108. A tragic mistake
On September 18, American paratroopers enter Eindhoven. They liberate the city. They also ensure the advance route and the bridges over the Dommel are secure and open for British ground forces. The people of Eindhoven, often dressed in orange, are ranged along the road to welcome the Americans. But liberation has its drawbacks. During the fighting one of the paratroopers commits a tragic mistake.
American paratroopers, who had been dropped at Son on September 17 1944, advanced to Eindhoven the next day. The mission of the 506th regiment of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division was to take Eindhoven and immediately secure the four bridges over the River Dommel. “We can’t waste any time to kill Germans”. With these words, Colonel Sink, the commander of the 506th, made very clear there was no time to lose. After some German resistance on the Vlokhovenseweg and then the Woenselsestraat, the Americans were able to reach the bridges. But the liberation of Eindhoven also took its toll of the people of Eindhoven. Some resistance fighters were killed, including Adri Luijkx, who was shot in error by an American paratrooper.
Wal/ Bilderdijklaan 10, in front of Van Abbemuseum.
GPS code: 51° 26' 3.48"N 5° 28' 52.176"O