekbladen zou iets meer achtergrond informatie met een aanduiding of het een neutrale krant of een pro Duitse krant is, voor de hedendaagse lezer misschien nodig geweest zijn.
Met de kennis van nu is het opmerkelijk te lezen hoe de verschillende publicaties met de waar-heid omgingen. Ieder gaf er zijn eigen draai aan, maar dat is heden ten dage nog steeds zo. Het is niet een boek om achter elkaar uit te lezen, meer om door te bladeren en zo te lezen hoe fictie en werkelijkheid uit die dagen verweven is. Een boek dat niet mag ontbreken in elke bibliotheek over de Slag om Arnhem. (Wybo Boersma)

Gesneuvelde Waarheid
Geschreven door: Wim van Zanten; ISBN: 978-90-825790-2-4;
Uitgaver: Doorweerdje, Doorwerth 2017; Formaat: 284 pag; Nederlandse tekst; Prijs: € 18,50


Op zaterdag 17 juni vond de 26e Boekenbeurs plaats, dit keer in de Concertzaal in Oosterbeek.
Er was weer een ruim aanbod van publicaties op het gebied van de Tweede Wereldoorlog, maar ook over andere onderwerpen op het gebied van mili-taire historie was er ruime keuze. Het bezoekers-aantal was iets lager dan in de vorige jaren, maar er werd toch goed verkocht. Nu de beurs niet meer bij het Airborne Museum kan worden gehouden, is de Concertzaal een zeer goed alternatief geble-ken. Er wordt inmiddels onderzocht of bij de volgende beurs ook een aantal stands buiten kunnen worden geplaatst, als het weer dat toelaat.

Een overzicht van de grote zaal tijdens de boekenbeurs op 17 juni. (Foto Wybo Boersma)


Wij, mijn ouders Berend van Zanten en Cornelia Wilhelmina Zoetekouw, mijn broer Berend (roep-naam Ben) en ik, woonden aan de Cornelis Koning-straat 20, hoek Johanna weg in Oosterbeek. Mijn ouders hadden daar een kruidenierszaak (een buurt-winkel). In september 1944 was ik acht jaar oud.
Zondag 17 september 1944 was een dag om nooit te vergeten. Het was stralend mooi weer. Met mijn moeder ging ik naar onze kerk, de Hervormde Kerk, aan de Benedendorpsweg. Via de Weverstraat was het zo’n kilometer lopen van ons huis. Wij gingen zoals altijd naar binnen via de achteringang van de kerk die zich bevond in de zuidelijke zijbeuk.
Voorganger op die gedenkwaardige zondag was ds. J.G.L. (Jaap) Brouwer. De organist was Henk Meijer, de schoenmaker. De koster was Haksteen sr., die tevens begrafenisondernemer was. Voor de aanvang van de dienst kwamen in optocht de dominee, de ouderlingen en diake-nen binnen, in die tijd nog stemmig zwart ge-kleed. De kerkdienst begon om elf uur.
Tijdens kerkdienst begon het Duitse luchtdoel-geschut, dat zo’n 50 meter achter de kerk in de uiterwaarden was opgesteld, onverwachts hevig te schieten op Engelse vliegtuigen. Een oorver-dovend geluid, dat nog werd overtroffen door het donderend lawaai van ontploffende bommen. De kerk schudde op haar grondvesten en de kroon-luchters zwaaiden angstig heen en weer.
Ik kan me niet herinneren of ik bang was, maar tijdens de preek moest ik nodig naar het toilet.
Dat bevond zich in de consistorie, pal naast de buitendeur. Via de deur naast de preekstoel kon je in de consistorie komen. De buitendeur van de consistorie stond die ochtend, gelet op het mooie weer, open. Nieuwsgierig als ik was, keek ik naar buiten en juist op dat moment kwam een Engels vliegtuig (een Spitfire of Typhoon?) langs scheren, al vurend op het Duitse luchtdoelgeschut uit zijn boordwapens. Daarna bleef dat geschut stil.
Wij zongen o.a. “Een vaste burcht is onze God, een toevlucht voor de zijnen” en “Wat de toekomst brenge moge, mij geleidt des Herenhand”. Bij het einde van de dienst zongen we uit volle borst het eerste en het zesde couplet van Het Wilhelmus.
Na de kerkdienst haastten wij ons via de Weverstraat terug naar huis. Af en toe moesten we schui-len voor het gevaar van beschietingen uit de lucht.
Zo schuilden we bij ‘de Klompenschool’ – dat was de openbare lagere school waar veel kinderen op klompen liepen, vandaar de naam – en bij een aantal huizen. Ik weet nog precies bij welke, o.a. bij onze huisarts dokter Brevée, wiens huis stond tussen de Weverstraat en de Fangmanweg.
Toen we thuiskwamen, zat Ben op het dak van ons huis te kijken naar de in de verte neerdalende para-
chutisten. Er waren tot onze grote verassing lucht-landingen begonnen westelijk van Oosterbeek!
Vanaf de straat keken we mee. Zoiets hadden we nog nooit gezien. De witte parachutes maakten een enorme indruk op ons en maakten veel emo-ties los. We zagen ook veel vliegtuigen die andere vliegtuigen sleepten. Dat bleken zweefvliegtui-gen te zijn, die daalden op de bouwlanden bij Wolfheze. Zouden we nu dan eindelijk bevrijd worden van die rotmoffen? De in het gebouw De Vereniging gelegerde Duitsers waren plotseling in geen velden of wegen meer te bekennen.
Vader vond het verstandig om de nacht van zon-dag op maandag in de schuilkelder door te bren-gen. Die had hij al in 1943 in onze achtertuin gegraven. Het was een langwerpige schuilkelder, zo’n 2,5 meter breed en 4 meter lang, met daar-in langs de wanden banken, waarop wij met z’n vieren, vader, moeder, Ben en ik, konden slapen.
De zijkanten met houten planken voldoende geschraagd en op het houten dak de uitgegraven grond, zo’n kleine meter dik. Met een door mijn vader zelf gemaakte houten nogal steile ladder, kon je in de schuilkelder komen. Op de grond op het dak had mijn vader tabaksplanten gepoot (‘tabak van eigen teelt’).
Die nacht werd ons huis getroffen door een gra-naat. Een deel van het dak werd vernield, juist op de plaats waar mijn slaapkamer was. Mij is altijd bijgebleven dat mijn boekenkast, vol met boeken, niet was beschadigd!
In de ochtend van maandag 18 september vonden we een briefje op de toonbank van de winkel waarop de woorden: ‘Tante Kee, ik heb een flesje Maggi gepakt, hierbij het geld’. Ik weet niet meer wie dat is geweest, maar het tekende de gemoedelijkheid die Maandag was traditioneel ‘wasdag’. Voor Opoe Zoetekouw,

Wim van Zanten bij het door hem geadopteerde graf van Corporal William Leslie George Simpson (Joe) op de Airborne Begraafplaats in Ooster- beek. (Foto collectie Wim van Zanten)

die naast ons woonde, veranderde het oorlogs-geweld daar niets aan. Ze trok zich niets aan van het hevige schieten en deed buiten, onder het afdak de was en hing de schone was aan de waslijn in de achtertuin, die gedeeltelijk grens-de aan onze schuilkelder. Ondanks waarschuwingen weigerde ze naar binnen te gaan. “Mij raken ze niet”, zei ze.
Aan de Utrechtseweg aan de rand van het naar beneden lopende pad tussen het pand van bloemisterij Houthuyzen en Villa Maria, stond een enorme beuk. (Ter verduidelijking: er is een behoorlijk hoogteverschil tussen de Utrechtseweg en de daaraan parallel lopende Cornelis Koningstraat). In die beuk had zich een Duitse sluipschutter verborgen en wij wisten dat. Engelse soldaten waren naar hem op zoek maar zij konden hem kennelijk niet traceren. Op de hoek van de Cornelis Koningstraat en de Weverstraat, verscheen een jeep met vier Engelse soldaten. Zij zochten de sluipschutter. Ben, die een paar woordjes Engels sprak, liep gebukt achter de gedeeltelijk nog aanwezige muur, die oorspronkelijk het gebied afscherm-de, onzichtbaar voor de Duitser, naar de En-gelsen. Hij maakte hen al gesticulerend duide-lijk waar de sluipschutter zich bevond, waarop zij met hem meeliepen de Cornelis Konings-traat op. Gebruikmakend van de schuilloopgraaf, omsingelden zij de boom en vroegen de Duitser zich over te geven. Hij brulde: “Nein” en vuurde met zijn geweer. Vervolgens werd hij door de Engelse soldaat met een waaier van vuur uit een automatisch wapen uit de boom geschoten. Dood. Wij hebben staan kijken toen zich dit allemaal afspeelde en het “Nein”, het geweerschot, het geluid van het automati-sche wapen, het breken van de takken en het neerkomen van de Duitser hoor ik nog altijd als ik er aan denk of er over vertel en dan zie ik de beelden weer voor me.


Na de herdenking van de Slag om Arnhem in 2003, namen o.a. wij (mijn echtgenote Else en ik) op maandag 22 september op het Raadhuis-plein in Oosterbeek afscheid van onze vriend en veteraan van de Slag om Arnhem, Harold Pad-field, en van andere veteranen. Één van de vete-ranen ging niet met de anderen mee naar Schip-hol. Tanno Pieterse van de Stichting Lest We Forget, zou hem wegbrengen. Ik raakte met de man aan de praat. Zoals altijd als ik met Britse veteranen in gesprek kom, gaat het over septem-ber 1944, ook deze keer. Hij vroeg me ook of ik de Slag om Arnhem had meegemaakt, wat ik toen deed, waar ik toen woonde enz. Ik vertelde hem dat ik de 17e september met mijn moeder in ‘the Old Church’ was en legde hem uit dat ons huis zich bijna pal zuidelijk, op hemelsbreed ongeveer 50 meter had bevonden van de plaats waar we stonden. Ik wilde hem het verhaal vertellen van
de Duitse sluipschutter en zei tegen hem: “Over there (wijzend naar de plaats waar de beuk had gestaan) stood a very big beech” waarop hij mij onmiddellijk in de rede viel met de woorden: “With a German sniper.” Ik stond perplex en kon even geen woorden vinden. Toen vroeg ik hem of hij zich nog kon herinneren dat ze met z’n vieren in een jeep hadden gezeten, dat iemand naar hen was toegekomen en had gezegd dat hij wel wist waar de sluipschutter zat. Ik vertelde hem dat die iemand mijn broer was geweest.
Hij kon zich alles herinneren, evenals mijn ver-haal over het “Nein”, het geweerschot van de Duitser en dat deze na een waaier van vuur uit een automatisch wapen dood uit de boom viel.
Daarop zei hij: “I did it, it was my job and I was paid for”. De veteraan met wie ik heb staan praten, was Bob Laing.

In en rondom de schuilloopgraaf hebben in de volgende dagen nog hevige gevechten plaatsgevonden. Na de oorlog bleken in de omgeving daarvan nogal wat soldaten begraven te zijn.
Dinsdag de 19e september mocht ik met vader mee om via het Lukassenpad naar de Utrechtseweg te gaan om Engelse militaiten te zien.
Onderweg zag ik gesneuvelde soldaten. Mijn vader zei me niet te kijken, maar ik keek natuurlijk toch en zie nog de dode Engelse soldaat liggen met z’n hoofd op de grote kei die boven aan onze straat lag ter bescherming van de hoek van een werkplaats. Hij had geprobeerd naar het in zuidelijke richting gelegen postkantoor te kijken. In het Lukassenpad zag ik meer gesneuvelde soldaten. Op de hoek van het Lukassen-pad en de Utrechtsweg, bij het café van Wiep de Vries en het distributiekantoor, hebben we met meer nieuwsgierige en blije Oosterbekers een ontmoeting gehad met Engelse soldaten en sommigen praatten met hen. Mijn vader kreeg van een Engelse soldaat sigaretten. Zij hadden enkele Duitsers krijgsgevangen genomen.
Woensdag de 20e september ging mijn broer in zijn blauwe overall en om zijn arm de badge van de luchtbeschermingsdienst naar oom Wim in de Weverstraat om naar Radio Oranje te luisteren en ook om te zien of bakker Koning brood had. Toen hij vlak bij de zaak van mijn oom was, zag hij Duitse soldaten en vlucht-te hij bij oom Wim naar binnen. Helaas voor hem waren daar ook Duitse soldaten en tante Alie fluisterde hem toe: “Zeg dat je op zoek
bent naar brood.” Dat werd kennelijk door de Duitsers voor waar aangenomen. Zij brachten hem vervolgens met het geweer in zijn rug naar huis. Toen mijn broer thuiskwam en het ge-beurde vertelde, kreeg hij van vader een schop onder z’n achterste en een verbod om nogmaals naar Radio Oranje te gaan luisteren.
Toen we in de schuilkelder verbleven, ging mijn vader of mijn broer regelmatig naar huis om wat te eten te halen. Het was maar een meter of tien lopen. Hoewel we met ons vieren op de banken zouden kunnen slapen, waren op een gegeven moment, wanneer precies weet ik niet meer, ook Opoe, tante Bet, oom Ger-rit, Dinie en Bertus erbij gekomen, zodat we rechtop zittend moesten slapen.
Intussen golfde de strijd op en neer. Het ene moment hoorden we Engels praten en het volgende moment Duits. Het gebeurde dat de Duitsers aan de voorkant van onze huizen waren en de Engelsen aan de achterkant of an-dersom. Ik zie nog een Duitse soldaat achter z’n mitrailleur in de bijkeuken van de familie Marks liggen, klaar om te schieten.
Op een van de dagen stond een Duitse soldaat voor de ingang van de schuilkelder met zijn automatische wapen naar beneden gericht en schreeuwde: “Sind hier Tommies?” Mijn moe-der, die niet onder de indruk was, riep hem toe: “Sodemieter op, hier zijn geen Engelsen.” De man vuurde vervolgens een salvo door de tabaksplanten en verdween.
Donderdag de 21e september werd ons huis opnieuw getroffen door een granaat, nu aan de achterkant, waarop mijn vader het raad-zaam vond naar Oom Wim in de Weverstraat te gaan. Hij dacht dat het in het souterrain van oom Wim veiliger zou zijn. Het kostte ons zo’n

Een detail van een luchtfoto van Oosterbeek, die op 6 september 1944 werd gemaakt door een verkenningsvliegtuig van de RAF. Boven in de foto loopt de Utrechtseweg en parallel daar-aan de Cornelis Koningstraat. In het midden van de foto loopt de Johannaweg vanaf de Cornelis Koningstraat in zuidelijke richting en eindigt in een een cirkelvormige wijkje. Op de linkerhoek (westhoek) van de Cornelis Koningstraat en de Johannaweg bevond zich het huis/winkel van de familie Van Zanten. Op het open terrein noorde-lijk van de Cornelis Koningstraat was tegenover dat huis al in het begin van de oorlog een zig-zag-loopgraaf gegraven, waarin kon worden ge-schuild bij beschietingen vanuit de lucht. Deze schuilloopgraaf is op de foto zichtbaar als een donkere zigzag-lijn. In de linkerbenedenhoek van de foto is met enige moeite een deel van het Lukassenpad zichtbaar en links daarvan een klein stukje van de Annastraat. In de rechterbe-nedenhoek is een deel van de Weverstraat te zien. (Foto: Royal Air Force, Collectie Gelders Archief)

tien minuten om er te komen en gelukkig raakte niemand gewond. Ik mocht mijn autoped meenemen. Mijn opoe, tante Bet, Oom Gerrit en de kinderen gingen niet mee. Wat moeder meenam waren de rantsoenbonnen, de al ge-deeltelijk volgeplakte en lege groothandelsvel-len en uiteraard het ontvangen geld. Ik zie haar nog de tas dragen waarin alles was opgeborgen.
Ik herinner mij ook dat op het dak van slager Aarts, op de hoek van de Weverstraat en het Meester Meijers paadje en tegenover de winkel van oom Wim, een groene parachute met daar-aan een bevoorradingsmand lag.
We waren niet de enigen die bij oom Wim vei-lig dachten te zijn. Behalve oom Wim, tante Alie, Willy, Judith en Hans, hadden ook de heer en mevrouw Vreem (hij werkte op het dis-tributiekantoor en woonde in de Bernulphus-straat), de heer en mevrouw Köhler met hun dochter (de heer Köhler was poelier met een zaak op de Annastraat ter hoogte van kruising met de Weverstraat), de heer en mevrouw Roza en de moeder van tante Alie met haar tweede echtgenoot de heer Versteegh in het souterrain een veilig onderkomen gezocht. Mij en de an-dere kinderen werd ondubbelzinnig te verstaan gegeven absoluut niet naar buiten te gaan.
Het zal zaterdag de 23e september zijn geweest dat mijn vader en mijn broer terug gingen naar ons huis. Zij brachten de vorraad volle weck-potten naar de schuilkelder, dekten deze af met vloerkleden en gooiden daar de voorraad winter-aardappels op. (Na de oorlog waren de aardap-pels verrot maar aan de weck mankeerde niets!) De berichten werden steeds somberder naarmate de tijd verstreek. Op een dag, het moet de 24e september zijn geweest, brak voor ons geheel onverwachts een oorverdovend lawaai van ka-nongebulder en van inslaande granaten los. Telkens als we uit de richting van de Betuwe het kanongebulder hoorden, waren we even angstig stil en als we het fluitend geluid van overkomen-de granaten hoorden, wisten we dat we veilig waren. Het pand van oom Wim kreeg een voltreffer juist toen mijn vader boven in de keuken aan het koken was; koken deed hij altijd graag en veel. Wij zaten in het souterrain te wachten op het resultaat van de kookkunst van mijn vader. Mijn moeder schreeuwde na de granaatin-slag met haar door angst schor geworden stem: “Berend!”. Door de stuk geschoten schoorsteen riep mijn vader naar beneden: “Niets aan de hand, met mij is alles goed.” Op maandag 25 september kregen de inwo-ners van Oosterbeek van de Duitsers het bevel Oosterbeek te verlaten. Ik wilde mijn autoped meenemen, maar dan moest er een nieuw ven-tiel in de achterband. Tante Alie vond het niet goed dat uit haar (verborgen) nieuwe fiets een ventiel werd gehaald, dus mijn autoped kon ik niet meenemen. Later zijn de fiets van mijn tante en mijn autoped met het pand waarin ze stonden, verbrand.
Wij verlieten het pand van oom Wim via het souterrain in het Zweiersdal, kwamen op de Vredeberg en liepen door de Jacobaweg, de Wilhelminastraat, waar we nog even dek-king zochten in het pand van Teesink, over de Utrechtseweg, over de Schelmseweg en langs de spoorlijn Utrecht-Arnhem naar de poort van Mariëndaal, het viaduct onder de spoorlijn.
In de laan die vanaf de Utrechtseweg naar de poort van Mariendaal loopt, stond Duits lucht-doelgeschut opgesteld. We schuilden onder die poort toen dat geschut hevig begon te vuren op overvliegende Engelse vliegtuigen. We zagen tot onze ontzetting hoe een vliegtuig werd getroffen, in brand vloog en neerstortte. Ik zie nog hoe de Duitse soldaten elkaar gelukwensten! Via Mari-endaal en het Arnhemse gedeelte van de Schelm-seweg bereikten we vervolgens de Apeldoornse-weg. Op de oostelijke hoek van dat kruispunt was een Duits tentenkamp. Van de daarin gelegerde oudere Oostenrijkse soldaten kregen we brood.
Sommigen van hen hadden tranen in hun ogen.
In een stroom van evacués uit Arnhem en Oosterbeek liepen we verder in de richting Apeldoorn.
Later die dag werden we bij ‘De Groenendaal’ opgehaald met gevorderde door paarden ge-trokken boerenwagens en naar Apeldoorn ge-bracht. Zo begon voor ons de evacuatieperiode, die duurde tot mei 1945. Apeldoorn werd op 17 april 1945 bevrijd door de Canadezen. Om-dat we een kruidenierswinkel hadden, mochten we al in mei 1945 terug naar Oosterbeek. Freek Gerritsen bracht ons met paard en wagen. Aan-gekomen in ons dorp schrokken we van wat we zagen. Huizen en winkels waren veranderd in puinhopen. Oosterbeek was nagenoeg onher-kenbaar. Overal lag puin, vooral aan weerszijden van de wegen, ook in onze straat.
Ons winkel/woonhuis was geplunderd en veel huisraad was er niet meer. De kerstversiering was van de zolder (vliering) naar beneden ge-gooid en lag in gruzelementen op de overloop.
Als we naar de slaapkamers gingen, liepen we in het trappengat in de openlucht, een gevolg van de granaatinslag. Daarom moesten we wanneer het regende in huis een paraplu gebruiken. Mijn slaapkamer was onbruikbaar door de voltreffer van 17/18 september 1944. De winkelruiten la-gen uiteraard in diggelen. Van het glazen Dros-te reclamebord werd alle verf afgekrabd, om als een kleine winkelruit te kunnen dienen. De rest van de etalages en de winkeldeur werden dichtgetimmerd met donkerbruine planken uit de loopgraven. Met planken van verschillende kleuren, her en der vandaan gehaald, werd het dak van ons huis gerepareerd.
De kinderen konden nog niet naar school en daarom speelde ik iedere dag met mijn vriend-jes in het verwoeste dorp. Wat we daarbij alle-maal mee maakten, is een apart verhaal. (Wim van Zanten)


Battlefield tour Arnhem “Negen dagen strijd bij Ede, Arnhem en Oosterbeek, september 1944. Een tocht over het slagveld“
Startplaats: Talsmalaan naast het Airborne Mu-seum Hartenstein Tijd: 09.30 – 17.00 uur Kosten: Leden VVAM € 37,50; niet leden € 45,00 De tour staat onder leiding van Wybo Boersma, gids van de International Guild of Battlefield Gui-des. De tour is inclusief busvervoer en lunch. Ie-dere deelnemers ontvangt een gids van deze tour.

Battlefield tour: “Operatie Pegasus 1“ Battlefield tour in samenwerking met het Platform Militaire Historie Ede
Start: Infocentrum P.M.H.E., Voormalige Prins Mauritskazerne, Nieuwe Kazernelaan 2, Ede Tijd: 09.30 – 17.00 uur Kosten: Leden VVAM € 37,50, niet leden € 45,00 De tour staat onder leiding van gidsen van het Plat-form Militaire Historie Ede. De tour is inclusief busvervoer en veld lunch.
De verplaatsingen zullen te voet, maar zo mogelijk ook met oude militaire voertuigen plaatsvinden. In verband met de reservering van deze voertuigen is het nodig vroegtijdig het aantal deelnemers te weten.
De opgave voor deze Battlefield tour sluit dan ook
op 25 september 2017. Opgave door overmaking van € 37,50 (€45,00) op rekening: IBAN: NL33 INGB 0005 113 751 t.n.v. Vrienden vh Airbor-nemuseum te Oosterbeek, onder vermelding van: Battlefield Tour Pegasus en naam en adres. U krijgt alleen bericht als de tour volgeboekt is. Voor infor-matie: e-mail:;

Airborne Day
Uitstalling en uitleg van Airborne materiaal en documenten door leden van de VVAM Mogelijkheid tot ruiling, boekendienst en andere activiteiten. Tafels kunnen hiervoor worden ge-reserveerd. Voor een bijdrage (een lezing of een andere activiteit) kan men zich opgeven, hetgeen enkele leden al hebben gedaan.
Plaats: Concertzaal, Rozensteeg 3, Oosterbeek Tijd: 10.00 – 15.30 uur Kosten: Leden VVAM € 5,00, niet leden € 10,00 Verdere details volgen via de website en/of een News Flash Voor aanvullende informatie over de verschillende activiteiten, opgave van deelneming en eventuele wijzigingen zie de website of mail naar Infor-matie kunt u ook vinden op de sites van en

De Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum heeft enige tijd geleden een aantal postzegel albums met postzegels van Indonesië gekregen van een Amerikaanse gepensioneerde kolonel.
Deze kunnen wij ten behoeve van de Vereniging verkopen. Tijdens een bijeenkomst in Ooster-beek heeft een van de leden deze albums meegekregen om te laten taxeren. Tot op heden hebben we hier nog geen bericht van ontvangen. Wil degene die ze meegekregen heeft contact opnemen met W. Boersma; e-mail: of tel 0318-639633.


Het Airborne Magazine is een uitgave van de Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum, Oosterbeek en verschijnt drie keer per jaar. Het doel is bekendheid te geven aan het Airborne Mu-seum, de activiteiten van de Vereniging Vrien-den en de geschiedenis van de Slag om Arnhem.
Redactie: Wybo Boersma MBE, Jasper Oorthuys (+ vacature)
Archivering & distributie losse nummers van het Magazine: Wybo Boersma, Ede.
Ontwerp en lay-out: Christy Beall
Druk: Grafi Advies, Zwolle
E-mail adres VVAM: Telefoonnummer VVAM: (0318) 639633.
Postadres: VVAM, t.a.v. Wybo Boersma, Binnenhof 38, 6715 DP, Ede.
Coördinator Airborne News Flash: Vincent Luiten
Vertegenwoordiger van de VVAM in het Verenigd Koninkrijk: Niall Cherry, email

DOWNLOAD een PDF versie

Luchtfoto van de Arnhemse Rijnbrug, gemaakt op 4 november 1944 door een Brits verkenningsvliegtuig. De door de Duitsers opgeblazen verkeersbrug ligt ‘geknakt’ in het water. De omgeving van de brug is totaal verwoest als gevolg van de gevechten in september 1944 en de daarop volgende bombardementen door de Amerikaanse luchtmacht. (Foto: Collectie Gelders Archief)

3.Uitnodiging voor de 38ste ALV van de Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum op 18 maart 2017
5.Wybo Boersma ontvangt de ‘Richard Holmes Award’
6.In Memoriam Peter Wilkinson
7.Kleine expositie over Audrey Hepburn
7.Dreyeroord blijft voortbestaan
8.Het uitladen van de Horsa glider
11.Steel wall at Arnhem, The destruction of 4 Parachute Brigade, 19 September 1944
12.MINISTORY nummer 125: Een kort verslag van opgravingen in het weiland achter de Oude Kerk in Oosterbeek, die werden uitgevoerd in 1997 en 1998
19.Programma 2017

Omslag: Achter de Oude Kerk in Oosterbeek, waar in september 1944 de 75mm Pack Howitsers van ‘F’ Troop van het 1st Airlanding Light Regiment RA waren opgesteld, zette een re-enactment groep op 17 september 2016 opnieuw een kanon van dit type neer. Daarmee werd een aantal losse flodders afgevuurd, hetgeen een bijzonder spectaculair beeld opleverde. (Foto: Judith Minkman)

De Jaarvergadering op 19 november 2016 in de Concertzaal in Oosterbeek. (Foto: Arjan Vrieze)


Op zaterdag 18 maart 2017 zal de jaarlijkse Algemene Ledenvergadering van de Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum plaatsvinden. Het is de gewoonte dat we bij aanvang van deze vergadering stil staan bij het overlijden van die leden die ons in het achterliggende jaar zijn ontvallen. Begin januari zijn we ook geconfronteerd met het totaal onverwacht overlijden van onze interim-voorzitter Alex Koning. Alex was nog maar kort onze voorzitter, maar hij was voortvarend bezig met die nieuwe verantwoordelijke taak. Door zijn overlijden is er voor het bestuur een geheel nieuwe situatie ontstaan. Tijdens de bestuursvergadering van 18 januari 2017, die heeft plaatsgevonden in aanwezigheid van de commissie van wijze mannen bestaande uit Paul Tirion en Okko Luursema, is vastgesteld dat Gerard Gijsbertsen in de komende periode naast de functie van secretaris ook de functie van voorzitter zal waarnemen.
Er is tijdens dat overleg tevens geconcludeerd dat moet worden doorgegaan op de reeds door Alex Koning ingeslagen weg. Alex heeft in het Beleidsplan het volgende vastgesteld:


De doelstelling volgens de statuten is: Het waar mogelijk belangstelling te wekken voor het Airborne Museum te Oosterbeek door:
a. Het verlenen van steun en bijstand aan het Airborne Museum.
b. Het houden van vergaderingen, lezingen en excursies.
c. Het bevorderen en verspreiden van kennis met betrekking tot de Slag om Arnhem en Operation Market Garden.
d. Andere legale middelen die in overeenstemming zijn met de doelstelling van de vereniging.
Het bestuur en de wijze mannen zijn het er over eens dat er als eerste hard gewerkt moet worden aan het herstel van het invulling geven aan het eerste deel van deze missie. Dit is vastgelegd in de eerste Doelstelling uit het Beleidsplan, zijnde: “Goed contact en wederkerige samenwerking met het Airborne Museum, zowel met het bestuur en de directie, alsmede met de medewerkers en de vrijwillligers”
Alex gaf aan dat dit moet plaatsvinden door middel van een “gelijkwaardige wederkerige samenwerkingsafspraak, waar beide partijen maximaal hun voordeel uit kunnen halen, elk vanuit hun eigen doelstelling.” Hiertoe zal op korte termijn overleg plaatsvinden tussen een delegatie van het bestuur van de VVAM en een delegatie van het bestuur van de Stichting Airborne Museum met als inzet te komen tot een wederzijds verplichtende overeenkomst tussen de partijen. Alleen op basis van een dergelijke heldere overeenkomst kunnen partijen aanspraak maken op elkaars ondersteuning.


Algemene Ledenvergadering Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum

Datum: 18 maart 2017
Aanvang: 14.00 uur, zaal open 13.30 uur
Plaats: Concertzaal, Rozensteeg 3 te Oosterbeek
1. Opening
2. Mededelingen en In Memoriam
3. Verslag 37ste (Extra) Algemene Ledenvergadering dd 19 november 2016
4. Jaaroverzicht 2016
5. Financieel verslag 2016
6. Verslag kascommissie
7. Begroting 2017
8. Besluitvorming verhoging contributie m.i.v. 1 januari 2018
9. Benoeming reservelid kascommissie
10. Ontwikkelingen in de relatie tussen VVAM en Airborne Museum
11. Programma 2017
12. Rondvraag
13. Sluiting
Er is een pauze van 15.00 uur tot 15.30 uur Na de pauze zal Martin Peters een lezing geven over het in april 2016 verschenen boek “Desert Rise – Arnhem Descent”, dat hij samen met Niall Cherry, John Howes en Graham Francis heeft geschreven over het 10e Parachutisten Bataljon tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Deze lezing duurt tot ca. 17.00 uur.
Gerard Gijsbertsen (voorzitter & secretaris)
Eric Paap (penningmeester)

Vanwege de huidige situatie zullen er op 18 maart 2017 nog geen bestuursbenoemingen mogelijk zijn. De commissie van wijze mannen zal haar taak voortzetten om te komen tot een nieuw bestuur. Derhalve zullen de huidige bestuursleden (Gerard Gijsbertsen, Eric Paap, Wybo Boersma en Frits Miedema) hun taken blijven uitvoeren totdat er een vernieuwd bestuur in de eerstvolgende (extra) ALV aan u kan worden gepresenteerd. Het bestuur heeft de begroting besproken en geconcludeerd dat na jaren van gelijkblijvende contributie een verhoging noodzakelijk is geworden. Dit is een gevolg van de gestaag stijgende kosten voor het Magazine en de afspraak die met het museum is gemaakt om jaarlijks een vergoeding te betalen voor de vrije entree van de leden aan het museum. Het bestuur wil u voorstellen de contributie met ingang van 2018 te verhogen van € 22 tot € 25 voor een individueel lidmaatschap en van € 30 naar € 35 voor een gezinslidmaatschap. Tijdens de vergadering zal hierover een besluit moeten worden genomen.
Er is vastgesteld dat de Britse leden van de vereniging zich niet altijd gelijkwaardig behandeld voelen. Zij hebben geen stemrecht op de ALV en ontvangen zowel het Engelstalige Magazine als diverse (vertaalde) berichtgeving veel later dan de Nederlandse leden. Binnen het bestuur dient een functie te worden ingesteld die de contacten met de Britse leden waarborgt. Voor het stemrecht geven aan de buitenlandse leden zullen de statuten moeten worden aangepast. U zult te zijner tijd in deze voorgenomen aanpassingen worden betrokken.


Tijdens de jaarlijkse ledenbijeenkomst van de International Guild of Battlefield Guides in Highgate House in Northampton ontving ons bestuurslid Wybo Boersma op 14 januari 2017 de ‘Richard Holmes Award’. Wybo ontving deze prijs uit handen van Mike Peters, de voorzitter van de Guild, in aanwezigheid van de weduwe van Professor Richard Holmes. De aanwezigen gaven Wybo een staande ovatie.
De Richard Holmes Award wordt sinds 2011 ieder jaar toegekend aan een lid van de Guild, dat speciale erkenning verdient voor de persoonlijke bijdragen aan de verbetering en verdere ontwikkeling van de GBG. De toekenning van de prijs aan Wybo is mede een erkenning van de inspanning van de Nederlandse leden voor de Guild. De Nederlanderse leden vormen de grootste groep buiten Groot Brittannië. Vier Nederlanders hebben inmiddels de officiële badge van de Guild.

Wybo Boersma, die zojuist de Richard Holmes Award heeft ontvangen, poseert met mevrouw Holmes en de drie andere Nederlandse ‘badged’ leden van de GBG voor de fotograaf. (Foto: Willem Kleyn)

De Richard Holmes Award dankt zijn naam aan de eerste beschermheer van het GBG, Professor Richard Holmes (1946-2011), die een belangrijke rol speelde bij de oprichting en ontwikkeling van de Guild. Holmes was ook in Nederland bekend, vooral door de televisie-uitzendingen in de jaren negentig van zijn programma ‘War Walks’ door de BBC. Een van die uitzendingen ging over de Slag bij Arnhem en werd onder meer opgenomen in het Airborne Museum. Hij was auteur van meer dan 20 boeken over militaire geschiedenis en over slagvelden. Daarmee leverde hij een belangrijke bijdrage aan de toename van de belangstelling voor een bezoek aan slagvelden en bevorderde hij bij het grote publiek een breder begrip voor de militaire geschiedenis.
De prijs heeft de vorm van een zilveren beeldje van een soldaat van de Essex Yeomanry uit periode 1914-1918 – een Tommy van de Territorial Army. De keuze van het ontwerp komt voort uit het feit dat Richard Holmes zelf diende in de Essex Yeomanry en in veel van zijn werk de geest en de prestaties van de Britse Tommy vereeuwigde.


Een van de veteranen die ons in de afgelopen tijd is ontvallen is Peter Wilkinson. Hij overleed op 20 januari 2017 op 94-jarige leeftijd. In september 1944 was Lieutenant Peter ‘Sam’ Wilkinson MC Command Post Officer van No 3 Battery, 1st Airlanding Light Regiment Royal Artillery. Vanaf 18 september 1944 stonden de 75mm Pack Howitsers van ‘E’ en ‘F’ Troop van No 3 Battery opgesteld ten zuiden en ten westen van de Oude Kerk in Oosterbeek. Peter Wilkinson had zijn commandopost in een huisje aan het Kerkpad, direct achter de Regimental Aid Post, die was gevestigd in het huis van de familie Ter Horst. Ondanks de onophoudelijke zware Duitse beschietingen wist Peter de commandopost vrijwel tot het einde van de strijd in bedrijf te houden. Hij slaagde erin om in de nacht van 25 op 26 september 1944 met het restant van de divisie over de Rijn te ontsnappen. Peter keerde verschillende malen terug naar Oosterbeek en fungeerde zelfs een paar keer als Leader of the Pilgrimage. Hij bleef trouw contact houden met de mannen van zijn regiment. In zijn landhuis in het dorpje East Haddon bij Northampton ontvingen Peter en zijn vrouw June regelmatig veteranen van het Light Regiment, waarbij altijd de herinneringen
aan de strijd bij Oosterbeek naar boven kwamen.

Bij de opening van de speciale ‘Remembrance Garden’ bij de Walhampton Independent Prepatory School near Lymington in Hampshire op vrijdag 30 september 2016, was ook Peter Wilkinson aanwezig. Op de foto poseren v.l.n.r. Claar Ter Horst, Sophie Lambrechtsen-Ter Horst, Peter Wilkinson en Hiltje van Eck. (Foto via Titus Mills)

Na zijn pensionering begon PeterWilkinson zich intensief te verdiepen in de geschiedenis van artillerie tijdens de Slag om Arnhem. Die studie resulteerde in 1999 in de publicatie van zijn boek ‘The Gunners at Arnhem’. Vanaf dat moment fungeerde Peter veelvuldig als vraagbaak voor mensen die onderzoek deden naar de rol van de Britse Artillerie. Je was altijd welkom bij hem thuis en werd met veel hartelijkheid en gastvrijheid ontvangen. Peter deelde altijd met plezier zijn uitgebreide kennis over het onderwerp. Maar hij bleef altijd de rustige, bescheiden gentleman, die eigenlijk het liefst op de achtergrond wilde blijven. Met het overlijden van Peter Wilkinson verliezen we niet alleen een aimabele vriend, maar ook een van de mannen uit ‘the greatest generation’, een generatie waar we oneindig veel aan te danken hebben. (Robert Voskuil)


Er is een beslissing genomen over de toekomst van het voormalige Hotel Dreyeroord in Oosterbeek. De projectontwikkelaar AMVEST is begin februari met een nieuw ontwerp gekomen. Dit plan houdt in dat het huidige gebouw wordt gesloopt, maar dat het wordt herbouwd in de oude stijl. Het nieuwe gebouw zal er van buiten precies zo gaan uitzien als in de dertiger jaren van de vorige eeuw. Binnen zal het geheel worden ingericht voor de opvang van dementerende ouderen.
De Stichting ‘Behoud WO2 Erfgoed Gelderland’, die onlangs is opgericht en die is voortgekomen uit de Facebook werkgoep ‘Behoud Dreyeroord’, staat positief tegenover de nieuwe plannen. Voorzitter Wiljo Pas uit Oosterbeek is zeer enthousiast. Met zijn groep wist hij meer dan 20.000 handtekeningen te verzamelen tegen het verdwijnen van Dreyeroord. De ’Stichting Behoud WO2 Erfgoed Gelderland’ zal zich vanaf heden gaan inzetten om ook andere objecten te beschermen en de status te geven die zij verdienen.
In het volgende nummer van het Airborne Magazine komen we uitgebreid terug op de nieuw plannen voor Dreyeroord. Ook zal er aandacht worden besteed aan de vondsten uit de Slag om Arnhem, die bij opgravingen op het terrein tevoorschijn zijn gekomen.


Zat Audrey Hepburn echt in het verzet en klopt het dat ze een fascistische moeder had? Er is veel over Audrey Hepburn geschreven, maar weinig over haar periode in Arnhem tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Het Airborne Museum ging op onderzoek uit met als resultaat de nieuwe tentoonstelling: ‘Moederliefde. Het geheim van Ella & Audrey’ met onder andere foto’s, en persoonlijke bezittingen van Audrey en haar moeder Ella. Vlak voor de Tweede Wereldoorlog komt Audrey naar Nederland. Ze wordt herenigd met haar halfbroers en moeder Ella van Heemstra, die inmiddels twee huwelijken achter de rug heeft. Ondanks de oorlog weet de tienjarige Audrey haar danstalent in Nederland te ontplooien. Zo start ze hier haar balletopleiding en geeft ze diverse optredens. Dat het fascistische verleden van haar moeder Ella hier ook een rol in speelde, merk je zodra je in de tentoonstellingsruimte staat. De foto’s aan de muren vertellen het verhaal van Audrey en haar moeder in Nederland. De persoonlijke bezittingen, die staan uitgestald in een grote vitrine, zijn door de zoons van Audrey aan het Airborne Museum uitgeleend. Een stoeltje van Audrey, een schilderij dat vroeger in haar huis aan de muur hing, maar ook een foto waarop Audrey’s moeder Ella voor het hoofdkwartier van de Duitse fascisten staat. Een foto die vertelt over Ella’s sympathie voor het fascisme en haar uitgebreide netwerk dat ze gebruikte voor de carrière van haar dochter Audrey.
“Wat we met deze tentoonstelling willen laten zien, is dat er niet altijd een duidelijke scheiding Was tussen ‘goed’ of ‘fout’. In oorlogstijd maak je keuzes waarvan je denkt dat die het beste zijn voor je gezin”, vertelt Natalie Rosenberg van het Airborne Museum. “We laten de feiten zien. Een Nederlandse moeder die aan de ene kant een moreel kompas zocht en anderzijds opportunistische drijfveren had, om zo haar dochter kansen te bieden die zij zelf nooit heeft gehad.” Of Audrey nu wel of niet actief was in het verzet in Arnhem, blijft in het midden. “Aan de hand van de tentoonstelling vorm je daar zelf je gedachten over.”
De expositie ‘Moederliefde. Ella & Audrey’ werd geopend op 26 januari 2017 en is nog tot 20 augustus 2017 in het Airborne Museum te zien.


Bij de 1e Britse Airborne divisie, die in september 1944 in de omgeving van Arnhem landde, waren 14 Nederlandse Commando’s van No 2 (Dutch) Troop van No 10 (Inter Allied) Commando ingedeeld. Eén van hen, Willem van de Waard, maakte deel uit van het hoofdkwartier van generaal Urquhart. Op zondag 17 september 1944 landde de Waard in de glider van generaal Urquhart op landing zone ‘Z’ bij Wolfheze. In een brief van 27 juni 1948, verzonden vanuit Batavia aan de Nederlandse commando Willem van de Veer, beschrijft hij deze landing. Van de Veer was toen bezig met het schrijven van een boek over No 2 (Dutch) Troop. “Toen de glider geland was, probeerden we er zo vlug mogelijk uit te komen, hetgeen nogal wat moeilijkheden opleverde omdat de staart muurvast zat. Uiteindelijk hebben we hem eraf moeten hakken om de jeep eruit te krijgen”. (Originele brief in het archief Airborne Museum) Hoewel voor zover bekend nergens anders melding wordt gemaakt over moeilijkheden met het ont-

Foto 1: Een glider, geland in de buurt van de huidige camping ‘De Lindenhof’. Links de losgekoppelde staart.

laden van deze glider, verwerkt Van der Veer deze gegevens in 1981in zijn boek “Oorlogsverhalen”. In het verhaal “Market Garden” beschrijft hij de sitatie als volgt: “Snel maakten we de veiligheidsriemen los en probeerden de staart van het toestel open te draaien, zoals we dikwijls gedurende de training hadden gedaan. Maar hoe we ook wrikten en wrongen, de staart zat muurvast. Er was geen beweging in te krijgen. Enkele seconden later sloegen we met grote hakbijlen verwoed het staartstuk aan splinters.” Ook in verschillende andere verslagen van de landingen en het ontladen van gliders lezen we dat het staartstuk soms moeilijk was los te krijgen. We vroegen ons af hoe die constructie nu precies werkte en wat de problemen konden zijn geweest. Daarvoor zijn we te rade gegaan bij de glider collectie van Paul Hendriks in Wolfheze. Dat is de enige plaats in Nederland waar alle gegevens over geallieerde gliders, de Horsa, de Hamilcar en de Waco, zowel in documentatie als in voorwerpen beschikbaar zijn. In ons geval gaat het over de Britse Horsa MK1 glider. Deze glider was opgebouwd uit verschillende afzonderlijke segmenten, die bij de eindmontage van het toestel aan elkaar werden gemonteerd. Het achterste deel, het staartstuk, was zo bevestigd dat hij eenvoudig weer losgemaakt kon worden. Hierdoor was het mogelijk zwaar rijdend materieel zoals jeeps, kanonnen en dergelijke snel te ontladen. (foto 1)
Het staartstuk zat op acht plaatsen met bouten aan de romp van de glider vast. Deze bevestigingen hadden de aanduiding ‘REAR FUSELAGE ATTACHMENT BRACKETS’. De tekeningen vinden we terug in het voorschrift AP 2097A, volume 1, Sectie 7, Hoofdstuk 1. (foto 2) Twee lange bouten (bolts) waren in een U-vormig aluminium huis onder en boven aan een lengtespant bevestigd. Ze staken door de spanten, die aan beide zijden aan de romp en staart tegen elkaar aan waren geplaatst (foto 4). Bij deze bouten zat aan de ene zijde een vaste kop, en aan de andere zijde een moer, die uit twee gelijk genummerde helften bestond. Deze werden bijeen gehouden door een bus met haaks daarop een steel. (quick release unit), (foto 3). Van deze quick release units zijn in de afgelopen jaren vele tientallen op de landingsterreinen bij Wolfheze gevonden. De unit werd op zijn plaats gehouden door een borgpen en extra met een borgdraad (locking wire) vastgemaakt. Aan de andere zijde werden de bouten aangedraaid met een ratel (ratchet spanner) (foto 5). Deze werd vervolgens met een leren bandje vastgezet.De staart zat zo voldoende vast aan de glider. Om nu de staart los te koppelen moesten alle bussen van de uit twee helften bestaande moeren afgeschoven worden, waarna de moerenschalen uiteen vielen. De bouten zaten nu niet meer vast en de gehele staart kon naar achteren geschoven worden. De bevestigingsbouten waren genummerd, waarbij de no’s 4 bovenin de glider als laatste tegelijk losgemaakt moesten worden. Een tekst op het spant in de glider gaf dan ook aan: “Remove no. 4 bolts last and together” (zie foto 6). Als er een te grote trekspanning op de bouten stond kon de bus vaak niet meer van de moerschalen (twee halve moeren) afgeschoven worden. Dit was veelal het gevolg van een zware landing. Het alternatief was dan de houten spanten stuk te hakken. Vervolgens moesten de verschillende draden die naar het staartstuk liepen doorgeknipt worden. Hiervoor zat er ook een draadtang bij de glider. Nadat de metalen uitrij-goten aangebracht waren kon het uitladen beginnen. Deze constructie, samengesteld uit gevonden glideronderdelen afkomstig van de landingsterrei-

nen, is te zien bij de Glider Collectie in Wolfheze. Grote delen van de verschillende gliders, die tijdens de operatie Market Garden werden gebruikt, zijn daar opgesteld. In de loop van 2017 is een bezoek aan dit particulier museum opgenomen in een van de Battlefield tours. Individueel het museum bezoeken kan ook. Voor de openingstijden zie: of neem contact op met Paul Hendriks, telefoon: 06-10143467, e-mail: (Wybo Boersma)

Steel wall at Arnhem, The destruction of 4 Parachute Brigade, 19 September 1944
Geschreven door: David Truesdale;
ISBN: 978-1-911096-05-4;
Uitgaver: Helion & Company, England;
Formaat: 338 pag; Engelse tekst; geill.;
O.a. te bestellen via en ook verkrijgbaar in het Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek.
Prijs (in het museum): € 34,95

Van alle eenheden van de 1e Britse Airborne divisie die bij Arnhem vochten, is in de geschiedschrijving misschien de minste aandacht uitgegaan naar de 4e Parachutisten Brigade, die op 18 september 1944 onder bevel van Brigadier Hackett op de Ginkelse Heide bij Ede landde. In verschillende boeken worden de acties van deze brigade wel beschreven, maar pas in de afgelopen jaren zijn er gedegen studies verschenen over de drie parachutisten bataljons waaruit de brigade bestond. In 2009 verscheen het boek “From Delhi to Arnhem, 156 Parachute Battalion“ door John O’Reilly, in 2012 “Arnhem Their Final Battle, The 11th Parachute Battalion 1943-1944” door Gerrit Pijpers en David Truesdale en in 2016 “Desert Rise – Arnhem Descent, The 10th Parachute Battalion in the Second World War” door Martin Peters en Niall Cherry met John Howes en Graham Francis.

Voegt het boek van David Truesdale: ‘Steel Wall at Arnhem” hier nog iets aan toe? Niet echt. De geschiedenis van de brigade wordt tot in details in de drie eerder genoemde boeken beschreven. In zijn boek geeft Truesdale eerst een korte inleiding over het ontstaan van de verschillende bataljons en de acties, zoals die in Noord Afrika, waar zij bij betrokken waren. Daarna geeft hij een overzicht van de lotgevallen van de brigade van dag tot dag tijdens de Slag om Arnhem, veelal aan de hand van ooggetuigeverslagen. De schrijver heeft daarvoor vrijwel alleen gebruik gemaakt van Engelstalige bronnen. Duitse en Nederlandse literatuur en rapporten worden helaas gemist. Truesdale heeft soms de neiging om zowel in de tekst als in de bijschriften van de illustraties allerlei extra informatie te vermelden, die niet altijd even relevant is voor het eigenlijke verhaal. Zo voegt hij bij het noemen van namen van Britse militairen regelmatig allerlei achtergrond informatie toe, zoals afkomst van de man, eenheden waar hij vroeger bij gediend heeft, etc. Ook kan je je van een aantal illustraties in het boek afvragen wat zij met de 4e Brigade te maken hebben. Het boek eindigt met een Roll of Honour en een aantal andere bijlagen. Helaas zijn deze vaak onvolledig en soms zelfs niet relevant. Je krijgt enigszins het gevoel dat ze zijn toegevoegd om het boek voldoende volume te geven. Jammer, want op zich het is een goed uitgevoerd publicatie. Voor wie de eerder verschenen bataljonsgeschiedenissen gemist heeft of alleen een algemeen overzicht wil lezen, kan dit boek van nut zijn, maar verwacht geen nieuwe inzichten over het verloop van de operaties bij Arnhem, waarbij de 4e Brigade betrokken was. (Wybo Boersma)


In 1997 en 1998 werd historisch onderzoek gedaan in het weiland direct zuidelijk en oostelijk van de Oude Kerk in Oosterbeek. Het doel was om door middel van opgravingen na te gaan wat er nog aan overblijfselen van de strijd in september 1944 in de bodem aanwezig was. Het onderzoek werd uitgevoerd door Dick Timmerman, Hans Timmerman en David van Buggenum uit Arnhem. Deze groep had een speciale vergunning van de Gemeente Renkum verkregen om dit soort onderzoek uit te voeren.
Evenals nu, was het toen ook al streng verboden om in de gemeente zonder officiële toestemming op openbaar terrein naar overblijfselen uit de Tweede Wereldoorlog te zoeken. Sinds de hier beschreven opgraving heeft dit team in overleg met de gemeente Renkum nog een aantal plaatsen onderzocht. Daarbij is altijd nauw samengewerkt met het ‘Explosieven Opruimings Commando’ (EOC) en met de ‘Bergings en Identificatie Dienst van de Koninklijke Landmacht’ (BIDKL).
Dit artikel is een samenvating van het rapport dat door de drie onderzoekers naar aanleiding van deze opgraving werd geschreven.

Aard van het onderzochte terrein
Het perceel grasland ligt zuidelijk en oostelijk van de Oude Kerk in Oosterbeek. Het wordt van noord naar zuid doorsneden door een gemetselde open watergoot. Aan de zuidzijde loopt de ‘Leigraaf ’, een brede, ondiepe sloot. Aan de oostzijde ligt de Polderweg, de toegangsweg tot Camping ‘De Rijnoever’. Aan de noordzijde grenst het terrein aan de Benedendorpsweg en aan de muur, die ten oosten, zuiden en westen van de kerk ligt. Ten westen grenst het perceel aan de moestuin en de boomgaard van de familie Ter Horst. Vanaf de muur aan de zuidzijde van de kerk loopt het perceel sterk af. Naar schatting bedraagt het hoogteverschil tussen de plaats van de muur en de sloot ca. 1.50 meter. Dit betekent ook dat de bodemgesteldheid en het grondwaterniveau verschillend zijn. Bij de keermuur is de grond kurkdroog en zandig. Het bevat veel puin. Bij de Leigraaf, bestaat de bodem uit matige tot zware klei. Omdat de grondwaterstand daar dichter bij het oppervlak ligt, is het daar ook veel vochtiger.

Wat gebeurde er in september 1944?
Het terrein dat werd onderzocht, was tijdens de Slag om Arnhem een van de posities van het 1st Airlanding Light Regiment Royal Artillery. Op maandag 18 september 1944 waren op het terrein drie 75mm Pack Houwitsers opgesteld van F Troop, No 3 Battery. De stukken geschut waren neergezet in ondiepe gunpits, in dit rapport ‘stellingen’ genoemd. Vanuit deze posities heeft F Troop o.a. vuursteun kunnen geven aan de Britse troepen die bij de Rijnbrug in Arnhem vochten.

Verkleinde kaart van het onderzoeksgebied bij de Oude Kerk in Oosterbeek met alle lokaties waar vondsten werden gedaan. Deze lokaties zijn voorzien van een nummer dat correspondeert met de nummers op een lange lijst in het originele rapport, waarop tot in detail alle vondsten zijn vermeld.

Op dinsdag 19 en woensdag 20 september trokken de restanten van de Britse bataljons, die hadden getracht door te breken naar de mannen van Frost bij de Rijnbrug, zich terug in het Benedendorp in Oosterbeek. Deze Thompson Force, later Lonsdale Force genoemd, zou de posities rond de Oude Kerk tot het eind van de strijd verdedigen.

Het onderzoek Zaterdag 28 juni 1997
De eerste onderzoeksdag. We weten niet precies wat ze kunnen verwachten, omdat er van wordt uitgegaan dat dit terrein al eerder door mensen met een metaaldetector is onderzocht. We weten echter dat het moeilijk is een weiland als dit grondig te onderzoeken, vanwege de grote oppervlakte, de wijze waarop de meeste zoekers te werk gaan en het feit dat onze voorgangers meestal illegaal hebben gezocht.
Er wordt begonnen met zoeken bij de muur aan de zuidkant van de kerk, omdat bekend is dat daar in het verleden ook verschillende vondsten zijn gedaan. Direkt bij de muur vindt Hans twee munitierekken bestemd voor 75mm granaten. De rekken liggen tegen de muur aan in een droog mengsel van zand en puin en zij verkeren in opmerkelijk goede staat. Op een aluminium plaatje op het rek is duidelijk leesbaar: ‘AMMUNITION FOR CANON WITH EXPLOSIVE PROJECTILE 68.99 LBS CUFT US’. Het lijkt er op dat bij de opruimwerkzaamheden na de oorlog veel oorlogsrestanten samen met het puin achter de muur gestort zijn. Er vlak naast vind David een Britse parachutistenhelm, waar ooit webbing kinbanden aan gezeten hebben. De helm verkeert in een goede staat. Niet lang daarna vindt David in een nieuw gat op ongeveer een meter diepte twee munitierekken en een 75mm granaathuls. De onderzoekers zijn zeer enthousiast, want dit is boven verwachting.

Hans zoekt verder bij de muur en vindt de overblijfselen van een munitiekist voor .303-Vickers patronen en een koelingreservoir, dat bij een Vickersmitrailleur hoorde. David is het weiland ingegaan en vindt een Britse handgranaat, een 2-inch mortiergranaat (rook) en een zogenaamde tondeldoos, een vooloper van het hedendaagse luciferdoosje. Deze tondeldoos dateert uit ongeveer het eind van de 19e eeuw.

Opgegraven vondsten, waaronder vier 75mm hulzen, een rek voor 75mm granaten, Britse veldfles, Britse spijkerbajonet en dekseltjes voor kokers waarin granaten werden vervoerd.

Wybo Boersma van het Airborne Museum brengt een bezoek aan de Oude Kerk met een groep Duitsers, varierend in leeftijd van 30 tot 50 jaar. Ze zijn zeer geinteresseerd in onze vondsten, vooral in de Fallschirmjäger helm. Er wordt verder gezocht in de buurt van een voormalige stelling van een 75mm kanon, dichtbij de Leigraaf. Daar vindt David een deel van een munitierek en daar vlakbij een bandelier met een aantal clipsv.303-inch patronen. Daarna verplaatst hij zich invde richting van de Bedendendorpsweg, en vindtveen Brits pionierschopje. Ter hoogte van de weg graaft hij nog een bandelier met .303-inch patronen op. Om een uur of vijf wordt de dag besloten met het nemen van foto’s van de vondsten. Deze eerste zoekdag was zeer succesvol.

Dinsdag 8 juli 1997
In de ochtend vindt David twee kapotte granaathulzen en twee handgranaten. Direkt daarna stuit hij op overblijfselen van een parahelm met resten van een schedel erin. Aangezien het niet duidelijk is of het om menselijke of dierlijke resten gaat, wordt niet verder gegraven en wordt de politie gewaarschuwd.
Dick zoekt in de buurt van het muurtje en vindt een meetlineaal, dat waarschijnlijk bij een 75mm kanon hoort, en een magazijnvuller voor een Brengun. Dan arriveert politieagent Erik Boer, die de parahelm inspecteert. Met hem wordt een afspraak gemaakt over de plaats waar het Explosieven Opruimings Commando de gevonden munitie kan vinden. De zoekactie wordt voortgezet langs de Benedendorpsweg. Dick vindt vlakbij het bushokje een ’Jerrycan’, een Britse veldfles, een beschermingsdop voor een 2-inch mortiergranaat en op de hoek van het weiland een Duitse 8cm mortiergranaat. Deze blindganger is ongetwijfeld afkomstig van een van de vele Duitse mortierbeschietingen van dit gebied. David vindt achter het bushokje verschillende clips .303 patronen. Hij verplaatst zijn zoekterrein naar de andere kant van het weiland. Bij een voormalige stelling van een 75mm kanon graaft hij een knopenschaar, een Engelse lepel en enkele gespen op. Hans zoekt verder bij de muur en vindt de resten van een leren tas voor een vizier/kijker van een .303 VICKERS GUN. Dit is met enige moeite op de tas te lezen. Dit zou een interessante aanwinst kunnen zijn voor het Airborne Museum, dat in het bezit is van een VICKERS GUN, die vlak bij deze plek in de sloot is gevonden. De laatste vondst van deze dag is een aantal doppen van de kartonnen kokers voor 2-inch mortiergranaten, die nog voor een groot deel bedekt zijn met groene verf.

Woensdag 9 juli 1997
Vandaag komen de medewerkers van de Bergings en Identificatie Dienst (BIDKL) en het EOC langs. De medewekers van de BIDKL graven de op 8 juli aangetroffen parahelm met schedelresten op. Na onderzoek blijkt dat het niet te gaat om menselijke resten, maar om de schedel van een schaap. Het EOC verzamelt de gevonden munitie en voert deze af.

Zaterdag 19 juli 1997
Eerst wordt op een aantal plaatsen in het weiland gezocht. David vindt weer een handgranaat en een spijkerbajonet met een kruisvormig lemmet. Ook Hans vindt een handgranaat. Vervolgens besluit hij de diepzoeker te voorschijn te halen om de voormalige stelling van een 75mm kanon bij de Leigraaf aan een onderzoek te onderwerpen. Binnen de stelling, die herkenbaar is als een ondiepe ronde kuil met een diameter van ongeveer vier meter, laat de meter van de metaaldetector een wisselend beeld zien. In de westzijde van de stelling, achter de positie waar destijds het kanon heeft gestaan, lijken veel kleine objecten bij elkaar te liggen. Hans besluit te gaan graven. Op ongeveer een halve meter diepte bereikt hij de bodem van de stelling. Het eerste dat tevoorschijn komt is het deksel van een munitierek. Nadat hij het

Hans Timmerman met een zojuist opgegraven rek voor drie 75mm granaten.

rek heeft verwijderd blijkt dat de bodem van de stelling bezaaid ligt met beugeltjes, die bedoeld waren voor de bescherming van de ontstekers van de 75mm granaten. Deze beugeltjes moesten worden verwijderd, voordat de granaten werden afgesteld en afgeschoten. Tevens liggen er het overblijfsel van een schede van een spijkerbajonet, een lepel en een dop van een tube tandpasta van het merk ‘Colgate’. De meest opmerkelijke vondsten zijn twee sleutels, die bestemd waren om de ontsteking van de granaten af te stellen. De sleutels zijn van het type Setter Fuse M14 en verkeren in een zeer goede staat. Ze zijn groen geverfd met daaroverheen een deel in rood, zodat ze goed opvallen. Zelfs de tekst is leesbaar. In de hoek van het weiland wordt nog een schuttersput getraceerd, waarin alleen .303-inch patronen en enkele tubes anti-gaszalf liggen. Later in de middag zoekt Hans met de ‘diepzoeker’ bij de muur, wat direct flinke uitslagen van de meter tot gevolg heeft. Na ongeveer 75 cm diep te hebben gegraven in het puin van de kerk, vindt Hans twee munitierekken van 75mm granaten, die in een goede staat verkeren. De aluminium plaatjes, waarin het type granaat is gestanst, zijn zo goed als nieuw. De laatste vondst van de dag is een handgranaat. Rond vijf uur wordt het zoeken beeindigd.

Donderdag 31 juli 1997
Bij de scheiding tussen de moestuin en het weiland vindt David een gevouwen blik, waarop een Engelse tekst staat die we niet begrijpen. Ook ligt er een kapotte granaathuls van een 75mm granaat. Hans vindt weer een Britse handgranaat, die hij bij de andere voegt. Vlak daarbij vindt hij een bijzonder soort poetsgereedschap, waarvan de functie overeenkomt met een ‘knopenschaar’, maar waarvan de vorm totaal anders is. Een paar meter er vandaan komt een vol Stengun-magazijn te voorschijn.

Zaterdag 16 augustus 1997
Er wordt begonnen met een onderzoek van de overgebleven stelling van een 75mm kanon, Dick vindt de derde Setter Fuse M14, met dit keer een blauw handvat, een aantal beschermingsbeugeltjes van de onstekers van de granaten, deksels van granaatkokers en enkele zware ijzeren onderdelen die waarschijnlijk afkomstig zijn van het kanon. Ook komen er een mok, een schede van een spijkerbajonet en verschillende gespen van een militaire tas te voorschijn. In de rand van de stelling ligt ook nog een handgranaat. David traceert een kuil waarin een aantal deksels van munitiekokers ligt en een 2-inch mortier (rook). Vlak tegen de stelling bij de Leigraaf geeft de diepzoeker een sterk signaal. Het blijkt een overblijfsel te zijn van een schuttersput, waarin een munitierek voor 75mm granaten, een zestal volle Stengun-magazijnen, een mok en de overblijfselen van een etensblik worden aangetroffen. ’s Middags vindt David een totaal doorzeefde granaathuls van een 75mm granaat, drie handgranaten, en deksel van een container voor 17-ponder granaten en de overblijfselen van een ontplofte Duitse Nebelwerfer granaat.

De oogst van de eerste opgraving op 28 juni 1997. Op de foto zijn o.a. zichtbaar een Brits pioniersschopje, drie rekken voor ieder drie 75mm granaten (‘klaverbladen’),een Britse parahelm, een 75mm granaathuls, een handgranaat en .303 munitie.

Zondag 17 augustus 1997
Hans onderwerpt een aantal putten met de diepzoeker aan een nader onderzoek. David loopt intussen met de metaaldetector een route evenwijdig aan de Benedendorpsweg, maar dat levert niets op. Ook Hans vindt weinig bijzonders. In het begin van de middag arriveren twee politieagenten om afspraken te maken over de bewaarplaats van de gevonden munitie.

Zondag 15 maart 1998
Vandaag willen we de hoek bij het electriciteitshuisje onderzoeken. Na enkele graafpogingen vinden we alleen puin en verroest ondefinieerbaar ijzer. David zoekt intussen in een strook weiland, dat grenst aan de Benedendorpweg. Hij vindt twee Britse handgranaten, een spijkerbajonet, een clip Britse .303-inch patronen en de overblijfselen van een Britse veldfles. Hans besluit terug te gaan naar de stelling bij de Leigraaf om de schuttersput, die we op 19 juli 1997 al gedeeltelijk hebben uitgegraven, verder te onderzoeken. Eerst verwijdert hij de klei die we vorig jaar al hebben uitgegraven. Daarna voert hij opnieuw een meting uit met de diepzoeker, die op stand 4 redelijk uitslaat. Hans vindt verschillende granaatscherven, een sigarettendoos en op ongeveer 75 cm diepte een boomstronk, die daar waarschijnlijk al vijftig jaar ligt. Hans gaat er van uit dat het gat minimaal deze diepte heeft gehad. De metaaldetector blijft uitslaan wat motiveert om verder te graven. De stronk wordt uitgegraven en Hans graaft nog een meter dieper. De detector geeft aan dat er onderin het gat nog meer ligt. Dick neemt het zware graafwerk over en vindt een zwaar verroest Stengun-magazijn, de resten van een regencape en een doosje met tubetjes anti gaszalf. Iets dieper stuit hij op een 75mm granaathuls. Onderin het gat wordt het vanwege het grondwater steeds drassiger, waardoor het moeilijk wordt om te zien wat er verder ligt. Dick graaft verder en vindt een oliebuisje voor een Lee-Enfield geweer en nog twee granaathulzen met de resten van de kartonnen kokers, waarin zij verpakt zijn, eromheen.

Opgegraven vondsten. Britse veldfles, tas, stukken van 75mm hulzen, .303 munitie, gespen, knopenschaar, lepel, staartstuk van een mortiergranaat.

Het bijbehorende rek, waarin de kokers zitten, komt ook te voorschijn. De aluminium plaatjes op het rek zijn als nieuw. Op een ervan is te lezen: ‘3-ROUNDS COMPLETE SHELL H.E., M 48, 75 MM PACK Howitzer, M I WITH FUZE T.& S.Q., M 54 L.B.M. LOT 6965-567’. Alles verkeert door de diepe ligging in goede staat. Hans neemt het graafwerk over en ziet in de wand van het gat op ongeveer een halve meter diepte de restanten van een rode baret met een embleem van de Royal Artillery erop! Het enthousiasme groeit.
Intussen groeit het aantal toeschouwers, waaronder Chris van Roekel, Aad Groeneweg en Robert Voskuil. Iedereen is gefascineerd door de bijzondere vondsten uit een oorlog, die ineens een stuk dichterbij lijkt. Hans zit tot zijn knieën in de drek, maar graaft verder en vindt een tweede rek, met daarin drie hulzen. Daarna volgen er nog drie hulzen. Het rek dat daarbij hoort is door de grote diepte en de steeds grotere hoeveelheid grondwater onbereikbaar. Daarnaast zijn we door het zware werk dusdanig vermoeid dat doorgraven niet verstandig lijkt.

Zaterdag 25 april 1998
Vandaag wordt besteed aan het verder graven op de plaats waar we op 15 maart zo’n succes hadden. Uit de eerste halve meter klei komen verschillende deksels van kokers en andere ondedelen van rekken van 75mm granaten te voorschijn. Daarna volgt een spijkerbajonet, enkele zeer slechte .303-inch patronen en na ongeveer een meter graven een nog volledig groene veldfles. We krijgen bezoek van enkele Engelsen, die zichtbaar enthousiast zijn over onze vondsten. Nadat ze vertrokken zijn graaft Dick weer verder. Het grondwater sijpelt gestaag uit de wand, maar het valt gelukkig nog mee. Bijna bij de bodem aangekomen, komen er een aantal zilveren dubbeltjes, kwartjes en een vierkante stuiver te voorschijn. Op ongeveer twee meter diepte stuit Dick op het rek dat we de vorige keer hebben achtergelaten. Weer komen er vier 75mm granaathulzen tevoorschijn. De kartonnen kokers zitten er in stukken omheen. In de kuil ligt ook een Britse handgranaat, die nog zo goed als nieuw is. Volledig in de verf met rode strepen en een messing dop aan de onderzijde. We spoelen alles af in de sloot, gooien de kuil dicht en begraven de gevonden munitie. Daarna vertekken we.

Zondag 19 juli 1998
Op een luchtfoto uit 1945 is in het weiland een put zichtbaar, die zich in het terrein nog aftekent als een verlaging. Dat is voor David en Hans aanleiding om daar een onderzoek in te stellen. De meter op de diepzoeker geeft geen geweldige uitslag, maar er wordt toch begonnen met graven. De eerste halve meter bevat verschillende deksels van kokers van granaten, enkele gespen en het overblijfsel van een alumnium typeplaatje van een granaatrek. Hierna blijken er, tot ongeveer anderhalve meter diep, alleen nog resten van leistenen dakpannen van de kerk in de kuil te liggen. De rest van de dag zoeken we her en der in het weiland, maar er je merkt dat er overal goed gezocht is, want buiten vijf staarten van Duitse 8cm mortiergranaten en enkele Britse patronen komt er niets meer te voorschijn. We besluiten de zoekactie voor deze lokatie te beëindigen. (David van Buggenum, Hans Timmerman en Dick Timmerman)

Dick Timmerman met een zojuist opgegraven 75mm huls


Jaarvergadering VVAM
Plaats: Concertzaal, Rozensteeg 3, Oosterbeek
Tijd: 10.30 uur, zaal open 10.00 uur
Toegang alleen leden VVAM op vertoon van lidmaatschapskaart 2017. Aansluitend lezing van de Martin Peters over het 10e Parachutistenbataljon
Wandelexcursie over de landingsterreinen met bezoek aan de Glider Collectie Wolfheze
Plaats: Glider Collectie, Chaletpark De Lindenhof, Wolfheze
Tijd: 13.30 – 17.00 uur
Kosten: Leden VVAM € 7,50, niet leden € 12,50
17 – 21 MEI
Battlefield tour Normandië
Jaarlijkse beurs van 2e hands boeken en documenten m.b.t. de 2e Wereldoorlog
Plaats: Concertzaal, Rozensteeg 3, Oosterbeek
N.b: Deze activiteit, de datum en plaats is een voorlopige planning. Eind februari 2017 worden de gegevens definitief. Voor meer informatie mail naar:
23 – 25 Juni
De Britse leden van de VVAM houden hun 2 jaarlijkse Nederland weekend
Wandelexcursie “De straatgevechten ten noorden van de Utrechtseweg”
Start: Airborne Museum Hartenstein. Afsluiting bij restaurant Schoonoord, Oosterbeek
Tijd: 13.30 – 17.00 uur
Kosten: Leden VVAM € 7,50, niet leden € 12,50
Battlefield tour Arnhem “Negen dagen strijd bij Ede, Arnhem en Oosterbeek, september 1944. Een tocht over het slagveld“
Startplaats: Talsmalaan naast het Airborne Museum Hartenstein
Tijd: 09.30 – 17.00 uur
Kosten: Leden VVAM € 37,50; niet leden € 45,00
De tour staat onder leiding van Wybo Boersma, gids van de International Guild of Battlefield Guides. De tour is inclusief busvervoer en lunch. Iedere deelnemers ontvangt een gids van deze tour.
Battlefield tour: “Operatie Pegasus 1“ Battlefield tour in samenwerking met het Platform Militaire Historie Ede
Start: Infocentrum P.M.H.E., Voormalige Prins Mauritskazerne,
Nieuwe Kazernelaan 2, Ede
Tijd: 09.30 – 17.00 uur
Kosten: Leden VVAM € 37,50, niet leden € 45,00
De tour staat onder leiding van gidsen van het Platform Militaire Historie Ede. De tour is inclusief busvervoer en veld lunch
Airborne Day
Uitstalling en uitleg van Airborne materiaal en documenten van leden. Mogelijkheid tot ruiling, boekendienst en andere activiteiten
Plaats: Concertzaal, Rozensteeg 3, Oosterbeek
Tijd: 10.00 – 15.30 uur
Kosten: Leden VVAM € 2,50, niet leden € 5,00
Deze activiteit wordt in de loop van 2017 nog nader uitgewerkt.
In het juni/juli Airborne Magazine worden de verdere plannen voor deze activiteit vermeld.

Voor aanvullende informatie over de verschillende activiteiten, opgave van deelneming en eventuele wijzigingen zie de
website of mail naar Informatie kunt u ook vinden op de sites van en

Het Airborne Magazine is een uitgave van de Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum, Oosterbeek en verschijnt drie keer per jaar. Het doel is bekendheid te geven aan het Airborne Museum, de activiteiten van de Vereniging Vrienden en de geschiedenis van de Slag om Arnhem.
Redactie: Wybo Boersma MBE, Jasper Oorthuys (+ vacature)
Archivering & distributie losse nummers van het Magazine: Wybo Boersma, Ede.
Ontwerp en lay-out: Christy Beall
Druk: Wedding Proson, Harderwijk
E-mail adres VVAM:
Telefoonnummer VVAM: (0318) 639633.
Postadres: Vrienden van het Airborne Museum, Postbus 6710 AA, Ede
Coördinator Airborne News Flash: Vincent Luiten
Vertegenwoordiger van de VVAM in het Verenigd Koninkrijk: Niall Cherry, email adres:

DOWNLOAD een PDF versie

3.-5.Additional Annual General Members Meeting of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum, which took place on 19 November 2016
5. -6.Hotel Dreyeroord: the current state of affairs – Robert Voskuil
6. -7.Booklet about Air Support teams – Wybo Boersma
7.Exhibition: “EGO. Do not forget me” – Robert Voskuil
8.Reburial of two soldiers at the Airborne Cemetery
9.Six unknown soldiers identified after 72 years
9.-10.Book reviews by Wybo Boersma
11.A “Regimental Aid Post” in the Concertzaal – Robert Voskuil
12.Royal decoration
12. -13.A very special emblem from the Airborne Museum collection – Wybo Boersma
13.“B Company Arrived, The Men”
13-14.Ministory 124, Hotel Dreyeroord, September 1944 – Niall Cherry

On Liberation Day (5th May 2016] a British Dakota flew over Hartenstein and the Airborne Monument in Oosterbeek. (photo:


On Saturday 19 November 2016, an additional Annual General Members Meeting of the SFAM took place. This had become necessary in that, during the past year, a situation has developed, from which, during the AGM on Saturday 19 March, a comprehensive exchange of thoughts and ideas took place. Those members then present, gave the Management in­structions that they should take steps to construct and implement a renewed relationship with the Airborne Museum. To activate this plan, on 10 July 2016, the So­ciety Management sent a letter to the management of the Airborne Museum Foundation. A copy of this letter is available on request.
In the run-up to the meeting on 19 March 2016, two members of the Management team announced their intention to resign from the team and eventually one candidate member was selected to join, without the usual election. The various reactions from members during and after the AGM, gave the Management the feeling that they should all resign with effect from the AGM on 19 November 2016.
In the following period, Mr Alex Koning announced his willingness to stand as a new member of the Board and in the coming months, with support from a committee of well qualified people, to form a new Management team. Therefore during the AGM on 19 November, Mr Koning was nominated as the sole Management team member. Also, you will be ad­vised that, in the period from the Extra AGM on 19 November to the AGM in March 2017, the then resig­ned Management team members, Ben Koster, Wybo Boersma, Gerard Gijbertsen, Frits Miedema and Eric Paap, will arrange the transfer of their duties to the new Management team members, to be elected on March 2017.
Alex Koning lives in Rozendaal, is married and has two sons. He is a lawyer and has also worked as Manager and Director in the Netherlands Water industry. He is also, amongst others, a former Director of the Net­herlands Water Museum in Arnhem. During his whole life, he has been active as a director of Foundations and Corporations, as well as societies of friends. He has a wide network in administration. His connection with the Battle of Arnhem originates from the fact that his Grandfather was the farmer of the Johannahoeve farm, North of Oosterbeek. His whole family had moved into the Johannahoeve and in September 19-44 they lived there through the Battle of Arnhem.
Alex has been a member of the SFAM for very many years. Every year, in September, he drives with enor­mous pleasure in his Willy’s Jeep from 1942.

Mr Alex Koning, who announced his willingness to stand as a new member of the Board.

We will hopefully achieve a mutually and equal recipro­cal and rewarding relationship, through which both parties can achieve their share of the future achievements, each from their own objectives.”
During the AGM, the new proposed Society Policy Plan was discussed. The Society will, under direction of a new Management team strengthen itself and look to the future. For this purpose, new concrete firm targets, plans and measures will be laid out, one and another to be explained in the policy plan. The existing statutes have more than enough room to allow changes. As a result, we hope, from a new and totally clear position, to clarify and make firm the future relationship with the Airborne Museum. With much pleasure and reward, we will support a maximum relationship. We will hopefully achieve a mutually and equal reciprocal and rewarding relationship, through which both parties can achieve their share of the future achievements, each from their own objectives.
The Society members are all ambassadors for the modern Airborne Museum. A museum that we support fi­nancially in their present format and where we, as Friends, have a special position. An abbreviated version of the policy plan has meanwhile been placed on the SFAM (WAM) website.
On the basis of the above details, the agenda for the AGM was as follows:
Extra Annual General Meeting of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum.
Date: 19 November 2016 Commencing: 14.OOhr (hall opens 13,30) Location: Concert Hall, Rozensteeg 3., Oosterbeek

1. Opening
2. Announcements and notices of absences
3. Report AGM 19 March 2016
4. Resignation of current management members and election of Mr Koning as management member
5. Policy plans 2016-2021
6. Developments in the relationship between SFAM and the Airborne Museum
7. Initiatives and programme for 2017
8. Any other business
9. Closure


The planned lecture by Martin Peters about the book “Desert Rise-Arnhem Descent” which appeared last April that he, together with Niall Cherry, John Howes and Graham Francis, wrote about the 10th Parachute Battalion during the WW2, was postponed to the next meeting of the SFAM
More details on the developments within the SFAM will be published in the first issue of the Airborne Maga­zine of 2017.

During the ceremony on Sunday 18 September 2016, veteran Geoff Roberts stood deeply in thoughts at the entrance to Hotel Dreyeroord where shortly before, he had laid a wreath. Geoff Roberts had fought at Dreyeroord in September 1944. (photo:


In the last edition of the Airborne Magazine, we men­tioned the plans to demolish the Hotel Dreyeroord, that, between 19 and 21 September 1944, served as the HQ building for 7 KOSB. In the interim, the possible demolition of this historic building, has triggered a storm of protest. The Foundation “Behoud Dreyeroord Oosterbeek” (“Preserve Dreyeroord Oosterbeek”) was delighted with the overwhelming interest shown by many “supporters”. More than 15,000 signatures, op­posing the demolition have recently been delivered to the Municipality of Renkum. Responses came in from 40 different countries. Also the home and foreign press have devoted frequent time and energy to the Hotel Dreyeroord issue. In the Netherlands, the subject even managed to appear in the national TV News pro­gramme. Very supportive was the letter from the UK Ambassador in the Netherlands, Sir Geoffrey Adams, which was sent to the acting Renkum Mayor, Mr Hein Bloemen. Sir Geoffrey wrote that it would be an enor­mous tragedy if Hotel Dreyeroord were demolished.
The “Preserve Dreyeroord Oosterbeek” Foundation has meanwhile engaged an Architect to undertake an investigation into whether it would be possible to make making a number of architectural changes to the exi­sting building, to enable it to meet the planned future use as accommodation for pensioners with dementia, instead of its total demolition. The first proposal under this scheme has meanwhile been submitted and looks very promising. But that sadly does not yet mean that the fight against the demolition has been won!
On Sunday afternoon 19 September 2016, a short ce­remony took place at Dreyeroord, at which Dutch and British people demonstrated their support towards the retention of the building with the placing of wreaths and flowers at the entrance. One of the speakers on this occasion was Niall Cherry. His presentation made a great impression on those present and therefore, the editors decided to publish his speech as a Ministory in this Airborne Magazine (see later in this issue).
/Robert Voskuil)

During the Memorial service at the Airborne Cemetery, the “leader of the Pilgrimage”, Laurie Weeden, who, in September 1944 served as a Staff Sergeant in the Glider Pilot Regiment, lays a wreath at the Cross of Sacrifice (photo:


“US Air Support Signals Teams, Arnhem-Oosterbeek September 1944” by Wybo Boersma and Philip Rein-ders – Private publication 2016, 38 pages, illustrated, colour, English language, price €7,50.
As well as British, Polish and Dutch military person­nel 14 American military personnel took part in the Battle of Arnhem. Ten of them formed two US Support Signals Teams, who were responsible for the ground­air connections. Already in the After Action Report, published in 1945, we can read that this ground/air connection at Arnhem did not succeed. The most likely reasons for this, mentioned in this report, were that the American personnel were not fully trained, did not know fully their equipment and that they had taken the wrong crystals. From then until today this story has been used by almost all subsequent authors who have tried to dig deeper into the issues of the communicati­ons and air support. Just as much as the Dutch Com­mandos, the US Air Support Signal Teams were viewed with suspicion by the 1st British Airborne Division.
In the past, several people have done research into the matter. They traced a couple of the soldiers from the Signals Team. Their testimony, supported by docu­ments and small parts from recent publications, have finally resulted in as complete as possible, a history of these hitherto partly unknown American signals teams. The inability to bring the ground/air connec­tions into action, appears to be more due to a poor pre­paration by the British and the changed military situ­ation, than to the presumed shortfall in training. Quite rightly, the new book “US Air Support Signal Teams” is a tribute to the small group of Americans who very rarely are mentioned in the existing literature. Their involvement was “rewarded” with seven months of imprisonment in Germany (POW), after which, finally, via Russia, they managed to return to America.
As well as to the 1st British Airborne Division, similar communications units were attached to both American Airborne Divisions. These probably suffered the same difficulties, but, to date, we have found no informa­tion about their history. Or possibly due to the widely spread deployment of the other American divisions, they were never actually posted to such a role, and their duties might have been taken over by the 30th British Corps. This could be the subject of a future research project.
The book can be ordered from the Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum website: or from The price of the book is € 7,50.
Postage and packing in Holland €2,50, overseas €7,50.
Also it is possible to purchase a copy during meetings and battlefield tours organised by the SFAM.
[Wybo Boersmal)

John Graybum, son of Lt John Jack” Graybum, who was killed at the Rhine Bridge in Arnhem on 20 September 7244, stands in the exhibition EGO in the Airborne Museum, with his father’s medal set in the background. The medal on the farthest leftside of the set, is the Victoria Cross. (photo:

On 1st September 2016, Mr Pieter van Vollenhoven opened the new exhibition “EGO. Do not forget me”.
In this display, centrally appear the experiences of 68 people (EGO = ‘me’]. Based on the personal stories of British, Polish and German soldiers, and Dutch civilians, the Battle of Arnhem, but also the approach to the Battle and the aftermath, are shown in pictures in a penetrating fashion. Alongside stories and photos, a number of special objects are exhibited, that all have a close association with those people whose stories are told.
The most important item, is the original Victoria Cross, that was awarded posthumously to the British Lieutenant John “Jack” Hollington Grayburn, who died aged 26 years, at the Rhine Bridge in Arnhem.
Grayburn was in command of 2nd Platoon, A Company,
2nd Parachute Battalion. This Battalion was under the command of Colonel John Frost. Grayburn was the only soldier at the bridge, who was awarded the Victoria Cross. The full report of his actions during the Battle of Arnhem, appeared in the Supplement of the London Gazette of 23 January 1945. The last section of this “citation” read: “From the evening of September 17th until the night of September 20th 1944, a period of over three days, Lieutenant Grayburn led his men with supreme gallantry and determination. Although in pain and weakened by his wounds, short of food and without sleep, his courage never flagged. There is no doubt that, had it not been for this officer’s inspiring leadership and personal bravery, the Arnhem Bridge could never have been held for this time”.
His son John has worked on the exhibition and he at­tended the opening ceremony.
[Robert Voskuil)


On 5th October 2016, Corporal Donald S. Noble and Private Harold J.
Lewis were reburied at tbe Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek. [photo:

On 5th October 2016, during a very impressive cere­mony, two soldiers of the Wiltshire Regiment were reburied with full military honours at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek. In February 2013, during an investigation for explosives, their bodily remains were found by chance in a joint field grave at the farm “De Laar” at Arnhem-South. In this area the “Battle over the railway level crossing” took place very shortly after the end of the Battle of Arnhem. During this fighting, the Wiltshires (129th Brigade, 43rd Wessex Division) lost more than 70 officers and men.
After a lengthy and meticulous investigation that took place in the laboratory of the Royal Dutch Army Reco­very and Identification Unit (BIDKL) in Soesterberg, the Army team succeeded in identifying both of the bodily remains. It appeared they were Lance Corporal Donald S. Noble from Leeds (died on 4th October 1944) and Private Harold J. Lewis from Hertford (died on 3rd Oc­tober 1944). Both belonged to the Wiltshire Regiment and had been missing since October 1944.
During the burial ceremony in Oosterbeek – almost to the day 72 years later that both men died, the two coffins were carried to the graves by troops from the 5th Battalion The Rifles from Bulford Camp in Wiltshire.
After both bodily remains had been laid to rest in the earth, in the afternoon of 5th October, a memorial ser­vice took place at the Wiltshire Regiment monument in the “de Schuytgraaf” area of Arnhem South.


During a special ceremony at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek on 14 September 2016, six graves which previously related to unknown soldiers were newly consecrated. Thanks to intensive archive research, it had become possible to identify the names of these men, who died during the Battle of Arnhem. It co­vers six members of the Border Regiment, Corporal Jack Carr, Corporal Thomas Edgar, Lance Corporal Raymond Halliday, Private Thomas Edward Stanley, Private Harry Vasey and Private George Wilson.

A sister of one of the identified soldiers from the Border Regiment, looks at the new grave stone other brother who died in 1944. (photo:


1) ‘Verzet via het geheime telefoonnet. De opmerke­lijke rol van het PGEM-telefoonnet tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog” (Resistance via the secret telephone network. The notable role of the PGEM telephone network during WW2) written by Karel Berkhuysen; published by Wink Doetinchem 2016; 439 pages, illustrated; price: €29,95
In many publications, mention is made that the Dutch Resistance during WW2, made use of telephone con­nections, outside of the normal telephone networks. In this method, the Germans could not listen in. Even so, little is actually known about this subject. This in spite of the number of books written around this issue. Author Karel Berkhuysen has now written a new book, which, in a clear and understandable manner, reports and uncovers the role of various secret connections used by the Resistance. Using diagrams, he shows us how the various telephone networks were joined together. Mechanics who were in contact with the Resistance made these connections, often under the very eyes of the occupying forces. The whole system, comprised the public network and various other telephone systems. The most well known of these is the telephone network belonging to the Gelderland Provincial Energy Company (PGEM]. For those inte­rested in Operation Market Garden, this network is most known because of the role this network played during Operation Pegasus 1. The Resistance had contacts throughout the whole province but the British made no use of this network, possibly because they did not trust the system. This was quite the contrast to the Americans in Nijmegen.
After the British blew up of the telephone exchange in Oosterbeek in the early part of the Battle of Arnhem, all the network connections in Oosterbeek were lost. After the Battle of Arnhem the PGEM connections were used to make Operation Pegasus 1 possible. The book gives a highly detailed story about this usage. It is also clear that the small telephone exchange that is kept in the Airborne Museum depot, played no role during Operation Pegasus 1. This exchange originated from the former SD (the German Sicherheitsdienst) building on the Utrechtseweg in Arnhem, but the connection for Pegasus 1 ran not from Nijmegen via Arnhem to Ede, but was direct from Nijmegen to Ede.
In the first chapter a detailed description is given as to how the secret telephone network was developed, which began in 1940. At that time, it was set up to serve the Dutch Army. In the chapters covering the period after September 1944, more is told about the Resistance and the li­beration of the Achterhoek district (Eastern Holland), in relation to the secret telephone network.
In the book also, a few radio contacts and even postal pigeons are men­tioned. A number of events during the War are descri­bed to put developments in the secret networks in the correct historical context.
The book gives a good and wide picture of the pos­sibilities provided to the Resistance movement through the use of the secret telephone network and the telephone network of the PGEM. Members of the SFAM will especially be inte­rested in the chapters about Operation Market Garden and Operation Pegasus 1.
The book is thus also a “must have” for those who will dig deeper into the role of the Resistance during and after the Battle of Arnhem. It would be good to have this book translated into English language, so that Bri­tish people could learn more about these then unused facilities.
“Verzet via het geheime telefoonnet” is heartily recom­mended, but is not a book to finish reading in just one evening.
2) “Vergeten is Ballingschap, gedenken Verlos­sing” (Memorial book for Oosterbeek War victims, 17 September – 5 May 1945), written by Ron Wenting and Roland de Kwant.
A first edition was published as a private publication in November 2015, and now the SFAM has produced a second edition of this book. The book is written by Ron Wenting from Oosterbeek and Roland de Kwant from Zaandam. It records the 129 Oosterbeek civilians who, in the period between 17 September 1944 and 5 May 1945, died from War violence. Where possible, a short description is added of the circumstances under which they died. The book is well illustrated with black and white and some colour photos. The first edition was published with an issue of just 50 copies. That num­ber was rapidly sold, but the authors did not have the means to produce a larger issue. The Management of the SFAM was of the opi­nion that such a thorough work, finally bringing the civilian victims of the Bat­tle of Arnhem to the fore­front, is extremely valuable and should be available to a wider public. As a result, we have financed the production of a further 100 copies. This second edition has, in the interim, nearly sold out. But a few copies are still available, amongst others at the Airborne Mu­seum and the bookshop Meijer and Siegers in Oosterbeek. The price is €30. 3) “The Airborne Club, Three WW2 Airborne veterans tell their story” by Raymond P. Newlyn; Private publi­cation 2015. 51 pages, illustrated, English language. Price £14.99

This private publication by author Raymond Newlyn re­cords the history of three veterans, of whom two, Alex Hall and David W. Whiteman, fought at Arnhem. They both were part of the 181st Parachute Field Ambu­lance. The veterans write about the Battle in their own words and the book is easy to read. However, after so many years, it is questionable if all stories are histo­rically accurate, but it is given so as they themselves now remember. Sadly, with some photos the ratio bet­ween the horizontal scale and the vertical scale, is not accurate, and as a result of which you get a distortion of some faces. This would have been easy to correct.
It is possible that Niall Cherry may still have a few copies of this book.


The ‘Regimental Aid Post’, that from 16-18 September2016 was installed in the Concertzaal in Oosterbeek, gave an impression of the circumstances, under which the British medical personnel had to work in September 1944. (photo:

During the commemoration weekend last September 2016, for three days a ‘Regimental Aid Post’ was set up in the Concertzaal in Oosterbeek. This RAP was completely fitted out with material, and instruments, such as were used in September 1944 by the men of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). For this, a couple of British and Dutch collectors/re-enactors had taken the initiative to bring over their collections to the Concertzaal. The whole display appeared very realistic, the more so because a group of re-enactors acted as doctors, medical orderlies and patients. Especially this last group were carrying very professional make-up!
There was a lot of interest in this “living exhibition” not only from adults, but also from school classes.
Hopefully this interesting and educational event might be repeated in the future. (Robert Voskuil)

At the ‘RegimentalAid Post’ in the Concertzaal, a British veteran tells interested people about his own experiences during the Battle of Arnhem.


In the recent past, three people who have devoted extensive time and effort towards research into a number of special aspects of the Battle of Arnhem, have been awar­ded a Dutch Royal decoration.
David van Buggenum from Arnhem has spent years researching mis­sing military personnel from WW2, all of which have led to five identi­fications.
Hans Timmerman, also from Arnhem, has worked together with David van Buggenum. Also, Hans has traced ten missing German soldiers, via thorough archive research.
The now 82 year old Cor Janse from Rheden has been active for many years with all types of social organisations, but he is most known for his extensive research into the history of the Battle of Arnhem. His 3-part book set called “Blik Omhoog” (Look Up) covering the war history of Wolfheze and its surroundings is one of the results from all his research.
All three gentlemen have been awarded the “Membership of the Order of Orange-Nassau”


A number of years ago, I was asked to assist with the making of the Dutch film “Zwartboek” (Black book), This is a film about a Jewish lady who thinks back as to how she survived the end of WW2, whilst in the Dutch Resistance. Our then member, Alex Junier, co-author of the book “By Land, Sea and Air”, also assisted, by providing some uniforms to the film company. The Airborne Museum at the time, received from him what for me was an unknown emblem: three white witches on a black back­ground. The emblem was worn by personnel from MI9, the Bri­tish Secret Service that, amongst others, was involved with the operations Pegasus 1 and 2, in October and November 1944.
I came across the same emblem later, when searching in the collection of the Combined Military Service Museum in Maldon, Essex, England but with other details. There it was incorrectly described as belonging to Scandinavia 159 Force.

Last year, a book appeared “Evasion and Escape Devices pro­duced by MI9, MIS-X and SOE in World War 11” by Phil Room, in which we found a lengthy detailed description of the emblem involved.

Front of the 3 witches emblem (photo: via Wybo Boersma)

The emblem consists of three witches on broom sticks with witches hats, completed in white cord on a black background. The size is 7 x 4 cm. The emblem is fini­shed in the style of various other emblems, that were made in the Autumn of 1944 in South Netherlands, which was already liberated. The manufacturer is N.V. van Engelen & Evers in Heeze. There are three dif­ferent versions. One on silk, one on thicker cotton and one which looks like a type of blazer badge. This last version, is possibly not much used.

Captain George Swan, RCAF, pilot from A Flight 664 Squadron with the emblem carrying the 3 witches (photo: Department of National Defence, Library and Archives Canada No: PA-209539

The unofficial emblem was worn by personnel from Intelligence School 9 (Western European Area) of I.S.9 (W.E.A.) part of M.l.9. in the period from October 1944 until 26 June 1945. The design is by Dutch Lieutenant, later Captain, Leo Fleskens. After the liberation of South Netherlands, he was attached to IS9 and took part in the operations Pegasus 1 and 2. Until now, there is only one photo known of a military person wearing the emblem, a Canadian pilot of 664 Squadron RCAF. The “3 witches” emblem is with justification, one of the rarest items in the Airborne Museum collection.
(Wybo Boersma)


In In 2003, the book “B Company arrived” appeared, in which, researcher and author David van Buggenum, wrote about the fortunes of B Company of the 2nd Parachute Battalion before, during and after the Battle of Arnhem.
In the last 13 years, David has continued with the collection of further information about this British parachute unit. Finally, with so much new material to hand, he decided to write a follow-up to his first book. In this new publication, a number of men from B Company stand centrally in seven short stories. Therein stands who they were, where they came from and what happened to them. One of the stories is about the Gronert twins, Thomas and Claude, who died together on 17 September 1944, during the advance to Arnhem. In this story and in those about the other men, also stand memories coming from family members. As well as the seven stories, the book also has a chapter with a large number of previously unpublished photos and documents of other men from B Company. Even though the book is presented as a Supplement, it is written in such a way that it can be read as an independent book.
“B Company arrived – The men” by David van Buggenum, which is written in English, is available in the Nether­lands, amongst others from the Meijer & Siegers bookshop in Oosterbeek. Price: €30,-. In the UK it is available from Niall Cherry.

MINISTORY 124 Hotel Dreyeroord, September 1944 Niall Cherry

“Ladies and Gentlemen,
For those that do not know me, I am Niall Cherry, the Secretary of the Arnhem 1944 Veterans’ Club and also Secretary of the Arnhem 1944 Fellowship and I have mixed feelings as I stand here today. I am delighted that so many people, including my old friend Geoff Ro­berts who was here in 1944, have come but saddened that another piece of Arnhem history is under threat.
To many this building will be forever linked with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers – a Regiment that can trace its roots back to 1689 and during the Second World War one of its battalions was converted to an airlanding unit and so fought at Arnhem. This was, as many of you will know, the 7th Battalion. They had had mixed fortunes during their first few days in Holland -they basically spent the best part of their first two days defending various dropping and landing zones and on the afternoon of 19th September were ordered to rejoin the 1st Airlanding Brigade at Oosterbeek. Because of various misfortunes the Battalion now only numbe­red around 270 out of the original 760 or so who had landed on 17th September.
So by the late afternoon of the 19th September the survivors came into Oosterbeek and their war diary records the following:
1900 – Just as it was getting dark the Bn arrived in the vicinity of Div HQ (map coordinate) 693784. Major COKE had received orders from Bde HQ which was nearby and these were confirmed to the COY by a G2 of Div HQ. The Bn was to hold the right flank of the Div posns, covering the rly to the NORTH of Div HQ. There were already parties of glider pilots, RE and Indepen­dent Para Coy in that area and the Bn was to prolong EASTWARD the line held by them. The CO chose from the map his locality, which was a small wood area lying immediately EAST of 21 Indep Para Coy area. It was already dark when he, and 2IC set out to contact the Indep Para Coy and make a recce, the Bn being ordered to follow under Major COCHRAN. It was found during the recce that the area chosen consisted of the grounds and gardens of two large houses. It was a well-defined and convenient area to occupy in the dark and covered the Bn’s allotted tasks.
One of these two large houses was this building here -the Hotel Dreyeroord and the CO of the battalion later commented:
Comment from P-R (Lt.Col. Payton-Reid) – ‘I do not think that any who were there will forget the White House and its surroundings. When I knocked at its door about 9 pm on 19 September all was peace and quiet. Had I dropped from Mars I could scarcely have aroused more interest and I was immediately greeted as a liberator by the numerous occupants, it was, I found, a small hotel. Never have I felt such a hypo­crite. I had come to announce my intention of placing soldiers in the grounds and vicinity and the delight with which this news was received was most touching – but at the same time most pathetic, as I knew I was bringing them only danger and destruction. By the next night the building was reduced to a shell and its inmates were crouching uncomfortably in the cellar.
It was then garrisoned by a section of men who were living in the eerie atmosphere of a haunted house. The moon shone through shot-holes in the walls, casting weird shadows, prowling footsteps could be heard on the enemy side and one felt that faces were peering through every window. There was, too, every reason to expect unwelcome visitors, since it was just outside that Major Sherriff and I were joined by a stray Bosch who was quickly disposed of by the former in unarmed combat.’
It may be interesting to add that Lieutenant Colonel Payton-Reid was one of the older commanding officers in the 1st Airborne Division as he had originally been commissioned into the KOSB in December 1915 aged 18 and so was one of the few Great War veterans pre­sent at Arnhem. At some point in 1943 when he was in command of the 1st Battalion they were inspected by General Montgomery as he wanted to see all the troops he had been allocated for the D-Day invasion and Monty noticed his Great War medal ribbons. Soon afterwards Monty who said P-R was too old to com­mand the Battalion for the potential rigours of the Normandy invasion, got him posted to a supposedly ‘back water’ unit -the 7th Battalion then part of the Orkney and Shetland Islands defence force. Little did he or Monty know that within a year his supposedly too old soldier would be fighting in one of the most savage battles of the second world war.
So anyway between the 19th and 21st this area was the scene of much fighting some of it hand to hand as another of the veterans who is still with us but sadly not present here today, Sergeant George Barton who was a member of the Anti-Tank Platoon with his 6 pounder anti-tank gun was positioned in the grounds facing south with another gun nearer the road. He recalled ‘What a pounding we took from small arms fire and mortars including those terrible moaning mines. The noise alone was terrifying, finishing with an attack by the Germans. I always remember how lucky I was during this attack, as my Sten jammed and I stood there for what seemed like hours waiting to be shot by the Germans, but they just rushed past me. I then picked up a rifle and Colonel Payton-Reid rallied us and we drove them out with the bayonet.’ During the night of the 21 st/22nd September the KOSB were pulled back to defensive positions further south but the White House will forever be remembered by the survivors, their friends and relatives. It is pleasing to see so many staunch supporters of the KOSB here and the memory of the Battalion lives on in the form of two excellent books on the unit – “Off at Last” and “Nine Days at Arnhem”.
Sadly as we all know this building is now in a state of limbo with the threat of demolition hanging over this historic ground. I urge all of us here today to at least sign the petition to save the building. It will be a tra­gedy if this iconic building is not saved and an insult to the brave men of the 7th King’s Own Scottish Borderers and other units who fought and died in this area. So I urge everyone here today to spread the word and to keep up the pressure so that we can save this historic building.
Thank you.

During the commemoration of the Battle of Arnhem on Ginkel Heath on Saturday September I7h 2016, Wybo Boersma runs the ‘shop’ of the Society of Friends. (

The Airborne Magazine is a publication of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum Oosterbeek (SFAM] and appears three times per year. The objective is to promote the Airborne Museum, the SFAM and the history of the Battle of Arnhem.
Editors: Wybo Boersma MBE (Vacancy)
Archiving and distribution of back numbers of the magazine: Wybo Boersma, Ede,
Translation: Peter Burton, London, UK
Design: Michal Kuscielek Artefakt Design, Nuenen
Print: Wedding Proson, Harderwijk E-mail address SFAM: Telephone: 0318 639633 Postal address: SFAM, W. Boersma Binnenhof 38, 6715 DP Ede, The Netherlands Coordinator Airborne News Flash: Vincent Luiten
Representative in the UK: Niall Cherry.
Email addres:

Download the magazine in pdf format


3.Report from the Editors
4. -5.Recent developments in the relation between the SFAM and the Airborne Museum – Ben Kolster
5.Battlefield Tour on Saturday 10 September 2016 – Wybo Boersma
5.Battlefield Tour around the Old Church in Oosterbeek – Wybo Boersma
6.Plans for the demolition of Hotel Dreyeroord – Robert Voskuil
6. -7.Exhibition “Going Home. Jozef and Emilia” – Press release
7.Second-hand books for sale – Wybo Boersma
7. -8.30 September to 2 October 2016 – Battlefield Tour Hürtgenwald – Wybo Boersma
8.Extra Members Meeting on Saturday 19 November 2016
8.Very special paratrooper’s helmet presented to the Airborne Museum – Roland Boekhorst
9.Ans Kremer has passed away – Robert Voskuil
9.-11.Book reviews by Wybo Boersma
11.-14.Ministory 123 (part 2). The death of a German General during the Battle of Arnhem – Scott Revell
15.Program 2016

During the SFAM AGM on 19 March 2016, Wybo Boersma gave an explanation of the worsening relationship between the SFAM and the Airborne Museum Foundation. (Photo:


As you know, the relationship between the SFAM and the Airborne Museum Foundation, has been seriously under pressure during recent times. Our Chairman gives below, a summary of the recent developments in this area.
As a result of these pressures and the unrest and uncertainty these have created, unfortunately, the publication of the Airborne Magazine has also suffered delays. For this, we offer our sincere apologies.


During recent months, much has happened in the relationship between the Airborne Museum Founda­tion and the Society of Friends of the Airborne Mu­seum, that, for members, has created much alarm and confusion. Thus, it is now time to look at the whole situation and put it all in a correct perspective.
In May last year, the Airborne Museum received a new Director, Mrs Sarah Thurlings. A new Director with new plans to bring the Museum up to date with the demands and requirements of the present day. That moment brought the Airborne Museum Foundation Management and the Director, who, for simplicity in this issue, I will refer to collectively as the “Museum”, to new thoughts regarding the co-operation between the SFAM and the Museum. There followed three consultations between delegations from the Museum and the SFAM, from which it became very clear that the view of the Foundation Management was that in past years, the Museum and the SFAM have become somewhat detached from each other and that the financial contributions from the SFAM to the Museum, viewed in relation to their income, no longer satisfy the Museum in relation to what they consider is necessary.

The Honorary Chairman of the SFAM, Chris van Roekel, listens intensely to the discussions at the AGM, regarding the future of the Society of Friends. (Photo:

The drifting apart is, in the opinion of the Museum, amongst other factors, due to the fact that the SFAM too often works and organizes matters in accordance with the wishes of its members whereas, the Museum seems to think that activities should be organized in line with the Museum requirements. As an example, the Airborne Magazine and the various excursions and Battlefield Tours, outside the immediate Arnhem/ Market Garden area were mentioned. ‘These activities produce nothing for the Museum’, is the opinion of the Museum Foundation. According to the Foundation, the SFAM has become a more or less independent ‘mili­tary history society’, focused on the Battle of Arnhem, with a reduced target of support for the Museum.
In the opinion of the Museum, the SFAM should re­direct its activities towards the recruitment of donor members and even better, towards active fund raising. All activities that produce no direct financial or publi­city based profitability, should be terminated forthwith, after which the finances thus released should be pas­sed to the Museum. All, remaining activities and forms of knowledge and experience should fall under the direction and management of the Museum.
This forms one clear economic point of view and, from the Museum’s position, understandable vision, but one which ignores nearly 37 years of effort, activities, financial and material support, involvement with and, above all, the vision and knowledge of the many hundreds of members regarding the Museum and the Battle of Arnhem. It is clear that this view of the Museum towards the SFAM is totally unacceptable. It may well be a possibly justified opinion based on a simple purely economic, marketing and PR-technical point of view, but it goes totally against the much wider and statutory view held by the SFAM. I totally agree that, with the passage of time, the SFAM has become an organisation with much more in its targets and aims than simply a Society to support the Airborne Museum. But all activities and publications, including the highly valued series of Ministories, produced each year by the SFAM, are evidence of the high value placed on them by members. To stop all these matters, would lead to the complete end of the Society.
It is for all these reasons that the management of your Society intend to proceed with the present policy on the basis of the objectives stated in the Society Articles of Association, unabridged and unchanged.
Even if, from the side of the Museum, this does not lead to a maximum possible payment to the Museum.
From the point of view of the SFAM, the co-operation with the Museum will continue as has always been the case. That includes, not only our financial sup­port, but also all types of advice and assistance, so long as this is valued by the Museum. The issue of financial support will be addressed in the annual SFAM budget. Should the Airborne Museum Founda­tion decide to establish a separate fund-raising unit, then the SFAM is prepared to give it support in its own manner. Also, the SFAM will happily continue the existing support given to the Museum, including, defi­nitely, a more intensive and planned consultation and co-ordinated activities. All the above issues were dis­cussed at the AGM of the SFAM on Saturday 19 March 2016 and agreed upon. The Society Management sees this is as a vote of approval for the way forward. The members of the SFAM are concerned that, should the Museum not be able to accept the AGM decisions, that the Society may become more detached from the Museum. This possible outcome will be much regret­ted by the SFAM.
On 19 November this year there will be an extra AGM of the SFAM, at which a number of important changes and alterations to our Society will be decided upon. We very much hope to meet you again then.
Ben Koster, Chairman.


On Saturday 10 September, the SFAM will again organize a Battlefield Tour, covering the battle areas of the Battle of Arnhem.
Using a coach, the tour will cover the drop and landing zones, the advance into Arnhem, the Rhine Bridge, the Oosterbeek Perimeter and the Airborne Cemetery. The tour leaders are guides from the SFAM and from the International Guild of Battlefield Guides.
The tour starts at 09.00hr, from the Talsmalaan in Oosterbeek. The bus tour ends at 17.00hr.
Prices: SFAM members: €25; non members €42,50 (including lunch and guidebook) Bank transfer to IBAN: NL33 INGB 0005 1137 51 in name of ‘Vrienden Airborne Museum”, Oosterbeek.
Please note: ‘BFT 10 September
(Wybo Boersma)


On Saturday afternoon 8 October, the SFAM will orga­nize a battlefield tour (walking excursion) in the area surrounding the Old Church in Lower-Oosterbeek.
Between 19 and 25 September 1944, this area was defended by the Thompson/Lonsdale Force, that com­prised troops from the 1st, 3rd and 11th Parachute Bat­talions and the 2nd Battalion, the South Staffordshire Regiment. After the failed advance to the Bridge on 19 September 1944, these battalions retreated to Ooster­beek and took up positions in the area around the Old Church. In the fields in the vicinity of the Church, were positioned the three Batteries, each with two Troops, from the 1st Airlanding Light Regiment Royal Artillery. Their positions were defended by men from the Glider Pilot Regiment. During the Battlefield Tour, the Lonsdale Force will be examined and the actions of the 1st Air Landing Light Regiment RA, during the fighting in this most sout­herly part of the Perimeter.
Commencement of the Battlefield Tour: 13.30hr at the Concert Hall on the Rozensteeg. The walking tour ends at 17.00hr.
Prices for SFAM members: €15. Non-members pay €20. The price includes a guidebook and a drink after the finish. Book entry before 1st October by making a bank transfer of €15 or €20 to IBAN: NL33 INGB 0005 1137 51 in name of ‘Vrienden Airborne Museum’, Oos­terbeek, with description ‘BFT 8 October 2016’.
Your payment serves as your application and you will receive no further message. (Wybo Boersma)


Some weeks ago, an article appeared in the press, which announced a “redesign” of the Dreyeroord Hotel in Oosterbeek. Quickly, it became clear that in fact, it did not mean a redesign, but a complete demolition of the building. It was planned to use the site to build a care home for old patients with dementia. The present building was regarded as unsuitable for a nursing home and, as stated by the initiators of the care com­plex, the existing building could not be converted into such a home, due to the poor condition of the building and its technical installations.
The characteristic building is sadly not listed’ or heritage classified, as, through the years, too much has been built on and altered. However, in 2004, the building was classified as being of Military Monument grade, because it played such an important role during the Battle of Arnhem. For several days, the building was the HQ for the 7th Battalion The Kings Own Scot­tish Borderers. Under the command of Lt. Col. Payton Reid, the battalion defended this northern sector of the Perimeter, which cost considerable losses.
Sadly, the Military Monument classification disap­peared from view in a drawer within the local Council and no further action about it was taken. As a result, the risk that the building will indeed be demolished, remains very considerable.
The plans for the demolition of Dreyeroord have, in the meantime, led to very many protests both at home and abroad. On the facebook page “Behoud Drey­eroord Oosterbeek” (Save Dreyeroord Oosterbeek), from Wiljo Pas from Oosterbeek, the reactions pour in. Wiljo made it known that during the last few weeks, thousands of people have responded from 37! different countries! On the “Arnhem Feelings” website it is possible to sign a petition against the demolition and this has also been very busy.
Just as it is announced that the Gelderland Provincial Government has a plan to spend four million euros on the promotion of war memory based tourism in Gel­derland, it is, at very least, remarkable that a building that played such a prominent role during the Battle of Arnhem should be demolished.
The hotel, also known as “The White House” is inclu­ded in various battlefield routes and an information pillar stands in the grounds, with information about the site and the role it played during the Battle of Arnhem. Let us hope that the building or, in any event, a characteristic section of it, may be preserved. (Robert Voskuil)

On Saturday afternoon 4 June, a group of worried local residents, under the leadership of Wiljo Pas from Oosterbeek organised a spontaneous protest, against the possible demolition of Hotel Dreyeroord. With old historical military vehicles, such as jeeps and a halftrack, people drove to the former hotel, where journalists from the Gelderland TV and from local newspapers reporting the event. (Photo:


On June 2, a small exhibition was opened at the Airborne Museum, in which the eye-witness stories of the 93 year old Polish veteran Jozef Wojciechowski play a major part. This story stands as a symbol of the sorrow, experienced by the Polish during WW2.
In the exhibition, the story is told of two young Polish people, Jozef and Emilia, who in 1940 were independently from each other with their families were deported to an internment camp in Russia. They met each other in Si­beria and their love blossomed there. But they lost each other when, in 1942, the Polish prisoners were suddenly released. Amazingly, whilst separated, both of them managed, via various long walks to reach England.

On an enormous wall chart in the exhibition room of “Going Home, Jozef and Emilia”, can be seen how Polish fugitives wandered through Persia and on boats full of fugi­tives crossed the Caspian Sea. The War carried Jozef and Emilia via Kazachstan, Persia, Iraq, Pales­tine and Egypt to Morocco. Finally they met again in Hucknall in the UK. Jozef enlisted with the Polish Parachute Brigade. In September 1944, he landed at Driel and there took part in the Battle of Arnhem. After the War, he stayed in England and in 1946, married Emilia.
Jozef Wojciechowski, who came over with a number of family members, opened the exhibition on 2 June in the Airborne Museum.  This was for him, a very emotional moment, especially since his wife Emilia died a number of years ago.
The exhibition “Going Home  Jozef and Emilia” is to view in the Airborne Museum until 31 December2016 {Press report)

Sitting in a wheelchair, that is pushed by the Acting Mayor of Renkum, Hein Bloemen, the 93year old Polish veteran Jozef Wojciechowski looks at the exhibition about his life (Photo:


The curator of the Airborne Museum has recently cleared the library and removed a number of duplicated books and publications that did not fit in with the collection policy. Those relating to the Battle of Arnhem, have been taken over by the SFAM who will be offering them at a small gift price to their members. Anyone interested in seeing a digital list can access this via:
[Wybo Boersma)


During this coming Hürtenwald battlefield tour, guides from the SFAM and the International Guild of Bat­tlefield Guides will give a wide ranging presentation about the fighting and lead you over the battlefield.
Also we will visit the German cemetery at Vossenack and the Ordensburg at Vogelsang. This well preserved former Nazi Ordensburg is now open to the public, af­ter it served many years as a barracks for NATO troops under training.
The battle around the Hürtgenwald, to the south of Aachen, which lasted from 12 September 1944 until mid February 1945, is one of the forgotten battle­fields of WW2. In their attempt to reach the Rhine, the American forces suffered their largest losses in Europe. The fighting in the woods in the Autumn and the Winter of 1944/45 of what is now known as the Hürtgenwald Council, has never received much at­tention in historical studies. The battlefield still carries the traces of the terrible fighting. Bunkers, barricades, foxholes, trenches are present everywhere. This in spite of the area being close to the reservoirs in the Rur, and a popular holiday destination.
The tour will under the guidance of Wybo Boersma, former Director of the Airborne Museum and member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, and Jaap Korsloot, known for being a guide for Market Garden Tours. Each participant will receive a detailed guide of the battlefield tour.
The costs of this unique tour are €350 p.p. on basis of a twin room and full board (two overnight stays with breakfast, lunch and dinner, entry to the museum “Hürtgenwald 1944 und im Frieden” and the Ordensburg Vogelzang. On the outward journey, we have lunch in the “Zur Maus” restaurant, the former Ameri­can HQ. Surcharge for single occupancy room €30,–.
Register before closing date of 1st September by trans­ferring €350,- (or €380-,) to IBAN: NL33 INGB 0005 1137 51 in name of Vrien­den Airborne Museum, Oosterbeek, with note “BFT Hürtgenwald”.
Travel insurance and an eventual cancellation insu­rance are the responsibility of participants to arrange themselves. (Wybo Boersma)


On Saturday afternoon 19 Novem­ber 2016, you will find an extra members meeting taking place, with the theme “The future of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum”. During this meeting, there will also be a management election. If time permits, there will be a lecture after the meeting.
Arrival 14.00hr. Location: Concert Hall, on the Rozensteeg in Oosterbeek.
Entry only possible for SFAM members.
The program will be published in the next Airborne Magazine.
See also the website


The Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek, recently came to own a most special paratrooper’s helmet. This helmet was found in the Autumn of 1944 by Ary W.G.Koppejan, a resident of Wageningen, whilst on the Ginkel Heath near Ede. He took it away as a souvenir. For many years the helmet lay in his loft, without him having any idea who was the true owner. When he died, his sons decided, with the helmet in outstanding condition, to present it to the Airborne Museum.
Staff at the Museum, traced the name of the soldier who had worn the helmet in September 1944. It ap­peared to have been Private George Lomas of the 11th Parachute Battalion. This battalion was part of the 4th Parachute Brigade that landed on the Ginkel Heath on 18 September 1944. The advance of this battalion to the bridge in Arnhem failed and the remains of the battalion retreated to Oosterbeek. Lomas died on 26 September 1944 as reported in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. He was then 23 years old. In a report from the Graves Concentration Unit it states that his field grave lay in the grounds of the Ommers-hof Mansion on the Graaf van Rechterenweg in Ooster­beek. The report also mentions that his bodily remains were moved to the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek on 15 October 1945 (Grave 18A2) (Roland Boekhorst – Airborne Museum staff]

The helmet of George Lomas from the 11th Parachute Battalion, that was found in the Autumn of 7 944 on the Ginkel Heath (Photo: Roland Boekhorst)


On 14 April, Ans Kremer of Ooster-beek passed away suddenly. Ans was a well known personality in the Oosterbeek s ‘Airborne” world.
In September 1944, she lived with her Father, Mother and brother Sander in a large villa [No.8) on the Stationsweg in Oosterbeek. There, as a 12 year old girl she experien­ced the fighting from very close by.
The house that, literally lay on the front line, was during those days, defended by glider pilots, men of the 21st Independent Parachute Company and paratroops of the Polish Brigade.
The mother of Ans, Mrs A.L.A. Kremer-Kingma, took in those days, a number of photos of fleeing Germans, the advancing British troops entering Oosterbeek and from situations around their house during the fighting. A couple of photos from this series have, du­ring the last 70 years, appeared in many publications. The photo here attached is less well known and it is the only illustration showing members of the Kremer family, including Ans, duing the battle. Just as her Mother, Ans also has always kept in contact with British and Polish soldiers who, in Sep­tember 1944, defended her then home and had survived the battle. She always attended the com­memoration meetings and very

This photo was taken by Mr Kremer on 21 September 1944, with the camera of his wife, Mrs Kremer-Kingma. There was a short cease-fire, during which it was possible to take a group photo at the conservatory of the house at No.8 Stationsweg in Oosterbeek. Those in the photo are: standing from left to right: Mrs E.M. Hardeman-Schikker (taken in as a refugee in the family Kremer house], Sergeant David Shipp (D Squadron Glider Pilot Regiment), Sander Kremer and their mother, Mrs A.L.A. Kremer-Kingma, Sergeant Norman Williams) D Squadron Glider Pilot Regiment) with Max Hardeman on the arm and Mr A van Schelven (hideaway with Mrs Hardeman).
Front row from left to right: Job Hardeman, Jan du Pree (he and his family hid in the cellar of the Kremer family), Ans Kremer and Ms Stien van de Grondelle (helper with the housekeeping with the Kremer family) (Photo from private collection)

often gave her co-operation and interviews for books, newspapers and television programmes. She gave her last interview just a week before her death. That interview will be used as part of a large exhibition that will be opening in September this year, at the Airborne Museum.


During recent months, again a number of new books about ‘Arnhem” have appeared. Sometimes, the issue is limited, so some might be sold out already.

“With RECCE at Arnhem. The recollections of Trooper Des Evans, a 1st Airborne Division veteran”, by Mike Gallagher; ISBN 978 1 47384 363 9; a publication by Pen & Sword Books Ltd, Barnsley 2015; 137 pages, illustrated, English text, price £19-99 or €28,99.
Also for sale in the Airborne Museum. The book describes the experiences of Trooper Des Evans. He was part of the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron and has become well known because he ap­peared in a photo taken on 17 September in Wolfheze. In that photo you see two British troops with a PIAT, beside the railway line to Deelen airfield. We see them from behind. Thus it is not certain who they are. Evans has always said that he is the soldier on the right of the photo. A previous member of the Board of the Airborne Museum Foundation, Aad Groeneweg, has always dis­puted this claim. This discussion is mentioned in the book, see pages 45/46. Also, there is little in this book about the further fighting in Oosterbeek, but some­times a little disputing of the accuracy of some written matters is justified. Evans writes that on 19 September 1944, he knocked out one of the German captured French Renault tanks, but at that time, they were not there yet! One part of the book covers his imprison­ment as POW and his return to Oosterbeek in 1984.
For the content, the price of €28,99 is rather high.

“Four days at Arnhem” by Simon Curtis and Niall Cherry with John Howes; Brendon Publishing, Warton; 34 pages; illustrated; English language.A book in which Niall Cherry writes the history of Leslie Arthur Curtis, lieutenant with the 1st Parachute Battalion. Curtis was missing during the fighting and possibly died at Oosterbeek-Laag. The merit of this book is that it also contains a report about the advance and fighting of the 1st Parachute Battalion. As Niall correctly states, a history of this battalion has not yet been written. This is actually also true about the 3rd Battalion. The issue is limited, but perhaps Niall still has some copies.

“Desert Rise-Arnhem Descent. The 10th Parachute Battalion in the Second World War” by Martin Pe­ters and Niall Cherry with John Howes and Graham Francis; Brendon Publishing 2016; 294 pages; illustra­ted with 120 photos, documents and maps; English language; Price £37-50 (€45) Issue 400 numbered examples. For more information and to order: e-mail:
In this book, the history of the 10th Battalion of the 4th Parachutist Brigade is written. After earlier pu­blications covering the 11th and 156 Battalions, now the entire Brigade is documented. The 10th Battalion originated from the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Sussex Re­giment and as such, took part in the fighting in France in 1940 and thereafter in North Africa. This forms the introduction to this book. After para training and trans­fer to England, they became part of the 4th Parachute Brigade. On Monday 18 September 1944 the battalion dropped on the Ginkel Heath, near Ede. Martin Peters and his team have written the fortunes of the battalion, especially based on the stories of veterans, which, with the passage of time, have been documented. In a cou­ple of days, the Battalion was reduced to just a handful of men, who finally fought on the eastern edge of the Perimeter. Also the events after the battle in the POW camps and the escape from occupied Netherlands are included in detail. The whole book gives a good insight to the history of the 10th Battalion. The illustrations consist to a great degree of portrait photos, because there are few others around. The lay-out is simple. The dust cover and a number of photos are in colour. Due to the limited print of 400 examples, it will rapidly become a collectors item. This is a publication that you definitely must not miss out on. The book is initially offered to members of the Arnhem 1944 Fellowship, although it was also available at the book fair of the SFAM, last April.

On 23 April during the book fair at the Airborne Museum the formal presentation of the new book about the 10th Parachute Battalion “Desert Rise – Arnhem Descent” took place. From left to right: Niall Cherry, Luuk Buist, John Howes. Robert Voskuil, Graham Francis and Martin Peters. (Photo: via Niall Cherry)

“Officers of the 1st Airlanding Light Regiment, Royal Artillery during the Battle of Arnhem 17-26 Septem­ber 1944 by Philip Reinders: Private publication 2016; 126 pages., illustrated., English language., Price €18 including postage., Abroad €20 including postage.
Philip Reinders has worked for many years with Peter Vrolijk in the Arnhem Battle Research Group. They collected information and did research about many aspects of the Battle of Arnhem. The information col­lected is published in small books, that are privately published. The book about the officers of the 1st Air Landing Light Regiment, Royal Artillery, is the 16th book that has been published. The issue is once again limited. In the book appear more or less all known officers from the Light Regiment and their experiences during the Battle of Arnhem, from which the vast ma­jority are placed around the Old Church in Oosterbeek-Laag. With each name, as many details as possible are given, such as unit, function, rank, date of birth, eventual date of decease, as well as those uninjured, POW and medals received. The reports are supported with photos and documents. It is an attractive publication and a valuable addition to all the earlier publications about the Light Regiment.
As long as the stock remains, the book can be ordered from the SFAM via


Scott Revell What is sure is that there are a number of eye-witness accounts from both sides that confirm Krafft’s account which states that there were four men in the car. Staff-Sergeant JohnOliver McGeough, a glider pilot with “C” Squadron, No.2 Wing: ‘The following morning [Monday, September 18th / 944] we continued towards Ooster-beek and at the junction of Wolfheze Weg and Utrechtseweg [Wolfhezerweg and Utrechtseweg] saw the first Ger­man dead. A staff car [a camouflaged Citroen) had come down the road from Wolfheze and had been shot up by men of the 2nd Parachute Btn [3rd Parachute Battalion] at about 1600 hrs on Sunday afternoon. Major General Kussin, German field commander at Arnhem and three others in the car were on a reconnaissance mission and were unlucky to be spotted by the parachu­tists”.

A report written on 19 September 1944 by Major H. P. Maguire of the Intelligence Cell of Headquarters 1st Airborne Division stated ‘Four corpses found riddled in a staff car at crossroads 679785 on the 18th proved to be Major General Kussin, his batman, driverand interpreter, all from Feldkommandantur in Arn­hem’. Some weight of truth must be applied to a report that is written ‘real-time’ generated with solid intelligence from the battle.

German sources also confirm that there were four occupants in the vehicle on the 17th September 1944.
During a post-war interrogation with the former Höherer SS-und Polizeiführer in den Niederland and Waffen-SS General Hanns Albin Rauter on 06 May 1946 at a prison in Scheveningen he stated that on the 3rd day [19th September] he visited the grave of Kussin and his 3 companions’ confirming there were actually four soldiers in the car. There are other eye-witness accounts that confirm four occupants which include statements from (T) Flight Lieutenant Albert Williams and Luitenant M J. Knottenbelt. Even the war diary of the 3rd Parachute Battalion stated ’German staff car and four occupants annihilated’.
With so many eye-witness accounts that state there were four occupants in the car the question needs to be answered on why the majority of publications only

Page from the report of Jan Hey. (Author’s collection)

refer to three occupants in the vehicle. If one visits the immense Ysselsteyn Duitse Militaire Begraafplaats (Ysselsteyn German Military Cemetery), you can take a walk amongst the blocks and rows of thousands of German graves from WWII. Located in block ‘BL, within row 6, you will find three soldiers buried next to each other at graves 143,144 and 145. These are of Generalmajor Friedrich Kussin, Getreiter Josef Willeke and Unteroffizier Max Koster. If there was a fourth oc­cupant of the car then you would find him to be buried with the others in grave 146. However this grave be­longs to a German Hauptmann killed in January 1945.
Even though there have been many accounts stating four occupants one would expect a fourth occupant buried in grave 146. Those accounts that state four occupants must have made a mistake as were there only three?
This speculation is only strengthened through the wonderful work done over the years by Jan Hey. He spent years researching and transcribing the original locations of field graves and mapping where these soldiers were re-interred sometimes up to three times before finally resting in Ysselsteyn. Sifting through some of his original work on the German casualties you can find an entry in the Gelderland section under Arnhem for casualties he recorded down for the 17th September 1944.
As you can see from Figure 4, the first entry for the 17th September 1944 is that of Generalmajor Friedrich Kussin. In brackets after his name in Dutch is an entry that states “Killed on Utrechtseweg in Oosterbeek, together with its driverand interpreter”. Underneath are entries for Getreiter Willeke and Unteroffizier Max Koster (from Hilversum [should be Arnhem]). The next entry is a Dutch SS soldier (Jelle van der Beek) who was killed in the bombing of the Willemskazerne earlier on the 17th September 1944. With the informa­tion from Jan Hey’s notes combined with the fact that there are only three graves (all named) in a row at Ys­selsteyn from the 17th September 1944 has meant that researchers and authors, including myself, have made reference to only three occupants in the car in various publications and articles even though other primary sources state there were four occupants.
Missing piece of the puzzle The confusion in the number of occupants in the vehicle was conclusively settled in July 2014 when irrefutable evidence surfaced, via eBay of all places, which finally confirmed how many people where in the car. The evidence was a Sterbebild (Death or Memorial Card) which was of a soldier killed on the 17th Septem­ber 1944 (see Figure 5). The card was for the 44 year old Unteroffizier Willi Haupt from Mülheim, Germany.
Whilst most German death cards of this period provide some detail on service history, awards won and death location, this card provides us very specific detail down to how many occupants were in the vehicle finally solving a 70 year mystery.
It is fortunate that this card provides some specific detail about the events surrounding his death. The card reads:
“Unteroffizier Willi Haupt was born on 25. 06. 1900 in Mülheim-Ruhr. On the 17September 1932 he was mar­ried to Anni Bogt and they were blessed by God with a boy. Since the year 1939 he has served as a soldier in the field. He was loved and valued by his comrades as well as his superiors. His comrades knew him with his merry and cheerful temperament during happy times. Finally he was put to action at Arnhem. On the 17th September 1944 [his wedding anniversary] he and two other comrades accompanied his commanding general on a reconnais­sance. He would not return from his trip. Here he was hit by a deadly bullet. His comrades succeeded in recovering his body and then buried him, together with the general and both the other soldiers at the military cemetery at Arnhem.”

Memorial card of Willy Haupt (Author’s collection)

Finally no longer is there confusion around the num­ber of occupants – we can confirm that there were four soldiers in the car. But then why did it take a death card some 70 years after the event to confirm this especially when the death card reveals that all four soldiers were buried together. The problem is that they were not.
Even though Generalmajor Kussin, Unteroffizier’s Haupt and Koster as well Getreiter Willeke were all killed together at the Wolfhezerweg and Utrechtseweg crossroads, for some reason they were not buried to­gether in Ysselsteyn. Tracing it from the beginning we know that the Reverend Captain George Pare buried three German soldiers together from the car but why not the fourth? Why was Unteroffizier Haupt not buried in field graves alongside the road like the other three?
I don’t think the answer to this question will ever be known. Perhaps he was already buried by another air­borne soldier or there was some other reason. Could Pare have made a mistake in his post-battle diary?
Either way we know that all four soldiers were re-in­terred during or after the battle to the Heldenfriedhof Zypendaal in Arnhem. Three were buried next to each other in graves 495, 496 and 497 however Haupt was buried separately in grave number 382. So why was Haupt not buried together with the other three men at Zypendaal?

A plausible solution to this is a theory put forward by Hans Timmerman. Hans has continued the research of Jan Hey in the field of Arnhem casualties including the Germans killed during the battle. His research has discovered that grave number 382 existed before the Battle of Arnhem but had not been used – it was a vacant plot. He believes that because Haupt was one of the first casualties of the Battle of Arnhem then he was buried in this (unused) grave and new graves were created as more casualties were buried or re-interred during or just after the battle. However not all field graves were transferred to Zypendaal but the Germans were not about to leave a German General left in field graves on the side of the road. As such, Kussin and his two staff were re-interred together but buried some 30 metres away in the same cemetery of Haupt. Finally in 1948 all four German soldiers were moved to their final resting place in Ysselsteyn where they lay today with three buried in Block ‘BE and Haupt buried in Block‘M’.

Last Name:Kussin

First Name:Friedrich


Birth date:01.03.1895,

Birthplace:Aurich, Germany

Death Date:17.09.1944

Death Place:Oosterbeek

Unit:Feldkommandantur 642

Identity Tag:Stab.Pi.80 -2-

Grave Zypendaal:#495,

Grave Ysselsteyn:BL-6-143


Last Name:Willeke

First Name:Josef


Birth date:04.07.1902

Birthplace: Atteln, Germany

Death Date:17.09.1944

Death Place:Oosterbeek

Unit:Feldkommandantur 642

Identity Tag:St.Abt.Kf.EuA.Abt.26 – 2743-

Grave Zypendaal:#496

Grave Ysselsteyn:BL-6-144


Last Name:Willeke

First Name:Josef


Birth date:04.07.1902

Birthplace: Atteln, Germany

Death Date:17.09.1944

Death Place:Oosterbeek

Unit:Feldkommandantur 642

Identity Tag:St.Abt.Kf.EuA.Abt.26 – 2743-

Grave Zypendaal:#496

Grave Ysselsteyn:BL-6-144

Last Name: Koster

First Name: Max

Rank: Unteroffizier

Birth date: 20.10.1903

Birthplace: Arnhem, Netherlands

Death Date: 17.09.1944

Death Place: Oosterbeek

Unit: Feldkommandantur 642

Identity Tag: 1.Br.Bau.E.Btl.2 -5595 –

Grave Zypendaal: #497

Grave Ysselsteyn: BL-6-145


Last Name: Haupt

First Name: Wilhelm

Rank: Unteroffizier

Birth date: 25.06.1900

Birthplace: Mühlheim, Germany

Death Date: 17.09.1944

Death Place: Oosterbeek

Unit: Feldkommandantur 642

Identity Tag: Gr.Kw.Kol.f.Betr.25.

Grave Zypendaal: #382

Grave Ysselsteyn: M-4-079

The grave of Willy Haupt on the German War Cemetery at Ysselstein (Author’s collection)

As interesting and concluding aspect to this story is that Unteroffizier Haupt’s name did not just miraculously appear when the death card came to light in 2014. It has been known to researchers for years and had been recorded on casualty and burial lists put together in the past. So why then didn’t anyone in the past identify Willi Haupt as the 4th occupant of the vehicle? The most likely reason for this is that he was always discounted as the fourth occupant based on an entry made by Jan Hey next to his name in his first casualty lists. If you look back to Figure 4, you will see Unteroffizier Haupt’s name second from the bottom but with the entry “(LUWA?)” after it. For some reason Jan Hey recorded this German soldier as a member of the Luftwaffe and as such never thought to be an occu­pant of a car full of Army personnel. Further research is required to confirm the service arm of Haupt but if he was Luftwaffe, it is understandable why in the past that previous researchers have discarded Haupt as a member of Kussin’s predominately Heer (Army) staff and in particular, an occupant of his car on the 17th September 1944.

Finally we have conclusive proof who was in the car on that fateful day. As it has never been challenged until now, we as researchers and Battle of Arnhem en­thusiasts, have always taken the information of three occupants in the car for granted. But now we know for certain that there were four occupants, including Unteroffizier Willi Haupt most likely from the Luftwaffe in the car on the 17th September 1944.

Acknowledgements The detail within this short story is only possible with the assistance and contribution of a number of people. In no particular order I wish to express my thanks to Luuk Buist, Bob Gerritsen, Geert Maassen, Tom Timmermans (, Johan van Doorn, Robert Voskuil and Hans Timmerman for their assistance and information that I used to make
the above ministory. A special thanks must go to Bart Leyte who owns the missing piece of the puzzle; Unteroffizier Willi Haupt’s death card. Thank you Bart for providing this missing piece to the puzzle. Without it the speculation on the number of occupants in Kus-sin’s car may have still remained to this day.

Sources Published
• Campbell, D., (1944). Nederlandsche Commandos bijArnhem. London: Londense Vrij Nederland (07 Oct 1944) Gelders Archief Vroemen Collection, 2867-1-32. • Middlebrook, M. (1994). Arnhem 7944: The Airborne Battle. London: Viking. • Revell, S., Cherry, N., Gerritsen, B. [2013]. Arnhem A Few Vital Hours. Renkum: Sigmond. • Williams, FLT A., (n.d.). The Glory that was Arnhem: How we got the news out. London: RAF Field Press Censor, Public Relations Team, 1st Airborne Division
• Hey, J. (n.d.). Documentatie Duitse graven in Nederland tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog • Macquire, H.P. MAJ, Report on Operation ‘Market’, Gelders Archief (REN A 141). • NARA: Personal file – Generalmajor Friedrich Kussin • Pare, Cornelius Ryan Collection • War Diary 3rd Battalion, 1st Parachute Regiment PRO Kew (WO 171-1238).
Websites • • • • •


10 September: Battlefield Tour Arnhem 30 September- 2 October: Battlefield Tour Hürtgenwald, Germany 8 October, afternoon: Battlefield Tour around the Old Church in Oosterbeek 19 November, afternoon: Extra AGM in the Concert Hall, Oosterbeek.
NB: Subject to alterations and additions
For additional information about the various activities and events and any eventual alterations, please see the website:

The Airborne Magazine is a publication of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum Oosterbeek (SFAM) and appears three times per year. The objective is to promote the Airborne Museum, the SFAM and the history of the Battle of Arnhem.

Editors: Drs. Robert P.G.A. Voskuil, Wybo Boersma MBE
Archiving and distribution of back numbers of the magazine: Wybo Boersma, Ede,
Translation: Peter Burton, London, UK
Design: Michal Kuscielek Artefakt Design, Nuenen
Print: Wedding Proson, Harderwijk
E-mail address SFAM: Telephone: 0318 639633
Postal address: SFAM, Ivar Goedings, P.O. Box. 8067, 671OAA, Ede, The Netherlands Representative in the UK: Niall Cherry.
Email addres:


Download the magazine in pdf format


3. -4.Ideas and plans for the future of the Airborne Museum “Hartenstein” – Editors
4.Annual General Meeting -19 March 2016 – Editors “Social Evening” on 12 February – Editors
5.Airborne Museum receives ammunition magazines from a RENAULT tank, used by the Germans – Roland Boekhorst
6.Special “Hartenstein wines” available- Nathalie Rosenberg, Candles on the graves at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek – Editors, Unique gift from Germany – Wybo Boersma
7.“Afternoon Tea” in the Airborne Museum seems to be a great success – Natalie Rosenberg
7.-8.“Arnhem Bridge, Target Mike One” – Niall Cherry, Diary of Anje van Maanen gives a powerful picture of the wartime days in Oosterbeek – Robert Voskuil
9.New research by Dilip Sarker – Editors
9. -10.DVD “Ten days in September ‘44” – Ben Kolster
10. -11.Much interest in the exhibition about the Kuik brothers – Robert Voskuil
11.Ministory 123: an example of a detailedhistorical study – Editors
12.-14.Ministory 123. The death of a German General at the Battle of Arnhem (Part 1) – Scott Revell
15.Programme 2016

(Photo: Airborne Museum Collection)


On the ‘theme day’ of the SFAM that was held on 14 November 2015 in the Concert Hall in Oosterbeek, two special guests were invited: the Director of the Airborne Museum, Sarah Thurlings, and the member of Marketing and Sales, Natalie Rosenberg. They gave a presentation about the activities held in the Airborne Museum during 2015 and told of ideas and plans for the coming years.

A couple of the main points from their presentation were:-
In future, every year will see a large theme based exhibition. In 2016 a number of special people (British, Polish, Dutch and German) will form the central part of a display about their roles in the Battle of Arnhem. In the following years a number of exhibitions will be held about the German side in the Battle of Arnhem, the Resistance movement and about the Poles.
Alongside these large exhibitions, will appear a regular number of smaller displays, covering various subjects.
The exhibition “The Kuik brothers – teenagers in the Resistance”, was an example of such a display.
The support given by the SFAM to the Airborne Museum is very important. This is not only by way of financial support, but also by the provision of the specialised knowledge held by various members of the SFAM to the young and new staff of the Museum.
At a time when museum subsidies are getting smaller, new future activities will have to be designed to attract more public visitors to the Museum. The “Afternoon Tea” is an example of this move.
There are plans for a small exhibition on the general history of the “Hartenstein” villa, that earlier served as a countryside villa.
In 2016 the Airborne Museum staff, together with people from a number of other organizations, will create a new and modern Information Centre about the Battle of Arnhem, close to the Rhine Bridge in Arnhem.

More information about the above mentioned matters will appear in the following numbers of the Airborne Magazine.


The 35th Annual General Members Meeting, together with the Annual Meeting of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum will take place on Saturday 19 March 2016 in the Concert Hall, Rozensteeg 3, in Oosterbeek, starting at 14.00hrs

The agenda is as follows:-
1. Opening
2. Minutes of the Annual Members Meeting 21.March 2015
3. General Report 2015
4. Financial Report 2015
5. Budget 2016
6. Report by Finance Committee
7. Management election
8. Appointment of Finance Committee reserve member
9. Questions -A.O.B.
10. Close

Points 3 and 4: The General Report, the Financial Report and the Finance Committee Report will be available for inspection 30 minutes before the Meeting opens, at the hall entrance. You can also request copies of the General and Financial Reports by sending an e-mail or post letter to the SFAM.

Point 7: This year sees the routine resignation of Frits Miedema. He is not available for re-election. The SFAM Management nominates Luuk Buist from Doorwerth as a candidate for this post. In accordance with Article 8 of the Foundation Statutes, members can propose alternative candidates. Nominations for this position must be delivered in writing to the Secretary of the SFAM not later than 10 days before the Meeting. This nomination must be signed by not less than 10 members and accompanied by a certificate of acceptance by the candidate, who must be of adult age and a member of the Society.

After closure of the meeting will be a PAUSE. The program after the Pause will be later announced on the SFAM website and via an Airborne Newsflash.


As listed in the Annual Program of the SFAM, on 12 February 2016, a “Social Evening” will be held in the Airborne Museum. At the time of going to print with this edition of the Airborne Museum, the whole programme was not entirely known. Thus, this will be made available using a News Flash and the SFAM website (WAM).


A while ago, SFAM members, Hans Timmerman and David van Buggenum, found two special French ammunition magazines, along the Van Borsselenweg in Oosterbeek. The magazines were found during a search for bodily remains of a missing serviceman relating to the Battle of Arnhem. This field search was conducted with the approval of the Renkum Council.
The magazines found originated from one of the French Renault Char-B2 tanks, which in 1940, the Germans had captured from the French forces and, during the Battle of Arnhem, had employed against the British forces on the western side of the Perimeter. During the Battle of Arnhem, in the area along the Van Borsselenweg in Oosterbeek, were sited “D” Company of the 1st Battalion of the Border Regiment, comprising roughly 140 men, split into three platoons. Their HQ was located in the large, white farmhouse on this road, which also held a casualty station. The “D” Company included control of two 6-pounder anti-tank guns.

The Char B tank near the Van Borsselenweg in Oosterbeek, after it was destroyed by the British with a ópdrgun. (Photo: PK Kriegsberichter Rutkowski – Airborne Museum collection)

On 21 September 1944, the Germans launched an attack on the western edge of the perimeter. The attack was supported by a number of French Char-B2 tanks from the Panzer Kompanie 223, that had been converted into flame-throwers. One such tank advanced via the country lane that emerges at the white farmhouse on the Van Borsselenweg. The tank fired with the machine-gun Chatellerault M31 at the British positions by

the farm. They attempted to turn one of their anti-tank guns in the direction of the approaching enemy, but they were knocked out by the machine-gun fire from the German tank. The British Lance Corporal Bill Beck then attacked the tank with a Bren gun fired from the hip. Shortly after, Pte Parker came who, with another soldier, fired a PIAT bomb. This bomb caused some light damage but the tank continued to advance and finally was put out of action by the other 6pdr anti-tank gun, that in the interim was turned by another soldier and stood at a very short range from the Char-B2 tank.

Nearly all cartridges within the recently found magazines were exploded. This was due to the fact that the tank was finally hit by a British anti-tank grenade and as a result was burnt out. In the boxes found were 101 exploded cartridges of 7.5mm calibre, suitable for the French Chatellerault M31 [Mle31) machine-gun. One box can contain, in total, 150 of these cartridges. These were normal cartridges, an armour piercing version and incendiary types. These sat in sections of three in the box. The two cartridge magazines were, with permission from the responsible authorities, donated to the Airborne Museum, where they have been cleaned and preserved as much as possible. (Roland Boekhorst)

One of the two magazines found in 2015 which were from the French Chatellerault M31 (Mle31) machine gun from the CharB tank. The ammunition had exploded in the magazine. (Photo: Roland Boekhorst)


For many years in the Airborne Museum shop, the so-called “Airborne Wine” has been available. Just recently, two special additional “Hartenstein wines” were introduced. Via a wine sample provider, a white Sauvignon Blanc and a red Cabernet Sauvignon have been selected. These are quality wines to drink yourself or to give as a present. The “Hartenstein Rouge” and the “Hartenstein Blanc” cost €9,95 per bottle at the Airborne Museum. (Nathalie Rosenberg, Marketing and Sales)


Since 1991, there has been a tradition that on Christmas Eve citizens [especially school children) place candles on nearly 1400 graves, at the Canadian War Cemetery at Holten in The Netherlands. This is an impressive and emotional way to commemorate those who died in the darkest period of the year.
On the initiative of Roland Boekhorst, staff member of the Airborne Museum, this tradition has recently been adopted and, in the evening of 24 December 2015, several hundred candles were placed on a number of graves in the Airborne Cemetery at Oosterbeek. About two hundred interested people took part.

On 24 December 2016 it will be attempted to place candles at each of the approximately 1700 graves at the Airborne Cemetery. /Editors)


Just recently, the Airborne Museum received a British tropical uniform shirt, that was worn by a member of Luftwaffe who served with the German Africa Korps. The father of the donor had the item in his possession. It was originally obtained from a German military person, who was a photographer and who was posted to aerodromes in North Africa, where he had to take propaganda photos. However it is not certain that he was an official member of one of the German Propaganda Kompanieën.

On the shirt are the original emblems of the Africa Korps and an armband with Kriegsberich-teron it (see illustration).

It is said that the wearer later served as one of the Kriegsberichters at Arnhem, but that is not so easy to confirm with certainty, because the name of the man is not known. The armband is very rare and, as far as we know, does not appear in the well known emblem record books. In 2011 a similar armband, but without the blue triangle, was sold at auction in England for a very high price.

British tropical uniform shirt that was worn by a Luftwaffe military person with the German Africa Korps, with, on the sleeve, a “Kriegsberichter” armband. (Text/Photo: Wybo Boersma)


The first “Afternoon Tea” that took place in the Airborne Museum on 27 September 2015. (Photo:

On 27 September 2015 in the Airborne Museum, the first “Afternoon Tea” took place. This initiative from Director Sarah Thurlings, was a definite success. Not only on this first occasion was the event fully booked, but also the thereafter following dates were also immediately fully booked. Thus the Museum goes forward in 2016, with the organizing of a monthly “Afternoon Tea”. If you would like to take part sometime, make contact with the Museum in person or via the website. (Natalie Rosenberg, Marketing and Sales)


The latest RN Sigmond publication was published to coincide with the 71st anniversary of Operation Market Garden and this is called Arnhem Bridge Target Mike One, written by David Truesdale, Martijn Cornelissen and Bob Gerritsen. Arnhem Bridge Target Mike One covers the story of the 1st Airlanding Light Regiment RA during its short life in the Second World War, covering the formation of the unit, their actions in North Africa and Italy and extensive coverage of their time at

Arnhem in September 1944. As you would now come to expect from a Sigmond book it is a high quality publication both in terms of production and facts. The book follows the usual format of a Sigmond work, with documents, official reports and personal accounts all woven together into an excellent history of the Airlanding Light Regiment. Over 200 photographs complement the book and at the end is a fold-out A3 aerial photograph of the area around the church in lower Oosterbeek showing the gun positions which is really useful. I understand 1,000 copies were printed and are selling fast. It really does not need me to endorse this book as the book sells itself. Highly recommended, a ‘must have’ book and I suggest you get a copy and don’t wait too long!
“Arnhem Bridge, Target Mike One”, has 282 pages and more than 200 photos, prints of documents, maps and air photos. The ISBN number is: 978-90-812703-6-6.
The price in Netherlands is €37,50 and in the UK £30. The book is available in the Netherlands from the Airborne Museum and at the Meijer & Siegers bookshop in Oosterbeek. It can also be ordered directly from the publisher by sending an e-mail to
In the UK, the book is available, amongst other sources, from the SFAM Secretary at his email address: (Niall Cherry)


12 September 2015. Anje Brummelkamp-van Maanen with three young family members, looks at the first copy of her just published diary. (Photo:
The recently published book “Noodhospital De Tafelberg. Diary Oosterbeek 17-25 September 1946” written by Anje van Maanen, is a very welcome issue, as much for Dutch readers as for English language interested parties. The text of the book was written shortly after the end of the Battle of Arnhem by the then 17 year old Anje van Maanen, daughter of Doctor G.H.0. van Maanen in Oosterbeek. He was a GP and lived with his family in a large villa on the Pietersbergseweg, close behind Hotel Schoonoord. Shortly after the start of the British air landings, Dr van Maanen moved into the Hotel de Tafelberg, which was converted into an emergency hospital. Anje and the rest of the family stayed in their own home, until 22 September when a group of British paratroops (of the 21st Independent Parachute Company} wanted to convert the villa into a stronghold. The family chose to also move into the Tafelberg and spent the rest of the Battle of Arnhem, which became the “Battle of Oosterbeek”, in that building.
Anje wrote the nine day battle with a great eye for detail. Especially for readers who know Oosterbeek well, the situations described and the names of people and places will be easily recognised.

Although it was never Anje’s intention to publish her diary, finally, after 71 years, the pressure from the family, persuaded her to agree and go ahead. The publication has used the original letter by letter text from 1944 and thus no extra additions or notes have been included. However, a number of photos and a map of Oosterbeek have been added. The presentation of the book took place on 12 September 2015 in the Airborne Museum. The now 88 year old Anje Brummelkamp-van Maanen, with great interest from her family, was presented with the first copy of her book.

“Noodhospitaal De Tafelberg” was published by “Kontrast” in Oosterbeek. The price of this attractively presented issue is €16,95. The book is naturally available at the Airborne Museum.

The English language edition is entitled “Tafelberg Field Hospital”. Niall Cherry, the representative of the SFAM in the UK has copies in stock. (Robert Voskuil)


In the Airborne Museum, we recently had a meeting with Mr Dilip Sarker MBE, one of our members from the UK. Mr Dilip Sarker is busy with the preparation for the writing of a book with stories about military personnel who died at Arnhem. Dilip is always very much moved by stories about the fortunes of soldiers who died during wartime circumstances and the sorrow and sadness that impact on the relatives. After his visit to Oosterbeek, Dilip Sarker wrote to us: “What I would like to do is to tell the stories about a number of men who are buried in Oosterbeek. I will do it with help from people who knew them and with the help from personal documents and photos, as it were, to bring them back to life”. Dilip has earlier written a similar book about crewmen who died from the sinking of the British battleship Royal Oak that was torpedoed by the German U-boat U-47. That book, “Hearts of Oak: The Human Tragedy of HMS Royal Oak”, that was published in 2010, is, amongst others, used to give more understanding to the War Widows Association. With his other publications, such as that about the Battle of Britain, he has attempted to promote the RAFBenevolent Fund, the Battle of Britain Fighter Association and the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.
Also he wrote to us “In my new book, I would like to promote further attention to the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek, and also the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Also it is very important to write about the role of the “flower children”, as well as the close connection that since September 1944, has existed between the local population from the area around Arnhem and the Airbornes. I will emphasise that a war, in the first place, is remembered for “the suffering of the people” and not through the “glorious victories”. Therefore I will write, not only about the losses of the British, Polish and the Dutch people, but also about the German dead.”

Dilip Sarkar would very much like to make contact with people who may be able to share relevant information and/or material with him. The contact details of Dilip Sarkar MBE, FRHistS, BA(Hons) are:- Telephone in the UK: (Office: 01905 420441 – Mobile: 07971 677638.,


See also his website: http:/



A number of years ago, during the commemoration of the Battle of Arnhem, the Dutch journalist Maaike Kuy-venhoven met the British veteran Douglas Charlton. Maaike was so impressed by the moving way in which Douglas told of his experiences during the September days of 1944, that she decided to make a film portrait about him. Together with documentary maker Jan-Cees ter Brugge, they filmed Douglas during his annual visits to Holland. They took him to the various locations which featured in his stories, such as the landing zones; on Onderlangs in Arnhem and in Oosterbeek itself. They also interviewed him in England.

Many hours of film material were, during the editing, reduced to 58 minutes. To finance the production of a DVD, the film makers used a crowd funding scheme and this brought in the required funds. The film was released in September 2015.

Douglas Charlton was part of R-Company (under command of Major Timothy), as a unit of 1st Parachute Battalion, that, on 17 September 1944, landed near Renkum. After the initial advance, during which they suffered large losses, the men entered the western part of Arnhem. On 19 September the Battalion at

tempted to advance along Onderlangs, to reach the Road Bridge, where the 2nd Parachute Battalion under Lt Col Frost had been dug in since the evening of 17 September. The attack was a total failure. Charlton was taken P0W but he managed to escape, after, with the agreement of the Germans, he brought a wounded colleague to the St Elizabeth Gasthuis (Hospital). He decided to try to reach Oosterbeek, where on arrival, he was sent to support the men in the area around the Old Church, that was being defended by the “Lonsdale Force”. He took part, amongst other actions, in the fighting around the laundry of Van Hofwegen and in the garden of blacksmith Breman. At the end of the battle, he was part of the very last group who, in the night of 25/26 September, managed to cross the river.

What is very special about this story, is the unique way by which Charlton describes the fighting. It is not a simple military report or a romanticised glory tale, but his story is about the emotions of a simple’ soldier, during the often gruesome situations where he found himself. Douglas can describe his memories in a very special way, mainly due to his amazing memory and his typical British humour. To place particular situations in its historical context, the film makers asked Robert Voskuil, at some points in the film, to provide some extra explanations.

Sadly Douglas did not live to see the final result of the film. He died in October 2013. The film makers see their film as a tribute to him and to his comrades. The title of the DVD about Douglas Charlton reads: “10 dagen in September ’44 – a documentary about the Battle of Arnhem through the eyes of an English soldier”. The DVD is provided with Dutch sub titles.
There is also an English language version where the parts where Dutch is spoken have English sub titles. In Holland the DVD is on sale in the Airborne Museum and local book shops. It can also be ordered by sending an e-mail to:

(see also the facebook page: 10dageninseptember44). In the UK the DVD is available from Niall Cherry.


After the opening of the exhibition about the Kuik brothers, Mayor Jean Paul Gebben from Renkum and Els Kuik look at the objects in one of the display cases. (Photo:

In the previous issue of the Airborne Magazine, we mentioned the exhibition “Gebroeders Kuik ’44 – (Kuik Brothers ’44 – Teenagers in the Resistance”) in the Airborne Museum. This small display which was held in the Hall of Fame in the Airborne Museum, attracted not only many visitors, but also resulted in surprisingly high levels of publicity.

At the opening on 1st October 2015, Mrs Els Kuik from Oosterbeek gave a speech. She is the widow of Wobke Kuik, the youngest son of the Kuik family and brother of Bert and Hans, who, on 3rd November 1944 were shot dead by the SD NC0 Friedrich Enkelstroth, on the Rosendaelsche Golf Club in Arnhem. Els Kuik had presented the whole archive about the
murder of Bert and Hans and its aftermath, to the Airborne Museum, which made this display possible.

The well known Dutch historian and journalist Ad van Liempt spoke in depth at the opening of the exhibition about the role of young Dutch people in the Resistance against the German Occupation in the period 1940-1945. Until now, little thought has been given to this role, even though it appears to be a much more important aspect than the majority of people are aware of. And that is also the case about their contribution during the Allied “liberation operations” in 1944/45.

As a result, in the coming years, amongst others, the ‘Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogs Documentatie en Holocaust Studies’ (Netherlands Institute for War Documentation and Holocaust Studies) in Amsterdam, will be undertaking further research about the subject. In the days after the opening, on the television (including the Dutch National NOS Television News), the radio and in newspapers, in depth coverage was given to this subject, which resulted in many additional museum visitors.

At the exhibition, that continued until 31 January 2016, a brochure (in the Dutch language) was available, titled “Gebroeders Kuik ’66 – Tieners in het Verzet” (Kuik Brothers ’66 – Teenagers in the Resistance). This was produced by Tim Streefkerk, historical researcher at the Airborne Museum. The cost of this publication has been entirely met by the SFAM. Copies of the brochure are still available in the Museum shop.

In addition, the exhibition had an unexpected follow-up. The Management of the Rosendaelsche Golf Club, announced that they had approved the placing of a plaque at the tree beside which both lads were shot dead on 3 November 1966, in the centre of the golf course. On Tuesday 3 November

The simple plaque on the tree on the Rosendaelsche GolfClub, next to which on 3 November 1944, Bert and Hans Kuik were shot dead. The unveiling of this memorial took place on 3 November 2015. (Photo: Frank Versteegh)

2015, exactly 71 years after the event, this plaque was unveiled by Els Kuik, during a simple but moving meeting together with a large group of interested people. For Els, this was the lovely end to a long standing wish. The two brothers will not be forgotten. {Robert Voskuil)


Recently we received from our member Scott Revell in Australia, a story about the German General Kussin who, on the first day of the Battle of Arnhem, was killed in Oosterbeek. Scott Revell has a military background and is a reserve officer in the Australian forces. He has always been interested in the history of the Battle of Arnhem, especially in the role of the German units. In his research project into the German side of the Battle of Arnhem, he works thoroughly and is a real specialist in this subject. He works closely together with a number of amateur historians in the Netherlands and the UK and together with them, he has written a number of books, including “Retake Arnhem Bridge: An Illustrated History of the Kampfgruppe Knaust September to October 1966 (2010)”., “Arnhem, a few Vital Hours: The SS-Panzergrenadier-Ausbil-dungs und Ersatz-Bataillon 16 at the Battle of Arnhem, September 1966 (2013)” and “A Piece of Coloured Ribbon, an insight into German Award Winners at the Battle of Arnhem” (2015).

This story is to focus on a particular event that occurred on the first day of the battle; the now infamous ambush of General Kussin’s vehicle by men of the 3rd Parachute Battalion.

Because the length of the story sent by Scott Revell was too big for one number, we have divided his article into two parts. The second part will be published in the next issue of the Airborne Magazine.(Editors)


Scott Revell
This Ministory is dedicated to the memory of Bart Leyte

On the 17th September 1944 the first elements of the British 1st Airborne Division dropped or landed west of Arnhem. Expectations were high as pre-operational briefings had indicated minimal resistance and that the ground forces of XXX Corps would relieve them before the third lift had even arrived. The plan for the British 1st Airborne Division was to send the 1st Parachute Brigade towards Arnhem via three distinct routes with the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron racing ahead to secure the Arnhem Road Bridge. As we know, things didn’t go to plan and thousands of airborne soldiers were to embark on a 9-day struggle with German Forces in and around Arnhem.
This short story is to focus on a particular event that occurred on the first day of the battle; the now infamous ambush of General Kussin’s vehicle by the 3rd Parachute Battalion. The story will provide a small background to Kussin’s command, a narrative of the actual event and set the record straight regarding the number of German occupants in the vehicle at the time of the ambush.

Major General Friedrich Kussin, in September 7 944, Commanding Officer of Feldkommandantur FK642 (Photo: Scott Revell collection)

Feldkommandantur 642

Generalmajor Friedrich Kussin was appointed to the position of commander of Feldkommandantur 642 (FK 642) in early September 1943. Born in 1895 Kussin was a 49 year old pioneer veteran of WWI and also held command positions during the invasion of France as well as on the Eastern Front. Transferred to the Führer Reserve in April 1943 after promotion to General, Kussin waited for his next appointment before taking up his final position which was headquartered in Arnhem.

In quite a number of publications in the past, Kussin has been wrongly assigned as the Arnhem Stadtkom-mandant (City Commander). In fact, his position was the area commander with the designate of 642 which incorporated the city of Arnhem. The size of FK 642, from a personnel perspective, was relatively small and if it followed the official establishment (KStN 2201). This establishment would have had the following posted positions:

Officers: 7 Officials: 3 NCOS: 21 Soldiers: 12

Sometimes these area administrative commands would have security or police type units attached to them if the threat warranted it. This was most prevalent on the Eastern Front when these commands had to deal with partisans. The purpose of the Feldkommandantur could include, but was not limited to, securing supply lines, depots and traffic lines, vital asset protection and keeping the rear area secure. If forces were not allocated to achieve these tasks then where possible the staff of the Feldkommandantur would recruit locally to complement its establishment. It has been widely written that FK 642 had a security platoon or two that manned the bridge on the 17th September 1944 however to date no sources of information in official records have come to light to confirm or deny this.

17 September 1944

The 3rd Parachute Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John Fitch together with a troop of 6-pounder anti-tank guns from an airlanding antitank battery, a section of medics from 16 Parachute Field Ambulance and about half of C Troop from 1st Parachute Squadron RE, were to take the center route which was to move along the main Utrecht-Arnhem road (code named ‘Tiger’ route) into Arnhem to assist the 2nd Parachute Battalion to capture and hold the road bridge.

By around 1700h the leading elements of the 3rd Battalion encountered some minor resistance just short of the Utrechtseweg and Wageningen crossroads. The Germans located here were outposts set up by SS-Panzergrenadier Ausbildungs und Ersatz Batail-lon 16, under the command of SS-Sturmbannführer Sepp Krafft, which was aimed at providing his battalion with early warning. These outposts would have quickly withdrawn after engaging the British and moved back to the main defensive position. The spearhead of the 3rd Battalion had the order to advance into Arnhem at lightning speed so unless they were fully engaged they were required to move past these minor skirmishes. With Krafft focussed on these enemy troop movements to his west and south-west, he was surprised by the arrival from the south of a Citroën 11CV Traction Avant staff car just prior to the sounds of gun fire to his south. Stopping in the grounds of the Hotel Wolfheze was the Wehrmacht Area Commandant General Friedrich Kussin who stepped out of the vehicle and greeted SS-Sturmbannfiihrer Krafft. According to Krafft’s report the General provided Krafft with the latest intelligence of the Allied landings and informed him that overall command of the area is now the responsibility of the lind SS-Panzer Korps. Kussin calls upon Krafft’s battalion to show all endurance and he then prepared to leave via the same route he came on.

Krafft was concerned for the General since he had received the report of enemy forces to the south. General Kussin assured Krafft that he had visited one of Krafft’s sentry posts on the Arnhem – Wageningen road and that all was good before he had arrived. Even though Krafft put in one last objection based on recent reports and suggested a different route, the General would not be put off. Krafft watched with disbelief as the Citroën staff car carrying General Kussin and his passengers, sped off south back towards the crossroads.

Krafft records in his report a small entry relating to the outcome of Kussin heading off towards the enemy in his staff car. It states:

‘A few minutes later we hear a burst of machine-gun bullets and we have lost a gallant solder and his three companions. He is surely the first of the German dead in the intense fighting now beginning. ”

The burst of machine gun fire at 1715h came from the leading elements of the 3rd Parachute Battalion which had now passed the crossroads. Then men of No. 5 Platoon, B Company under the command of Lieutenant James Cleminson had seen the vehicle travel at speed from their left rear and they had opened fire with the platoon’s weapons. The fire had the desired effect and stopped the vehicle in its tracks killing all of its occupants.

After the war a member of the platoon was a little more descriptive than Krafft in detailing the events of Kussin’s car at the crossroads:

“The platoon had been selected to lead the 3rd Parachute Battalions march to Arnhem, and for the first two hours we made good progress, scouting ahead of the main force. As we approached Battalion Krafft’s blocking line east of Wolfheze, a German Citroen staff car suddenly appeared at a junction between the platoon’s positions, prompting the unit to open fire with rifles and Sten guns, killing all inside. So enthusiastic had been the firing that

both the vehicle and passengers were riddled with bullets and it took Cleminson’s intervention to get the men to cease fire. This prize put the platoon on a high. Cleminson did not discover until after the war that his men had killed General Friedrich Kussin. He had been visiting Krafft when he unwisely decided to return to the town and his own headquarters.”

Captured on Camera

The results of the ambush was later captured for ever more when Sergeant Dennis Smith and Sergeant Gordon Walker of No.5 AFPU [Army Film and Photographic Unit) took three photos and some film of Kussin’s shot up car. The stationary vehicle sat in the middle of the road at the junction of Wolfhezerweg and Utrechtseweg with the dead occupants still inside. Smith positioned himself on the passenger’s side and took his first photo (Photo 1 – Smith, roll 2, frame 4) of Generalmajor Kussin who had been hit several times in his seat. In the same photo it is possible to see the body of the driver, the 42 year old Getreiter Josef Willeke, slumped over the centre of the car with his cap still on.

The first photo taken by photographer Smith, after he arrived at the German staff car, shows the dead Major General Kussin, in the front passenger seat. Next to him, the chauffeur Josef Wilke. (Photo. Dennis Smith, AFPU, IWM London collection)

For some reason, either Smith or someone else decided to remove the bodies of Kussin and Willeke from the front of the vehicle in order to capture the next two photographs (the Dutch Commando Lieutenant Maarten Knottenbelt had already removed the General’s rank insignia from his collar on the 17th September 1944 and LCPL Wilce of No. 4 Section, 1 st Airborne Provost Company had removed the shoulder rank slides on the 18th September 1944). It would have been without doubt that they would have been surprised on how Kussin appeared after being removed from the car. It was quickly deducted that the fire from the airborne soldiers had been so ferocious and accurate that one bullet had struck the right lower cheek of General Kussin exiting out the back of the head giving the appearance that he been scalped when he was removed from the vehicle. Smith captured this infamous photo (Smith, roll 2, frame 5] which has since been published hundreds of times.

After the two dead men in the front of the car, were pulled out, Smith photographed first, Major General Kussin (Smith Photo 2. This photo is not shown in this article) and then on the other side of the vehicle, the chauffeur Josef Willeke (Smith photo 3). He lies out of the car with a Dutch carbine Model 1895 on his body. (Photo: Dennis Smith AFPU; IWM London collection)

Smith then proceeded to the other side of the vehicle where he took a photo (Photo 2 – Smith, roll 2, frame 6] of the driver Getreiter Josef Willeke. The photo was somewhat staged where they had removed Willeke from the car and placed a Dutch Model 1895 carbine across his body giving the impression that the driver had tried to make ready his rifle and return fire. Willeke never stood a chance as the men No. 5 Platoon, B Company of the 3rd Parachute Battalion had riddled the fast travelling vehicle with enough bullets to kill all its occupants. What is interesting, and a shame in hindsight, is that Smith never took any photos of the remaining occupant(s) in the back of the car. If he had, the question that has pondered researchers and military historians for over 70 years would have been answered years ago. That is, who else was in the car?
The number of occupants in the vehicle has been a point of contention for over 70 years with various sources stating different numbers. The majority of publications have specified that there were three occupants in the vehicle which was made up of General Kussin, Getreiter Willeke and the 44 year old Unteroffizier (Sonderführer) Max Koster born in Arnhem. Conversely there have been a number of eye witness accounts that have stated there were four occupants in the car. So why contradicting numbers and if there were four occupants, then why don’t we know the name of the fourth occupant?

There is no disputing that at least there were three occupants of the car that were killed and buried together. This is confirmed from a report written by the Reverend Captain George Pare MID of 1st Wing, Glider Pilot Regiment A.A.C. where he stated:

“On my return, Mr Harlow [Reverend Major Albert Harlow D.S.O., MID of HQ 1st Airborne Division] asked me to bury a German General, whose body was still leaning out of a car, where he had been shot about half a mile away along the main road towards Wolfheze. It had been arranged that prisoners should do the digging. A pilot arrived as an escort bringing two young SS soldiers aged 17 and 18 who were both wearing their camouflage smocks. They sat on the bonnet of the jeep and we drove off The body of the German General was certainly badly shot up and with it were those of his batman and interpreter. His car had been ambushed on Sunday and was riddled with bullets The two Nazis started to dig the graves at the roadside, for I decided to have common burial for all three.”

However as stated previously in this article, SS-Sturm-bannführer Krafft mentioned the loss of a gallant soldier [Kussin] and his three companions when the car was ambushed. Could Krafft have been wrong during the heat of the Battle? Would Krafft, or any officer for that matter, notice the number of staff officers accompanying the General when under pressure?

What is sure is that there are a number of eye-witness accounts from both sides that confirm Krafft’s account.  [To be continued)


12 February: Friday evening 19.00-22.OOhr: Social evening in the Airborne Museum.
19 March: Saturday afternoon: 13.30-15.OOhr: Annual meeting of SFAM in the Concert Hall in Oosterbeek. 15.30-17.OOhr Themed lecture.
16 April: Saturday afternoon: 13.30hr: Battlefield tour – the fighting on Onderlangs and Bovenover in Arnhem 18-19 September 1944.
23 April: Saturday 09.30-15.OOhr: 25th Book Fair with second-hand books and documents from and about WW2 in Hartenstein Park, Oosterbeek.
18-22 May: Battlefield Tour Normandy.
10 September: Battlefield Tour Arnhem.
30 September – 2 October: Battlefield Tour Hürtgenwald, Germany.
8 October: Saturday afternoon: Battlefield Tour around the Old Church in Oosterbeek.

N.B: Subject to alterations and additions.

For additional information about the various activities and events and any eventual alterations, please see the website:

The Airborne Magazine is a publication of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum Oosterbeek (SFAM] and appears three times per year. The objective is to promote the Airborne Museum, the SFAM and the history of the Battle of Arnhem.

Editors: Drs. Robert P.G.A. Voskuil, Wybo Boersma MBE Marieke Martens, Curator of the Airborne Museum
Archiving and distribution of back numbers of the magazine: Wybo Boersma, Ede,
Translation: Peter Burton, London, UK
Design: Michal Kuscielek Artefakt Design, Nuenen
Print: Wedding Proson, Harderwijk
E-mail address SFAM:, Telephone: 0318 639633
Postal address: SFAM, Ivar Goedings, P.O. Box. 8047, 6710 AA, Ede, The Netherlands
Representative in the UK: Niall Cherry. Email addres:


Download the magazine in pdf format


3.The Airborne Museum has a new Director- Robert Voskuil
4.Exhibition regarding the Kuik brothers- Robert Voskuil
4.’Afternoon tea’ in the Airborne Museum- Annemarie Hartgers
5.Members ‘placed in the spotlight’ during the AGM- Ben Kotster
6. -7.2015 Friends Weekend, a Report by Brian Gibb- Brian Gibb
7.From the UK representative- Niall Cherryl
7. -8.Action to preserve the grave of Hendrika van der Vlist- Robert Voskuil
8.The number of Eureka beacons used at ‘Arnhem’:a correction.- Peter Gijbels
9.Declaration by the SFAM Management regarding the author’s copyright of the 5th edition of the Roll of Honour (2011) 21.3.15- Eric Paap
9.‘De verschrikking van de nacht'(The terror of the night)- Wybo Boersma
10.Ministory from veteran Laurie Weeden- Robert Voskuil
11.-14.Ministory 122 – In the Perimeter- Laurie Weeden
15.Program of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum, 2015.


Since 1st May this year, the Airborne Museum ‘Harten- stein’ has a new Director. It is the 34 year old Sarah Thurlings-Heijse. Sarah Thurlings was born and bred in the town of Middelburg in Zeeland [SW part of the Netherlands). She studied Urban Design at the College of Art and Design in Utrecht, and Art History at Utrecht University. Until recently she was working as Director at a foundation in the province of North Holland. This Foundation stands for the promotion of cultural her¬itage for people in the Netherlands, who are seeking relaxation with a purpose.
Sarah was selected by the Airborne Museum because of her extensive knowledge and experience of cultu¬ral entrepreneurship, her relevant network and her experience on combining culture and tourism. Cees van den Vlekkert, Chairman of the Airborne Museum Foundation, spoke of the appointment of Sarah Thur-lings – “The challenges that the Airborne Museum currently faces, also now suggest that, due to current pressures, a more unorthodox vision and approach is required. To ensure that the memories of the historical events of September 1944, remain alive in the future, a strong cultural and entrepreneurial attitude is es¬sential. Through co-operation with other parties and repeated attention-seeking requests from the general public using attractive themes, and using modern marketing techniques, the number of visitors should grow even more. The Management of the Airborne Museum Foundation, is of the opinion that with the appointment of Sarah Thurlings, an excellent manner will be brought to fulfilling these objectives.
Sarah Thurlings is, herself, extremely enthusiastic and proud about her appointment as new Director of the Airborne Museum: “Alongside the impressive fact that the Museum, tells the story of the Battle of Arnhem and the consequences for Oosterbeek and Arnhem to more than 100,000 people annually, there is an increasing and inevitable awareness of how important it is to live in freedom and liberty. I hope that with my experience, to be able to achieve the delivery of this message to an, as large and wide as possible, public audience and as a result, to continue the remem¬brance of the 1944 mission by future generations”.
Since her youth, Sarah has had much interest in museums, which was stimulated by her Father. Also, the War played a large role in her family’s past. Her two grandmothers, were imprisoned in Japanese internment camps in the former Netherlands East Indies and one of her grandfathers was in the Resistance. Her currently somewhat limited knowledge of the Battle of Arnhem, she wishes to expand as rapidly as possible, by reading as much as possible about this subject.
Meanwhile, Sarah has met with all staff and volunteers at the Museum and had conversations with them, as well as members of the management of the SFAM. She is very interested in the SFAM and the support that this organization gives to the Airborne Museum. She hopes that, when necessary, she may call upon the specialist knowledge about all aspects of the Battle of Arnhem, that many members have.
This Autumn, Sarah and her husband who is employed as a rheumatologist at the Radboud Hospital in Nijmegen, together with their two year old son, will be moving to Oosterbeek. She is very excited about this, also because she will then be drawn much closer to everything connected with the target of keeping the memory of the Battle of Arnhem very much alive. (Robert Voskuil)

Sarah Thurlings-Heijse, the new Director of the Airborne Museum


On 1st October in the Netherlands, begins the ‘Month of the History’. The Airborne Museum is taking part in this event, with the opening of a small display about the Kuik brothers. Bert and Hans Kuik were two Arn¬hem youngsters who, in September 1944, were closely affected by the Battle of Arnhem. During the fighting, they helped in the St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Arnhem. During that period, they also smuggled some wounded British troops out of the hospital, who were then taken over and looked after by the Dutch Resistance.

Bert Kuik (collection Airborne Museum)

On 31 October 1944, the order was issued to evacuate the St Elizabeth’s Hospital. The hospital operation was moved to Nunspeet. Bert and Hans left on 3 November by bicycle. They had not long left Arnhem city before they came up against an SS raid near the Rosendael Golf Club. As a result they were arrested and, after an unsuccessful attempt to escape, they were shot dead. Their parents initially were not aware this had hap-pened, but on 9 Novem¬ber their father, Marten Kuik, was informed by Police Inspector Van Ma¬ris, the terrible news that both lads had been killed. During the last year of the War, the boys lay buried on the golf course. The Arnhem police later found them and reburied them.

Hans Kuik (collection Airborne Museum)

Just recently, the Airborne Museum has received all documents, letters and photos from the estate of the Kuik family and a selection will be made from this collection to be shown during the exhibition. This may be visited from 1st October and will last for three months. It is intended that a brochure about the fate of the Kuik brothers will appear, and it will be based upon the investigation made by the Arnhem amateur historian, Paul Vroemen during the first decades after the War (see also his book “De Zwarte Herfst”, (The Black Autumn) published in 1984), but further filled with facts from the documents recently donated to the Airborne Museum.
[Robert Voskuil}


It is with great pleasure that we draw your attention to a new activity at the Airborne Museum, the Afternoon Tea. The first Afternoon Tea will be organised on Sunday 27 September. A British tradition in the former British Headquarters! All sorts of tea will be offered, as well as home-made sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream and lots of other sweet and savoury snacks.
Initially, the Afternoon Tea will be offered on the last Sunday, each month. To achieve this, the Airborne Museum “Hartenstein” will be working together with the business “Ma Baker”, which offers exclusive tea’s at various locations. We intend to provide an informal setting; a couple of pleasant hours, with tasty food and drinks on a Sunday afternoon.
The price will be €29,95 per person. If you are inte-rested to attend, we suggest you reserve a place, as the seating is limited.
You can make your reservation by e-mail to with covering note “afternoon tea + the date you like to attend”
lAnnemarie Hartgers}


During the Annual General Meeting of the SFAM that took place on 21 March at the Concert Hall in Oosterbeek, three members of the SFAM were “placed in the spotlight”, because, for many years, in a variety of areas, they have served the Society.

Management member, Robert Voskuil, was appointed as ‘Member of Merit’. For 35 uninterrupted years, Robert has been a member of the management team. During this period, he has kept himself very busy with the production of the Newsletter, now called the Airborne Magazine’ and with the organizing of ‘theme based afternoons’, excursions, battlefield tours and the holding of lectures.

Management member Robert Voskuil, receives his deed from Chairman, Ben Kolster, that accompanies his appointment as “Member of Merit of the SFAM” (Photo: Frits Miedema)

Okko Luursema and Henk van de Brand both received a case of wine. Okko is always present with his book- stall at the meetings of the SFAM. He always succeeds in tracing and offering special and rare publications about the Battle of Arnhem. By this service he has managed to give many members much pleasure from these items.
Henk van de Brand is someone who especially has worked behind the scenes, in organization and techni¬cal issues, as much for the SFAM as for the Airborne Museum. But he was also involved with projects, such as the building of the base (no longer existing) for the Sherman tank at the Airborne Museum and the building of the Royal Engineers Monument on the Rhine bank near Driel.

Ben Kolster hands to Henk van de Brand, a case of wine as a token of gratitude for all the work he has done for the SFAM
(Photo: Frits Miedema]

Only thanks to the long standing contribution made by people such as Robert, Okko and Henk, can a Society such as the SFAM, continue to offer such a wide scale of interesting activities. A word of thanks is thus most certainly very well earned.
[Ben Kolster – Chairman SFAM]

Okko Luursema is thanked by Ben Kolster for the fact that he is always present with his bookstall at events organised by the SFAM. Also Okko was presented with a case of wine.
(Photo: Frits Miedema)


Around 40 Friends of the Airborne Museum gathered once again in Oosterbeek on the last weekend of June for the 2015 excursion’. Organised once more by Niall Cherry, the SFAM’s tireless UK representative, his itinerary for this tour was a bit special.
The weekend kicked off with an advance party’ gathering at noon on Friday in front of the Airborne Memorial whence a small fleet of eight cars took the motley crew to the perimeter of the Dutch Army base at Soesterberg. After some minor confusion on map references, we arrived at Gate 10 to be greeted by Lieutenant Geert Jonker, a very affable and informative officer in charge of the Dutch Army War Grave Reco¬very and Identification Unit. This specialist unit goes to amazing lengths to identify the remains of unknown soldiers, British, American, Canadian, other Allied, German, and civilians still being uncovered even now more than 70 years after the end of World War 2.
This unit is entirely funded by the Dutch Government at considerable cost and they are pledged to continue this support for years to come. The detailed scientific and forensic work undertaken by Geert and his compact team is matched only by their additional detective work as they piece together each clue in order to iden¬tify beyond doubt the remains, to return identity to that individual and then to re-connect that individual with their nearest surviving family for whom the memory of their loved one had previously been not only distant but uncertain. Tremendous, precise work and laborious in many ways – as Geert told us, immensely satisfy¬ing on completion and humbling with every successful outcome.
The Friends re-assembled in force on Saturday mor¬ning with about 50 Dutch and British members. Our tour began at the Leeren Doedel and our guide was Martin Peters, a Dutch expert on the 10th Parachute Battalion. Their action began in the early hours of 19th September, the third day, with an attack against the top end of the German blocking line near the Dreijen- seweg in northern Oosterbeek, intended to prevent any reinforcements getting through to the bridge some three miles or so away. Martin led us across the Amsterdamseweg to the Pumping House where A Company led by Captain Lionel Queripel carried out an assault under continuous medium machine gun fire from the blocking line. This lasted five hours or so from 10.00 through to 15.00. At the same time, Sepp Krafft’s SS Training Battalion approached through the woods to the north.
One of the great things about these walks is the presence of so many experts, in this case Niall had arranged for a further friend, Marcel Anker, who had helped to reinstate a memorial to a water board official from 1944. In September 1944 and fora short time af¬terwards the site manager was a ‘local hero’ providing work permits for Dutch resistance, who would other¬wise have been transported to Germany for factory work. He was of course found out in the weeks fol¬lowing the failure of Market Garden when the Germans realised that so many people could not possibly have been employed there. Marcel had saved a commemo¬rative plaque that would otherwise have been lost and will feature by the main entrance to the new building and maintain this link to the battle for the liberation.
We moved south towards the railway embankment to the south side of Landing Zone L where the gliders of the Third Lift arrived as the 10th Battalion withdrew, with Krafft’s men in pursuit. Confusion reigned as the Polish paratroopers emerged into cross fire. Martin led us to the tunnel that runs under the embankment where many of the men from the 156 (who had been attacking the southern end of the blocking line) also joined the growing mass of men and jeeps and pointed out the likely area where Captain Queripel performed a rearguard action, which allowed for the maximum number of troops to get through the tunnel. Queripel had been badly wounded during the course of the day’s actions, ultimately he remained behind with a pistol and some hand grenades. He was posthumously awarded the VC. A walk through the woods to the Hol¬low area and an explanation of the 10th Battalion’s men in the area of the Koude Herberg ended the day. To end Saturday on the Valkenburglaan, the UK representative was handed a spent German bullet as a souvenir from one of the expert scavengers in the group.
The Friends gathered on Sunday morning by restau¬rant Klein Hartenstein to be greeted by the awesome sight of two WW2 US troop carriers and a couple of jeeps warming up to act as our transport for the day. We were briefly introduced to our ‘pathfinder’ for the day, Peter Gijbels, an expert on the 21st Independent Parachute Company and one of the authors of the book ‘Leading the Way to Arnhem’. We ‘mounted up’ and Peter led us quickly to our first stopping point on the road alongside Drop Zone X where he explained a little about the Eureka/Rebecca navigation systems that the Pathfinders employed to bring in the vast air¬borne armadas over the three Landing days. Then on to Landing Zone S and onward to the initial (Ommershof) positions that the 21st took up within the developing “perimeter” around the Hartenstein from Wednesday onwards. Peter was able to offer us some interesting perspectives on the actions that took place in the ‘kil¬ling ground’ to the west of their position, which had resulted in some heavy casualties for the attacking Germans. As ever, it would seem that the haze of battle field decisions has been further confused by partisan accounts given after the event.
The group then followed the movements of the 21st as they were re-positioned on the Friday to houses around and behind the Schoonoord crossroads with their HQ at the tip of the Pietersbergseweg and the Paasberg. This is where the real cat-and-mouse of close combat was fought to the final hours and Peter was able to vividly bring to account the actions of these men in those desperate few days, both the humour that allowed them to find a rare feast of stewed do¬
I would like to thank the 40 or so members who took part in the 8th UK and Worldwide Members weekend between 26th and 28th June 2015 and I hope every¬one who came enjoyed themselves. I would like to thank also those who took time out to help – notably Lieutenant Geert Jonker who allowing me to book a group into the barracks at Soesterberg to see the unique work of the Dutch Army War Grave Recovery and Identification Unit – I’ve probably used all my favours up with him and will probably not be able to get another group in there for many years. Also for Saturday Marcel Anker, Martin Peters and Brian Gibb for speaking at various locations, which had the group spellbound with their passion and depth of knowledge. mestic rabbit and the deep trauma that pushed some men to the limit of personal endurance.
Both days were presented with the usual attention to detail and the stories delivered in an easily compre-hensible way, underlining the ways in which the many disparate units of men worked together during those eight days to maintain the possibility of a successful operation despite the huge odds they were faced with. And, as usual, a very well-coordinated written guide for us to take home. Full credit to all involved.
[Brian Gibb)
On Sunday I was able to persuade Peter Gijbels to take us to various locations connected with the 21st Independent Company and again I feel we all found out something new. All in all an excellent tour and there was overwhelming agreement to run another in 2017 and 18 people have already expressed an interest in coming. If anyone wants to book a place for 2017 and the suggested itinerary they can contact me for more information.
Thanks again to everyone, especially the first timers, and I hope they enjoyed themselves!
[N Cherry)


Hendrika van de Vlist, with her dog, photographed in the garden of her home on the Paul Krugerstraat in Oosterbeek. The photo was taken
in 1970. (Photo: Airborne Museum collection]

When, in April this year, Sophie Lambrechtsen-ter- Horst strolled over the South Cemetery in Oosterbeek, she saw that there were plans to remove the grave of Hendrika van der Vlist. Hendrika died on 5 May 1994 and had, as far as is known, no close family who could arrange and pay to extend the grave pitch lease for a further twenty years.
For many residents of Oosterbeek, the name Hendrika van der Vlist is not unknown. She was the daughter of the owner of the former Hotel Schoonoord. During the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944, this hotel was taken over and used by the British medical service as a field hospital for the hundreds of servicemen who got wounded during the fighting. Hendrika, then 29 years old, together with a number of other Oosterbeek women and girls, day and night served with the care and nursing of the wounded, often under most primi¬tive and dangerous conditions. She wrote a diary about these days, that in 1975, was published under the title “Die dag in September – dagboek September 1944 – Mei 1945” (That day in September – diary September 1944 – May 1945). In this book she recorded in an im¬pressive way, the situation in the emergency hospital, which literally lay on the front line.
In the years after the War, Hendrika devoted herself to help veterans and their relatives, but also for people in the village who, as a result of the War and/or its aftermath needed help and support.
After her visit to the cemetery, Sophie immediately sprang into action. She wrote a petition to the Renkum Council, Mayor and councillors, wherein she pleaded for Hendrika s grave to be preserved. The Council responded positively to her initiative and is prepared to make an order to pay for a portion of the grave retention fee.
The remainder of the renewal fee will have to be paid and an appeal has started to hopefully raise the remai-ning funds.
The plan also includes a proposal to place a simple plaque on the grave and/or at the current Schoonoord Restaurant with a short text about the role of Hendrika in September 1944 and thus to make it more well known.
The management of the SFAM heard about this initiative and agreed they would join in this proposed action plan. The SFAM has provided its bank details to enable gifts to be made and will itself make a contribution.
Anyone wishing to join the cost of maintaining the grave of Hendrika, can transfer a financial amount to our bank account:- NL80 INGB 0004 4036 41 – account title “Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek”, with description “Hendrika van der Vlist”. The action will be finalized at the end of September this year. At that time, we will announce the results of this appeal.
[Robert Voskuil}


In the previous edition of the Airborne Magazine (No.4), an article appeared about the use of the Eureka beacons by the 21st Independent Parachute Company (the ‘Pathfinders’), during the Battle of Arnhem. Our member Peter Gijbels, joint author of the 2008 published book ‘Leading the Way to Arnhem’, advised the editors that an error appeared in the original article. Peter wrote “There is advised that were 48 Eurekas. This is not correct. Each stick of Pathfinders was equipped with two Eureka operators, and each had one Eureka set. The second served as a reserve set”.
Each platoon was split into four sticks each with 12 men .There was also a platoon commander and one sergeant. Thus in total, a platoon consisted of 50 men. The 21st Independent Parachute Company consisted of three platoons and an HQ. Thus 12 sticks jumped, each one with two Eureka sets. In total, the 21st Independent Para¬chute Company was thus equipped with 24 Eureka sets and not 48.
It is known that a number of sets were blown up by the built-in explosive charge. But this ‘self destruct’ mechanism did not always work and then a salvo from a Sten Gun was necessary!
(The Editors with thanks to Peter Gijbels}


When, four years ago, the 5th edition of the “Roll of Honour-Battle of Arnhem September 1944” book was approaching completion, there arose a serious difference of opinion regarding the format in the book, describing the author’s copyright legal entitlement and the description of those who also made a contribution to the production of the book. The Management struggled under the pressure of going to print and, on reflection, perhaps did not deal with the issue meticulously.
On the basis of the investigation which took place at the time, during the AGM held on 21 March 2015 , the SFAM Management made a statement. This statement served, on the one hand, the opinion of the Management as to the manner in which the copyright at the time, should have appeared in the RoH, on the basis of the opinions today and, on the other hand, the opinion of the SFAM Management concerning the copyright of the RoH in general. A summary of the statement follows:-

Correction to the publication:
“With the knowledge and understanding of today, the SFAM Management announces that in the printing of the 5th edition of the RoH, the following text relating to the copyright and the production and contributors should have appeared:-
1. The copyright ownership concerning the publication: SFAM and Mr Jan Hey
2. The copyright ownership concerning the investigation and collection: Mr Jan Hey
3. The copyright rewards various living persons text contributions: also those who, since the first issue of the RoH, have submitted additional contributions.
4. This book has been brought to fruition by the efforts of a team, led by Mr Geert Maassen and Mr Philip Reinders.
The Management of the SFAM, hereby express their wish that, with this announcement, a resolution is achieved in settlement of the demand from Mr Jan Hey, that the SFAM should show respect for that element of the copy-right law concerning the Roll of Honour that was his and which, as a result of a meeting on 26 April 2012, was transferred by him to Robert N. Sigmond.

if required, a print of the full announcement can be sent to you. I Eric Paap)


Our British member (but living in the Netherlands) Tony Sheldon has recently published his book “De verschrikking van de nacht – Ooggetuigen van de Slag om Arnhem” (The terror of the night – eyewitnesses to the Battle of Arnhem). During the past ten years, he has interviewed a large number of people, especially (former) citizens from Arnhem and Oosterbeek. In this way he collected more than 60 stories of people who, often as teenagers, lived through the Battle of Arnhem. Tony also used a number of personal stories from previously published works. The result is a history of the Battle of Arnhem, seen through the eyes of Dutch citizens. The fact that the book is not written by a Dutchman, is more an advantage than disadvantage. The British author sometimes looks at the Occupation and War with a different view. ‘De Verschrikking van de nacht’ is a good addition to the
existing, mostly military, literature about the Battle of Arnhem and fits in well with the current trend to spend more attention on the experiences of citizens during WW2. At present only a Dutch edition (351 pages and illustrated with photographs) is available, but we hope that an English translation will be on the UK market in the not too distant future.
(Wybo Boersma)


The Ministory which we publish this time, was sent to us by Arnhem veteran ‘Laurie’ (Laurence) Weeden. In September 1944, Staff Sergeant Weeden was a member of 14 Flight, ‘F’ Squadron of the Glider Pilot Regiment. He landed his glider on 17 September 1944, at Wolfheze and fought during the following days in Oosterbeek. At the end of the battle, he managed to swim across the Rhine and thus escaped being made a prisoner-of-war by the Germans.

12 June 2015. During a visit to the exhibition “The Last of the Tide”, in the Queen’s Gallery in London, Prince Charles speaks to Laurie Weeden, who, as a glider pilot, took part in the landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944 and who fought in the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944.

In 1948, he returned for the first time to Oosterbeek. In the area north west of Hartenstein where he had fought, he found a number of slit trenches, that, in September 1944, he had used with his colleagues. Also other locations where he had been positioned during the Battle of Arnhem, were rediscovered as a result of his searches.

Before Laurie Weeden was deployed at Arnhem, on 6 June 1944, he served as a glider pilot during the airborne landing of the 6th Airborne Division in Normandy.

This year, an exhibition was being held in London dis-playing portraits of a number of D-Day veterans. Lau¬rie’s portrait was painted for this, by the artist Martin Yeoman. On 12 June this year, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visited this exhibition, entitled ‘The Last of the Tide’ in The Queen’s Gallery in London. There they both spoke with Laurie Weeden (see photo).
In spite of his advancing years (he is now in the 90’s) Laurie Weeden is a regular and devoted visitor to the annual Airborne Commemoration in Arnhem and Oosterbeek.
(Robert Voskuil)

MINISTORY 122 In the Perimeter, September 1944

By Laurie Weeden
DAY 1, Sunday, 17th September
The thirty or so gliders in 14 Flight took off from RAF BiakehiLI Farm (near Swindon} commencing at about ten o’clock. Whilst there was a good deal of cloud (I recorded one hour of flying in cloud} and also a great deal of turbulence from the slipstreams of the aircraft ahead of us, we had a virtually unopposed three hour flight with a strong fighter escort. We landed close to the trees at the west-end of landing zone S, north of the railway line at Wolfheze. I believe that the majority of 14 Flight landed at Wolfheze on the Sunday – those that had to abort because of broken towropes etc. all arrived in the second lift on the Monday. There were no German troops in our part of the landing zone, and 14 Flight ultimately moved off to Wolfheze Village, where, with Staff Sergeant Cliff Wedgbury, I was seconded to 2 Wing headquarters, Glider Pilot Regiment. We spent the night in a house on the south side of the railway line – our last undisturbed night for some time to come.
DAY 2, Monday 18th September
Whilst there appeared to be no enemy activity in our immediate area there were already rumours of consi-derable opposition having been encountered between Wolfheze and the bridge at Arnhem. Our engineers had destroyed some German Field guns, which had been left behind in Wolfheze, and I was sent off on a bi¬cycle to Division headquarters with a message confir¬ming destruction of these guns. Division headquarters was believed to be in the Heelsum/Renkum area, and I rode out across the Doorwerthse Heide into the outs¬kirts of Heelsum. No one was about in Heelsum, but about half a mile down the long straight road to Ren- kum I could see troops which I thought were probably Germans. A motor vehicle approached and I hurriedly hid in a hedge until it had passed, and I then cycled back towards Wolfheze. When about half way across the Doorwerthse Heide some fighter planes, which I had incorrectly assumed to be the RAF escort to the second lift, started spraying the area with machine gun fire. As I was under the distinct impression that one of them was aiming at me, I fell off my bicycle into the shelter of a deep ditch by the side of the track, which must have looked rather comical but was nevertheless very effective. On returning to the Wolfheze area I was informed that Division headquarters was at Kabeljauw, where I ultimately delivered the message. The second lift arrived during the afternoon, and towards dusk we departed from Wolfheze, making our way to a large mansion in the Valkenburg area, north west of the Hartenstein Hotel at Oosterbeek.

L.L. Weeden, Staff Sergeant, The Glider Pitot Regiment, 2080390 (Photo: collection Luuk Buist)

DAY 3, Tuesday 19th September
It had been a noisy night in the mansion, probably 4 Para Brigade north of the railway line. My friend Sergeant Peter Gammon, who was in the vicinity with 14 Flight, had his early morning shave rather rudely interrupted when German troops were noticed coming across from the north side of the railway line. That morning No. 2 Wing headquarters moved from the mansion to a house at Hartensteinlaan, close to the present site of the Airborne Monument. Whilst the im¬mediate area was relatively peaceful there was obvious a lively battle in progress to the north of us – presuma¬bly 4 Brigade at the Johanna Hoeve/Lichtenbeek area.
During the afternoon some ME-109’s sprayed the area with machine gun fire – ineffectively, so we thought, but it was probably in this parties raid that three members of 14 Flight were killed, i.e. Staff Sergeant Banksand McLaren, and Sergeant Hebblethwaite. That afternoon 3rd lift and re-supply aircraft arrived, to be met with a concentrated barrage of light anti-aircraft fire from the Germans.
DAY 4, Wednesday 20th September
During the morning I accompanied the No. 2 Wing In-telligence NCO, Staff Sergeant Waldron, to 1st Air Lan-ding Brigade Headquarters in Hoofdlaan, near Hemel- seberg. The entrance to the headquarters building was a grisly spectacle, as a cluster of mortars had recently found their target, killing a number of the occupants, including the Brigade Major. On our way back along Hoofdlaan it seemed that the western defence line of the perimeter was disintegrating, with a substantial number of our troops retreating in rather a disorderly manner towards the Hartenstein Hotel. An officer res¬tored order with a revolver threatening to shoot anyone retreating further. In the event no German troops ap¬peared, but this rather alarming episode occurred just about the time that elements of 4 Para Brigade were arriving in the perimeter, and I have often wondered whether they were mistaken for the enemy by some of our own troops. During this incident I met up with Staff Sergeant Sydney Wilkinson, an Australian who joined the regiment at the same time as me, in May 1942. He died of wounds on 25th September.
That evening I happened to meet Lieutenant Pickwoad in Hartenstein Laan and he told me that I was to return to 14 Flight as he was getting short of men, due to casualties. I spent the night in the first floor room of a house in Nassaulaan and during the night I challenged some movement at the bottom of the garden. At daylight I realised that I had been challenging a tame rabbit in its hutch!
DAY 5 Thursday 21st September
In the morning I moved with a number of other glider pilots from F’ Squadron to trenches on the perimeter north west of the Hartenstein Hotel. We were on the edge of a wood looking out over a large field towards Manege and Sonnenberg. I was sharing a trench with Staff Sergeant Eric Stubley, from whom I acquired a Bren gun, with Staff Sergeants Tim Matthews and Rice in the next trench on our south side. A few metres away to the north were the body of Sergeant Laurie Howes and also, I believe the body of my co pilot Ser¬geant John Graham. Both had been killed the previous day – it was suggested that they may have given their position away when lighting a cigarette. During the morning, a number of Germans, some of whom were shouting in English “cease fire”, advanced across the field in front of us, presenting rather an easy target and sustaining a number of casualties, including two dead immediately in front of us near a re-supply pannier. I spent much of the day cleaning the Bren gun, which seemed unsuited to the sandy soil at the top of the trench. So far as I recollect we had no food and little or no water. We could hear the German NCO shouting commands from across the field as they fired their mortar.
DAY 6 Friday 22nd September
German mortar fire on the increase, some of it bur¬sting high in the trees, to the consternation of the red squirrels. During the afternoon I was surprised to see through my field glasses, a well-camouflaged self- propelled gun or tank in front of a house in the direc¬tion of the Manege, about 250 metres from our posi¬tion. As we had no weapons to deal with this threat, I went to divisional headquarters at the Hartenstein Hotel, where I saw the Commander Royal Artillery. He said that he was not prepared to bring the anti-tank

Part of Oosterbeek, where in September 1944 Staff Sergeant Laurie Weeden took part in the defence of the Perimeter
[Map, dated 1943, collection Robert Voskuil)

guns to the tanks as he had already lost some guns that way. He arranged for a forward observation officer to come with me to our position with view to bringing XXX Corps artillery fire on to the German position. He also arranged for me to have a PIAT gun and six rounds of PIAT ammunition, and whilst still at the Hartenstein I managed to get bucketful of water from a trailer outside the hotel. The shoot by XXX Corps com¬menced with a shell, which exploded very close to our trenches and a second one, which exploded behind the German occupied house at the Manege. The forward observation officer then received a message to the effect that the XXX Corps battery had to move forward and that it could no longer give us supporting fire. He told us that he would arrange a further shoot and that night, after dark, XXX Corp shelled the area, catching houses alight and illuminating the German troops on to whom we were able to bring our own small arms fire to bear. The self-propelled gun or tank at the Manege had not, to our knowledge, fired at us, until we left that position on the Saturday afternoon.

DAY 7 Saturday 23rd September
Intermittent mortar fire culminated in one stick bur¬sting on the sand at the top of our trenches, smashing one of our rifles to pieces. Some time after midday we were informed that we were to be taken out of the line for a rest. Our relief arrived, possibly observed by the Germans, as further mortars greeted their arrival and we left in some haste and made our way to a house, which was probably in Nassaulaan. Here we attempted to sleep- disconcertingly there was not only the noise of the artillery and mortars but also the clatter of Ger¬man armour on the move.
DAY 8 Sunday 24th September
We moved from the house into the trenches which, we were informed, were the second line of defence. A Bren gun was required urgently and as I ran forward round the corner of Paul Krugerstraat into Hartenweg I was somewhat surpri¬sed to be confronted by a German soldier, only about 15 metres away, and advancing towards me. I dropped to the ground, cocked the Bren gun, and squeezed the trigger. The Bren gun jammed…. Fortunately the German turned and ran back to his own lines, being hit in the process by British rifle fire. During the morning I observed, through my field glasses, a German soldier at the top floor window of a house in Bothaweg and I emptied a magazine of my Bren gun in his direction. We were to have trouble from that quarter at dusk that day.
In the afternoon I occupied a trench at the west end of Paul Krugerstraat. At the eastern end of that long street the enemy was obviously attacking the perime¬ter, as we could see their mortar shells rising almost vertically and then falling on the British positions (probably 156 Para Battalion). Groups of German troops were also running across Paul Krugerstraat but, at that range, we had some difficulty in hitting them with any accuracy with our small arms fire. At one stage – I think it was on that Sunday afternoon – a German self-propelled gun was visible just to the north of us, but I believe it was either disabled or otherwise persuaded to leave by one of our 6-pounder anti-tank guns. Approximately 15 glider pilots were holding this position at the end of Paul Krugerstraat on the northern extremity of the perimeter.
At dusk we were ordered to withdraw about 50 metres into houses in Nassaulaan, which involved running across a patch of ground, believed to be covered by enemy machine gun fire. Sergeant Greenhill (of E Squadron) offered to help me with my Bren gun am-munition and we ran across this patch of ground toge-ther. When I reached the cover of a house I looked back and saw that Sergeant Greenhill had been hit, probably in the head, and that his steel helmet had been knocked off. We could not get out to him in daylight as an enemy machine gun in a house in Bothaweg was now firing tracer bullets directly across the green. Staff Sergeant Briggs of E Squadron, who was with us, told us that Sergeant Greenhill was his co-pilot. About ten minutes later I went to see the padre of 2 Wing Glider Pilot Regiment, who was supervising stretcher bearing, and informed him of the incident. About three months Later I happened to see Staff Sergeant Anderson of E Squadron. He told me that he went out after dark that night to fetch Sergeant Greenhill in, but by that time the enemy was only about 20 metres from where he lay, so nothing could be done. Sergeant Greenhill is buried in the Oosterbeek cemetery.

Day 6, “German mortar fire on the increase, some of it bursting high in the trees, to the consternation of the red squirrels.”

DAY 9 Monday 25th September
Apart from a brief visit to 2 Wing headquarters during the afternoon, I remained in the house in Nassaulaan throughout that day and despite the ever closer proximity of the enemy, it is my recollection that it seemed remarkably quiet in our sector. I had acquired a new No 2 on my Brengun – Nobby Smith who, so far as I can remember was from the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. There was an unexploded 88mm shell just outside the front door of the house. During the afternoon one person from each house was summoned to 2 Wing headquarters and we were informed that we would be withdrawing across the Rhine that night. In the wood near the junction of Paul Krugerstraat and Hartenweg a German machine gun had been positioned, and as we were about to assemble for the withdrawal, Lieutenant Pickwoad instructed me to occupy a trench nearby and to keep the machine gun covered with my Brengun.
At 21.00 hours, as the British troops assembled for the withdrawal on the green where the Airborne Monu¬ment now stands, the Germans started to mortar the area, and there were a number of casualties. Those who had not been killed or injured by the mortars made a hurried departure. I wonder whether Nobby and I, still in our trench covering the Spandau, were now the northernmost operational troops of the Allied armies in North West Europe. After about ten minutes we made our way southwards across the green and through the woods between Hoofdlaan and Borsellen- weg meeting on the way a lone British soldier who then accompanied us.

Of the 64 officers and NCO’s who had started on the operation, there had been 31 casualties

When we arrived at the river there was no sign of any British troops, or of any boats, and although our new acquaintance had some doubts about his swimming capabilities, we nevertheless decided to swim across. As I thought that we might Land in enemy territory on the south side of the river, we swam with our boots looped around our necks and we either wore our airborne smocks or looped them around our waists. When we were about halfway across, our new acquaintance said that he could go no further, so we turned about and swam back to the north bank with him. He said that he would try to find a boat and Nobby and I then set out again for the south side, having discarded our boots and smocks. On the way across a mortar landed on the water close to us, sending out a phosphorescent-like wave. Having arrived on the south side of the river we climbed the steep bank and cautiously made our way along the road in a westerly direction. Down on the south side of the road was a small building occupied by Canadian medical troops who sent us on to Driel in their ambulance. After a short wait in the school at Driel we were driven in a DUKW to Nijmegen. The next day, whilst in Nijme¬gen, I met the lone soldier who had accompanied us on our first and abortive swim across the Rhine. He had, in fact, found a boat, am had crossed safely to the south side.
14 Flight ultimately arrived back at RAF Blakehill Farm on Friday 29th September. Of the 64 officers and NCOs who had started on the operation, there had been 31 casualties, including 11 killed and 20 wounded and/or taken prisoner.


Thursday 1 October until Sunday 4 October: Battlefield tour ‘Battle of the Ardennes’.
4 Days bus tour to the Ardennes. Actions of the 101 and the 82 US Airborne divisions and the Kampfgruppe Peiper during the Battle of the Ardennes, December 1944.
Saturday 14 November: Lecture
Location: Concerthall, Oosterbeek.
Details will be announced on the website of the SFAM.

UK Weekend Oosterbeek 2015. Group picture taken during the battlefield tour on 27 June. (Photo: via Niall Cherry)


On September 17th, 1945, the unveiling took place of the Airborne Monument in Arnhem.
This memorial consists of part of a broken pillar from the Palace of Justice, which stood on the Market Square in Arnhem. This building
was completely destroyed in September 1944. The badly damaged
Walburgis Church is visible in the background.
(Photo: Imperial War Museum, London BU 10523)

The Airborne Magazine is a publication of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum Oosterbeek (SFAM) and appears three times per year. The objective is to promote the Airborne Museum, the SFAM and the history of the Battle of Arnhem.

Editors:Drs. Robert P.G.A. Voskuil, Wybo Boersma MBE Marieke Martens, Curator of the Airborne Museum
Archiving and distribution of back numbers of the magazine: Wybo Boersma, Ede,
Translation:Peter Burton, London, UK
Design:Michal Kuscielek Artefakt Design, Nuenen
Print:Wedding Proson, Harderwijk
E-mail address SFAM: Telephone: 0318 639633
Postal address: SFAM, Ivar Goedings, P.O. Box. 8047, 6710 AA, Ede, The Netherlands
Representative in the UK: Niall Cherry.


Download the magazine in pdf format

3.-4. Wim Duyts leaves the Management of the Airborne Museum Foundation- Paul Tirion
4. News from Niall- Niall Cherry
4.-5. Tree for Sir James Cleminson, Part 2- Niall Cherry
5. The Weekend of the War Book’
5. Saturday 30 May 2015 -Experience Tour· The Battle of Arnhem from the German perspective
6. ‘Iconic Images’: the theme for Sunday 31 May- Marieke Helsen
7. New photographic books- Wybo Boersma
7.-8. Tanno Pieterse passed away- Robert Voskuil
8. Saturday 4 July 2015: Battlefield Tour to the Albert Canal and Fort Eben-Emael in Belgium
9. Parts of a Eureka beacon bought by the SFAM and donated to the Airborne Museum
9. Speakers invited
10. Who can design a logo for the SFAM?
10. Book about the ‘Denison Smock’- Wybo Boersma
11. Exhibition -‘Van Huis en Haard -Airborne Memo­ ries”, extended due to its success- Tessa Jansen
11.-14. Ministory 121 – The Royal Air Force ‘Air Liaison Group’ at Arnhem- Wybo Boersma
15. Program of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum, 2015.

On 21 September 2011, 1n the Airborne Museum, Wim Duyts received the medal set from Mr Owen. veteran of the Battle of Arnhem


After nearly 45 years, on 30 January 2015, Wim Duyts retired from the Management of the Airborne Museum Foundation. Wim’s career at the Museum began on 10 November 1969, when he was elected as a member of the then called “Foundation for Cultural History in the Renkum Council area” with the sub title “Airborne Museum”. The Museum was then still based in the Doorwerth Castle. During his daytime life, Wim was an officer with the Royal Dutch Air Force, on the Deelen air base, and later in Nijmegen.

On 13 December 1977, Wim transferred to the newly formed “Airborne Museum Foundation”. Shortly before then, the Hotel-Restaurant Hartenstein in Oosterbeek, came to be empty and the Village Council had ap­ proved the plan to rehouse the Airborne Museum into the Hartenstein building. For Wim Duyts, but also for the management members, Wybo Boersma and Aad Groeneweg, a very busy time opened, because the big question was, “how do you renovate a neglected buil­ ding and fit it out as the Airborne Museum?” For the restoration and fitting out of the building, only 200,000 guilders, about €90,000, was available. This meant that much of the work had to be performed free of charge and thus much hard work had to be performed by a team of volunteers. Wybo Boersma laid out an instal­ lation plan and he worked on this, in close co-operation with the Renkum Council and the Dutch Army Mu­ seum. I think the whole period can be spoken about with great respect to all those involved. An enthusiastic group of people then worked amazingly hard for three months to produce an impressive museum.

On 11 May 1978, the Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’ was officially opened by Major-General Roy Urquhart. In the Jubilee year 1984, so many sets of medals from veterans were presented to the Museum, that it was decided therefore to create a suitable display.Wim Duyts took on this task and until todayWim has, as the specialist in this area,  maintained this special ex­ hibition. That he has done with much knowledge of the subjects, but also very carefully, because all medals have been exactly displayed in a correct and attractive way. The · Hall of Fame· in the Museum, has also become ·a place of honour· for Wim.

An enthusiastic group of people worked extremely hard for three months to produce an impres­ sive Museum.

Wim also worked on the book ‘The Harvest of 10 years· (‘De Oogst van Tien Jaar’l. wherein a large number of accounts appear, written by veterans of the Battle of Arnhem. These stories were received in the first 10 years that the Museum was located in Hartenstein.
Also for several years, Wim attended the management meetings of the SFAM, as representative of the Airborne Museum Foundation.Wim had many contacts with veterans, as well as the BritishParachute Regiment, especially with the 10thParachute Battalion. He was also responsible for the contacts with the Royal Fa­mily, and he did that in an excellent manner.With the passing of the years,Wim had performed all formal functions in the manage­ ment of the Airborne Museum Foundation. That made him a perfect ‘all­ round’ member.

But above all,Wim was a precise secretary’ He was always closely involved with new developments within the Museum, also when in 2008-2009, the Museum underwent a substantial innovation. Throughout his 45 years long service,Wim was someone who the ma­nagement could rely on for information and advice about all matters, having been involved in the long history of the Airborne Museum. The Foundation management will miss that support enormously. Wim, we thank you earnestly for all the work you have done over many years!

[Paul Tirion – Treasurer – Airborne Museum Foundation).


The 2015 membership cards were sent out by me to members who had paid for 2015 in early March and hope­ fully have arrived. If you think you have paid for 2015 and have not received it yet please contact me at my normal address. Plans for the June 2015 tour are well advanced and I look forward to meeting old and new friends on the ground then. The time since last September has seen a lot of Arnhem veteran friends sadly pass away no­ tably HaroldPadfield, Tony Hibbert and Ken Fleet. A memorial service was held in Aldershot for Tony Hibbert in February 2015.


Following on from the article in the previous Airborne Magazine about the Sir James Cleminson tree, un­ veiled in September 2014, 200 copies of a booklet on his life were produced by the Arnhem 1944 Fellowship, which were given away to members who attended the unveiling. A few details on the life of Sir James which may be of interest prior to his Arnhem adventures: James Arnold Stacey Cleminson was born on Au- gust 31 1921 in Hull, where his father, Arnold, was chairman of Reckitt & Co, a starch manufacturer which merged in 1938 with J&J Colman of Norwich, best known for its mustard. His mother, Dr. Florence Stacey-Cleminson, was a pioneering physician at Hull’s Victoria Children’s Hospital. James was educated at Rugby, and according to the 1939 Hart’s Army List he is shown as a 2nd Lieutenant on the Royal Artillery Territorial Army, Supplemen­ tary Reserve list with dates of 27th May 1939 and 24th August 1939.We believe the first date is his ·seniority’ date and the second the date of his appointment. From there the trail goes cold until May 1941 when he ap­ pears as commissioned into the Cheshire Regiment with an Emergency Commission date of 31st May 1941 and his rank given as W/S Lieutenant War Substan­tive and he is shown as remaining with this Regiment until October 1942.

The 3rdParachute Battalion war diary shows him being posted in from the 70th Battalion King·s Royal Rifle Corps on 13th July 1942. This unit was a ‘young sol­ diers· battalion and had been on home defence duties since it was formed after the outbreak of the war. Inte­ restingly this unit’s war diary shows him on 22nd June 1942 as being posted to XI Corps Defence Company as a 2nd Lieutenant, with Cheshire Regiment shown in brackets afterwards. In any case it seems the air­ borne world was starting to worm ifs way into the 70th KRRC as war diary entries indicate – 11th April 1942 volunteers [125] for Airborne Division seen by Special Interview Board, 51 were eventually accepted.
Was Sir James one of these? Then in October 1942 the Battalion was paraded and informed that it was to be disbanded. The War Diary records, “Major Luard of the Paratroop Regiment called for volunteers. About 80 OR’s responded to this and were immediately exa­ mined. TheParatroop MO rejected less than 5%.”
We assume that Sir James went fairly quickly on a pa­ rachute course at Ringway, most likely in August 1942. Unfortunately there is no trace of him going through Ringway in the records, with records sadly missing for two courses during this month.
There is an entry in 3rdParachute Battalion War Diary for 18th December 1942, 1800 hoursPatrol under command Lieutenant JAS Cleminson sent forward to contact Lieutenant FWM Sharman MC”. This is the last entry of Sir James for 1942 and it is known that he was taken prisoner at about this time and was transferred to aPOW Camp in Italy soon afterwards. He managed to escape from his Italian prisoner of war camp and reached British lines in September 1943, after the capitulation of the Italian Army.

So by the summer of 1944 Sir James was a 23 year old platoon commander with the responsibility for running 5Platoon of B Company of the 3rdParachute Battalion and I think it is relatively well known what happened to him at Arnhem.

Given that a lot of Society members are avid collectors of printed material it can be said I feel that ‘He Inspired His Men with His Offensive Spirit’ may now be placed on a few people’s wish lists I [Niall Cherryl


During the weekend of Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May 2015, the Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’, in collaboration with the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum, will again hold the annual Weekend of the War Book·. On Saturday 30 May, the traditional Book Fair will take place. Around the Museum will stand about 40 bookstalls. The various stallholders offer a choice of second-hand books about all aspects of WW2.

The Book Fair will be open from 10.00am until 3.00pm. Entry is free, but entry to the Museum itself,
will attract normal entry fees. See also: and . For further information: W. Boersma; Tel/Fax: 0318-639633.


If you wish, it will be possible to combine a visit to the Book Fair with a walk, that will take place on Saturday afternoon 30 May and is organised by the SFAM, in conjunction with ‘ Between Dutch and Deutsch·. This walking tour around Oosterbeek, led by our member, Ingrid Maan, will focus on the Battle of Arnhem from the German side. The tour will concentrate on the personal experiences of German military personnel. The tour will begin at 13.30hr at the Airborne Museum entrance. The fee for those taking part, will be€7,50 for members of the SFAM and the ‘Arnhem 1944 Fellowship’. Non members will pay€10,00. These fees include the guided tour after which, a drink in the Schoonoord Restaurant in Oosterbeek, when no doubt further discussions will occur. Booking can be made by money transfer of€7,50 €10,00) to account: IBAN: NL33 INGB 0005 1137 51 in name of Vrienden van het Airbornemuseum, Oosterbeek, under reference ‘ Belevings-tour 30 Mei’. You will only be contacted if the tour is fully booked.


Evacuation ofArnhem, September 1 944. Citizens flee the city Sitting on the verge, is the p regnant Beb Timmerman, she fled with her husband and children (not in the photo) in friendly company with Jan and Emmie Willemsen and their child, who are in the photo.
(Photo Airborne Museum gifted collection 201 5)

From old shoe boxes filled with photos, film rolls and from old yellow stained photo albums, a continuous stream of pictures are offered to all types of museums and archives. Frequently, old and previously unseen pictures app ea r. Some of these images are taken up by the media, such as the 31 photo rolls that recently surfaced in the USA. The photos were taken by a mili­ tary man, who served in Europe in 1 944 and 1 945 . This is unique material. Also, the Airborne Museum re­ ceives such offers of new material on a regular basis. Amongst these are often found valuable pictures about the Battle of Arnhem and of the evacuation that follo­ wed. Exce pt for those close to the family, these photos are not usually known and seen by others. By donating such photos to the Airborne Museum, it becomes pos­ sible to make the photos available to a greater public. Many of these photos are very impressive, due to their com position and the historic moment when they were taken. You could call them ‘iconic images· . But they bring new questions with them. Can newly uncovered photos still be ‘iconic images· 70 years after they were taken?

In September 201 4, two renowned Dutch authors, Ingrid D. Jacobs and Joost Rosendaal, each published their own book of photos. Alongside the many splendid photos both authors add their own personal stories. Both authors will talk about their books on Sunday 31 May 2015 at the Airborne Museum from 1 4. 00hr until 1 6.00hr.

Ingrid D. Jacobs, freelance writer and academic journalist, studied Dutch language and literature and writes about culture and history. She has an impres­ sive collection of works produced under her name.
Last year she published ‘Arnhem 40-45′, a book in which, with both hundreds of photos and text, the story of Arnhem during theWar is told. She chose photos from German, Allied and Dutch photographers and she attempted to show the daily life of a city under oc­ cupation and during theWar.

Joost Rosendaal is, as a university lecturer in politics and cultural hi story, attached to the faculty Language and Literature at the Radboud University in N ijmeg en. In earlier interviews, he made a clear similarity bet­ ween images ofWW2 and more modern images of war and he pointed to the fact that the comme moration of freedom and peace is and remains very im portant.
In his book “The Liberation in pictures, from Neerpelt toWesel 1 944-45’, he illustrates the various aspects of the battles and the liberation of the South East Nether­ lands and the Rhineland area.
Both authors will speak on Sunday afternoon 31 M ay, about their work. They will also be interviewed and will also happily discuss with those attending . The introduction will be performed by Marieke Helsen, the Airborne Museum Curator. Please app ly to attend via – there is no extra charge for the lecture – the normal tariff of charg es can be seen at: .
(Marieke Helsen]


Last year, a variety of books were published that dealt with Operation M arket Garden, in part or whole. As mentioned above, two of these books will be discussed by their authors on Sunday afternoon 31 May, at the Airborne M useum. Ingrid D. Jacobs wrote her book ‘Arnhem 40-45’ , published by W. Books, in collaborati­ on with the Gelders Archive. The book offers photos of Arnhem from the p eriod 1940 until and including 1945. From the large number of photographs that exist at the various archives, the author has m ade a balanced choice. Jacobs has divided the content into nine chap­ ters, from the pre-war Arnhem, until and including the return of the citizens and the start of the rebuilding of the city after the end of the War. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction. The photos are provided with a broad explanatory text. In writing these texts, Jacobs had support from various experts. Even so, a couple of mistakes have occurred, especially in the chapter ‘The Battle of Arnhem· . Horsa gliders (p.56) did not carry light tracked vehicles, they were transported with the Hamilcars. The caption of the photo of a German soldier at the Oude Kraan in Arnhem on Page 66, is incorrect. The soldier is not carrying a map case, but a case for a flare pistol and a bag for the flare rounds. I In a better print of this photo in the book ‘ Kampfraum Arnheim’ can be seen that on the ar mband does not appear ‘ Hohenstaufen· but a skull symbol of the 3° SS Panzerdivision ‘Totenkopf. The photos are all printed matt: possibly a gloss print had produced a clearer image. But otherwise, the book is nicely produced and gives a good picture of the wartime period in Arnhem.

The second book is by Joost Rosendaal and covers the period from September 1944 until May 1945, in the area from Neerpelt to Wesel. For this book as well, it is true that Rosendaal had to choose from the thou­ sands of photos that were taken during this time. The book includes many known but also some less well known photos. The same as with Jacobs, each chapter starts with a brief introduction, sometimes with small maps. The photos by contrast, have shorter captions. These captions howeve r, give more details than those in the Jacobs book. If we look at the same photos in each book, we notice the difference in captions. For exam ple, the caption of the well known photo of the evacuation of civilians from the St Elizabeth’s Gasthuis, is dated by Jacobs on 26 September ( Page 65) and by Rosendaal on 19 September [ Page 79] . The truth is that the photo was taken on 19 September 1944, by the Germ an war photographer Wenzel.

The more you study these photos, the more interesting details you see. The book gives a good overview of the whole period 1944-45 in the area between Neerpelt [the beginning of the Operation M arket Garden) and the German town of Wesel [the end of the Rhine Cros­ sing].

Neither books should be missing from the book-case covering Operation Market Garden.
‘Arnhem 40 -45’ by Ingrid D. Jacobs. ISBN 978 94 625 8038 1, Publisher W. Books, Zwolle, in co-operation with Gelders Archive, 111 pages, illustrated, €24,95. ‘The Liberation in pictures, From Neerpelt to Wesel 1944-45’ (De bevrijding in beeld, Van Neerpelt tot Wesel 1944-45) by Joost Rosendaal, ISBN 978 90 8145 000 3, Publis hed by Uitgave Vantilt/Fragma. N ijmegen 2014 , 255 pages, illustrated €27,50 . [Wybo Boersma)


Sadly, on 10 January 2015, our 87 year old member Tanno Pieterse, from Bennekom passed away. Tanno was well known by everyone who was involved with the annual Airborne commemoration.

As a 16 year old youngster, he experienced the Battle of Arnhem from very close by and that period forever left a deep impact on him. [See Ministory 117- “A bin­ding memory of a time that you never forget”, News­ letter 131 – September 2013) .

In 1969, it was suggested that, after 25 years, the of­ficial commemoration of the Battle of Arnhe m should come to an end, because people expected that the interest from the UK, Poland and the Netherlands would then rapidly disappear. Various local commit­ tees who had organised all the various aspects of the annual pilgrimages were disbanded. But, in the then following year, it appeared that in fact, there was no discussion about a diminished interest. In fact, there arrived more and more visitors from abroad , including very many veterans II It was Tanno Pieterse who felt it as a thorn in his side that there was then no Air ­ borne Committee that could organise everything for these visitors. Thus in 1978, he acted in organising the establishment of the com mittee ‘Lest We Forget’. This committee arranged that there would be lo cal guest families where the veterans, could stay and be helped financially where necessary, including paying their crossing to Holland. Tanno did all this work until the 70th commemoration in 2014. Thereafter, it was agreed that ‘ Lest We Forget’ would be discontinued and that its roles and the arranging of the reception of veterans to be taken over by the ‘Police Sport Club’ in Renkum. For Tanno this was a difficult moment, as he regar­ ded ‘Lest we Forget’ as his life time work. Moreover, Tan no had also been involved with other parts of the commemoration of the Battle of Arnhem. He had been involved with the birth of the ‘Stichting Airborne Herdenkingen· (“Airborne Commemoration Founda­ tion·J and was also involved with the International Youth Conference, that now every year is held shortly before the commemoration weekend.

With the passing of Tanno Pieterse , we have lost an amiable, passionate man, who for a major part of his life , served, as he himself put it : ‘”the soldiers who in 1 944 put their lives on the line for me and for many others·· (Robert Voskuil]

Tanno Pieterse during his speech for the Arnhem Veterans Club on 27 September 201 7. [Photo:]


This year, it is 75 years ago that one of the most spectacular actions of WW2 took place.With the introduction of a new type of military force, na­ mely paratroops and gliders, and a new weapon, the hollow charge, on 10 May 1 940, in just 15 minutes, German forces overran the strongest fort in the world, Fort Eben Emael in Belgium. The German introduction in 1 940 of paratroops and gliders, g ave an example, which led to both England and America, following suit in establishing paratroop units. The efforts of the Allies, resulted four years later, with the deployment of parachute divisions in Normandy and the Netherlands.

The SFAM is organising on Saturday 4 July, in conjunction with the Dutch ‘Documentation Group 40-45’ and ‘ Battlefield Tours Groningen· , a one-off Battlefield tour to the Information Centre ‘The Bridge· at the Albert Canal in B elgium and to the nearby Fort Eben- Emael.
The recently opened information centre gives a picture of the defence in 1 940 of the bridges over the Albert Canal and the role played by the Fort Eben- Emael. The visit to Fort Eben Emael will be led by a Dutch speaking guide.

Cost€50,-, should be transferred to account No: IBAN NL33 I NGB 0005 1 1 37 51 in the name of Vrienden van het Airbornemuseum, Oosterbeek, with description BFT 4 Ju ly. Your payment is also your registration. See the WAM website for further details of the tour.


Shortly befo re the main land ings near Arnhem, 1 86 troops from the 21 51 Independ ent Parachute Company, under command of Major Bernard Alexander (Boy] Wi lson were d rop ped. These ‘ Pathf inders·, had the task to mark the d ropping and landing zones. This, the men did with the help of marking panels, smoke si gnals and Eureka rad io beacons. Through use of Rebecca installations within the ai rcraft bringing the main forces, they were able to locate the correct drop­ ping and landing zones.

The Eureka beacons were equipped with an explosive device and thus, if there was a chance that the enemy could capture the item, it could be blown up. Thus it is very rare to find a complete example of this installa­ tion. There is a story that during the Battle of A rnhem, the Germans captured one Eureka set and that as a result, resupp ly d rops fell into German hands, but this is just untrue. From reports it is clear that, during the fighting, two of the presumed 48 Eureka sets were destroyed and that not one fell into German hands’

Eureka beacon with aenal (Photo: Wybo Boersma collection)

In 2008, the Ai rborne Museum was able to obtain a Eureka Mk 11 beacon set, but it was not a comp lete installation. Recently, the Museum, with financial sup­ port from the S FAM, has managed to obtain a power supp ly unit with e lectrical converter. This now stands in the disp lay cabinet next to the model of a British parachutist. Still missing are the aerial, the main te­lephone, the 24-volt battery and the connecti ng cables, but perhaps in the future these can also be found.

The Eureka beacon in the Airborne Museum. To the left, the supply unit purchased with support from the SFAM (Photo: Roland Boekhorst)


Every year, the SFA M o rganises in November or December, a lecture about a subject connected to the Battle of A rnhem and, during the last 34 years, very many subjects have been offered. On 14 November this year, there is again an afternoon lecture planned .
We know that various members of the SFAM invo lve themselves in vari ous aspects of the Battle of Arnhem. This year, we would like to invite a number of them to giving a sho rt p resentation, about the subject they are most closely involved in. If you would be interested in giving such a short [ 20 mins or longer] p resentation, possibly with the suppo rt of Power Point, then p lease let us know before 1 st July 2015 via:


The Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum, feels a need for a logo. We already use a type of letter heading, which includes an image of the Museum and a glider, but that is less suited for, say, advertisements. The Airborne Museum uses thePegasus emblem in their logo, so we cannot use it again. Which creative soul will desig n something appropriate for us to use?

For the desig ner of the win ning d esig n will be a gift voucher for€25 available, to be used in the Museum shop. You can send desig ns to the SFAM at Vereniging Vrienden van het Airborne Museum,Post Box 8047, 6710 M, Ede, NL or by e-mail to info@vrienden airbornemuseum. nl. Reception of designs will close on 1 st July 2015.


Recently in the UK, a book was published d ealing with the Denison Smock, also popularly kn own as the para smock. It is a specialist book about a well-known uniform item, that, d uringWW2 was worn by British paratroops and also by other units and that is still in use today. Also in various other countries, the Airborne sm ock was worn and has been copied . It shows that the origin of the Denison smock lies with the German ‘Knockensak’, an apparel item that , during WW2 , was used by the German parachutists.

The first British smocks were an exact copy of the German item. But , quickly, the British smock was de­veloped in its own s pecial form. It was a practical piece of clothing that, during the War, was not on ly wor n by paratroops, but also by, amongst others, Commandos and snipers . Also, d uring the Dutch military operations in the former Netherlands East Indies between 1 945 and 1 949 , British smocks were used. Because in a short time, many smocks were n eeded to be supplied, sm ocks had to come from different factories and so­ metimes had a slightly d ifferent finish, in as well as the model, but also the camouflage pattern. Bruce Wilson has studied the collections both in museums and in
private collections and has attempted to bring some order to the total. Nearly all photos are in colour and of a high quality. For those interested in the history of the British Airborne Forces and the uniforms wor n by them, it is an excellent and attractive reference book.
‘ Denison · by Bruce Wilson ISB N 978- 1 -62620- 1 84-2 published by Military ModePublishing 20 13, 203 pages, illustrated with colour pictures, Eng lish text.
Price€45 . In Holland the book is available to buy at the Airborne Museum [ Wybo Boersma]

One of the smocks that does not appear in Wilson s book, is that from MaJ Gen Urquhart, that 1s now displayed ,n the Airborne Museum in Ooster­beek. In this photo, General Urquhart is wearing this smock, which model differs from the standard model. The photo, in which Lance Corporal J Tof1eld salutes General Urquhart, was taken 1n December 1 944, at Fullbeck Hall in Lincolnshire. (Photo: Airborne Museum collection)


The temporary exhibition Van Huis en Haard – Air­ borne Memories· [‘ From House and Home – Airborne Memories’] in the Airborne Museum has been ex­ tended until 20 16. The exhibition, that tells the story of the evacuation from Arnhem and surroundings in September 1 944, received praiseworthy reactions from the public.

Impressive, moving and emotional. Just a few of the reactions from the public after a visit to the exhibition. This largely unknown section of the war history, brings much out of visitors. Children ask their grandparents, how they experienced and coped with their return to a largely damaged or destroyed city. British visitors are astounded and touched by the citizens stories during and after the Battle of Arnhem. More than 86,000 people visited Van Huis en Haard – Airborne Memo­ ries·, since its opening on 25 April 20 1 4. [Tessa Jansen]

Visitors were touched by, what for them was often unknown, stories about the citizens evacuation after the Battle of Arnhem.

MINISTORY 121 The Royal Air Force ‘Air Liaison Group· at Arnhem

By Wybo Boersma

During the Battle of Arnhem, as well as parachutist and air-landing battalions within the British 1 st Airborne Division, other units were attached. Much is known about the larger units such as the Royal Artillery, the Royal Engineers, the Royal Army Medical Corps and many others. With the passage of time, many stu- dies have taken place about almost all of these units. However, there were also many smaller units, about which often much less is known. The reason is that little or nothing about their history has been retained. That was because, often, no ‘After Action· reports were completed. In most written accounts, they are often only sporadically referred to. Many of these units, after the War or even sometimes shortly after the Battle of Arnhem, were wound up and surviving participants can no longer be traced.

One of these less known units is the Royal Air Force Air Liaison Group, comprising the LightWarning Set Units No: 6080 and No. 6341 , two radar units. During the planning, it was thought that, after the landings, the Airborne troops would provide an easy target for the German night bombing force. Therefore, the HQ staff made plans to construct a 1 000 metre runway for Beaufighter night -fighters near Nijmegen. To pro­ vide tactical guidance for these night-fighters, a RAF Ground Controlled Interception [GCI] radar station was needed. It was decided that two mobile radar stati­ ons with 24 RAF personnel, would be carried, divided between four gliders and would land in the Nijmegen area, in the hope that at least one complete radar station would come into being.

As early as 1 941, personnel at the Telecommuni­ cations Research Establishment [T RE] started the development of a mobile radar station, with a range of 50 miles. In March 1 942, radar installations, Light War­ ning Sets, were developed, that could be carried and fit in a 3 ton lorry or a 15cw military vehicle. As a result, about 2000 sets were built in England and America and were used in the Middle- East. North Africa and Normandy. In consultation with the Air Ministry, there were also Light Warning [ LW U] and Ground Control­ ler Interception [ GCI] sets built, that could be carried in gliders. Two LWU and one GCI sets with necessary personnel were attached to 38 Group RAF and moved to the Headquarters of the 1 st Airborne Corps . The per­ sonnel attached consisted of supervisors, technicians and operators. These all came from the RAF. The two units, LWU No: 6080 and LW U No: 6341 were eventu­ ally utilised for Operation Market Garden.

AMES Type 6 Light Warning Set
AMES stands for Air Ministry Experimental Station, the code name for a radar station. Although not exactly known which type of radar unit eventually went to Arn­ hem, the body of opinion is that it was the AM ES Type 6 Light Warning Set. Just one source speaks about the American supply of this set, the AN/PTS-3 but that it unlikely as all the personnel were British. The AMES Type 6 comprised a t ransmitter and a receiver, a Plan Position Indicator [PP!]. a Ya gi [TV type) aerial and a tent, in which the insta llation cou ld be constructed. In addition, thought was given to the use of a diesel generator and the necessa ry maintenance kits and spare parts. The whole thing was packed in 16 large us and heavy crates. The range was 50 miles distance and a height of 3000 met res. A number of these units have been p reserved. The Air Force Museu m in Linkoping, Sweden, has more or less three comp lete radar sets. Of these, one has been very recently rebui lt. However, these radar sets were built under licence in America in 1944 and on the inner wall a re marked Signals· .
During the War, eleven units were swapped for a V1 roc ket, that had accidently landed in Sweden. The
Airborne Museu m in Oosterbeek has one AM ES Type 6 unit on loan. This one is not complete. A number of missing parts were supplied by the Ai r Force Museum in Linkoping.

The use at Arnhem
During discussions on 15 September 1 944, at Bentley Pri ory [the headqua rters of RAF Fighter Command in NW London) those present were of the opinion that no radar unit was necessary for Operation Market Gar­ den. This was a major disappoi ntment to the mi lita ry personnel of the LW units. The fo llowi ng day, the deci­ sion was reversed by General B rown ing, possib ly un­ der the influence of Wing Commander John Lawrence Brown MBE. From 1 941 , B rown was closely involved in the use of Ground Controlled Interception [GCI). He took part in the landings in North Africa, as well as at Sici ly, Ita ly and Normandy, in the post of Commanding Officer and Senior Controller of mobile GCI stations. Brown was Commanding Officer of the radar units that would land at Arnhem.

Staff Sergeant Edwards, a glider pi lot from A Squa­ d ron, the Glider Pi lot Regiment, recalls that, on 15 September he was instructed that his original o rder to depa rt with a jeep and a 75mm Howitzer on 17 Septem ber 1 944, had n ow been changed and that he would now take off on 1 8th September with a radar un it. After the fi rst lift had left for Arn hem on the 1 7th September, the crews of four g lide rs were called to at­ tend a meeting in the briefing room at Harwell. There they heard the announcement that a landing strip was to be la id east of N ijmegen for Beaufighter night fighters. For this function, the establishment of a radar function was necessary. The location near N ijmegen was later that day altered to the Landing Zone “X” at Wolfheze. On the thi rd day of Ope ration Market, the 878th [US) Aviation Engineering Battalion, with 80 Ame­ rican and 10 British gliders, was to land at Wolfheze,
to lay out an ai rstri p. The British engineers had taken a 82 bu lldozer to help c lea r the earlier landed gliders from the site. There were to be two Light Warning

Personnel of a Light Warning Urnt (Sdn Ldr F Hayward archive)

Units flown in, the parts of which were each to be divi­ded between two gliders. Troops were to be given extra radios to enable them to contact all concerned, in the event that the gliders could not land where intended. Because the radar role was a static one, no transpo rt faci lities were included. How men were supposed to move the 16 la rge c rates with an extra generato r. fuel, wa ter, tents and radios was a mystery. What was also unknown, was how the remaining material and equipment for the Beaufighters was to reach the Netherlands? One of the glider pilots, John Kennedy, commented that to him the whole plan seemed to have been “put together in a hurry” .

Each LWU came under command of a Squad ron Lea­der, with a Flight Controller, an NCO and a number of other ranks. The whole unit was commanded by Wing Com mander Brown. There wou ld also be two Ame­ rican officers, from No.306 Fighter Control Squad ron in France, who would go as GCI Controlle rs, but at the last moment, that was d ropped. Even so, one did join the task, as a voluntee r. There is an After Action Report known, which came from him. The RAF t roops had not had mi lita ry training. On 17 September 1 944, they fi rst went for an hour to the firing ra nge, to receive a bit of training in the use of weapons and hand g renades. Each fi red off a full Stengun magazine and a rifle and tossed both a hand-grenade and a smoke g renade. The weapons we re loaned from the arms store, but were not returned the re! Two RAF troops were armed with a Stengun, the others with a Lee-Enfield rifle.

The Landing
Wing Commander B rown flew with the fi rst lift to Groesbeek with Browning’s Headquarters. He was killed on the landing zone, when that was fired on by some Me 1 09 aircraft. Brown lies buried in the military cemetery in Groesbeek.

LightWarning Unit No.6080 comprised 9 men, under command of Squadron Leader Coxon. They were car­ ried in two Horsas. American Lieutenant Davis flew with them.

Horsa Chalk Number 5000, was towed by a Stirling which was hit by AA fire. It crashed at Opheusden. The whole crew died. As a result, its glider made an emergency landing at Hemmen in the Betuwe. After the landing, they made the apparatus unusable. In that same area, two other gliders landed, carrying South Staffords and some jeeps, motorbikes and one 6-pounder gun. There they joined forces with each other. With help from local residents, they moved to the Oriel ferry. The ferryman was not sure if he should charge them for the crossing ‘ On reaching the nor­ thern side of the Rhine, the RAF group tried to make contact with the British pt Airborne Division HO. On reaching the railway bridge at Oosterbeek- Laag , they came under enemy fire, took cover and the group lost contact with each other. The next day, the American Lieutenant Davis, took them to the Divisional HQ in

Glider Chalk number 5000, af/er the emergency landing at Hemmen, in the Beluwe region. (Photo collection – Zwijnen-Reijmen)

Hotel Hartenstein.
The second Horsa, Chalk Number 5002, landed on the landing zone undamaged, but was then shot at by Germans and caught fire. Thus this equipment set was also lost.

Light Warning Unit No: 6341 , consisting of 14 men, under command of Squadron Leader Wheeler was also split between two Horsas. The first Horsa, Chalk Number 5003, on approaching the Landing Zone was shot at and the tail was detached, after which the glider crashed at Doodewaard. The whole crew and passengers were killed. They received a fi eld grave beside the remains of the glider. The last Horsa, Chalk Number 5001 , landed safely on the landing zone but , as only one of the two gliders arrived, carrying only one transmitter, a large aerial, one diesel generator, diesel, one radio, spare parts and water, the apparatus was incomplete. The troops destroyed the transmitter with axes and everything relating to it and blew the rest up. The two gliders that did arrive safely in Arnhem had the same load so that it was impossible to construct a complete radar post. So ended the intended use of the Light Warning Units at Arnhem in a total failure.

The fortunes of the personnel
What happened to the RAF personnel during the passage of the fighting? Because as RAF personnel they had not received any infant ry training, as far as is known, they were not further deployed. Some detai ls about their experiences during the Battle of Arn hem, a re known by reports and letters.
Squadron Leader Richardson was seen in the area a round Hartenstein with some RAF personnel. He was dressed in milita ry uniform with a flat cap and thus not regarded as equipped for a fight.
Airman Eric Samwells possibly se rved as a stretcher bearer. He was killed on 22 September 1 944. His field grave was at a field at the Hoge Oorsprong, to the west of Van Borsselenweg in Oosterbeek.
Airma n Austin wrote a report of his experiences. After he was in an eme rgency landing at Hemmen, he cros­ sed the Rhine at the Driel ferry. In the a rea of the rai l­ way bridge at Oosterbeek- Laag, he met the American Lieutenant Davis. Davis brought Austin and a number of other RAF personnel to Park Hartenstein on 19th Septembe r, gave them a few shovels and left them to dig some foxholes. This was appa rently something new for the RAF men, but according to Davis, that was their life saving. Austin made a foxhole with Eden, a RAF radio tech nician. Eden was later asked to help an America n Air Support Team with repai rs to their radios. During a mortar attack, Eden was killed. On 20 Septembe r, Austin was wounded by mortar fi re. Pro­ bab ly he was taken to the Tafelbe rg. Eventua lly he was t ransferred to the Germans and thus ended as a POW. The re he stayed until April 1 945 in Stalag X1 B at Fal­ lingbostel. There, according to his sto ry, he was freed by the Russians. That is not true as the camp was in fact liberated by the British. He then flew by Dakota to Brussels and subsequent ly back to England.

Corporal Eric A .Samwells, RAF, 21 years old. Died on 22 September 1944. Buried at the Arnhem- Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Grave No: 4. C. 20 (Photo from Samwells family)

Of the 24 RAF military personnel, 1 0 died, of whom one at Nijmegen [Wing Commander B rown ), 1 1 were made POW and 3 escaped. The escapees were all officers. Of one man, it is unknown if he was taken prisoner and then died? Va rious sources repo rt that the unit consi­ sted of 25 RAF personnel, in which case 4 men would have escaped from Arnhem.

For this a rticle, amongst others, reference has been made from the following sources:
RAF radar in Arnhem, 1 8th-25th September 1 944 by Sdn Ldr Frank Haywa rd – 21 Ma rch 1 944 [not published]

Tugs and Gliders to Arn hem by Arie-Jan va n Hees [Private pu blication]
Report on Arnhem Operation 1 8-25 September 1 944 by Lt Bruce Davis 1 st Lt USAF

Report by Staff Se rgeant Edams, Glider Pi lot
Report by Staff Sergeant John Kennedy, G lider Pi lot

Report by Corporal Albert Austin RAF.

Pegasus, April 1 980, Magazine of the Parachute Regiment I EE. Proceedi ngs, Vo l 1 32 Pt. A No. 6 October 1 985.

Signals Vol.4, Radar in Raid Reporting, Air Ministry 1 950

Ministory No: 44 with N ewsletter No.56 N ovember 1 994 from the SFAM by L. Buist.jr Air Force Museum Archive in Linkoping, Sweden


13 – 17 May: Battlefield Tour Normandy. Excursion by coach to the battlefields in Normandy. Tourguides will be from the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and from the SFAM.
30 and 31 May: Weekend of the Wa r Book’ around and in the Airborne Museum Hartenstein in Oosterbeek.
Saturday 30 May: Sale of second-hand books, about WW2. Location: The grounds of the Airborne Museum, Hartenstein. Opening: 09.30h r.
Saturday afternoon 30 May: Walking tour in Oosterbeek: ‘The Battle of Arn hem from the German side’. The guide will be Ingrid Maan. Start at
13 .30 hrs, at the Airborne Museum
Sunday afternoon 31 May: Lectures by Ingrid D. Jacobs and Joost Roosendaal in the Museum around the theme ·war book’.
26 – 28 June: ‘UK Weekend’ in Oosterbeek for UK members of the S FAM.
Saturday 4 July: Battlefield Tourabout the German Ai rborne attack on 10 May 1 940 on the Fortress Eben Emael in Belgium.
Saturday 12 September: Battlefield Tour’Traces of the Battle of Arnhem·. Day- tour by bus over the battlefields at Arnhem/Oosterbeek and surroundings.
1- 4 October: Battlefield tour ‘Battle of the Ardennes· . Four days bus excursion. Actions of the 10 1 and 82 US Airborne Divisions and the Battlegroup Peiper during the Battle of the Ardennes.

Saturday 14 November: Lecture in the Concert Hall in Oosterbeek­ Laag – Subject content wi ll be announced later.
Further details and supplements to the p rog ram will be released as soon as possible via the website or via the Airborne Magazine.

On 25 September 1 945, Major-General R. E. U rquha rt la id the fi rst stone for the Airborne Monument, opposite · Hotel Hartenstein in Oosterbeek
(Photo : B.H. Langevoort]

The Airborne Magazine is a publication of the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum Oosterbeek [SFAM) and appears three times per year. The objective is to promote the Airborne Museum, the SFAM and the history of the Battle of Arnhem.

Editors: Drs. Robert P.G.A. Voskuil, Wybo Boersma MBE,Tessa Janssen [Marketing @ Sales Airborne Museum), Marieke Helsen, Curator of the Airborne Museum.
Archiving and distribution of back numbers of the magazine: Wybo Boersma, Ede,
Translation: Peter Burton, London, UK
Design: Michal Kuscielek Artefakt Design, Nuenen
Print: Wedding Proson, Harderwijk
E-mail address SFAM:, Telephone: 0318 639633
Postal address: SFAM, lvar Goedings,
P.O. Box. 8047, 6710 AA, Ede, The Netherlands


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