Norman Coats

May 1 - I was on guard duty last night, all night guarding the supplies going to be dropped in Holland. The fellows dropped them today at about 500 feet or less. The fellows (other crew) in our barracks said that the Dutch were there waving at them when they dropped the supplies. We are on battle order for tomorrow.

May 2 - Today we went on a mercy mission to Holland dropping supplies to the civilians there. It is something I will never forget. We went in at about 400 feet and the people were gathered in crowds, on roof tops and everywhere waving at us with handkerchiefs, etc. It made us all feel good to drop the food, if only those damn Germans didn't get half of it. You could see some of them below. We ran into a snowstorm over the Channel and dropped to below 100 feet.My feet were nearly dragging the water in the turret.

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.

May 4 - Another mercy mission today. As the chaplain said in church tonight, it was an honor to fly on these mercy missions, helping the starving. It does make one feel good.

 

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The Manna Monument at Terbregge

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.

Diary of Norman Coats

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."