Operation Manna

Friesch Dagblad Monday 30 April 1945

Six ton food over Holland

Allied planes dropped six tons of food yesterday in the vincity of The Hague, Rotterdam, and Leiden for the civilians of occupied Holland. The aircraft which flew through a corridor on which was agreed upon with the Germans in advance, will when the weather allows it, drop food again tomorrow. The Germans undertook nothing to obstruct the dropping of the food.

The parcels were dropped in open areas outside the urban areas. These places were soon after the drop white with thousands of parcels that had landed there. The civilian population was waving white flags.


Friesch Dagblad Tuesday 1May 1945

Another 1250 ton food was dropped

450 bombers have dropped 1250 tons food from an altitude of 200 meters for the Hague, Leiden and Rotterdam on the airfields Waalhaven, Ypenburg and Valkenburg.

The first operation of the RAF in which 600 tons food was dropped over occupied Holland in which the airmen participated with great enthusiasm had thoroughly been prepared for weeks. Flying at low altitude had been rehearsed as well as dropping precisely on the appointed fields. The last days the airmen demanded only one password, which was: “The Dutch must have his food”. The articles dropped were: meat, vegetables, milk sugar, butter, tea, cheese, yeast and chocolate. A large portion of this food was canned. Some aircraft carried over 600 pounds.


On the next day, April 30 484 Lancasters brought 1000 tons food to five drop locations in Holland. The RAF had now proven that the truce held. It was now up to the Americans to follow the good example.


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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."