Artefact of the Month Archive

A Plate in Memory of Operation Manna

May, 2015

By the beginning of 1945 the population of the Netherlands, still under German occupation, was starving. The British Air Ministry was ordered by Prime Minister Winston Churchill to prepare a plan to deliver supplies by air to the Dutch. The plan was called Operation Manna.

On 29 April RAF Bomber Command Lancasters, flying at very low levels, began dropping food from their bomb bays. The mission was not without risk as no formal agreement had been reached with Germans not to shoot down the British aircraft. However, the bomber crews only occasionally experienced small arms fire against them. On that first day of Operation Manna 242 Lancasters crossed the North Sea to the Netherlands and dropped 526 tonnes of food. On the following day a ceasefire was officially agreed with the Germans and 484 Lancasters dropped 1,005 tonnes.

From 1 May, B17 bombers of the United States Army Air Force joined the operation, the Americans calling their mission Operation Chowhound. The liberation of the Netherlands took place on 5 May but the air drops continued until VE Day (8 May) because of logistic problems on the ground.

 A 1990 COMMEMORATIVE PLATE CELEBRATING OPERATION MANNA 45 YEARS BEFORE IS DISPLAYED IN THE MUSEUM’S TANGMERE HALL

Talks by Tangmere

The Museum is pleased to be able to offer speakers to interested groups or societies on a range of subjects connected with the history of operations at RAF Tangmere and other military aviation subjects.

The presentations are usually given as an audio/visual presentation using the Museum's equipment. Our presentations can be tailored to suit audiences ranging from specialist societies to community based groups and range in length from 40 to 90 minutes depending on the subject matter.

Further details of the full range of presentations and the availability of speakers can be obtained by calling the museum on 01243 790090, by emailing your interest to director@tangmere-museum.org.uk or by letter marked for the attention of the Director.

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