Jim Murphy

When we were told that we were to drop food, a big cheer went up in the Briefing room, every member of our Squadron was delighted and we eagerly went on this mission. After we took off from our Airfield in Witchford we first had to get used to flying much lower than normal. Once over Holland I remember seeing people, people and more people. They were everywhere. The streets were crowded, some were on the roofs, holding on to chimneys, leaning out of windows and all were waving with handkerchiefs and sheets.

Then suddenly I saw a railway station and to my astonishment I was able to read the name ROTTERDAM MAAS. That was the moment that I realized how low we were flying. Next thing was the drop area; to me it looked very much like a racecourse. We came lower still so the food would not be damaged too much. I could not believe my eyes when I saw people running onto the field at the same moment we were dropping the bags. They just did not think of the danger. They must have been very hungry.

When all the bags had been released we circled to clear the drop area. I then saw a message in white sheets, it just said "GOD BLESS YOU R.A.F". My eyes had been teary throughout this mission but that message made the tears flow. When we got back to our Sqd. all seven guys in our crew were red eyed.



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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."