Just in time for the release of Frank van Lunteren’s latest book, Blocking Kampfgruppe Peiper, Frank received a sudden call from Lieutenant Willmarie Flores on the afternoon of Friday 18 September. She asked him if he was able to come to Ginkel Heath (former DZ of the 1st British Airborne Division) near Ede the next day to meet her and Colonel Colin P. Tuley, commander of the 1st Brigade (504th PIR), 82nd Airborne Division. Both wanted Frank to autograph their copies of his first book ‘The Battle of the Bridges’. It was a huge surprise for him to learn that once again a 504th PIR detachment was in the Netherlands. Last year Colonel Trevor Bredenkamp and RSM Scott Brzak had presented him an Honorary Membership on behalf of the 504th PIR Association.
Early on Saturday morning Frank woke up and drove to Ginkel Heath, where he arrived at 09.30 hours. The sky was grey and soon rain drops started falling. It was clear that the morning jumps were cancelled. But at 11.00 hours the Annual Commemoration started at the memorial for the British 4th Parachute Brigade – in remembrance of their jump in 1944. He received a text message from Lieutenant Flores and soon a Captain Cavalier appeared who appeared to be an assisting Regimental S-3 officer. Cavalier provided him with a special wristband to enter the closed off VIP section on Ginkel Heath where he reported to Colonel Tuley, saluted and introduced himself. Frank was pleased to learn that the Colonel had used his book while writing a speech which he gave two days previously at the John Thompson Bridge ceremony at Grave. Lieutenant Flores brought the copies forward and a nice pen, with which I signed their books. Frank was also introduced to LT COL Mark Ivezaj (2/501 PIR) and Command Sergeant Major Alexander Barnett.
After the commemoration had ended, Colonel Tuley kindly acknowledged to a group photo consisting of some of his key Brigade personnel. The photo was made in front of the memorial.