On Sunday the 17th of September 1944 operation Market Garden started when the allies dropped off their air landing troops on several locations in the Netherlands to conquer several bridges and held a route later called "Hell's Highway". The British ground troops already waiting near the Belgium border near Valkenswaard started their ground offensive and try to open a gap in the German lines as soon as possible to make a breakthrough from The Netherlands to Germany.
On the 17th of September 1944 and the days following, the 101st Airborne division landed near Son by parachute and glider. The weeks following the 101st Airborne Division and 30th British Corps and supporting units had some bitter fighting. During these fights against the germans occupiers many young Americans and Brits got wounded or even lost their live.
The wounded american casualties were mainly transported to the Sanatorium “Zonhove” in the centre of the town of Son. Those who lost their live were brought to the temporarily US Cemetery in the fields on the northern side of Son near the farm called “Waterhoef”.
The americans opened the cemetery on the 19th of September 1944. On this particular day some local eyewitnesses saw a group of German P.O.W. under guard of the Americans marching along the road with a shuffle and other working tools in their hand in the direction of the “Waterhoef” to dig the graves of the American casualties.
This road was used from the 19th of September 1944 till 1949 as the main entrance road to the cemetery were 411 US servicemen ,48 British and 1 Canadian were buried. Less known is that their were even several hundred germans were buried from 1944 till 1946 in the back of the us cemetery.
Most of the graves on the cemetery of the allied casualties were adopted by civilians of Son.
The British casualties were reburied in 1947 in other cemeteries such as in the place Mierlo and Bergen op Zoom.
Around 1948 the us government started with a program to return the decised to the US or to rebury their beloved ones on the US cemetery in Margraten in the providence of Limburg in The Netherlands. About 60% of the US servicemen turned back to the United States.
In 1949 the grounds were the temporary cemetery had their ground was given back to the former owner and till this day it’s still in use as farmland.
Unfortunately till 2006 nothing remembered this remarkable place. But in December 2006 their was a stone marker unveiled on the crossing off the former Hell’s Highway road between Son and St Oedenrode and the road that led to the former US Cemetery Son.