The Brabant village Oisterwijk and Operation Market-Garden
During the Second World War 12 Allied air planes came down in and around Oisterwijk.
British and American bombers usually came down in Brabant on their way back from
‘raids’ on Germany.
Many times they suffered damage by anti aircraft fire ore after being attacked by
The Allied bombers usually powered by four engines, off witch at many times only
two still functional, lost several feet per minute despite the fact they where flying
without their bomb load.
These aircraft usually tried to fly the shortest possible route back to England,
but because they where slower and mostly flying on their own they provided an easy
and beloved target for German fighters.
German (night-) fighter bases where located in Southern-Holland at Gilze-Rijen and
Venlo whilst on the aerodrome Eindhoven the Germans had installed heavy anti aircraft.
Damaged bombers often tried to fly a route between Gilze-Rijen and Eindhoven and
by doing this crossed our region on their way to special emergency landing grounds
on the Southeast coast of England.
Most of the Allied planes that came down in Northern Brabant where British off witch
many tried to crash land safely.
For the British who usually only flew at night this provided, despite the light of
the moon and the use of landing lights, to be extra difficult.
The American Air force who only just started bombing Germany on a greater scale from
1943 flew by day and on a higher altitude.
For German fighters that became damaged by allied planes there was always the option
to land ore crash-land on a German airfield.
During the airdrops in September 1944 (Operation Market-Garden) the supply route
by air to Arnhem was lying somewhat north of Oisterwijk.
Most aircraft where above Oisterwijk and surroundings during the tree very busy day’s
17, 18 and 23 September.
During this period also several American aircraft came down in and around Oisterwijk,
and the German anti aircraft that was installed in the agricultural area around Oisterwijk
called kerkhove sometimes was the cause of this.
Why did so many aircraft come down in and around Oisterwijk during the Second World War?
Like on the former sporting grounds of Nevelo in Oisterwijk where the Germans already
installed anti aircraft before September to cover the railway emplacement area near
the leather company where German ammunition was sometimes loaded.
German anti aircraft was also installed near the udenhoutseweg and in the kerkhovensestraat
(streetnames) from September 17.
On British and Commonwealth cemetery’s in Northern Brabant more than 1650 members
of Air Force personnel are buried.
This is the highest number of casualty’s suffered in all the Dutch provinces.