Saturday, December 12, 2009

Antwerp's Groenplaats Exposition, 1945

An anti aircraft gun in Groenplaats, Antwerp, 1945. The building in the background is now a Hilton Hotel.
Among my grandfather's photographs is a shot of an anti-aircraft gun in what looks like some kind of air show. I assumed this was Antwerp, because of the words on the sign in the background looked Dutch. Curious, I contacted Tracy Dungan, author of V-2: A Combat History of the First Ballistic Missile and Here is his response:

"The Groenplaats Exhibition was put on by the Allies in Antwerp in the summer following the end of hostilities. It was a victory celebration of sorts, for the people of Antwerp. Each nation's military exhibited military hardware, along with captured German equipment. The V-1 and V-2 were of interest to the people of Antwerp for obvious reasons."

He also emailed me a roof-top photo. I noticed that the planes in the shot looked like those my grandfather had marked in his album as "Paris Air Show." Yet, on the back was written, "Antwerp." When I compared the roof line in the background of his ground-level photos, I saw that these were actually in Antwerp (check out the photos bellow). Another exciting discovery!

A RAF Horsa glider.

P-51 Mustang, Groenplaats Exhibition, 1945, Antwerp.

V-1 Rocket

V-2 Rocket
See more photos of the Groenplaats Exposition in my 2015 post.


  1. The mystery RAF Plane (labeled paris Air Show) looks like a Horsa Glider, the sort used during the D-Day landings at Pegasus Bridge.


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