Welcome to SecondWorldWar.nl

A website with personal recollections from world war two veterans from several countries.

On this website you will find links to websites I have constructed over the years. Each of them focuses on an operation and/or battle of World War 2. For each website I have received contributions of veterans from around the world. For that I thank them. Their recollections and personal photos and documents are helping to keep the memories alive. If you have questions, remarks or additions?
Please contact me at: operatiemanna@gmail.com.

Ray Cumbley
2nd Battalion Welsh Guards

Enschede, The Netherlands

Victor J. Miller
5th US Ranger Battalion

D-day, Brest, Belgium, The saga of a US Ranger

Carl H. Lehmann
1st US Ranger Battalion

Becoming a Darby's ranger

John H. Carah

Parachuted over occupied France

Susan Berger

I call my father a hero.

An infantryman's morning activities

John A. Davies, 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division. Holland, November 1944.

An infantryman's evening activities

John A. Davies, 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division. Holland, November 1944.

Le Verne Haley

Enlistment in the RCAF

The Mallon Crew

No. 75th (Lancaster) Squadron RAF

Jack H. Oakley
49th Infantry Division (West Riding)

Jack arrives with the division in Normandy on D-day+6

Okey E. Taylor
Co. C, 58th A.I.B, 8th Armored Div.

The attack on Roermond in the Netherlands

Victor J. Miller
5th US Ranger Battalion

Poem for his fallen comrades: Dufflebags

Douglas M Bailey
463rd Parachute FA Bn.

History of the battalion

Stanley R Smith
3rd US Infantry Division

First combat experience: Landing in the Anzio Beachhead in Italy 1944

Russ Cloer
3rd US Infantry Division

Breakout from the Anzio beachhead and the taking of Rome

Henry P. Morrison
107th Squadron RAF

Lancaster crash over Holland.

An infantryman's afternoon activities

John A. Davies, 2nd Battalion of the South Wales Borderers. Holland, September 1944.

Ed Zubler
102nd US Infantry Division

The German PA system - Siegfriedline - Germany 1945.

Richard Bostwick
401st Glider Inf. Reg. - 101st ABN Div.

Hedgerow fighting in Normandy France, June 1944.

W. Homeijer.

The remarkable story of a young Dutch resistancefighter in WWII.

Douglas M Bailey
463rd Parachute FA Bn.

Operation Dragoon - The invasion of Southern France

Carl H. Lehmann
1st US Ranger Battalion

The landing in North Africa in 1942. 1st US Ranger battalion. Darby's Rangers

Okey E. Taylor
Co. C, 58th A.I.B, 8th Armored Div.

Operation Varsity, the crossing of the Rhine

Dieter Rudolph.

Farewell to Hamburg, A german boy in a city bombed by the allies.

Jack Oakley
49th (West Riding) British Infantry Division.

His complete day-by-day war diary!

Douglas M Bailey
463rd Parachute FA Bn.

The Landing in Sicily

Milton Wassgren
81st Eng. Bn 106th US Inf. Div.

GI captured during the Ardennes offensive

The survivor

Al Hymers, RCAF. Shot down over Germany in WWII

An infantryman's night-time activities

Recollections of a Welsh infantryman fighting in Holland in November 1944

Vic Tenger

A flight mecanic in the RAAF

Le Verne Haley
RCAF

VE-Day

Seamus Haughey

Fighter pilot

Donald E. Day
8th AF, 458th BG

B-24 mission over Germany

The German railway gun

Stanley R. Smith, Anzio beachhead.

Captain Albert E. Basis
1st US Ranger Battalion

A British Chaplain with the US Rangers. Darby's Rangers

Normandy / D-day, the allied invasion

On June 6, 1944 after many months of preparations the allies finally landed on the coast of France and breached the Atlantic wall. The second front where the people in Western Europe had been waiting for during four years of occupation was finally there. Cornelius Ryan named his book which describes this day, the longest day, after a quote from the German Fieldmarshall Rommel, who was commanding the defenses at the Western Coast. For the allied soldiers that landed on the French beaches that day, the memories of that day remained vivid for the rest of their lives.

Victor J. Miller
5th US Ranger Battalion

The landing on Omaha Beach

Sergeant Albert Figg
43rd Wessex Division

Albert is fundraising for an avenue of remembrance to commemorate his lost comrades.

Charles Arthur Massey Jr.

Gunner with the 14 Field Regiment RCA Killed in Action June 6, 1944 at Berniere Sur Mer.

Mike McKinney
16th Reg. Co. L. 1st Div.

All of a sudden the boat was grinning on to the sand and the ramp went down. Everybody started running out immediately. Our lieutenant was up at front while I myself was in the back of the craft. Machine-gunfire came into the boat and the guys in the front were killed.

C-47 Pilot Earl E. Johnson
72nd TCS of the 434th Troopcarrier Group

His unique letter home, shortly after D-day

Robert and Richard Neff
121st US Engineer Battalion

Twins land together on Omaha Beach on D-day.

Clifford C. Kranz
100th TCS, 441st Troop Carrier Group

Dropping paratroopers over Normandy.

Operation Market Garden

Begin September 1944 the Nazis where retreating faster than the Allies could advance. The Western front had practically collapsed in Belgium and Holland. Field Marschall Montgomery created a plan to lay a carpet of airborne troops in Southern Holland through which the British second army would make a rampid advance. The Airborne forces needed to capture the many bridges prior to the advance of the ground forces. When the operation started on 17th the panic under the German troops had disappeared and the British and American troops met heavy resistance. The Germans managed to organize their troops in a quick counter attack. The Germans had the advantage that their had heavy armor in the area which happened to be resting near Arnhem. The Arnhem bridge proved to be a bridge to far.

Nevil Ashley
1st British Airborne Division

Sgt. Ashley landed at Heelsum with the first wave of paras on the 17th of September.

Eldon Sellers C-47 Pilot
309th Sq, 315th TCG, 9th AF

When we had returned to our homebase in England we realized that we had several holes in the wing from 20 mm tracer shells.

Richard (Dick) Wolch
82nd Airborne US Paratrooper

Peering from, the window of the plane, I tried counting the number of C-47's winging their way toward Holland. I gave up after reaching three hundred.

Meldon Hurlbert
Company C, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 82nd ABN DIV

General Gavin desided that a crossing of the river in assaultboats was necessary. C Company was assigned to the job.

1st Lt. Ed Jansen
501st PIR, 101st Airborne Division

Wounded and POW during Operation Market Garden.

Charles Edward Skidmore, jr.
91st Squadron - 439th Troop Carrier Group

Into Holland by Glider.

Ardennes offensive, december 1944.

On December 16, 1944. The Germans launched an attack through the Luxembourg and Belgian Ardennes which took the Americans by surprise. The frontline had been streched due to the rapid advance. The troops defending the line where mostly new arrivals like the 106th Infantry Division or Units licking their wounds from the costly attacks in the Hurtgen forest which had taken place not long before. The attack in the Adrennes was Hitlers personal plan. It was designed to drive a wedge between the US and British forces and to capture the port of Antwerp in an attempt to cut the Allied supply lines.

Aided by the bad weather which neutralized the Allied supriority in the air the German pantzers initially made a rapid advance creating a bulge in the US defense lines. The battle would later be known as the "Battle of the bulge".

Private James M. Downey
508th Parachute Infantry Regiment
82nd Airborne Division

Captured and escaped in the ardennes.

Donald Wallace
394th Infantry Regiment, 99th US Infantry Division

Elseborn Ridge - Recollections of the German attack on December 16, 1944

Philip Maple

106th US Infantry Division

The night of December 1944, four of us were called to the Co. CP. for a briefing on a Recon. patrol which was to take place the morning of December 16

Jim Roan
4th US Infantry Division

We were right in the line of the advancing German tank columns, in fact we heard the entire German army was just six miles away and advancing fast.

Winfield Rosenberg
106th US (lion head) Infantry Division

An American soldier in an German concentration camp. Winfield Rosenberg was on of the many men from the 106th Infantry Division that was captured during the early advance of the Germans.

Daniel R. Shine
39th Infantry Battalion, 9th US Infantry Division

Frozen hell - Near Salmchateau, Belgium 15.00 hours January 14, 1945.

Operation Manna / Chowhound. Food from heaven

During the winter of 1944, the Western part of Holland had been deprived of food. This winter is now known as the Hunger winter. There was a food and fuel shortage due to the Allied advance as well as due to reprissals from the Nazi's for the Dutch railway strike that had been ordered from London by the Dutch government in excile in an attempt to back the Allied airborne landings around Arnhem in September 1944. Allied bombers dropped food at low altitude for the starving Dutch in the closing days of the war. The RAF named this mission Operation Manna, the USAAF called it's contribution Operation Chowhound.

Bob Upcott
101st Squadron RCAF

The first bomber to drop food at the Duindigt Racetrack

Norman Coats
Belly turret gunner, 390th Bomb Group

Vic Tenger
Ex RAAF Flying officer

A letter to the mayor of Rotterdam

Roelof Buitink
An American boy in occupied Holland

Roelof Buitink is an american boy of sixteen years old as the second world war breaks out in Holland.

Max Krell
96th BG Chowhound mission The Hague

Such signs of celebration we had never seen before nor since as the people hurried to retrieve their food from the sky. People waved at the planes, flags where everywhere and we had no doubt that the effort had been appreciated.

John Papenhuyzen

My Hunger winter 1944

John Abbott
49th (West Riding) British Infantry Division

Allied Food truck driver

John M. Stevenson
153 Squadron RCAF

Pieter van Marken

A Dutch boy during the Hungerwinter

About Me

My name is Eric Heijink. In the past years I have corresponded with many veterans and civilians who have told me their experiences of events that where often traumatic. Post-traumatic stress was not yet known at that time an many of them had to move on without being able to talk about their experiences. They started talking about these events in the later part of their lives.

By giving these people a platform on my websites to share their stories I am trying to contribute to the awareness that the events of WWII should never happen again. Given the tensions on the political level at the moment this is a message that is more relevant now than it has been in a long time. If you have questions or additions for the website. Don't hesitate to contact me.