1st Lt. Robert L. Miller

Miller was the pilot on a B-17 that was part of the 493rd Bomb Group. He and his crew took part in two Chowhound missions. The first one was on the second of May, when he flew to Haarlem. The day after that he flew to airfield Schiphol.

Miller kept a diary during the war. About the food drop mission on Haarlem, which he flew on the second of May in a group of forty bombers from his Bomb Group, he wrote the following:

Mercy missions to starving Dutch people are now being flown by the 8th A.F. Flew my first today, and it was a thrill. We came over in formation at 400 feet. To see the people waving at us and to see "Thanks Boys" and "Many Thanks" spelled out with flowers gives you a warm glow. Just sitting there and looking at them brought tears to my eyes, and I'm not ashamed of it, either! To think that today we did good instead of blowing towns and people to hell makes me realize that there is still some good left in this world.

The Dutch needed the food badly-We have official people telling us that for the last year no new-born babies have lived because of malnutrition. Pretty horrible. The reason is that the Allies have Holland blocked off so that the cannot import food to people.
        Time= 3 hrs. 40 min.

May 3 -- To Amsterdam, Holland

Another mercy mission - this time to an airfield South west of Amsterdam. I can't get over the warm glow that comes over me when I see those people waving at us and waving Dutch flags. The damned Germans don't look very happy, but to hell with them. Went over in single ships -no formation- and like it much better for this type of work. Time in the air = 3 hrs. No sortie credit, dropped our food from 300 feet. Came buzzing over The Hague and cleared a church steeple by about five feet (I have since convinced myself that the 'steeple' was the tower of the Peace-palace, where the International Court houses. Anyway it was CLOSE! (Miller)).

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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."