After 60 years, on September 11th, 2004, the sister of Lester Taylor (Betty) landed on Amsterdam Airport to attend the September commemoration in Eindhoven because of the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of that town.

For the first time she would visit the environs were her brother was killed in action for our freedom. She also would meet for the first time the woman who (together with her sister Dora) took care for her brother's temporary grave site at Son.

The first meeting after 60 years with Mien Lavrijssen in Son

Betty welcomed in my house at Eindhoven that would be her home for the next 12 days.

Left: in front of the bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal at Son.

fltr: Mirjam (Mien's daughter)-Lies van Berkel-Ans vd Wal-Betty Taylor-Peter vd Wal-Harriët van Berkel-Mien Lavrijssen with her grandchild Eva.

This bridge was important for the allies because they had to cross it on their way to Arnhem.(Hell's Highway). A few seconds before Easy Company had reached the bridge it was blown by the Germans. Carwood Lipton said about it that he could feel the pieces of wood from the bridge fly around his head.He thought be himself: "What a way to die in combat by a peace of wood." Fortunately it did not happen and they made a temporary crossing with doors from a nearby stable.

Above left : Betty meets Joe Hennessey and his wife. Joe was in the same company as her brother was. Middle photo: Meeting John Farell and (right photo) Celso Garcia to ask if they had know her brother. Garcia did not remember thought Betty told him she had a picture of him, together with her brother
Above middle : Col. Bob Jones (L), one of the three line commanders at Best during the time that Lester Taylor was killed in action. Right: Bill Galbraith who was seriously injured on Sept.18 at Eindhoven.(501 PIR) Above right: Tony Lujan.
James Bashore (506 PIR)

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pictures on this page courtesy Betty Taylor.

© Peter van de Wal