Case File # 5             

Case Title: Sniper in the Mignot & De Block Building

Subject: German sniper in the Mignot & De Block Building taking pot shots at US paratroopers having lunch

Date: September 18th, 1944

Location: Eindhoven, Holland

 

Introduction:

During a 2004 interview about a different subject, eye-witness mr. Theo Bayens of Eindhoven, 18 years old at the time, told us the story of a German sniper, hiding in one of the buildings of the Mignot & De Block Cigar Factory. Theo and his brother, Tonnie Bayens, went into town to watch the liberation of their home city. They saw a group of paratroopers taking a rest in front of the Church of the Holy Heart. Bayens said: "They had folding bicycles, walkie-talkies and pockets everywhere on their uniforms. Things we'd never seen before!" 

 

Then, a sniper took pot-shots at the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division who where 'taking five', with their K-rations. The Airborne soldiers had just reached their main objectives, the Dommel River bridges in Eindhoven, on D + 1 of Operation Market Garden, Monday September 18th 1944. The troopers where sitting on the sidewalk of Vestdijk when suddenly bullets struck the iron gate they were leaning against. The shots appeared to come from one of the windows in the cigar factory. Bayens said: "These Americans didn't seem to get very excited by the sniper shooting at them. Some of the G.I.'s just put aside their food, got their rifles and went through the gate to take care of the sniper."

Battledetective has shown the aerial photograph of the building complex to Theo Bayens and he did point the iron gate. Bayens was not able to show the window from which the sniper fired at the American soldiers.

 

This incident has not been recorded in any other publication before.

 

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