The Netherlands / Landmark
Schoonderlogt estate became one of the headquarters in the Betuwe region. This is where the evacuation of soldiers stuck on the other side of the river Nederrijn was planned.
After Operation Market Garden had failed in Arnhem, the front line shifted to the Betuwe region, marking the start of a dangerous time for the locals. There was constant gunfire, and more and more refugees came to ‘The Island’, until it, too, had to be evacuated in October 1944. What remained was a group of roughly 1,000 men to tend to the cattle and the fields, hence why this piece of no man’s land near Lent was soon nicknamed ‘Men’s Island’.
Besides the 1,000 men, there was only military personnel on ‘The Island’. One of their headquarters was located on the Schoonderlogt estate between Elst and Valburg. It was the northernmost farm in what was then Allied territory. Here, the movements of the 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, also known as Easy Company, were planned. In October 1944, around five hundred Allied soldiers were staying on the estate. During Operation Pegasus, they were tasked with evacuating their comrades from the northern bank of the river Nederrijn.
One name in particular is associated with the estate: Major Richard Winters. During his stay at Schoonderlogt estate, he led the Easy Company, even though he did not have the appropriate rank for that yet as he was not made a major until later. The picture of him in front of the entrance gate to the estate is world famous. People know his name not only in the Betuwe, but also in Normandy, the Ardennes region in Belgium, and in the Dutch town of Eindhoven. His numerous successes ultimately earned him the Distinguished Service Cross. His name even went global thanks to Steven Spielberg’s and Tom Hanks’ Band of Brothers TV series about the Easy Company.
Logtestraat 4, 6661 NM Elst