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MarketGarden and Jan Hilgers show

Market-Garden memorial
On the morning of Saturday September 18, 2010 the 66th commemoration took place for the Market-Garden operation near Arnhem (the Netherlands). In september 1944 the allied forces started an attack on the bridges in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands, to capture the bridges of Son (near Eindhoven), Nijmegen and Arnhem. With these bridges in allied hands, a dash into the industrial heart of Germany (the Ruhrgebiet) and Berlin might have end the 2nd World War before Christmas 1944. American ground forces and paratroopers were able to capture the bridges of Son and Nijmegen. But the British paratroopers faced very heavy and unexpected opposition from German Forces around Arnhem. After a fierce battle the Germans kept control of the Arnhem bridge, which was remembered by the 1970’s movie ‘A bridge too far’. Nearly all British and Polish paratroopers landed in 1944 at the ‘Ginkelse Hei’ (Ginkel Heath) between the cities of Ede and Arnhem. Every year a commemoration takes place whereby paratroopers are dropped from various military aircraft at the Ginkelse Hei . In 2010 the 66th memorial jump took place with some 700 paratroopers from various countries (the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the Unites States of America, Poland, Germany and even a few paratroopers from Finland. The aircraft involved (1 RAF C-130 Hercules, 1 RAF C-47 Dakota, 3 USAFE C-130 Hercules and 1 German CF-160 Transall) , were based at Eindhoven airbase (ICAO code EHEH) in the south of the Netherlands. In 2 waves of some 350 paratroopers, the aircraft overflew the Ginkelse Hei multiple times, unloading 8-10 paratroopers (called a ‘stick’) per pass. After the first wave a memorial was held at the Market-Garden memorial statue, whereby some veterans from 1944 were still present, despite their old age in the 80’s and 90’s. Several wreath's were laid down by military and civil representatives.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
H.P.A.M van Eupen
© Sentry Aviation News

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Jan Hilgers airshow
After the Market-Garden commemorations in the morning, the Ginkelse Hei was ocupied by the ‘Jan Hilgers airshow’ in the afternoon. Because 100 years ago on July 29, 1910 Jan Hilgers was the first dutch pilot in a motorized aircraft (Blériot XI) to fly in the Netherlands very close to the Ginkelse Hei. Jan Hilgers wasn’t a very well trained pilot on motorized aircraft; because he couldn’t make turns, he only flew straight forward, landed his plane, turned the direction of the aircraft by hand on the ground and flew another hop straight forward. But this event was enough to become the first pilot of a motorized flight in the Netherlands. At the location near Ede, a preliminary airfield (‘vliegkamp Ede’) was established for civil aviation. As a memorial for this event of 100 years ago, an airshow was organized, using a small grass-strip for the light aircraft. Unfortunately heavy rain disabled the grass-strip and all light aircraft deployed from the nearby Teuge airfield. The airshow was a flashback in aviation history, which started with a Boeing Stearman biplane, followed by a range of other ‘oldies’ like the Piper SuperCub, Fokker S-11, Supermarine Spitfire, the North American P-51 Mustang and the bomber Boeing B-17 ‘Sally B’. The former Eastern-Block was represented by the Antonov-2 transport plane, the Yak-3U fighter and various Yak-52 aircraft in formation. More recent aircraft (or less old) were represented by the Saab Safir, Pitts Special, Cap10 and the Fouga Magister, while recent aircraft as theL-39 Albatros of the French Breitling team and the AH-664 Apache were the near the end of the airshow. The end of the show was performed by Cristian Moullec flying his microlight accompanied by s series geese. These geese are on the brink of extinction due to severe hunting in their migrating areas and Christian’s aim is to guide these geese to safer places to spend the winters. Late in the evening, when the strong winds relaxed, a Bleriot XI replica was flown at the Ginkelse Heide, finishing the airshow.
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