2009 Grave - John S. Thompson bridge commemorations
In 2009 the Market Garden operation had its 65 years memorial. For this occasion British and American veterans were invited. A delegation from the 82nd Airborne Division also attended the memorial. Three Harvards made severak fly-by’s - always nice to hear the sound of authentic piston engine aircraft.
In Grave the veterans met each other and I was able to make conversation with a British veteran who was a tank driver during Market Garden. I had a nice and relaxed conversation with him at the quiet side far from the others.
He told me many stories; among them about the Ardennes were he fought and escaped from his damaged tank where he joined other soldiers in a small house in the middle of nowhere. There he met a certain soldier. During Market Garden he saw much action. In the vicinity of Groesbeek near some railway his tank got a direct hit and the other crewmembers got killed - he survived. He ended up in some military hospital near Nijmegen and there he met the soldier which he met in the house in the Ardennes. He became friends with him for the rest of his life.