Diary of A.R. Taylor

22 April 1945

We have started practising supply dropping by flying low level across the aerodrome and dropping sandbags on a white cross.

1 May 1945

Holland from Rotterdam to the North is still occupied. To stop our advance the Germans have flooded half of the country with the result that the towns are full of homeless and hungry Dutch people.

Methwold airfield

By special arrangement we are being allowed to drop food without opposition.
We set out at 11 this moring with 6,000 lbs of food on each aircraft, for a place near the Hague. Crossed the Dutch coast at low level just North of Overflakee. The whole coastline and the banks of the rivers and canals are lined with defense posts and gun positions, although I never saw a German soldier the whole time. I daresay they had orders to keep under cover in case we shot at them. The population turned out and waved at us. It was a heartening sight! Some of them were waving flags. Mostly French, but all red white and bleu. One little man I saw had a big flag in each hand and when he caught sight of our kite (i.e. aircraft) he waved and jumped up and down in his excitement. A woman was perched on the roof of a house waving like mad and shouting something. I should think every person in the Hague turned to cheer us.

Our dropping ground was in a sports ground North of the Hague, and the grandstand was packed with the good people. I wouldn't swear to it but someone looking very much like an English mayor was there in his robes of office. The grandstand was only a stones throw from our dropping point which was marked by a white cross.

Came back to England at nought (i.e. zero) feet above the North Sea very pleased with ourselves.

The crew in february 1945
Top row: Ken (gunner), Bill Passion (skipper), Jimmy Young (navigator), A.R. (Spud) Taylor (Bomb Aimer), Eric (flight engineer).
Bottom row: Butch (rear gunner), Pappy (wireless operator).

7 May 1945

Went to a village East of the Hague this time, over a lot of flooded country with only the rooftops showing. We took one of our ground staff with us, and he was very excited with the whole business.

8 May 1945

V.E. Day! The war has lasted so long I can hardly believe it is all over!!


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."