today we picked up a unique battlefield relic piece from the battle for Son bridge operation market garden , a Fallschirmjager helmet and Flak 8.8 casing. Both were found during excavation works in the area close to the bridge where heavy fighting took place between 101 airborne 506 and German troops during operation market Garden the pieces are for sale in our webshop
The 506th had to capture the bridge over the Wilhelmina canal at Son and move further south to Eindhoven and secure four bridges over the Dommel river. They achieved none of their tasks on the 17th. They assembled quickly, marched towards Son but were met by a German 88 mm gun in the center of Son which stopped the advance. 1st Battalion tried to bypass the town on the west and flanked the German position, but they were stopped by two 88 mm guns positioned at the canal, inflicting many casualties in the ranks of the paratroops. The paratroopers of the 506th moved up the main road quickly, took out the 88 mm guns and forced their way towards the bridge. The enemy had halted the troops of the 506th long enough to wire the bridge with explosives and once the first paratroopers neared the bridge, they blew it up sky high. The engineers prepared a small wooden bridge over the canal and two battalions crossed, but it wasn’t big enough to get the battalions across quickly. Colonel Robert Sink, commander of the 506th ordered his troops to dig in just south of the canal, they would try to take Eindhoven the next day. In the morning the 506th assembled 2nd and 3rd battalion and moved out towards Eindhoven. 1st Battalion had suffered many casualties at Son and would follow the main force later in the afternoon. It didn’t take long for the Germans to respond to the attacking force. On the outskirts of Eindhoven the paratroops were met by 88 mm guns and heavy machine gun fire. Slowly the troops advanced and after an intense battle two 88 mm guns were destroyed, prisoners were taken and the troops continued to the bridges. The four bridges over the Dommel river were taken without a fight and the 506th formed a defensive perimeter. Early in the afternoon two armored cars from XXX-corps linked up with troops of the 506th at the Woenselsestraat. First contact was made but sadly the paratroopers had to report that the bridge at Son was lost. At around 19.00 hours, the main force of XXX-corps arrived in Eindhoven linking up with the troops of the 506th. Engineers of XXX-corps were sent forward towards the bridge at Son to place a Bailey bridge over the Wilhelmina canal.