We have emailed a lot of people in the Netherlands, Belgium and the USA. We asked them for information about Haguenau (Alsace, France). We got a lot of responses including one email from Steph Leenhouwers. He knew something about Haguenau, but he also knew a lot about the battlefields in the neighborhood of Eindhoven. We hadn't visited these battlefields before, but we'd planned to someday. It was a perfect proposal for us, so we couldn’t refuse it.
We met Steph on Tuesday, March 29 at 10 am. We first appointed the route with the most important parts. Then we drove to the first point.
Next to the village Son, opposite the DZ’s of the 506th PIR is a house with a plaque of the 101st Airborne Division on it. This is a gift of the Union of Airborne Friends. Behind this house are the DZ’s of the 502nd PIR.
In the village Son we were looking for a monument placed on a certain street. Next to this monument was a former monastery that was used as a hospital during the liberation. We couldn’t find the monument so we used the guide about the Airborne path. We parked our car and walked to the part of the guide we could find. We followed the indications of the guide and finally found the monument. It was real close to our car but hidden behind an electricity building.
At Son we found two bridges crossing the Wilhelminakanaal. The first was at the same place where the old one was. The old one was blown up just before the 506th wanted to capture it. The other bridge looks like the old bridges that the 101st had to capture. It is hard to imagine that the tanks of the XXX Corps had to pass over these kind of bridges.
The XXX Corps arrived in the evening with delays at Son. They had materials to prepare a Bailey bridge to cross the Wilhelminakanaal. After that, the XXX Corps moved on with even more delays.