Edward Earl Zesch

I flew as a tail gunner on one of the food drops in Holland. My organization was the 34th BG, 7th BS located in Mendlesham near Ipswitch. Our drop was at Schiphol. From my B-17 tail gunner position I observed girls waving white flags after our drop. After the war I encountered several former residents of Holland that had witnessed our food drops. Two were on a river boat cruise in our northwest with my daughter and her husband. After making their acquaintance, my daughter discovered that they were Dutch and had been present in Holland during the food drops.She informed them that her dad was one of the Americans that had dropped food. She then put one of the Dutch people on the phone with me. We both became very emotional and broke down! On another occasion I met a Dutch lady at a political rally in Beaumont, CA. She, too was in Holland during the Chowhound operation. Again, both of us became emotional as we recalled the food drop mission. More recently, I met a lady at a retirement facility in Banning, CA. As part of a VFW presentation at this retirement center, I was asked to recount my WWII experience with the audience. After my talk, an elderly lady approached me and said she had witnessed our food drop in Holland.

March 18, 2016, Loudon, TN, USA

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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."