Retaliation Ceremony Vroenhoven - 11 Mei 20
Every year a ceremony is organized on the 11th of May at the bridge over the Albert Canal at Vroenhoven (Riemst). This ceremony remembers the heroism and sacrifices of the crews of the Fairey Battles of 12 Squadron RAF and the Belgian 5th Squadron on 11 and 12th of May 1940, during the air attacks on the 3 bridges over the Albert canal at Kanne, Vroenhoven and Veltwezelt. The local army units had been unable to destroy those bridges, after the surprise attacks on the 10th of May by German paratroopers on the fortress of Eben-Emael and the canal bridges (also see www.debrugvanvroenhoven.be).
Since Monday 11 May 2020 marked the 80th anniversary of the events, the intention was to give some additional “visibility” to the ceremony, as was done for the 75th .
- Invitation of distinguished guests
- Military “protocol” on the ground
- Air Display: a simulation of the bombing runs by Marchetti SF 260 of the 5 Squadron and fly past of Spitfire and F-16s
- Visit to the local museum/restaurant at the Vroenhoven bridge.
In the past, a delegation from the 12 Squadron RAF Association was hosted at this ceremony, but unfortunately Michael Pitt, the last surviving veteran of 12 Squadron in 1940, passed away last year. However, we have learned that 12 Squadron has been reformed as a joint RAF/Qatari Emiri Air Force unit for air and ground crew training on Eurofighter Typhoon.
Unfortunately, due to the current situation concerning COVID-19, this remembrance ceremony had to be canceled. However, we will forever remember the heroism and sacrifices of those involved. The Mayor of Riemst, Mr. Marc Vos, paid his respects at the monument yesterday, on the 80th anniversary, a gesture that is greatly appreciated!