The Glider Pilots who will fly again through the Renkum sky just like they did in September 1944 will attend the Renkum Airborne event on the 15th and join The Race To The Bridge the next day.
Veterans Frank Ashleigh, Denzil Cooper and Roy Roberts will be welcomed after landing by mayor Agnes Schaap from the municipality of Renkum.
Renkum Nieuws, The Pathfinder Parachute Group, The Glider Pilot Regiment Society and the Gelderse Zweefvliegclub have worked together to create a lovely program for the gentlemen, with the hope that alongside remembering and commemorating their comrades, they will also have a great time.
The help and the hospitality from Renkum Leeft, who organise the event, and the welcome by the mayor will contribute to that.
As we previously reported, the veterans will fly and land again on the Renkum Heath. After their landings they will be brought to the event ground where the mayor awaits them. In the 1940 canteen they will have lunch together and take a brief pause from all the activities of the morning.
We spoke to Franks Ashleigh last weekend when he was here for the 71th Airborne March. He was very excited about the fact he is flying a glider again in a few days.
The Renkum Airborne Event wil official be opened at 13:00. John Crosson, a KOSB veteran, will also attend. In the afternoon the veterans will depart, but only after they have enjoyed all the activities the Renkum Airborne will have to offer.
In the evening they will attend the commemoration at the Arnhem Bridge and lay a wreath.
Race to the Bridge
On Saturday morning they will participate in the Glider Pilot Society Service which will be held at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek. This will give an opportunity for the veterans to visit the headstones of the Glider Pilots who never returned, and have a quiet moment of reflection. Following the service they will be welcomed at the Airborne Museum
After lunch the veterans will be brought to the Arnhem Bridge where they will be passengers in one of the many WW2 vehicles that will form The Race to the Bridge. They will ride along the last part of the route, from the bridge to the Airborne Museum. We hope that once again, many people will be welcoming them along the road.
On Sunday morning, they will be attending the large commemoration service at the Airborne Cemetery in Oosterbeek, along with many others. The veterans will then visit the Glider Collection Museum in Wolfheze, followed by a commemoration at the Wolfheze Bench, the Airborne monument in the middle of the village.
The Wolfheze service has been a special occasion for the Glider Pilots for many years. Last year, for the first time since the service started, there were no Glider Pilot veterans able to attend. However, this year, thanks to the Glider Pilot Regiment Society and the other supporters of this trip, veterans will once again be present for this very special service and meet the people of the village who are held in the highest regard by the veterans and their relatives.