Kees Buijs

Liberation of Eindhoven

I was a young boy in 1944. I was eleven years old and lived with my parents in the Eckartseweg in Eindhoven. The house of my parents was at that time the third house coming into Eindhoven from the direction Son. Further towards Son there were only a few farms.

On the Seventeenth we could see the Air Armada very clearly. They flew right over our house. My father said to me that something was about to happen, because we could see that the doors of the aircrafts were open.

My brother and sister had gotten up early in the morning on September 18. They had gone to one of the farms in order to get milk for my brother who was then only one year old. The milkmen could not get to us since the day before because most of them came from Son and Nederwetten. When my brother and sister came home they told us they had seen soldiers and they were not Germans.

I had noticed in the days before the landing that the Germans were moving out of Eindhoven. One day when I came out of school I saw a lot of army trucks that were not there usually.

Later in the morning of the eighteenth we were the first to welcome the Americans into Eindhoven. One American soldier was shot by the Germans, while sitting on a farmers cart in front of our house. My father found the carbine of this soldier later that afternoon. When the first Americans had passed our house, we went outside and greeted the soldiers. Our neighbors had hung white sheet from their windows. Other people in our street were giving apples to the American soldiers.

My father had the best day of his life that day. The Americans were generously handing out cigarettes. Several Americans that had received injuries on their way into Eindhoven were gathered in front of our house and were treated there. Dutch Red Cross members collected these men later that day.

One day later we saw a British motor despatch rider driving towards Eindhoven from Nederwetten with high speed. He was signaled us to take cover. As it later turned out, German tanks had been spotted on the bridge across the Dommel at Neuen. Luckily these tanks did not cross that bridge.

Eindhoven was bombed by German bombers on the 19th. First flares were dropped and then the bombs followed. Five bombs fell in the vicinity of our house. Nobody was hurt by those five bombs. We had not build a shelter in our garden and we did not have a cellar so we took shelter in the kitchen. My father never took shelter, he stood outside on the lookout.

I would very much like to know if anyone has more information on the identity of the American soldier that died in front of our house. E-mail the webmaster if you can provide more information.

Cromwell tank

A cromwell tank from XXX corps. Picture courtesy, Gelders Archief.
Tanks in Eindhoven

Sherman tank on Stratums eind in Eindhoven on 18th September 1944. Picture courtesy, Gelders Archief.

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