Operation Manna

On April 29 1945 I was standing on the roof of our home, paralyzed by emotions. It was only with the upmost effort that I was able to raise the binoculars for my eyes.

Throughout the war I had seen the allied aircrafts as little dots in the sky. What I had seen most where the condensation lines across the sky. This time I saw a Lancaster, clearly recognizable flying low from east to west over the New Mueze!

Of course it crossed my mind, to first find out if the Germans would open fire on these aircrafts of the Royal Air Force who where about to drop food for us.

In the event of heavy anti-aircraft this reconnaissance plane would be able to make a crash landing on the river.

Lancaster Bombers over the Hague Machine guns where firering here and there, they where silenced quickly and then after a long and death silence the first "Flying Grocers" appeared from the south, over the 's-Gravendijkwal, flying towards me.

After the first Lancasters had come over, other people also started to climb on tall buildings, they came in such large numbers that eventually the cheering of thousands drowned the noice of the heavy four-engine bombers out!

At that moment we all knew it, after five years of common captivity, nothing could stop our liberation.

Spring 2000

Ton Hermans

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."