At a young age, Paul Hendriks (1961) came into contact with military objects that he found in his father's shed. His interest in the history of the Second World War was thus aroused. In the early 1970s, he and his brother laid the foundation for a collection, in which the Allied side in particular had their attention. After a number of years in which the collecting anger declined, he picked it up again in the early 1990s. The focus now came to lie mainly on the huge numbers of gliders that flew from England to the landing areas in September 1944. At the turn of the century, he was asked to exhibit part of his collection in Museum Airbase Deelen. When a large barn became available at Chaletpark "De Lindenhof" in Wolfheze in 2009, he was able to realize his wish to have his own exhibition space. The pieces that had been on display in Deelen until then were transferred to Wolfheze, supplemented with many new objects that were not known to the general public until then.
One of the most eye-catching objects is the hull of a Horsa glider. With this he laid the foundation for the exhibition as it can be seen today. The object gives the visitor an idea of the great effort of the British war industry during the Second World War. In addition to this fuselage, a substantial part of an American Waco glider is also on display.
The museum also contains a seat from the cockpit of a Hamilcar glider. On Sunday, September 17, 1944, Sergeant Charles W. Winkworth was seated in this seat when the glider he was in overturned on landing. The sergeant was killed in this accident, after which he was given a field grave in the immediate vicinity. This grave was lost in the winter months of 1944 to ‘45, making Winkworth one of the missing soldiers of the battle of Arnhem to date. In the near future, further historical research on his person will be conducted.
If you want to get an idea of the scale of the airborne landings in September 1944, this exhibition is well worth a visit. Paul likes to talk about his ever-continuous search for everything that has to do with this aspect of Operation Market Garden. Moreover, the exhibition is located within walking distance of the air landing areas. A visit to his exhibition is a good addition to the Airborne Museum 'Hartenstein' in Oosterbeek.
The exhibition is located at Chaletpark "De Lindenhof", on the edge of Landing Zone S. Several sights are within walking distance. Especially during the first days of the battle of Arnhem, this area was the scene of fierce fighting. The Jeep tunnel under the railway line, the Glider monument and the Airborne Monument Wolfheze are reminders of this. Those who are willing to walk a little further will find several foxholes from the battle of Arnhem. The Foxhole Headquarters 4th Parachute Brigade are an example of this.
Plans are currently underway to further improve the exhibition space. Especially in the field of climate control, there will be further improvements. The shed will have to be insulated, but the appearance from the outside will be preserved as much as possible. Historical research into the objects on display will also be further intensified in the coming years.
For current visiting hours, please visit the website of the museum.
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- Text: Jeroen Niels, STIWOT (13-03-2013)
- Photos: Arjan Vrieze (1), Arjan Vrieze (2, 3, 4, 5)