115. Robert Cole and Joe Mann
On 18 and 19 September 1944, unprecedented fierce fighting is raging in these woods. German troops are trying to prevent the American paratroopers, who landed the previous day, and the British advancing from the south, from breaking through. Two very brave men are killed in this battle. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Cole and Private Joe Mann are both posthumously awarded the highest U.S. military decoration. The Medal of Honor. Listen to their stories.
On Monday September 18 and Tuesday 19, in the woods between Son and Best, very heavy fighting took place between units of the German 59th Division and the 502nd regiment of the American 101st Airborne Division, which later received support from the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment and the British 15/19 Hussars.
The Germans tried to recapture the drop and landing zones at Son and advanced from Boxtel and Best. They wanted to prevent a breakthrough by the Americans and British. Many were killed in these battles. Among them were Lieutenant Colonel Robert Cole and Private Joe Mann. For their extraordinary courage, both were awarded the highest U.S. military decoration, the Medal of Honor.
At the corner of Schietbaanlaan and Sonseweg.
GPS code: 51° 30' 55.5834"N 5° 25' 18.3"O