The winter of 1944 was harsh. The southern part of the Netherlands had been liberated. The Dutch government in exile launched a railway strike and the Germans retaliated by stopping food transports to Western Holland. In april 1945 many children and elderly where close to starving or had already died of hunger.
Negotiations for a truce to relieve the starving Dutch had started between the allies and Germans in the winter after pressure on Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt by Queen Wilhelmina. The RAF took a chance and started dropping food on april 29,sx days before a truce with the Germans had been officially signed.
The USAAF dropped 10 in 1 crates at low altitude from their B-17 flying fortresses. For many crewmembers these there the most rewarding missions. Read the personal recollections of several of these crewmembers here.
At the exact spot of one of the dropzones overlooking the freeway at Terbregge is the Manna monument located. It symbolizes the belly of an allied bomber filled with food parcels. The monument has been the central location of the Manna / Chowhound commemorations since its unveilling in 2006. One year later the Air Commodore Geddes footpath was opened next to the memorial.
May 3 - "Another mercy mission to Holland. We went deeper into Holland today. Very low altitude. I believe I must have waved at everyone in Holland. It is really a shame the ocean being turned into Holland. The great fields of tulips are beautiful. They had, "Thank You" spelled out with rocks. They could see me waving at them because they would point each others attention to it. Some of them had American flags waving them."