You will find the memorial in memory of the 16 known allied aircraft which crashed within the municipality of Neder-Betuwe’s territory during the Second World War in Opheusden - where the Pijenkampse Veldweg and the Parallelweg come together and near the spot where a Douglas C-47A once crashed.
The memorial was designed by Bart Belonje and, first and foremost, consists of one main element: a six meter high corten steel sheet pile profile, which is crowned by a stainless steel, glossy silhouette of a Douglas C-47A. This contrast symbolises the contradictions between war and peace, destruction and construction.
Along the main element with the C-47A silhouette there are two long rows with a total of 16 steel profiles. Each profile represents an allied aircraft which crashed in the municipality of Neder-Betuwe during the Second World War.
There is a stainless steel sheet at the top of each profile, depicting debris from the stricken aircraft. These pieces feature data relevant to the crashed aircraft, including the type of aircraft, the crash date, the crash location, the commander and the number of occupants.
The front row consists of seven profiles with a height of 1.50 m. A second row of nine profiles can be found behind these, with a height of 2.00 m. Red beech hedges have been planted behind these rows, the colour of which beautifully matches the sheet pile profiles’ rusty colour. Footpaths made from Grauwacke semi-paving have been laid in front of the rows of profiles. The Dakota C-47A profile is lit via a ground spotlight, which is connected to the street lighting. The entire design has been fitted into the landscape by landscape architect Jan Bruyn.
Visitors look up at the crashed aircraft and the sky behind it and feel involved with the history and stories about the war which took place in this part of the Betuwe.