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Thread: Gilze-Rijen airfield hit by flying bombs 1945

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    Default Gilze-Rijen airfield hit by flying bombs 1945

    Does anyone know when and how many Flying Bombs landed at Gilze-Rijen in 1945.

    A friend of my father's - Monty Denny -had asked him if he could stay overnight in his Mosquito at Gilze-Rijen airfield as he wanted an early get away in the morning. (sometime in Jan-March 1945) My father assured him it would be safe but that night a bomb landed on the edge of the airfield much to Monty's displeasure.
    Motherbird

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    Default V1s on Gilze-Rijen

    Motherbird,

    I can't give you any hard details on dates and numbers of flying bombs hitting on or near Gilze-Rijen, can't even think of which file might contain such statistics if they were kept.

    However, from surviving 268 Squadron and 35 (Recce) Wing records, plus reminiscences of pilot's based at Gilze-Rijen in the period from November 1944 until March 1945, Gilze-Rijen was under one of the main flight paths for V1s being fired from German held territory towards Antwerp. As such there was a semi regular procession of V1s over the airfield, roughly heading parallel to the north-south runway. Any V1s that fell on or near Gilze-Rijen were usually those damaged by AA fire, fighter attack, or falling 'short' due to mechanical or other problems. As the Allied ground Army cleared the areas being used by the Germans as launch sites and moved Antwerp and the potential targets out of range, the V1 overflights slowly petered out and with them went the threat.

    Compared to the bombardment of V1s suffered and losses sustained at Antwerp/Duerne, the V1 threat at Gilze-Rijen was considered more of a nuisance.

    Therefore sounds like the incident you relate would have been worthy of recording as it was not typical for Gilze-Rijen. Almost a Squadron Line Book moment.

    Regards,
    Last edited by ColFord; 31st December 2009 at 23:11.
    Colin Ford
    Canberra
    Australia

    No.268 Squadron Royal Air Force 1940-1946
    Historian by Appointment
    (by the surviving Squadron members)

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    Default

    Twenty-one V-weapons, all may have been targeted Antwerp, crashed prematurely within the borders of the community Gilze-Rijen. Three of them hit the airfield causing only minor damage. Two came down 20-3-1945: 08.30h southern border of the airfield and 17.15h at 200 metres from Camp Prinsenbosch.
    Regards,
    Henk.

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