TRIBUTE TO THE AMERICAN COMBAT GLIDER PILOTS OF WORLD WAR II
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World War II Combat Glider Pilots Virtual Memorial - PAGE 2
50TH ANNIVERSARY CEREMONIES COMMEMORATING OPERATION MARKET GARDEN
In September 1994, the Dutch and Belgian Governments, and the many communities involved in the fighting in September 1944, held 50th anniversary ceremonies to remember Operation Market Garden, the Allied airborne invasion of the Low Countries that marked the beginning of their liberation from five years of Nazi occupation. Many of the Allied veterans - Glider Pilots from America and the UK, surviving American, British and Polish paratroopers, and soldiers of the British Thirtieth Corps - returned to remember the operation and pay their respects to comrades who died in combat and to those who are no longer among us.
This page displays photos and materials from some of the ceremonies and events the grateful liberated people of The Netherlands and Belgium staged to honor their liberators. Many new memorials were dedicated and each day of the week-long remembrance featured ceremonies at these locations. We had the pleasure of accompanying members of the National WWII Glider Pilots Association on their several day tour of The Netherlands from our hotel headquarters in Groesbeek, near Nijmegen. The outpouring of hospitality and gratitude by the people of The Netherlands was overwhelming. Dutch friends tell us that this period of their history is taught in detail to all school children. Everywhere we went, when the people became aware of the presence of the WWII Glider Pilots, they came out, sometimes by the thousands, to welcome the returning veterans.
General Gavin Monument "Mission Accomplished" Groesbeek, Holland.
Unveiling of General Gavin Monument by Mrs. Gavin, daughters and grandchild, June 12, 1994.
General Gavin Monument, Groesbeek, Holland, September 1994
George Brennan, National Representative of the National WWII Glider Pilots Association, Toon van Meurs, Dutch Resistance Fighter (who helped hide the aircrews and Glider Infantry of two gliders that came down in the area), and Lt. Colonel Nick Nicholls, Chairman of the British Glider Pilot Regimental Association, unveil the Silent Wings Memorial, Den Dungen, The Netherlands - September 1994. Photo courtesy of Jos Korsten.
Silent Wings Memorial Den Dungen, The Netherlands
Base of Silent Wings Memorial with inscription. Designed by Jos Korsten and erected by a committee of the citizens of the region chaired by Mr. Korsten.
The Drop Zone Memorial, Holland.
101st Airborne Memorial, Holland.
82nd Airborne Memorial, "Klein Amerika," (Little America) Groesbeek, Holland, the 82nd's drop zone on the outskirts of Nijmegen
Memorial to the Polish First Independent Parachute Brigade, Arnhem. This brigade, under the command of Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski, was composed of Poles who had escaped Nazi occupation of Poland.
Chelbolton Parish Council Hall, England. RAF Chelbolton was one of the fields from which Operation Market Garden was staged. Dedicated June 12, 1994.
President of 9th Air Force Association and British Army Airborne Glider Pilot Representative at the dedication of the memorial stone and plaque at RAF Chelbolton.
British Airborne Memorial near General Browning's headquarters
From a memorial at St. Lidwina Hospital, Schijndel, Holland, a Catholic Maternity hospital where the brave nuns and staff hid and cared for wounded Allied airborne personnel at great risk to their own lives. These brave and selfless people shared all they had with the Allied wounded, including their meager food and medical supplies, and literally, their own blood. Nuns with the same blood type as the wounded routinely provided direct transfusions, a particularly difficult sacrifice when food and adequate nourishment had been insufficient for years.
Memorial to the Mother Superior and staff of St. Lidwina Hospital commemorating their brave work in the Dutch Resistance in hiding and caring for downed and wounded Allied airmen and soldiers. This unique and fitting memorial depicts a mother hen defending her chicks from a predatory hawk. It was unveiled by members of the National WWII Glider Pilots Association in 1984.
Interior of the Chapel at St. Lidwina Hospital, Schijndel, The Netherlands.
Members of the National WWII Glider Pilots Association in formation during Market Garden 50th anniversary ceremonies held in Nijmegen, Holland.
82nd Airborne Troopers participating in the memorial ceremonies, Nijmegen, Holland, 1994.
82nd Airborne Choir in WWII uniforms singing at ceremonies at U.S. Military Cemetery, Margraten, The Netherlands.
Taps at U.S. Military Cemetery Margraten, The Netherlands.
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