The Brabant village Oisterwijk and Operation Market-Garden
Railway bridges over the Wilhelmina canal
This aerial photograph is dated 09-07-1944.
After reading the story from the newspaper, I, as a born citizen of the city of Tilburg
am under the presumption that the attack on the vehicle, probably a German vehicle
took place at the railway bridges over the Wilhelmina Canal in Tilburg.
The vehicle could have crossed one of the two nearest turn bridges crossing the Wilhelmina
canal, that were located at the Bosscheweg and Oisterwijksebaan.
Both two bridges by the way where both of the same type as the Son turn bridge that
became so well known in the tails of the 101st Airborne Division at Son, Eindhoven
during the first day’s of Operation Market-Garden.
Both these Spitfire's made their first attack from a North-South direction after
a left turn.
This indicates to me they approached their target, a vehicle, from the direction
of the canal crossing at the bosscheweg and that the vehicle was protecting its self
underneath the railway bridges .
It is also clear that Pierre Gallay was hit here at the rail bridges by German anti-aircraft
Just as his group commander Michel Brunschwig, that made a climbing maneuver before
a left turn, Pierre Gallay presumabl also will have preformed a similar maneuver
for a second attack on the vehicle.
Most presumably he was hit by FLAK during this maneuver, and had to respond by dropping
into a descending straight line to eventually conduct a forced crash landing on the
Oisterwijksebaan in Oisterwijk.
In this photo near the red marker the attack took place at the railway bridges and
the probable spot where the Spitfire of Gallay was hit by German anti-aircraft fire
that was positioned in this area.
Its possible that the German anti aircraft battery at the Nieuw-Lovenstraat (now
a day’s called Nautilus straat) was responsible for shooting down the Spitfire of
In the upper left on the photo the Nieuw-Lovenstraat is for a small part just visible
but the situation today has changed and is entirely different with the streets name
Somewhere along the Nieuw-Lovenstraat the Germans who belonged to a anti aircraft
unit called ‘Einheit Magnussen’ presumably under the 256th VGD, (Volks Grenadier
Division) had a number of FLAK barracks and anti-aircraft positions.
In the night of 23 on 24 October they were strategically pulled back however, to
a new position because of the advance of the Allied front onto Tilburg from the direction
of Eindhoven to the east and the Belgium border to the south.
Last present on this anti aircraft position that day was the German Lt. Eschenbach
of the 256th VGD who was responsible to inform three local municipal workers who
were ordered by the Germans to daily take care of the area’s security.
if they did this job as punishment by the Germans for some kind of wrong doing or
as their job as pro German supporters also known as the NSB, is not known.
After they arrived and reported for duty in the early morning of October 24 they
were immediately dismissed and sent home by this German Lieutenant.
From the city Tilburg the Oisterwijksebaan runs all the way trough an area of farmland
to the village Oisterwijk that lies north.
Gallay followed the direction of this road to eventually crash land in the middle
of it on Oisterwijk territory.