Item Description: Dutch Guilder banknotes issued to Allied paratroopers prior to Operation "Market Garden".

Introduction: In David K. Webster's book "Parachute Infantry" we found his diagram of "The Complete Wardrobe for the Holland Tourist, September 1944", showing most of the equipment that an American paratrooper in the 101st carried into battle for Operation "Market Garden". The hand-drawn diagram fascinated us and we decided to try and collect all the items in it. One of the items seemed to be an easy one:

The Story: Some of the items in Webster's drawing were easier to obtain than it appeared at first. For example, we did not know what "Halazone tablets" are and thought it would be difficult to get these.
They proved to be an item that is still available in larger quantities, even from the World War Two era.
These are nothing more than water purification pills....
The air sickness pills were the most difficult to acquire. We did get them and published an article about the "ingredients" of these "motion sickness preventive tablets".
The item featured in this Battle Relic article indeed proved to be readily available.
The Dutch money, Webster referred to are the bank notes that the liberating British and American paratroopers carried with them when the jumped into occupied Holland.
These were Dutch guilders as ordered by Royal Netherlands Government (in exile in London) decree No. 2 of February 4th,1943 printed by the The American Banknote Company:

(click on the thumbnails to enlarge)

Shortly after the first paratroopers and gliderborne soldiers set foot on Dutch soil, the Nazi-controlled Nationale Dagblad (National Daily) published this article on the September 25th, 1944:

The article is titled: "Invasion money for the Netherlands 'Made in America'" and it concludes as follows:
"We trust that the German armed forces, supported by a recently activated Brigade Nederland, will end the invasion and with it, this bank note charade, which has caused such a bitter taste."

We were able to obtain quite a few of these banknotes at a coin and bank note collector's show and used a 1 guilder note for an old airborne tradition and had several Eagle Men of the 101st Airborne Division sign it:

It is signed by:

- Bob Lott, infantryman with the 401st Glider Infantry Regiment (3rd Battalion/327th Glider Infantry Regiment);
- John Eisen, communication (telephone) wireman with the 101st Signal Company;
- Art Schmitz, teletype operator with the 101st Signal Company;
- Paul Hanna, staff officer with the 101st Airborne Division Headquarters;
- Ray Nagell, artilleryman with the 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion.

We had the  bank note signed in September 2004 and unfortunately some of these veterans passed away since. We were happy to meet John Eisen and Ray Nagell in September 2009 (the latter again in December 2009).
Since the introduction of the Euro on January 1st 2002, the Dutch guilder lost its value.
The collectors value for these invasion bank notes is moderate, considering the price of other items on Webster's drawing. But the autographs of our liberators turns it into a priceless object.

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