The German and American Airmen's Memorial
The German and American Airmen's Memorial was erected by participants of the Kassel Mission air battle in honor of the men on both sides who died that day, 27 September 1944. It was the first memorial to be co-created by former enemies.
The memorial is located in the hills just outside Friedlos, Germany, where the lead 445th plane crashed. Five members of that crew, including the pilot and mission commander, perished.
Any man who fought in that battle would carry it with him for the rest of his life, if he survived. This memorial, and the dedication on 1 August 1990 and subsequent pilgrimages to it, has rendered healing to these airmen and their families. In the moments just after unveiling the monuments containing the names of the 136 brave men who died in the battle, their compatriots join hands with their former enemies in a symbolic gesture of victory over war.
Mr. Walter Hassenpflug, who watched the lead plane crash when he was just 12 years old, serves as guardian for the memorial. He is a kind guide to any and all who would like to visit. Every year on September 27, he and a contingent of Germans and some Americans, commemorate the battle and the lessons learned from the joining of hands with our enemy.