On September 11th I was the guide on a Hell’s Highway bus tour, the tour was organized by Joel Stoppels Battlefield tour with which I’ve worked in the past. With 32 participants in the bus we had a great turnout and with perfect weather we set out from Eindhoven towards the bridge at Son.
Our next two stops all had to do with the Battle at Best, first we visited the Robert Cole memorial. Cole was killed in the field bordering the woods on September 18th 1944, he would be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Carentan two weeks later.
Then we continued on towards the Joe Mann memorial, it is interesting that the only two members of the 101st Airborne division who were awarded the Medal of Honor were killed within 24 hours and within less than one mile from each other. The circumstances were very different though, Joe Mann threw himself on a grenade to save is buddies.
Lunch time had arrived already and a after we were fed at the Joe Mann Pavilion we set out for Sint-Oedenrode and talk mostly about the British Sergeant McCory and C-Company of the 502nd Parachute Infantry regiment. They fought a fierce battle on the road to Schijndel with McCorry lending a hand with hist crippled Sherman Tank.
Then on to Veghel and Black Friday, the first location where the Germans were able to block the road to Arnhem for an extended period of time.
At Eerde we visited the Geronimo monument, erected to commemorate the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment who desperately fought in and around the village to keep Hell’s Highway open.
Our last stop of the day was the Koevering, where the Germans blocked to road for the final time just south of Veghel. For over 40 hours the corridor was blocked which was one of the reasons that the British at Arnhem were withdrawn across the Rhine river.
Then back to Eindhoven to end a great tour!
Photo’s are courtesy of Martijn and Ad Hermans