Celebration and sadness in Gierle

5. September 1944 / 1. Januar 1



In the final months before liberation, several aircraft crashed near Gierle. On 9 May 1944, a US B-24 bomber crashed at Hemeldonk. Six crew members were killed; German soldiers captured the other four. On 11 September, a British Halifax crashed and on 18 September a B-24 made a crash landing.

Panic among the Germans

On 20 September 1944, the Germans destroyed a farmstead at Rooien on the 'Gierle forest'. The farmstead was the headquarters of the resistance group 'Kempisch Legioen'. Shortly before, serious skirmishes took place in the area. The retreat of the German troops was chaotic and resulted in casualties. Panicking soldiers shot Fien Vervoort. The old woman was looking for two family members, to warn them about the Germans on the roadway. No one dared to offer her help and she bled to death on the spot.

On 23 September 1944, two British scouts on bicycles came to Gierle to see if the Germans had gone. They encountered just one fleeing car. The next day, British tanks arrived. Gierle was liberated!

Damage, but no more deaths

On 27 November 1944, a V1 bomb fell on a field on the Veenzijde in Gierle. There were no casualties, only some windows and roof tiles fell. In late 1944, a V2 bomb fell close to the village centre. Again with no fatalities, there was a lot of damage and at least one wounded. A final V2 bomb fell on the Broekzijde (now Brulens) at the beginning of 1945.

Tourist information,