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MarketGarden 2012

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; the attack was named 'Operation Market-Garden'. 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.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
© Sentry Aviation News

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On the morning of Saturday September 22, 2012 the 68th commemoration took place for the Market-Garden operation near Arnhem (the Netherlands). That day, a fleet of transport aircraft flew various missions from the Eindhoven airbase in the Netherlands (ICAO: EHEH); dropping paratroopers from various countries. The movie 'A bridge too far' was played at big TV screens for the waiting paratroopers.
The following aircraft participated in the memorial flights:
  • 1 Lockheed C-130J from the 143th Air Wing of the Rhode Island Air National Guard
  • 2 German Air Force C160 Transall's,
  • 1 Royal Air Force C-130
  • 1 Royal Air Force (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) C-47
  • 1 Belgian Air Force C-130
  • 1 Polish Air Force C-130
  • 1 civil C-47

These aircraft flew 3 missions to drop over 800 paratroopers over the 1944 dropzone at the Ginkelse Hei. The paratroopers were from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Poland, Canada, Italy, Germany, and the United States of America.

Special thanks to PAO Eindhoven, maj Van der Dries.
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