The Ardennes woods are silent now The battle smoke has fled Fifty


The Ardennes woods are silent now The battle smoke has fled Fifty
'^General Carlson's address to our VBOB Orlando Reunion was,
arguably, the most informative, entertaining tribute to the
courageous Bulge GI ever written.
Past VBOB President John Dunleavy
The Ardennes woods are silent now
The battle smoke has fled
Fifty years and seven have past
NoWy only memories. . . and the dead.
Battle of the Bulge Keynote Speaker
October 2001
Brigadier General William E. Carlson fUSA/Ret.)
ars are planned by old men in the comfort o f
council rooms, far from the field o f battle.
It was the 16th o f September 1944. Adolf Hitler
had summoned a group o f his senior officers to his study
in the huge, underground bunker called the W olfs Lair.
Hitler’s secret headquarters, hidden deep underground in a
pine forest in East Prussia. Those summoned were his
closest and most trusted military advisors
Among them, there was only one who wore the
red stripes of the German General Staff on his uniform.
He was the head o f Operations Staff o f the High Com­
mand of the Wehrmacht, General Alfred Jodi. The offi­
cers were waiting when Hitler entered. Looking consid­
erably older than his fifty-four years, he was recovering
from the injuries he had received in the assassination at­
tempt on his life two months earlier. His shoulders were
sagging, his face was drawn and drained o f color, and his
skin had turned yellow, as if he had jaundice. He had a
ruptured eardrum and at times he had an uncontrollable
twitching o f his right arm. Slowly taking his seat. Hitler
instructed Jodi to sum up the situation on the Western
Jodi noted that the strength o f the opposing
forces heavily favored the Western Allies. Over the past
three months, the Germans had suffered more than a mil­
lion casualties - half o f them had been in the West. Jodi
noted that there was one area o f particular concern where
the Germans had almost no troops. That area was the re-
C o ntinued on P a g e 7
F.O. Box 11129
Arlington. VA 22210-2129
7 0 ^ ^ 2 8 -4 0 5 8
BU LGE BU GLE is the official
publication of the V eterans of
the Battle of the Bulge.
P u b lis h e r/C h ie f E ditor:
G eorge C hekan
9th Infantry Division
C o n th b J tin g E d ito rs:
R obert F. Phillips
28th Infantry Division
H isto rical R e s e a rc h ;
Jo h n D Bowen
A ssociate M ember
• • • ••
P re s id e n t:
Louis Cunningham
'0 6 th Infantry Division
E xecutii/e Vice P re s id e n t:
Richard G. G uenter
511th Engineer Light Ponton Company
V ice P ro sid e n t/M e m b e rsh ip :
T hom as F. J o n e s
818th C om bat MP C om pany
V ice P ri? sid e n t/C h a p te rs:
R ichard C. Schlenker
26th Infantry Division
Vice P reiid en t/M llitary A ffairs:
Stanley Wojtusik
106th Infantry Division
V ice P re jid e n t/P u b llc A ffairs:
Ja c k Hyland
84th Infantry Division
R obert F. Phillips
28th Infantry Division
Neil B. T hom pson
740th T ank Battalion (\^ed)
T w o Y ears:
J a m e s W. Hunt
1st Infantry Division
Dem etri Paris
9th A rm ored Division
C harles L. G o s s
75th Infantry Division
O n e Y ear:
Frederick R. C arm ichael
87th Infantry Division
F ra n c e s W. Doherty
A sso c ia te M einber
P e ter F. Dounis
75th Infantry Division
President: William T. Greenville
86th Chemical Mortar Battalion
Clyde D. Boden*
R obert J. V anH outen 1984-86
G eorge C hekan
William T. G reenville 1988-90
Darrell Kuhn
William R Hemphill* 1992-93
William P. T aym an
G rover C. Twiner
Stanley W ojtusik
G eorge C. Linthicum 1997-99
Jo h n J. D unleavy 1999-;?001
•D e c e a se d
T re a s u re r:
William P. Taym an
87th Infantry Division
C o rre s p o n d in g S e c re ta ry :
Dorothy S. Davis
57th Field Hospital
R e c o rd in g S e c re ta ry :
Jo h n Bowen
A sso ciate M ember
A d m in iiitrativ e D irector:
N ancy M onson 703-528-4058
• ••••
T h re e > e a rs :
S ydney J Law rence
134th AAA Gun Battalion
K snnetfi H oim ann
4111 N. Sh<!tman St.
F -esn o , CA 93725
OonaM C. Stafford
1i)1 Via Sooertni
A otos. CA 95003
GOLDEN 6 A T E (< )
D enis P a rso n s
1 )4 Marina Ct Dr
S a n R afael. CA 94901
Jo h n W. M osley
1<)428 Lebo St
V\'h(ttier. CA 90603
R sberl 0 . Schrell
2 )30 S a n Jo aq u in Ct
S an Diego. Califo'nia 92109
R ichard E gan
7 'i Alcove Si
W eriden.C T 064 51
M. Dale McCall
2 45 S G olden Dr
S it, C O 81652
R sb e rl L S tev en so n
213 3 Lake Dr
W inter Parli FL 22789-2839
G eraki V Myers
3:>0 E Palm Dr
Liikeland, F t 33803-2650
A fred J. B abecki
915 HemlocK St
B ire fo o tB a y , FL 32976
G eorge F isher
3456 S O c ea n Blvd «503
P jim B each FL :i3450
W alter G Bridges
2 0 S - 4 n -3 4 0 9
22S Laird Ave
Hueytow n. A labam a 35023
S am uel Davis
1 104 Todd Way
T .iv a re s.F L 32778
Harry Legg
2929 E Broadw ay Rd *103
M esa. A rizona 85204*1746
R obert L W 3rthin*)ton
1 '3 S uniano Dr
V )lparaiso. N 4638!
Jo h n G. W esto v er
61 0 0 N O racle #20
T u cso n , AZ 85704
Liivon T. McDaniel
6!>0 1st Ave NE
C am w i. IN 46032-1324
R o g er H ardy
(5 0 ).4 1.71.13
14, Landdijk
8370 B lan b en b erge. Belgium
C fiarles Gaf^eney
907 Shipley Rd
VMImington. DE 19803-4927
520-25 7-1492
H arold R. l.indstrom
4105 75th St.
D esM cin iis. lA 50322-2551
D em etn P sris
13110 H oklndge Rd
Silver S p r ng. MD 20906
S O U T T E R / C E N T R A L
J o h n E McAuliffe
4 25 P le a sd n t St.
W orcester, MA 01609
Roy Drysclitle
P C Box 1074
Sandw ich MA 02563
M aurice Cc-le
PO Box. 81
Fife Lake, \^l 49633
Mitchell Kaicy
921 C rittenden Rd
R o ch ester, NY 14623
Hert>er1 Goodwin
PO Box 285
).1onroe. NY 10950
David Saltmiin
PO Box 7127
W antagh. N '' 11793
William R. Sirickland
R.D. «3, Bo>; «514
Dunn. NC 28334
To be a n ro u n c e d
Merle W McMorrow
917 Midway Dr
B ism arck. NO 58501
J a m e s W. Young
30 P e a :h iie e Ln
Ma-lison \IS 39110-9647
Donakj E. Zoll
827 S Cory :5t
Findlay. Oh 4 58^0
W Kent S t?p h en s
107 BlLftvi'iw Lane
Collinsvillii IL 62234
33 Clover St.
Nulley. Nv 07110
J a m e s £. barker
195 Stahl's W ay
N odh Plainfiekl. NJ 07060
Edw ard TuTell
3 C h estn u t Dr
Hamlet, NJ 07730
Lloyd Orth
10 Locust Gt
Mt. Laurel. NJ 08054
Milton S h ep h erd
PO B ox 1 » 5
C o s h e r . N.1 08218
J a m e s D e^aim a
104 S a s lo r Parli Dr
Liverpool, NY 13088-6450
R obert L. Hyde
15 She'Till Ln
N ew H artfsrd NY 13413
R ichara M MarowiU
420 S an d C reek Rd «1-204
Albany, N<i«v Yot1( 12205
Milan A. Rol k
1278 C ulpepper Dr
Akron. OH <4313-6840
( ^ r a ld E. H cgue
18905 S ta te R oute 309 E
Kenton. OH 43326-9723
F:dwin J S toch
27101 Edgecliff Dr
FiucW. Oh a i 3 2
P u s P Reis
103 DHvenport St
HDistein, lA 51025
CanfDine D. 3urzum ato
630 W oodrow Rd
:3taten lslan<]. NY 10312
S tanley W oftusik
9639 W issinsm in^S t
Philadelphia PA 19114
Ms. C lara Giistin
23 0 Crown ^.ve
S cranton. PA 18505-2016
S ain u el B. S c a le s
341 9 F o ste r Ln
R ending, PA 19605
Jo h n W. F a g u e
30C Lurgan Ave
Shippensbury, PA 17257
W ilia m G ay n o r
4 0 M ii7 -1 2 9 7
PO Box 164
W arren, R) 02885
J a n ie s C C ovington
8 0 ^ 7 7 6 -3 5 3 2
812 Fairw ood Dr
Colum bia. SC 29209
J a n e s C Burtner
10212 B nar F o rest Dr
H ouston. TX 77042-2407
7 1 3-7J13-6149
Ned W. Smith
11399 C ounty R oad 2326
Tylur, TX 75707-9541
Jo h n Hamilton
96C6 Tioga Dnve
S an Antonio, TX 78269-1904
2ia-6& 6-1904
C houncy L. Harris
PO Box 112474
Carrollton, TX 75011-2474
A lp ta A .C hevrette
60M E .5-9448
16 Jirch Hill Dr
H ooksett.N H 03106-1523
Evfi. M. Popovich
1 6 C 0 S E a d s SI »238-South
A rliigton. VA 22202-2905
W Baxter Perkinson
9441 W. R iver Rd.
M aloaca,V A 23803-1019
Loiji Wick
P O Box 64388
University P lace, WA 09474-0338
Jo h n D iSattista
923 O rchard Ave
(iree n b u rg . PA 15601
To 3e ann o u n ced
Felix J . Cistck)
111 Frankiin Ave
Ellw oodCity PA 16117-2214
(Seorge F, S :h n e id e r
237 Willow \ ’alley Dr
L ancaster, P<\ 17602-4782
P e te r F L es ie
PO Box 41
C hangew ater, NJ 07831-0041
hebruai'y 2002
President's Message
I w ant to begin w ith a very sincere "thank you" for the honor
you have given m e to serve as y our new president. Indeed, I
fee! it is an honor to serve as a representative not only o f our
m em bers but also o f all o f our com rades w ho fought and won
the B attle o f the B ulge 57 years ago.
W e are the ones charged w ith
keeping not only the m em ory o f
our victory alive, but w ith k eeping
alive the m em ory o f those 19,000
G I’s w ho died fighting in the
w oods and villages o f B elgium and
L uxem bourg in the w in ter o f
1944-45. T hey left us a legacy o f
courage, determ ination, and victory
that we have a duty to keep before
the w orld. W e w ill continue to do
all w e can to m ake sure this
m em ory o f th eir sacrifices—and
those o f our ow n—rem ain before
the A m erican people.
A nd, w hile 1 am honored to be
L o u is C u n n in g h a m
your president, I feel hum ble that
I think o f our past presiden ts—founders o f VBO B and those who
follow ed. T hey have been an inspiration to m e, and I know 1
can call on those w ho are still w ith us for help in the future.
W ith honor goes responsibility, and I w elcom e it and the
challenge that goes w ith the jo b .
O ne area w here w e are need ed right now is in rallying support
for our troops in the field and all o f our servicem en and w om en
engaged in th e b a ttle a g a in s t a new k in d o f en em y . L et’s not
m ake the m istake m ade during the V ietnam era w here few rallied
to support those in uniform . W orking to g eth er with our chapters
throughout the country w e can m ake a d ifference, we can m ake
an im pact.
1 w ant to cite one exam ple o f chapters w orking to g ether to
accom plish a goal. The five chapters in Florida petitioned
G overnor Jeb Bush to declare D ecem ber 16th as Battle o f the
B ulge Day. T he gov ern o r issued a proclam ation to that effect
and officially D ecem b er 16 is B attle o f the B ulge D ay in Florida.
The E xecutive C ouncil is now planning next S ep tem ber’s
reunion. A lthough it w ill be hard to m atch the w onderful
reception w e had in O rlando last year, w e w ill do our best to
find a site and date th at w ill be acceptable to as m any o f you as
possible. You w ill be notified as soon as plans are finalized. It
w as great m eetin g so m any o f you there and w e hope to see you
next fall as w ell.
Let m e add a w ord o f thanks for my friends from the D elaw are
V alley w ho m ade the trip to attend the cerem ony at the T om b o f
the U nknow ns in A rlington C em etery and our luncheon and
installation o f officers on D ecem ber 16 at Fort M yer, V irginia.
S ecurity w as high and it did slow us dow n, but everyone
understood and accepted in good hum or.
In the days and w eeks ahead, I w ant to h ear from y o u -fro m all
o f our m em bers—and w ith you w ill w ork out a program that w ill
keep our o rganization g ro w in g .n
Submitted by Roger Hardy, Chairman
5th Fusiliers Chapter of VBOB
A ctiv ities fo r 2001 [Edited]
1. O n M ay 26th the F usiliers veterans celebrated M em orial
D ay as follow s:
W reath laying at the 5th Fusiliers/526th
A rm ored Infantry B attalion/825th T ank D estroyer Battalion
m em orial in Stavelot and attendance at the cerem onies in H enriC hapelle U .S. M ilitary C em etery.
2. On M ay 31st, a delegation w as also present at the M em orial
D ay cerem onies in B astogne. O ur N ational C hairm an M arcel
D ’H aese and R egional C hairm an Jean B artet laid a w reath at the
M ardasson M em orial.
3. On July 27th, the 5th Fusiliers attended the parade o f
change-over o f com m and at the U.S. 80th A rea Support Group
in C hievres betw een C olonel Stephen H ayw ard and C olonel
T im othy Q uinn. O ur platoon w as invited to participate in the
inspection o f troops and parade. T his w as a great honor for us.
4. On M ay 10th (celebration o f the end o f WWI I in E urope)
the 5th F usiliers veterans laid a w reath in M ons at the m em orial
o f the 1st U.S. Infantry D ivision w hich liberated M ons in
S eptem ber o f 1944.
5. On O ctober 7th (57th anniversary o f the creation o f the 5th
B elgian Fusiliers B attalion) w e laid a w reath o f flow ers at the
5th Fusiliers m em orial in the old T resignies B arracks in
C harleroi w here w e trained before being sent to cam paign w ith
the 1st U nited States A rm y on D ecem ber 13, 1944.
6. A delegation w as sent to the com m em oration o f the B attle
o f the B ulge w hich took place in B astogne on D ecem ber 22nd.
Pictured left to right: M arcel D 'Haese, Chairman o f the
5th Fusiliers Association; Andre Liesse, representative o f
Charleroi Mayor; and Colonel (U.S.) Timothy Quinn,
Commanding Officer o f the 80th Area Support Group
President’s M essage
Letters to the Editor
General Carlson’s Address
Members Speak Out
Armed Forces Museum
Ft. Belvoir Museum
Christmas - 57 Years Ago
The Diggers
Memorable Bulge Incidents
Recurring Memories
Christmas Never Had
BOB 57th Commemoration
Mass. Chapter Honors
Task Force Davisson
Presidential Citation
Belgians Feel Our Pain
VBOB Quarterm aster
February 2002
I re a d R o s s R a s m u s s e n 's article in th e N ovem ber. 2001, is s u e of The
Bugle a b o u t artillery forw ard o b s e rv e rs an d a g re e com pletely with his
a s s e s s m e n t of th eir v a lu e , e x p e rtis e a n d bravery.
A s a co m b at
infantrym an, I c a n a tte s t to th e fact th a t a fon/vard o b se rv e r probably
s a v e d m y life a n d th a t of my frien d s m o re th an on ce.
T h a t being sa id . I d o ta k e is s u e with his d e sire for a s e p a ra te C om bat
Artillery Fonw ard O b s e rv e r B ad g e. I feel th a t in th e last few y e a rs th e re
h a s b e e n s u c h a n ex p lo sio n of b a d g e s an d m e d a ls an d su c h a reduction
in th e re q u ire m e n ts for th em , th a t th ey a re b ecom ing a lm o st m ea n in g le ss.
R e m e m b e r how w e m a d e jo k e s a b o u t so ld iers from little, o b sc u re
c o u n trie s w ho s p o rte d a c h e s t full of m e d a ls ? Look a t s o m e of th o se
g u y s in ten/iew ed on TV--a rainbow of color. V ery im p ressiv e to the
civilians, but c lo s e in sp ectio n re v e a ls a lot of ribbons a b o u t a s m eaningful
a s m y G o o d C o n d u c t a n d North A m erican T h e a tre m ed a ls. R e m e m b er
th o s e th re e g u y s c a p tu re d in K o so v o ? E ac h of th em got six. c o u n t ’em
SIX. m e d a ls a s a rew ard. O u r C inC a w a rd e d C o n g re ssio n a l M edals of
H onor, a d o z e n or m o re a t a tim e. A lso in th e K osovo bom bing operation,
g ro u n d c re w s in Missouri w e re a w a rd e d c o m b a t m e d a ls for servicing the
b o m b e rs. T his a ls o h a p p e n e d a t Italian b a s e s . R e m e m b e r th e point
s y s te m a t th e e n d of VVWII? W ho w e n t h o m e first b e c a u s e all of their
m e d a ls g a v e th e m p o in ts? Not th e c o m b a t infantrym an, th e c o m b a t
m ed ic or th e c o m b a t forw ard o b se rv e r. W ho actually fought an d w on th e
w a r? You g o t it!
A n y o n e w ho w a s actually in c o m b a t kn o w s of in s ta n c e s w h e re a m edal
w a s a w a rd e d w ithout m erit a n d a ls o w h e re a m edal w a s e a rn e d but not
a w a rd e d . It h a s a lw a y s b e e n s o a n d will alw ay s b e so . Life is not fa irn e v e r h a s b e e n a n d n e v e r will be. T o a n y o n e w ho h a s b e e n in com bat,
a c c e p ta n c e a n d ap p ro v al by his c o m b a t b u d d ie s is a m uch higher rew ard
th an a n y m edal, b a d g e or ribbon could e v e r be.
I s a lu te you, R o ss , an d th a n k you a n d oth er fonward o b s e rv e rs for
sa v in g m y butt.
T h o r R o n n in g e n
99 INFD 395 INF I
Y our R a s m u s s e n article of "F orw ard O b s e rv e r Duty with th e Infantry,"
p a g e 25. in your N o v e m b er 2001. c a u s e d m e to p o n d e r an d now
e x p o u n d , le a v e th e c o m b a t b a d g e s alone! Let th e C IS rem ain a s the
so le recognition of th e "PBI"!
My c red e n tia ls. Initially a s a field o b s e rv e r radiom an with C Battery, 7th
Field Artillery B attalion, of "T he Big R ed O ne" from th e D-D ay landing to
C z ec h o slo v a k ia ! T h en a g ain a s a forw'ard observ-er lieutenant in K orea
with th e 187th A irborne R egim ent. T hough this duty w a s a lw ay s daunting,
it w a s n e v e r a s "hairy" a s th a t of th e su p p o rte d d oughfeet. in th e infantry
p lato o n s alongside!
[Author included an article entitled ‘T h e Hurtin' Forest" to be forwarded
to Mr R a sm u ssen .]
Let m e m ention, I a c a u lre d bv CIB by transferring to th e infantry and
p u sh in g (like w e t sp a g h e tti) a n infantry platoon, on my s e c o n d tour in
K orea.
A lfred A. A lv a re z
in th e A ugust, 2000, is s u e of The Bulge Bugle you p ublished th e c o m b at
history of th e 2 5 3rd A rm ored Field Artillery Battalion for th e period of the
B ulge. I n e g le c te d to tell you this inform ation w a s put to g e th e r and
w ritten by C a p t D o u g la s C h a m b e rs, H e a d q u a rte rs B attery C om m ander,
a n d A s sista n t B attalion 3-3, an d S /S g t. L am bert G erding, a lso of HQ
b attery . T h e m aterial w a s ta k e n from th e B attalion After Action reports.
B o y d O . M cNeil, J r .
2 53 AFA BN
I finally re aliz e d m y d re a m of returning to Belgium , in S e p te m b e r 2001,
lOr ii'ic i i i d i i i i i t e a i i i u e v v u n u w a r ii.
In th e A u g u st 2001 issu e of The Bulge Bugle th e re is a n article written
by M elissa M cKeon entitled "G ratitude United L iberators and th e
L iberated."
W hat a w onderful article for su c h good p e o p le a s the
S c h m etz . My wife an d I w e re fortunate to m e e t M arcel an d Mathiide
S c h m e tz a n d visit their "R e m em b er 1939-1945" M useum . T hey m ak e you
feel s o a p p rec ia ted . I ju st c a n n o t fully e x p r e s s my g ratitude tow ard them .
My feelings tow ard th e p e o p le of Belgium w a s g re a t during th e w ar. It is
now e v e n m ore s o b e c a u s e of p e o p le like M arcel an d M athiide an d the
o th er p e o p le of Belgium.
E d w a rd E c h m a lia n
T h e following is offered in re s p o n s e to T h o m a s T en g ro v e ’s co m m en t
a b o u t M anhay a p p ea rin g on p a g e 14 of th e N o v e m b er 20091 Bulge
T h e p a p e rb a c k book Manhay, the A rdennes C hhstm as 1944 by G eo rg e
W inter, copyright 1990, published by J. J. Fedorow itz Publishing, 267
W h ite g a te s Circle, W innipeg. M anitoba. C a n a d a R3K 112, is a good
so u rc e of information on th e su b je ct. (Not s u r e its still in print.)
A s for m yself, th e c lo s e s t I e v e r got to M anhay w a s a b o u t a 1,000 y a rd s
th e last five M-4’s in my c o m p a n y w e re k n o c k ed out in our atta ck on
C h ristm a s m orning 1944.
J o h n P. N aulty
T h e articles on hot chow m a d e my sto m a c h churn.
A s a first sc o u t with C o m p an y F. 2nd Infantry R egim ent. 5th Division, for
five m onths. I recall ch ecking on how long w e 'd b e e n on K rations. After
30 d a y s, I sto p p e d counting. W h at’s hot c h o w ?
G e o r g s H. Ja c k so r?
T his is in re s p o n s e to th e article on forw ard o b e rv e rs w hich a p p e a re d in
th e N o v em b er edition of The Bulge Bugle.
I am fiercely loyal to my heritage. I w a s a n in fan try m an -th is s e t s m e
a p a rt from an y o th e rs w ho call th e m s e lv e s c o m b a t m en. T hrough e le v en
m o nths an d five c am p aig n s, I s a w live c o m b a t e v e ry d ay while serving a s
a battalion s c o u t with th e 1 st Battalion, 109th Infantry R eg im en t of the
28th Infantry Division.
D O N ’T lump m e in with an y o th er b ra n ch of th e se rv ice , im portant a s
th ey m ay h a v e b e en . C o m b at with a "line co m p an y " is a hell no o n e but
an infantrym an w ho h a s b e e n th e re c a n im agine.
T h e C o m b at Infantry B a d g e Ir a rle c n ra tin n th a t shniilH h e rese> ^ed for
ju st th at-co m b a t infantry m en.
T his said. 1 w ould like to note o n e e x ce p tio n to all of this, th e forward
o b se rv e r with th e a cc o m p a n y in g artillery unit:
w ithout th e fonward
/s k A
itiu tjr
liw i
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ic iiC i.
-ru ...
itic y ,
a n d e sp e cially a C aptain Lynch, s a v e d m e a n d c o u n tle ss o th e rs in
H urtgen F o re st a s well a s m any o th er se c to rs . C aptain Lynch lost both
of his leg s while directing fire to p ro tect us. H e e n d u re d ev ery h ardship
th a t w e did, he w a s in th e s a m e d a n g e r z o n e th a t e v ery oth er infantry
m an w a s. T h e forw ard o b se rv e r w a s definitely a sp e c ia l b re e d of cat. He
w a s a c o m b a t infantrym an while up th e re doing his job.
Y es,
DEFINITELY, give him th e b a d g e - h e h a s e a rn e d it.
T h o m a s W. H ic k m a n
28 INFD 109 INF 1 BN
T h o m a s V. T rengrove, of th e 82nd A irborne, a s k e d w hy no o n e m entions
M anhay. Belgium. I m ight h a v e s o m e n e w s a b o u t this tow n. T h e 75th
Division w a s split up a t th e en d of D e c e m b e r to fill ho les in our line of
d e fe n s e
My outfit w a s th e 1 st Battalion of th e 2 9 1 s t R egim ent.
W e m oved into a sm all tow n in th e vicinity of M anhay on or about
D e c e m b e r 29th. W e relieved th e 7th A rm ored a n d w e n t to th e far sid e of
th e tow n an d s e t up a d e fe n s e looking a c r o s s a field w h e re w e could s e e
G e rm a n s walking a round on th e o th er sid e. (C ontinued on next pag e)
February 2002
T his m ay h a v e b e e n th e tow n of M anhay. P e rh a p s so m e o n e c a n clear
this up. W e g o t a s e v e re b a rra g e of m o rtars shortly after w e arrived. W e
lost o n e m an a t this tim e. T h e G e rm a n s n e v e r c ap tu red this town.
J a c o b B ry a n S p e rry
75 INFD 291 INF 1 BN
A s w e all know to o well, a n u m b er of our c o m ra d e s w e re hastily buried
during th e battle a n d h a v e b e e n MIA e v e r sin c e. T h e m edia h a v e m ad e
a big thing a b o u t th e MIA’s in Nam , but little is sa id ab o u t WWII MIA’s.
M ost p e o p le d o not know th a t efforts a re continuing, with s o m e s u c c e s s ,
to find th e re m a in s of our WWII c o m ra d e s.
Four y o ung B elgians h a v e m a d e It a p e rso n a l c ru s a d e to find th e s e
m en. T his is a n all v o lu n te e r effort an d th ey s e e k no g re a te r rew ard th an
to find th e m issing a n d return th em hom e. For s o m e y e a rs now w e in the
99th Division h a v e w orked closely with th em a n d it h a s paid off. W e are
very p le a s e d a t their s u c c e s s a n d w ould like m ore p eo p le to know a bout
them . I e n c lo s e a sh o rt narrative of so m ething a b o u t th em [published
elsew here in this issue, entitled "The D iggers^. You a re w elco m e to edit
my a cc o u n t, if n e c e s s a ry . I h a v e no p e rso n a l point to m ak e an d am only
se e k in g s o m e w e ll-d e se rv ed recognition for th e s e four o u tstan d in g young
Belgian friends of all A m erican v e te ra n s.
T h o r R o n n in g e n
99 INFD 395 INF I
I h a v e ju st finished reading o n e of th e b e st, if not th e b e s t copy of The
Bulge Bugle. T h e article "C hronicles of a Military C a re e r," by Rev. Msgr.
William F. O ’D onnell really hit hom e. I en jo y ed w h a t h e w rote very m uch
b e c a u s e s o m e of it s e e m e d like m y e x p e rie n c e s .........
O n th e internet, th e re is m ore c o n v ersa tio n going b a ck a n d forth about
th e B ulge th an e v e r before. S in c e th e Belgian r e s e a r c h e r s found th e
re m a in s of th re e 99th Division nnen, it h a s o p e n e d up m any m ore
m em o ries of th o s e awful, cold d a y s. M any w rite th a t th ey h a v e b e e n back
o v e r th e re a n d a re w arm ly w elcom ed. T h e in te rest of th e y o u n g e r p eople
o v e r th e re a re m u ch m ore in te re ste d in w h a t w e n t on in 1944-45 than
th o s e in th e s a m e a g e g ro u p s in this country.
I think th e article a b o u t v e te ra n s of th a t tim e giving talk s to school
children is g re at. I h a v e, in th e p a st, given a talk to high sc h o o l Junior
R O T C s tu d e n ts an d w a s a m a z e d by th e lack of know ledge of w h at the
w o rd s "Battle of th e Bulge" m eant. I sin c ere ly h o p e th a t I re a c h e d so m e
of them .
C h a r le s C u rley
2 INFD 38 INF 2 BN E
[Excerpts from letter foPA^anjed to/\/lonsignor O ’Donnell] Y our "Chronicle"
in th e A u g u st 2001 is s u e of The Bulge Bugle w a s very interesting and
your s e rv ic e e x p e rie n c e w a s s o very sim ilar to m y own. By changing
s o m e n u m b e rs a n d d a te s , I could a lm o st du p licate yo u r story.
I w a s particularly a ttra c te d to your sto ry b e c a u s e of y our p o st w ar
schooling a n d en try into th e priesthood. My se rv ic e e x p e rie n c e with a
catholic chaplain h a d a g re a t affect on m e a n d my life, e v e n though I am
p ro te s ta n t (U nited M ethodist).
My unit (99th Infantry Division), arrived in L eH avre, F ra n c e, in
S e p te m b e r, 1944, ju st a s you did, on LCI’s a n d m oved up into Belgium,
relieving th e v e te ra n 9th Division in th e A rd e n n e s F o rest. W e w e re th e re
w h e n th e G e rm a n s m a d e their big p u sh on D ecem t>er 16th.
I w as
w o u n d e d on D e c e m b e r 19th, w h en a B ouncing Betty m ine th at I w a s
trying to d isa rm e x p lo d e d u n d e r m e. I w a s a battalion l&R m an an d w a s
trying to g e t a p ath through a m ine field s o m y m en could e s c a p e . I w a s
ex trem ely fo rtu n ate to c o m e out of th a t alive, but this w a s only o n e of
se v e ra l m iracu lo u s h a p p e n in g s for m e.
1 w a s h o sp italized for four m o n th s in E ngland a n d w a s e n ro u te to my
unit w h e n th e w a r e n d e d in E urope. I w a s red irected a n d sh ip p e d to
L eH avre a n d a satellite facility. C a m p Pall Mall, In E tretat, F ra n c e. I
arrived th e re in late M ay a n d re m a in e d th e re until th e c a m p w a s c lo sed
in late D e ce m b er. I h ad b e e n reclassified from m y original l&R M OS. to
604 clerk typist an d had w orked in p e rso n n e l a t Pall Mall. U pon returning
to L eH avre, I h ad m et our chaplain an d s in c e his re g u la r a s s is ta n t had
b e e n deployed on points, h e a s k e d m e if I w a s in te re ste d in w orking with
him until my points (42) c a m e up. I a g re e d th a t I w ould do th a t a n d th u s
beg in s a n o th e r story.
W e w orked out of th e s a m e office a s th e C atholic an d Je w ish c h ap lain s,
in L eH avre P O E H e a d q u a rte rs. T h e C atholic chaplain. F a th e r J o s e p h I.
Collins, from th e B oston D io c ese, w a s a very p e rso n a b le m an a n d w a s
m o st e a s y to w ork with. H e w a s e x -c o m b a t from th e 89th Infantry
Division an d u n d e rsto o d w h a t it w a s like "U p there."
A s tim e p a s s e d in th e spring of 1946, different o n e s red ep lo y ed on
points, an d finally my c o u n t c a m e up. I w a s c le a re d for d e p a rtu re a n d left
in early May, arriving hom e from d isc h a rg e on M ay 28, 1946.
I "lost" F a th er J o e , but s o m e y e a rs later I m et a n ice young m an w ho
w orked in th e W ash in g to n , DC, D io c e se Office. H e g a v e m e th e a d d r e s s
of se v e n F a th er J o e Collins w ho w e re still active in th e p riesth o o d a n d I
w rote to all se v e n . T o their credit, I h ad a reply from all se v e n , including
m y F a th er J o e . H e w a s a se n io r p riest a t th e H arvard C hurch in B oston.
W e c o rre sp o n d e d an d talked a n d w e visited e a c h o th er o v e r y e a rs . He
is retired, living a t th e R e g in a Cleri in B oston.
W e d o n ’t h a v e th e
opportunity to visit n ow ~ his health is b a d an d I h a v e had P a rk in so n ’s
D ise a se for 20 y e a rs an d h a v e difficulty talking a n d walking. But, m y w h a t fond m em o ries of this g re a t m an of G od w ho a d d e d s o m u ch to my
W . M. "M a c " G o ld fin c h , J r.
99 INFD 394 INF 2 BN HQ
...I am trying to put s o m e of th e p ie c e s b a ck to g e th e r after 55 y e a rs.
O u r battalion, th e 172nd E n g in e er C o m b at Battalion, h a s, like s o m an y
o th ers, ju st fa d ed aw ay.
Known a s c o rp s e n g in e e rs , w e s e rv e d in
N orm andy u n d e r th e c o m m a n d of th e First United S ta te s Arm y, in th e
H urtgen F o re st an d th e Battle of th e B ulge u n d e r th e 9th Arm y an d
o ccu p atio n of K assel, G e rm an y , u n d e r th e 7th Army.
After th e su rre n d e r of A a c h e n a n d dem olition of m iles of pill b o x e s,
m in es rem oved, a n d road c le arin g s, w e m oved so u th to lay m in e s, fell
tre e s , an d string b a rb e d w ire in th e H urtgen F o re st. O n C h ristm a s D ay
th e battalion w a s stru n g out s o m e p la c e so u th of th e M alm ady M a s s a c re
and north of St. Vith.
I h a v e b e e n in tw o e v a c u a tio n h o sp itals a n d a U .S. Arm y G e n era l
H ospital in Liege, Belgium.
After a P -8 bom bing on C h ristm a s D ay all m y m em ory w a s lost a n d only
through re c e n t th e ra p y h a v e d a te s b e e n re -e sta b lish e d on e v e n ts.
C la y to n Q u im b a c h
172 E N G R CM BT BN C
[If yo u can help Clayton rem em b er dates, places, etc., p lea se write to
him at: 28905 W e s t ^ n d Drive, Elkhart, Indiana 46516-1551]
A s I am sitting a t h o m e know ing th a t I c a n n o t m a k e th e O rlando R eunion
and feeling so rry for m yself (it w ould h a v e b e e n my tenth), I sta rte d to
think ab o u t th e BOB after all th e s e y e a rs.
I re m e m b e r our First S e rg e a n t J o e W hite (now d e c e a s e d ) telling u s at
our last regim ental reunion th a t th e 3 7 2nd G .S . E n g in e er R eg im en t w a s
eligible to join th e VBOB a s w e h ad s e rv e d a s infantry from D e c e m b e r 22,
1944, to J a n u a ry 25. 1945, in L uxem bourg.
W hite e v e n brought
a p plications for u s to fill o u t a n d mail in. I filled m ine out an d m ailed it in,
not realizing how m an y of m y b u d d ie s did th e s a m e thing.
In 1989, my goo d b u ddy D arrow J a c k s o n (from M ilw aukee, W isco n sin )
told m e h e a n d H erm H offm an h ad b e e n to a VBOB R eunion a n d w h a t a
good tim e th ey had.
T h at sta rte d so m eth in g th a t ju st kep t not only u s th re e g u y s, b u t oth er
g u y s from th e 3 72nd to g e th e r for th e last 16 y e a rs. W e sta rte d in 1990
a t Valley Forge, P e n n sy lv a n ia . W e had a g re a t tim e. I know th a t Bob
Brown h a s w ritten m e sa y in g h e e x p e c ts a b o u t six 3 72nd m en a t th e
O rlando, Florida, reunion. W e h a v e kep t in to u ch all th e s e y e a r s only
b e c a u s e of g u y s like J o e W hite (getting u s to join), D arrow J a c k s o n (w ho
got th e ball rolling), a n d H erm an H offm an (w ho w a s th e b e s t b u ddy w e
e v e r had).
(C ontinued)
February 2002
(C ontinuation)
S o now I sit h e re n o t feeling s o b a d a s I h a v e th e s e good m em o ries of
th e V BO B re u n io n s. W e all h a v e e n o u g h b a d m em o ries of th e Bulge.
R o b e rt C. S c a n la n
372 G S E N G R S R E G T A
J u s t finished re ad in g th e article in "L etters to th e Editor" in w hich Bill
S tr a u s s tells how h e w a s th a n k e d for having fought in W orld W ar II.
My e x p e rie n c e s a re quite th e o pposite.
H aving a ls o fought in th e B ulge but being u nfortunate e n o u g h to h a v e
b e e n s e v e re ly w o u n d e d a n d c a p tu re d c au sin g m e to b e hospitalized for
o v e r a y e a r, m y p o s t w a r e x p e rie n c e s a re quite different.
I h a v e s e v e ra l " T ’ sh irts a n d ja c k e ts with th e BOB em b lem a n d P riso n er
of W ar em blem .
It’s e m b a rra s s in g for m e to write th a t p eo p le sto p m e an d a s k w h at th e
b lack a n d w hite P O W p a tc h m e a n s. You undoubtedly know th a t the
p a tc h s a y s , "P O W MIA." W h en I a s k p e o p le if th ey know w h a t th e p atch
m e a n s , y o u ’d b e a m a z e d a t th e a n sw e r. T h e p e o p le I a sk ra n g e in a g e
from 15 to 70 (I’m only 81) a n d th e y ’re native born A m ericans.
M ore th an half of th e p e o p le tell m e "P O W M IA -th at’s Italian an d I don t
s p e a k Italian." U nbelievable!! It n e v e r c e a s e s to sh o c k m e how ignorant
p e o p le c a n be.
O n th e o th e r h a n d , I’v e h a d m an y p eo p le ju st th an k m e for having
s e rv e d during th e w ar. it a lw ay s e m b a r r a s s e s m e--w hy, I d o n ’t know.
M ost of th e m w e re n ’t e v e n born during th e w ar.
H ad a p h o n e call s e v e ra l m o n th s a g o from H ines V e te ra n s H ospital h e re
in Illinois. T h ey w a n te d to interview m e for a video a s a PW . I told th em
I’d c o m e on o n e condition--that I could tell it "straight" a n d not a b uttered
up v e rsio n like "H o g an ’s H e ro e s ” an d "S talag 17." T h ey a g re e d an d it
w a s a "straight" interview for th e m o st p art S o m e nf th e n iie stin n s w e re
totally stupid.
F or e x am p le, do I w a n t any help now for any m ental
p ro b lem s th a t I m ay h a v e ? I a s k e d th em w h e re th ey w e re o v e r 50 y e a rs
a a o w h e n I m av havR avaliftrt m y^pif nf their ser'/!ce--!t’s m u ch too late In
th e g a m e now. T h o s e th a t could b e so lv ed , I've d o n e a n d th o s e I c ouldn’t
h a n d le !’v e le a rn e d to live with.
A r th u r S . L ipski
I really enjoy The Bulge Bugle. G re a t job.
I w ould love to s h a k e th e h a n d of th e R e v e re n d O ’Donnell. B elieve m e,
m y opinion is h e w a s fai a n d aw ay from th e norm or a v e ra g e a t th e time.
T h at is b a s e d on th e fa c t th a t our c o m p a n y h ad th re e no le s s dro p -o u ts
(a s in "total failures"). But, not to w orry, s in c e w e a ls o had th e very s a m e
n u m b e r of re p la c e m e n ts.
O u r platoon lead er, A. G a m b le w a s killed in action in th e h e d g e ro w s of
F ra n c e b e fo re h e re c e iv e d his b a rs. T h en o u r c aptain, R o b ert E. Lee,
n^ln « a h m t t c-iv n. .f f h o rraxm vAforo
W.. W. —WWW*.
lor*n<^r\» 5
a s h o t th a t lifted th e 76 m m p lu s turret from their tank.
It w a s a v e ry m e a n w ar.
C u rtis O . G la s s
It’s b e e n sa id , "All’s fair in love an d w ar," a n d "Life isn ’t fair."
I finished WWII in th e E TO with 127 points an d w aited in a sm all
A ustrian m ou n tain village until th e m iddle of S e p te m b e r, 1945, for my
"ticket" hom e. M any E TO v e te ra n s , including T h e Rev. M sgr. William F.
O ’Donnell, w e re e x tre m e ly lucky on tw o c o u n ts. T heir s c h e d u le d trip to
J a p a n w a s c a n c e le d a n d th ey w e re able, a t th e c o n v e n ie n c e of th e arm y,
to re c e iv e a d is c h a rg e b e fo re "old tim ers" still w aiting for tran sp o rtatio n
h om e. I’m g lad th e y w on on both c o u n ts. H ow ever, by th e tim e m any
o th er high p o in te rs arrived b a ck hom e, th e p a r a d e s h ad sto p p e d an d no
girls to k iss. A m e ric a h ad b e c o m e a c c u s to m e d to o u r arrivals.
I c a n ’t recall w hich c ig a re tte c a m p w e w e n t through or m u ch a b o u t it, but
this incident Is im p re s s e d on my mind. A bout half of my co n tin g en t had
b o a rd e d a liberty sh ip n a m e d "The Marine Fox'" w h e n w e w e re o rd ered
off b e c a u s e th e sh ip h a d e n g in e trouble. O f c o u rse , w e w e re highly p—
off on being retu rn ed to c am p . Luckily, early th e nex t m orning w e w ere
routed out an d put a b o a rd a n arm y troop sh ip n a m e d "The General
Anderson." W e left F ra n c e im m ediately a n d arrived b a ck in N ew York
City five d a y s la te r-7 /) e M ahne Fox" w ould h a v e ta k e n 17 d a y s to
C harleston, S outh C arolina.
I s e rv e d with A Battery, 160th Field Artillery Battalion, 45th Infantry
Division, through m ore th an 500 d a y s of co m b at, in eight c a m p a ig n s
(including A rd e n n es-A lsa ce ), including four b e a c h h e a d s , w a s a w ard e d a
Silver S ta r an d tw o P urple H e a r ts - I ’m thankful I’m still here.
J a m e s R. B ird
4 5 INFD 160 FA BN A
Is th e P urple H eart for frozen fe e t available*? [E ncloses article] T his is
th e first tim e I e v e r h e ard of it. If it is, I w a n t to apply for a n oak leaf
clu ster for my P urple H eart.
J a c k S tr o th e r
26 INFD 104 INF F
[Complete information regarding w here to write with Purple Heart
questions is included elsew here in this new sletter]
T h e article sum m ing up th e Battle of th e Bulge from The Austin (TX)
A m ehcan S tatesm an w hich you reprinted in th e A u g u st is s u e of The
Bulge Bugle m a k e s no m ention on th e b a ttles on a n d around E lsenborn
R idge or th e d e fe n s e of th e northern fac-e of th e b reak th ro u g h by th e U.S.
18th A irborne C o rp s a g a in st re p e a te d a tta c k s by th e 1st S S P a n z e r
T h e s e tw o s e c to rs w e re a s critical to th e failure of Hitler’s A rd e n n es
offensive a s w a s B a sto g n e a n d St. Vith. In fact, Jo h n S . D. E isen h o w er
w rote th a t th e d e fe n s e of th e E lsen b o rn R idge by th e U .S. 5th C o rp s
"couid weii b e c o n sid e re d th e m o st d e cisiv e of th e A rd e n n e s C am paign."
H ere, w rote S te p h e n A m b ro se, "the G e rm a n s w e re sto p p e d on their m ain
line of a d v an c e." {Military History Quarterly. Spring 1988 for A m brose.
The Bitter W oods, 1969 for E isen h o w er)
it is d ish e arten in g th at nearly 67 y e a rs a tte r th e "g re a te st pitched battle
in th e history of A m erican arm s," a s th e historian C h a rle s M acD onald
called it, an d after n u m e ro u s b o o k s a n d articles by h istorians h a v e b e en
published correctly identifying th e critical im portance of th e E lsen b o rn
se c to r, popular jou rn alists still su m up th e Battle of th e Bulge a s a fight
o ver th e City of B a sto g n e a n d a U .S. g e n e ra l w ho replied "N uts" to th e
e n em y d e m a n d th at th e city b e su rre n d e re d .
R educing a tw o-m onth battle involving a million m en an d c au sin g so m e
25 th o u sa n d c a s u a ltie s on both s id e s to a so u n d bite an d a T\^ spot. How
typical of n e w s c o v e ra g e in our tim e.
J o s e p h C. D o h e rty
99 INFD 393 INF 4 BN
It s e e m s to b e auto m atic an d instinctive, th a t my VBOB friends, Frank
Tichy, 575th AAA Battalion, 11th A rm ored Division a n d F rank W itkowski,
75th Infantry Battalion (they live in my a re a ) an d I, reflect on our
e x p e rie n c e in th e A rd e n n e s C am paign. (E specially h e re in th e n o rth e a st
(N ew York S tate), w h e re w inter c a n g e t h a rsh .
E ac h year, a s late D e c e m b e r a n d J a n u a ry roll along, w e, an d I p re su m e,
m o st VBOB v e te ra n s th o u g h ts, a t le a st for a m om ent, go b a ck to that
ho rren d o u s period in Belgium in 1944-45, W e, w ho survived th e Bulge,
c a n n o t g e t th e Bulge out of us.
H ere, it is e a s y to reflect b e c a u s e th e w e a th e r w a s sim ilar to w h a t w e
e x p e rie n c e d in th e Battle of th e Bulge. Like th e fierce w inter conditions
then, w e w e re "clobbered" by an oscillating L ake Erie snow fall th a t laste d
for th re e d a y s, com m encing C h ristm a s Day. It b rought b ack m em o ries of
B a sto g n e, St. Vith, Houffalize, etc.
A s The Bulge Bugle re co m m e n d e d , I did not forget th e "N ew Y e ar’s Day
T oast" to all w ho s e rv e d in th e Battle of th e Bulge. At 3:00 p.m . E aste rn
tim e on N ew Y ear’s D ay, I sip p e d my "martini" a n d s h a re d th o u g h ts of
m any y e a rs ago.
T had C onw ay
i i A R m D u 576 a A a bN
February 2002
G eneral C arlson’s VBOB Address
(Continuedfrom page I)
gion of Belgium and Luxembourg called the Ardemies. At the word
‘Anfcnncs’, Hitler suddenly said, “Stop the briefing!” There was a
long pause. Strained silence permeated the room. The silence was fi­
nally broken when Hitler, reminiscent of his once moving and powerful
rhetoric said, “ 1 have made a momentous decision!” His voice belied
the weakened condition of his body, his blue eyes sparkled and were
alight with a fervor that no one had seen since the attempt on his life.
He pointed to the map unrolled on the desk befwe him and he boldly
annouiKed, “I shall go on the offensive here!” And he slapped his hand
down on the map. “Here, out o f the Ardennes! The objective is Ant­
werp!” Those assembled sat in stuimed silence
With these words Hitler set in motion preparations for a bat­
tle that was to assume epic proportions - the greatest German attack in
the West since the campaign o f 1940. While charging Jodi and his staff
with preparing a detailed plan o f operations. Hitler emphasized se­
crecy Everyone who knew of the plan, from Field Marshals to clerks
and typists, had to sign a pledge of secrecy . The penalty for a loose
tongue was death But Hitler himself was less than discreet. When
the Japanese Ambassador, Baron Oshima, called on him at the W olf s
Lair, Hitler was very candid with him. A day later. Ambassador
Oshima reported the conversaticm to his government in Tdcyo.
Since mid-1941, the United States had been intercepting and
decrypting Japanese diplomatic traffic Oshima’s report that Hitler was
planning a large -scale offensive operation in the West to start some­
time after the first o f November, was on the desks of intelligence offi­
cers in the Pentagon almost as soon as it reached the Foreign Office in
Gradually, very gradually, the German Commanders who
would direct the battle were told o f the plan, a few at a time. The op­
eration would be launched aloig a sixty-mile front fixjm Monschau in
the north to the medieval town o f Echtemach in the south.
One the eve o f the battle, in the medieval town o f Echtemach,
a glamwous German-born fihn star, Marlene Dietrich, the star of the
USO troupe, was entertaining the American troops. In a deep, sultry
voice she sang “Lili Marlene” to the raucous applause o f himdreds of
Meanwhile, on the German side o f the line, in assembly areas
across the front, German Commanders read a message from Field Mar­
shal von Runstedt. The message began as follows. “ Soldiers o f the
West Front! Your great hour has arrived! We attack at dawn!”
In the early morning hours of 16 December, the tramping
sound or hobnailed jack boots broke the stillness o f that cold, silent
night as Nazi troopers, with visions of past glory, strutted upon the
field o f battle as the>' marched to the line o f departure and formed into
assault formations.
Hitler was personally directing his grand offensive from the
Adlerhorst, an underground bunker amid the wooded hills o f Taunus
At the Alderhorst, the door of the cuckoo clock hanging on the wall
opened and the cuckoo bird came out and announced that the hour of
destiny had arrived
A split second after five-thirty a.m., an American soldier in
the 28th Infantry Division maiming an observation post high atop o f a
water tower in the village of Hosmgen, frantically turned the crank on
his field telephone. He reported to his Compam Commander that in the
distance, on the German side, he could see a strange phenomenon countless flickering pinpoints of light piercing the darkness o f the early
morning fog and mist. Within a few seconds, both he and his Company
Commander had an explanation. The>' were the muzzle flashes o f over
2,000 German artillery pieces
The early morning stillness o f the fog-shrouded forest was
suddenly shattered with the thunderclap of a massive artillerv' barrage
landing on the Americans. The onslaught had begun! The German
code name fo" the operation was AUTUMN MIST>
The Americans called it the BATTLE OF THE BULGE>
The Battle of the Bulge lasted fix)m the 16th of December
1944 until the 28th of January 1945 More than a million men partici­
pated in this battle. It vras to become the greatest battle ever fought by
the United States Army.
The 16th of December was indelibly stamped in the memory
o f the Supreme Allied Commander, General Eiseniwwer. Early that
morning, Eisenhower received notification of his promotion to the rank
of five stars - General of the Army. Later that morning, he received a
signal from Field Marshal Montgomery. Montgomery requested per­
mission to return to England for the Christmas holidays since all was
quiet on the Western Front. Request approved.
Aside from these activities, Eisenhower had something spe­
cial he was looking forward to that day. His old Army buddy, General
Omar Bradley, was coming back from his Army Group Headquarters to
spend the night at Eisenhower’s Headquarters. Eisenhower had pre­
pared a special treat for his old friend. Brad Taking advantage of a
plane flying in from Washington, Eisenhower had ordered a bushel of
oysters. Eisenhower loved oysters and he planned a special dinner fw
his old friend. Dinner would begin with oysters on the half shell, then
oyster stew followed by fried oysters as the main course.
In the fading light of a wintry sunset, the two Commanders
and several of their staff officers were discussing the major problem at
hand, the diversion of replacements by Washington from the European
Theater to the Far East, when a Colonel fix>m the Intelligence Section
tiptoed into the discussion with the first wisp of information about the
battle. He announced that the Germans had secured penetrations at five
points along General Middleton’s VIII Corps firont.
A review of the operations map revealed that there were two
US Armored Divisions out on the line After much discussion,
Eisenhower, who alone o f those assembled had the benefit o f the inter­
cepts of Baron Oshima’s reports to Tokyo, believed that it might be
more than a spoiling attack and said, “I think we had better send Mid­
dleton some help. Send the two Armored DivisiOTis.”
In the dinner that followed, it almost went unnoticed that
Bradlev was allergic to oysters and had to be served “powdered” eggs
Far from the comfort o f the council rooms o f the h i ^ rankmg
Generals and Field Marshals was the soldier on the front line. AS the
last rays of sunlight fell dim and purple on the snow-covered hills o f the
Ardennes, there were no oysters on the half shell for Willie and Joe and
their comrades on the front line that night! The order o f the day for
them was man’s first law - self-preservation. They were dry-mouthed
and their bowels churned with fear as masses of German troopers
dressed in greatcoats emerged through the veil o f the early m in in g fog
and mist, and charged towards them like men possessed. Low in their
foxholes they prayed to the Lord, and the enemy discovered the fury of
their rifles.
The real story o f the Battle o f the Bulge is the st« y
o f these soldiers and the intense combat action o f the small units; the
squads, the platoons, the companies, and the soldiers who filled their
ranks. For Ae most part the> were children o f the 20’s - citizen sol­
diers, draftees - young men hardly more than boys. Raised during the
Great Depression, the> did not experience the carefree davs o f child­
hood. The> watched as the worry and stress o f the times wrinkled their
mothers’ faces They watched as the dust stwms, the stock market
crash and the breadlines humbled their fathers, impoverished their fami­
lies and dashed their hopes and dreams of the future
Then, as the Depression receded, the world staggered into
war and they received a letter from their local Draft Board:
(C on tin ued on next p a g e )
February 2002
G euefai Carlsoii's VBOB Address
“G reetings----- Orders to Report for Induction.” Summoned by the
clanon call to arms, they came from across the land , from the farms
and the factories, fh)m their offices and schools, from the sidewalks of
New York to the shores of San Francisco, they came. They raised their
right hand and pledged their sacred honor to defend their country . In
their youth their hearts were touched b>' the flame of patriotism
Rcsourccfii!. tough and tempered as hard as steel in the cruci­
ble o f the Great Depression, these men were as tough as the times in
which they ere raised These are the men who made up the fighting
strength of the divisions, carried out the orders o f the Generals and en­
gaged the Germans in mortal combat:
Battalion Commanders and Company Commanders - young,
lean, tough, battle-wise and toil-worn
And Second lieutenants - newly minted officers and gentle­
men, some still sporting peach fiizz on their upper lips - too young to
require a razor.
And Grizzly NCO’s with faces chiseled and gaunt by the
gnawing stress of battle and the rigors of a soldier’s life in combat.
And seasoned troopers, scroungj and unkempt, but battleharJcneu, coinpeliiMl mid JiKciplmed ui iiie auioiuaiic habits of war
never learned in school.
Around their necks hung their dog tags and rosaries, on their
head was their steel pot. and in their pocket, next to their heart was a
picture, the picture of their girl back home
Surprised, stunned and not understanding what was happenmg to him, the American soldier found himself in a situation that was as
confusing as trying to read a compass m a magnet factory . Neverthe­
less, hft held fsst iinti! he was overwhelmed bv the German onslaucht.
or until his commanders ordered him to withdraw.
The battle was very personal for them Concerned with the
fearful and consuming task of fightmg and staymg alive, these men did
iHji iliuik o f iJic baiilc in ierms o f the ‘Big Picture' represenied on the
situation maps at higher headquarters They knew only what they could
see and hear in the chaos o f the battle around them The>' knew and
imderstood the earth for which they fought, the advantage of holding
the high ground and the protection of the trench or foxhole. The>' could
distinguish the sounds of the German weffers and the creaming sound
of incoming German 88’s.
And thev' knew the fear of having German artillery iTHinds
passmg overhead. And they were reassured by the sudden stabs of
flame through the darkness of night as friendly artillery tubes belched
longues o f fire into the air, spreading a glow of flickering light above
the blackened trees o f the snow -covered forest.
Thc> knew the overwhelming loneliness of the battlefield, the
fceiuig o f despair, confusion and uncertainly that prevails in umts m
retreat. And they' knew that feeling o f utter exhaustion----- the inabil­
ity’ o f the soldier's flesh and blood to continue on, yet the>’ must, or die.
The\- knew first hand the violent pounding o f the heart, the cold sweat,
the trembling o f the bod> and the stark terror that mortal combat
brings h was a hell that had to be endured, and the% endured it
Even Mother Nature was their enemy with bitterly cold
weather. The ground was frozen solid. The skies were graj'. The days
were short, with daylight at 8 and dsirkness by 4. The nights were long
and frigid and snow, knee-deep, covered the battlefield GI’s. their
bodies numb, were blue-lipped and chilled to the bone
At night, the German ground assault was assisted by artificial
moonlight created by giant German searchlights bouncing their lights of
the low-hanging clouds. The night sky was aflame with shimmering
hghts and pulsating patterns, casting an eerie, ghostly hght in the fog
and mist over the snow-covered field o f battle.
When the chips were down and the situation was desperate.
the -\mcrican soldier molded in the adversity- of the Great Depression,
proved to be unusually adept at takmg charge of the situation and
“ going into business for him self’ on the battlefield. Gls on that battle­
field were craflier than crows in a cornfield.
These are the soldiers who, when their officers lay dead and
their sergeants turned white, held the enemy at bay in the days when the
heavens were falUng and the battlefield was in flames with all the fire
and noise humanly possible for over a million warriors to creatc.
For a brief moment in history, these men held our nation’s
destiny in their hands They did not fail us. They blew the trumpets that
tumbled the walls Theirs was the face of victory Super heroes - - super patriots. Their legacy - victwy, victory in the greatest battle ever
fo u ^ t by the United States Army.
But the cost o f victory was high. There, on that cold, brutal
field of battle, 19,000 young Americans answered the angel’s trumpet
call and had their rendezvous with death. Heroes sacrificed on the altar
of the god of war. whose valor in many cases died unrecognized with
them on the field o f battle
Tonight we lode into the mirror o f the past and we remember
them. In the muffles cadence o f memory only, they go marching by,
and we salute them. We 'near the echo from those years long ago as the
drum beats the long, slow roll of the soldier’s last tattoo, and the bugler
blows the sad and bitter notes o f Taps
Back home in America, Western Union telegraph lines
hummed with those dreaded messages of sadness: “The Secretary of
War regrets to inform you
telegrams that forever shattered the
lives o f the innocent, bringing tears and sadness to homes across our
land. Aged mothers and the youthful wives must bear the burden of
srisf throuchout the rsrrjairtder o f thsir lives
Over 23,000 American soldiers were captured during the heat
of battle Prisoners of war who staggered m tattered columns as they
were marched to German stalags. There the>' were forced to ser\e be­
hind barbed wire in siicnce and with courage, each in his own way until
the war’s end.
Purple Hearts were awarded by the thousands. The bleeding
wounds o f 81,000 young Americans stained the snow and left the ‘red
badge o f courage’ m that blood-soaked field of battle.
Amid the serene hills o f the Ardennes to this very day reposes
the dust o f American soldieis listed as “missing and unaccounted foi^’
from that battle Those known only to God, who w w left behind,
never to return There, on that field of battle they perished and disap­
peared as though thev had never been bom. Historv cannot record their
deeds for it knows not even their names.
We muster here tonight to honor and pa> tribute to all those
brave young warriors who served with honor and won that battle We
are reminaea ot wnat theu-journey through iite has lett behina tor us
The warriors of ‘the greatest generation,” a generation that is
taking their fmal curtain calls and soon will leave the stage o f life.
They have passed "Old Glory” on to the next generation unsoiled, their
swords untarnished, their legacy a great nation under God, with liberty,
justice and freedom for all
Look at these old warriors gathered here tonight They are
yesterday’s heroes. They were soldiers once and young - the vibrant
youth of that time, men who were there on that battlefield 57 years ago
Men like: PFC Jim Hendrix who was awarded the Congressional
Medal of Honor for his heroic action during that battle. Men like Albin
F. Irzyk, a tw^nty-seven-year-old commander o f a tank battalion in the
4th Armored Division, which spearheaded General Patton's relief of
Young, fiizzy-checked lieutenants such as John Newell, a
tank commander and Bill Kane, a Platoon Leader in that juggernaut of
old ‘blood and guts’ Patton as they raced 150 miles under the severest
(C on tin ued on next p a g e)
February 2002
General Carlson's VBOB Address
o f winter conditions in their valiant effort to relieve Bastogne
Bob Stevenson, “one o f those damned engineers ” an acco­
lade fix)m the German SS Colonel Peiper about our engineers for blow ­
ing bridges and building obstacles at every turn and bend in the road,
obstacles that stopped the advance o f the SS Panzer column.
Jim M cKcamey, a Mortar Platoon Sgt. In the 101st Airborne
D ivision, who just days before had received a battlefield comm ission
while fighting in Holland. A s a new lieutenant, he led his platoon in the
defense o f Bastogne There they stood, as immovable as soldiers in a
painted picture, as their D ivision stood like the ‘R ock o f A g es’ as they
laid a wreath o f steel and fire around the town o f Bastogne Before
them the German cmslaught wavered, then withered on the vine.
A ngels o f Mercv - nurses such as Lieutenant Evelyn Gilberg.
Evelyn, an Army Nurse went to sleep at night haimted by memories o f
the mangled bodies o f the young American soldiers she had cared for in
the Field Hospital that day. S o ghastly were their wounds, that death
w as little more. Wounded men were crying for help from everywhere
w-hile others wiio were dying, offered God their fmal prayer.
Men like chuck Morgan who was digging a foxhole atop a
small knoll beside a road. A vehicle loaded w idi soldiers came fleeing
down the road heading, for the rear. The vehicle stooped and the soldiers hollered to him, 'the Germans are coming! Come on! W e have
room for you!” he looked up, and in four letter words, the language o f
war his mother never taught him, replied to the effect, '‘You can stop
now because the Germans aren’t going past this point - not while I’m
alive! This is the 82nd Airborne Division area!”
Y oung American men, hardly more than b oys - men such as
Harry- M eisel, a veteran o f that battle. Fifty-five years later this battle
is still one o f life’s defining moments for Harr\'. He formed a comm it­
tee and raised the m oney to build a monument - a monument for ail
eyes - a monument for all time - a legacy dedicated to his fellow warri­
ors who fought with him in that battle.
These men and the others like them arc the soldiers, who, in
the hours when the earth’s foundation shook, and the ground did trem­
ble, stood their ground amid the whine o f bullets, the blast o f mortars
and the zinging sound o f jagged artillery shrapnel filling the around
Some bear visible signs o f their service; a m issing limb, a
jagged scar, or a certain faraway look in the eye. Others may carry the
evidence inside them; a steel pin holding a bone together or a piece o f
Shrapnel still in their arm or leg. But they all bear another kind o f inner
s te e l a spirit forged with their comrades on that field o f battle. The
spirit o f a band o f warriors, a band o f warriors called Veterans o f the
Battle o f the Bulge. Veterans bound together with a bond as strong as
right itself and as lasting as their lifetime.
With their fellow warriors on that field o f battle, the>- fol­
lowed duty’s call and lived the code of the soldier: duty, honor, country.
When history calls the roll of heroes, these warriors earned the right
to stand shoulder to shoulder with their forebears from Valley Forge,
Fredericksburg and the Marne. Before them, the Nazis’ visions of glory drifted
away like the sound and fury of battle. When the smoke had cleared, more than
120,000 enemy soldiers lay stiff in the snow, wounded or captured, and over 800
enemy tanks were left burning and rustmg in the wooded hills of the Ardennes.
During the final days of their countdown to victory, these American
soldiers were as pitiless as a hanging judge as they brandished the sword of
retribution and raced across GaTnany, greeted by signs on buildings all along
the way: “Alles est kaput!”
And finally, the bells of hberty did nng and peace spread her lovely
mantle softly over the land. The lights came on agam all over.
With duty done, with their saber m their scabbard placed and their
colors furled away, their dreams turned to the journey home, the harbor lights of
New York and the girl they left behind. Their place in history secured as “the
greatest generation,” the generation that saved the STim of all things we hold
dear And all this for love of their country and the meager pay of a soldier.
Ask yourselves now, with heads bowed, from where, (3h God came
such men as these*^
This country was truly blessed
The Ardennes woods are silent now.
The battle smoke has fled.
Fift>^ years and seven have p ast------Now . . . Only memories . And the dead.
The warriors of the greatest generation, passed “Old Glory” on to the
next generation, unsoiled, their swords untarnished
Their legacy, a great nation under God with liberty; justice and free­
dom fw all.
But on the 11th of September this legac>' was challenged as our na­
tion watched in horror
as the bricks crumbled
the glass shattered
the steel twisted like spaghetti
and the mortar turned to dust
as the symbols of our nation turn to rubble.
Each generation has its heroes. On that fateful day a new generation
of Americans was handed the torch of freedom and the c o I o t s of this nation. The
commitment of their fathers is now the calling of our time.
A generation that for years has picked and eaten the fruits of freedom
they have not had to fight or sacrifice for.
Now the battle has been joined. The defense of freedom is their duty.
As young Americans, they will gain a new understanding of the high
cost of freedom as they must wield their swords of retribution.
"^Our hearts and our hope are with them.
We will not waver.
We will not tire
We will not falter.
And we will not fail.
Freedom will prevail.”
And may God Bless each of you
God Bless the USA
Thank you
Brigadier General William E. Carlson (U SA/Ret)
Bill Carlson w<i& bom in Goldenrod, Floriikt in 1929 <md gr<iciu<i(i;J
from Winter Park High School in 1947.
A t ten years o f age, he saved a woman from drowning and as a
result o f his heroic action, he was appointed as a Page Boy in the Congress o f
the United States. At the age o f 12, he was the youngest Page Boy in Congress.
He was present on December 8, 1941, when President Roosevelt addressed
Congress and WWII was declared.
Bill attended the University o f Florida, from which he graduated in
1951 and received a commission, through ROTC, in the US Army. He was
called immediately to duty in the Korean H ar. In 1952, he was assigned to C
Btry, 96th FA Bn and served as a Forward Observer and later as Battery Ex­
ecutive Officer. After the Korean War, he served as Battery Commander.
Bill also served in Vietnam as Bn Commander o f the 1st Bn, 21st
Artillery, the direct support artillery battalion o f the Seventh Cavalry, First
Cavalry Div, Air Mobile. In 1972 he was assigned as the
Drv Commander
o f the 7th In f Div at Ft O rd CA.
He served one tour on the Army General S ta ff in the Pentagon and
three tours with the Joint Chiefs o f Staff. Among his military schooling he
attended the Command and General S ta ff School at Fort Leavenworth, Armed
Forces S ta ff College at Norfolk and the Naval College at Newport RJ. He
received his Master's Degree in International Affairs from George Washington
University in 1969. General Carlson's fin a l military assignment was Deputy
US Military representative to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Bel­
gium. He has received 29 awards and decorations including the Distinguished
Service Medal, the Legion o f Merit, the Silver Star and the Bronze Star.
After retirement he has been active in civic affairs in Orange
County^ Florida and his community. He .served as vice-chairman o f the VBOB
memorial Committee in Orlando Florida.
Bill is married to Nancy and has been fo r 44 years. They have
three children and three grandchildren.
February 2002
IN F A N T R Y R E G IM E N T , 2N D B A T T A L IO N , C O M P A N Y
F, w ould like to locate L A W R E N C E M H A R W I C K , o f his
unit, and W A L T E R H. JO H N S O N , 28T H IN F A N T R Y
D IV IS IO N and 8 T H A R M Y A IR F O R C E (from C olorado)
If you an help, w rite to G eorge at: 15110 NE 9th C ourt, M iami,
Florida 33162-5864.
F R A N K G . M ID K IF F , 7 T H A R M O R E D D IV IS IO N , w ould
like to obtain a copy o f the 7th A rm ored D ivision history
m entioned by M r. K now lton in the N ovem ber issue. Can you
help him ? I f so, w rite to him at; 1444 W oodview D rive #9,
C row n Point, Indiana 46307.
A ssociate M em ber Stephen M orris is trying to put together a unit
history o f the 294th E ngineer C om bat B attalion. His father
R O B E R T E. M O R R IS w as a m em ber o f the unit.
battalion w as under the 1120th E ngineer C om bat G roup and was
attached to num erous divisions in the E TC from D+1 through
occupation. If you can provide som e inform ation w rite to
Stephen at: FM 1323, W illow City, T exas 78675.
A ssociate M em ber W ayne D odds w ould like to find anyone who
m ay have served w ith his uncle, P F C F R A N K K. J O L L I F F ,
5 50T H G L ID E R IN F A N T R Y R E G IM E N T .
Frank was
E ngland w aitin g to go hom e w hen the B ulge began. He was
shipped to B elgium and w as surrounded and captured on January
4, 1945. If you can provide W ayne w ith any inform ation, please
w rite to him at: 1500 A utum n D rive, Findlay, O hio 45840.
Toni Colby R oberts is trying to find out m ore inform ation about
h er fath er’s tim e in the service: R IC H A R D W A Y N E C O L B Y ,
3 1 60T H S IG N A L C O R P S . O ther reference he m ade w as the
R ichard served in five
cam paigns' N orm andy, N orthern France, A rdennes, Rhineland,
and C entral Europe. His records w ere destroyed in the St. Louis
fire, so Toni hasn’t been able to find out anything. If you can
help, w rite to her at: 317 P atriot W ay, Y orktow n, V irginia
A ssociate m em b er Paul A. Sim s w ould like to obtain inform ation
regardin g his fath er and /o r his unit: J O H N W . S IM S , 84T H
IN F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , 3 3 5 T H IN F A N T R Y R E G IM E N T ,
C O M P A N Y A. John passed aw ay in 1983 and Paul was only
15 so w as unable to ask ail the questions he w ould have asked
today. C ontact Paul at: 6320 Sequoia D rive, M ontgom ery,
A labam a 36117-4489.
M ina R ay E vans is looking for inform ation regarding her
brother, P V T R A Y M O N D L E E E V A N S, 3 0 T H IN F A N T R Y
D IV IS IO N , 1 19T H IN F A N T R Y R E G IM E N T . He is buried in
Plot C, R ow 4, G rave 18, N etherlands A m erican C em etery,
M argraten, H olland. M ina d id n ’t give an address but did provide
h er e-m ail address: m in aev an s@ ex celo n lin m .
Dave A itken is trying to locate inform ation on his uncle;
He w as killed in action Janiiar}'’ 10, 1945, at Sam rcc, and is
buried in the A m erican C em etery in L eige, Belgium . If you can
provide any inform ation, w rite to Dave at: 24 G ibbs Road,
H ookstow n, P ennsylvania 15050-1729.
H A R O L D E. G A N N , 18TH C A V A L R Y R E C O N N IS S A N C E
S Q U A D R O N , 14T H C A V A L R Y R E C O N N A IS S A N C E
G R O U P , w ould like to h ear from anyone from his unit. C ontact
him at: 751 C oleen D rive, W inder, G eorgia 30650.
A L P R IC E , 2N D IN F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , w ould like to hear
from anyone w ho w itnessed the m assacres o f unarm ed .American
P O W ’s during the B attle o f the B ulge. W rite to A1 at: 3732
East 58th, Tulsa, O klahom a 74135.
R. E. T H R U M S T O N , 7 5 T H IN F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , 289T H
IN F A N T R Y R E G IM E N T , H E A D Q U A R T E R S , is trying to
locate D E S M O N D O ’B R IE N , w ho served in his unit. C an you
help? W rite to Mr. T hrum ston at: 3642 A rm strong Street, San
O icgo, C slifb m is 92111.
In the last issue Sandra Eve M acD uffer w rites for inform ation
regarding her father J O H N C H IC H IL L A . H ow ever Sandra did
not provide us w ith an address. Sandra, if you get the word,
JO H N " J A C K " S. D A V IS, 5 IN F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , lO TH
IN F A N T R Y R E G IM E N T , 1ST B A T T A L IO N , C O M P A N Y D,
w rites to say he d id n ’t know y our father but m ay be able to put
you in toucti w itn som eone w ho did. bo, w rite to him at: 8U
P axinosa A venue, Easton, Pennsylvania 18042.
R achel B ranham is seeking inform ation regarding her brother,
P R ir F ,
KIA in B elgium during the B ulge January 9, 1945. H er address:
1212 W estm oreland D rive, S taunton, V irginia 24401.
A ntoine N ouens is looking for inform ation on a B-17 Flying
Fortress w hich crashed during the B attle o f the Bulge on
D ecem ber24, 1944, in B elgium , near F raitureC om blain-au-P oint
and near a place called R oute de Presseu. The plane num ber was
(B17 G) 42-102497, and it w as stationed at A ir Base 137 in
L avenhan (G reat B ritain/F rance). A nyone w ho can provide
inform ation please w rite to A ntoine at: V redestraat 173, 651 I Ad
N ijm egen, H olland.
E. L A S H H O R N , S R ., 5 56T H
A R T IL L E R Y (A U T O M A T IC W E A P O N S ) B A T T A L IO N ,
H E A D Q U A R T E R S , is looking for the tape entitled D ecem ber
Dawn. C an anyone help? W rite to him at: 3516 W illiam s
D rive, W eirton, W est V irginia 26062.
L ucy S iragusa is trying to help h er aunt find an A m erican soldier
she m et in F lem alle H aute, B elgium . His nam e is B O B H U B E R
and he w as an en g in eer from N ew Y ork City. A round C hristm as
tim e in 1944 he and his unit w ent to The T rixhes, in Flem alle
H aute. If you know his w hereabouts, w rite to L ucy at: 2446
T race O ak, San A ntonio, T exas 78232.
Bert N eale is seeking a m em ber o f the 82N D O R lO lS T
A IR B O R N E D IV IS IO N w ho m ay have know n his friend JO E
S E E S M A N . W rite to Bert at:
1544 C herry R idge Drive,
H eathrow , Florida 32746.
(Continued on next page)
Februar> 2002
(Continued from Page 10)
P eter Schrijvers is looking for stories concerning the part the
civilians played during the B attle o f the B ulge, i.e., sheltering in
houses or cellars, aid from civilians or resistance fighters,
friendships, shared suffering, im ages o f refugees or w ounded or
dead civilians, glim pses o f G erm an w ar crim es against civilians,
or any other aspect involving the civilian population o f the
citizens o f B elgium and L uxem bourg.
W rite to Peter at:
M anteliusstraat 22, B -350 H asselt, Belgium .
[Inform ation su b m itte d by VBOB Trustee J A M E S W.
H U N T , 1 S T I N F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , a n d inform ation was
extra cted fr o m an article w hich a p p ea red in The C larionLedser. Jackson, M ississippi, on O ctober 26, 2 0 0 1 ]
The A rm ed Forces M useum o f M ississippi opened in O ctober,
2001, under the direction o f C had D aniels the m useum director
and designer.
Sixteen thousand square feet is dedicated to several life-sized
"im m ersive" displays, i.e.:
•One is an actual "H uey" helico p ter evacuating soldiers
from the front in V ietnam .
•A nother takes visitors into the trenches o f W W I, passing
a m achine-gun n est—com plete w ith sound and sm oke.
T racing the state ’s m ilitary history, starting w ith the W ar o f
1812 and ending w ith the G u lf W ar, the m useum houses over
17,000 m ilitary artifacts o f m en and w om en. A lso included are:
dioram as, m aps, interpretive signs, w eapons upon w eapons, and
photo after photo.
Life o f G erm an PO W ’s at C am p Shelby during W orld W ar II
is docum ented in photos, artifacts and recreations o f living
A central courtyard has been dubbed the C ourt o f H onor and
w ill eventually be paved w ith bricks and g ranite stones w hich are
available for purchase by m useum benefactors w ho w ish to have
the nam es o f servicem en engraved there for posterity. The
courtyard is dom inated by a copper M edal o f H onor T ow er w ith
displays dedicated to C ongressional M edal o f H onor recipients:
26 M ississippians and 44 honorees w ho received their training at
Cam p Shelby.
Senator D aniel Inouya (D -H aw aii) spoke at the reception prior
to the dedication and review ed his training at C am p Shelby and
his introduction from a pest free H aw aii to "ticks, chiggers and
snakes" in sw eltering hum idity.
Inouya and his com patriots w ould prove th eir m ettle during
W orld W ar II as m em bers o f the fam ed 442nd R egim ent.
O p e n : T uesday-S aturday from 9:00 a.m . to 4:30 p.m .; Sunday
from 1:00 to 5:00 p .m ., and closed on M onday.
A d m issio n : Free.
W h e re : C am p Shelby, M ississippi. D irections: T ake U.S. 49,
south o f H attiesburg (take south entrance to the cam p). B uilding
In fo rm a tio n : Call 601-558-2757.□
M arie-Josee Jodocy-T holl is seeking inform ation regarding tw o
G I’s w ho stayed in her hom e during the Bulge. T hey are:
T O N Y T O M A S E L L I and R A L P H S H U T T L E W O R T H . If
you can help w rite to her at: 53, rte d ’E ttlebruck; L-750
B eringen; L uxem bourg.
A ssociate m em ber R oger M arquet is looking for inform ation on
the follow ing:
D O D S O N C R A Y D O N (9T H or 6 T H
A R M O R E D D IV IS IO N ; H A R O L D S T E C K E R , 2 8 T H
D IV IS IO N ; and J O H N
W E B B , lO lS T
R E G IM E N T , C O M P A N Y B. If you can provide inform ation,
please w rite to R oger at:
C henogne, ID ; B-6640 Sibret;
B elgium .
G IL L I A M ,
A R T IL L E R Y (A W ) B A T T A L IO N , is looking for m em bers
w ho w ere transferred to the infantry in 1944 in E urope. W rite
to C ecil at: 2503 E arlcove D rive, D allas, T exas 75227.
R ita A nsback is trying to locate som e one for her m other. They
are looking for a sta ff sergeant w hose nam e w as IR V IN G R.
SH A U (or a nam e sim ilar), 3R D A R M O R E D D IV IS IO N . He
w as killed during the B attle o f the B ulge. If you can help, w rite
to R ita at: 7501 C olson D rive, L ouisville, K entucky 40220.
T he date w hich appears above y o u r last nam e on the m ailing
label used to m ail this n ew sletter to you, is the date y our dues
w ere (or w ill be) due. Please save us the tim e and expense o f
having to m ail a dues rem inder.
Dues are $15.00 per y ear and life m em bership is $75.00 for
those over 70 and $125.00 for those under 70.
M ake your check payable to: V BO B . M ail it to: PO Box
11129, A rlington, VA 22210. T hank y o u .o
" I I h a p p e n e d on l h a l InsI b i g r a i d o p N o r t h , h e l el l o i l I h e
l a d d e r g e l l i n g o u t ol hi s a i r p l a n e l "
February 2002
[R ep rin ted fr o m On P o in t: the N ew sletter o f The Arm y
H istorical F oundation. Volume 7, N um ber 3 ]
"On 15 O ctober 2 0 0 1--187 years aftei Congress, passed a iaw
directing the Secretary o f W ar to bring captured flags o f enem y
units to the seat o f the capital for appropriate d isp la y -S e c re ta ry
o f the A rm y T hom as W hite announced that Fort Belvoir,
V irginia, had been selected as the location for the N ational
M useum o f the U nited States A rm y. S ecretary W hite stated that
after a careful review o f potential sites, ‘Fort B elvoir em erged as
the best place to display the A rm y ’s historical artifacts for
generatio ns o f v isito rs.’
"D espite the fact that it is the n atio n ’s oldest branch o f the
arm ed forces, the A rm y is the only one w ithout a national
m useum
For alm ost tw o centuries, m uch o f the A rm y’s
extensive collection o f artifacts and artw ork has lackcd a
perm anent hom e w here it could be properly exhibited to the
public. The decision to build the national A rm y m useum at Fort
B elvoir w ill correct that oversight, as w ell as end the speculation
o f the past eighteen years concerning the best location for the
A rm y ’s capstone m useum .
"Fort B elvoir sits astride U.S. R oute I, one o f the oldest and
m ost historic roads in A m erica. The proposed A rm y m useum
site sits ju s i ilisee ii;iies from M ount V em on, the hom e o f the
A rm y ’s first com m anding general, G eorge W ashington. N earby,
too. are W 'oodlawn Plantation and prospective sites for several
new A rm y fa c ilitie s -a ll o f w hich could finally lead to a subw ay
stop (from M etro’s Y ellow L ine) com ing to Fort Belvoir.
Furtherm ore, Fort B elvoir is close to Interstate 95, the northsouth route for m illions o f tourists along the east coast.
"By finally designating Fort B elvoir as the site o f the N ational
M useum o f the U nited States A rm y, the arm y has ensured that
the greatest possible num b er o f Am.ericans, especially soldiers
and form er soldiers, can see w hat prom ises to be a first-rate
telling o f the A rm y ’s story. The G reater W ashington, D.C., area
includes large num bers o f both active and retired soldiers and
th eir fam ilies. In addition, visitors from all over the w orld com e
to see the m o n u m e n ts -m a n y o f w hich have a strong association
w ith the A rm y —and m useum s o f W ashington, D .C., w hich is ju st
15 m iles from Fort Belvoir.
h e lp -n o t only your financial help but also your ideas and your
tim e. R em em ber, this effort -raising funds for the N ational
M useum o f the U.S. A rm y—is a m ajor reason why A H F [the
new sletter On P oint 1 w as created in the first place. It is also
w hy we signed a M em orandum o f A greem ent w ith the
D epartm ent o f the A rm y over a year a g o - ‘for the philanthropic
support o f an A rm y m useum in the N ational C apital R egion.’
"F ifth -a n d a point that deserves its own paragraph—the
Secretary’s decision m eans that the one N A T IO N A L museum
o f the Arm y will be at Fort B elvoir, now here else. There
should be no confusion on this. C arlisle B arracks, w hich will
undoubtedly provide a w orld-class setting for the A rm y’s
archival m aterials, and perhaps a local m useum , w ill not be the
site for the A rm y’s N ational m useum . M any o f you have asked,
"why are there apparently going to be tw o A rm y m useum s and
tw o fundraising effo rts?’ AHF has w orked w ith the A rm y since
1983 to build a national m useum in the N ational C apital Region,
and has never w avered from, that m issions. R ecently, a group
[oj] P ennsylvania enthusiasts w ith strong local support lobbied
hard to have C arlisle declared the site, and prom ised to build a
m useum for the A rm y as an adjunct to a new A rm y archival
facility. N ow that the A rm y has selected Fort B elvoir, the need
and w isdom for a large A rm y m useum at C arlisle is
questionable. D espite the use o f the w ord "national" by the
C arlisle supporters, AHF rem ains the only "official" fundraisers
o f the N ational M useum o f the U.S. Army.
"C reighton W. A bram s, E xecutive D irectorn
"One o f m y favorite anecdotes w as about a soldier on guard duty
in the front lines one night, for the first tim e. He heard a
stranpe noi<:e firpH at it_ and then Called out ‘W ho '.vent th ere?’"
Ernie Pvle.
Up Front with Willie & Jo e
"From the E xecu tive D irecto r ’s D esk
"The m ost recent version o f these notes w as unusually
prescient. A decision w as indeed m ade by A rm y Secretary
W hite on w here the N ational M useum o f the U .S.A rm y
(N M U SA ) w ould go (F ort B elvoir);....
"W ith respect to the N M U SA , a few points. First, the A rm y—
the U .S. A rm y C en ter o f M ilitary H is to ry -is very' m uch in
charge o f the design. Second, they have told us they expect it
to be built w ithin this decade and that it w ill ultim ately cost
around $90 m illion, w hich m eans that w e have our w ork cut out
for us. T hird, w e are already at w ork planning this extensive
capital fundraising cam paign.
[ I f we receive inform ation
reg a rd in g m anner o f donation, we w ill p u b lish it in the fu tu re fo r
those o f y o u w ho w ish to co n trib u te.] Fourth, we need your
“ M'e
're jest a coiipla red-hlooded.\m eric a u hoys."
February 2002
Infantry D ivision, by Tom L eam on. 1 think that an excerpt
about C hristm as night 1944 should give us pause to rem em ber.
"In the hills around G randm enil, the m en o f F C om pany, 2nd
B attalion, could see and hear the battle for the tow n. That
C hristm as night the 2nd B attalion w as lost and had no contact
w ith the 1St and 3rd B attalions. H arold L indstrom , a m o rtar m an
with F C om pany rem em bered th at it w as a beautiful C hristm as
night w ith a bright m oon. O ur squad w as w alking single file on
a narrow road dow n the side o f a hill.
"1 w as tired to the point that it surprised m e. I w as sort o f
numb. W e had a ring-side seat to the battle going on down
there. M any buildings w ere on fire, and tracers w ere streaking
all directions. Suddenly tracers sw ept the road ahead. I dove for
cover and could feel the bullets hitting the ground. T his w as
C hristm as night 1944."
[The fo llo w in g article a p p ea red in the 75th D ivision
new sletter "B ulgebusters," D ecem ber 2001, no author
named. ]
The G erm an th reat dem anded im m ediate action. There w as
insufficient tim e for the division to execute essential
reconnaissance and m ove forw ard as a unit; consequently, the
VII Co*ps C om m ander on 23 and 24 D ecem ber attached C om bat
Team 290 and C om bat Team 289 to the 3rd A rm ored D ivision.
The rem aining tactical elem ents o f the division outposted along
L ’O urthe R iver betw een B om al and G randm enil.
C om bat Team 290 initially m et little resistance. It cleared the
H otton-Soy road o f the enem y, pushed south, and by 2400 on 25
D ecem ber had reached its objective (the line: B lier-H am pteau).
The heaviest resistance w as m et in the advance tow ard
H am pteau.
N ear the V illage o f W erpin, the enem y w as
en trenched on a high hill w hich controlled the H otton-H am pteau
road. It w as necessary to cross an open field 300 yards w ide in
order to reach its objective. C om pany K m ade a frontal attack,
but w as pinned dow n by enem y m achine gun fire w ith great loss.
Then, supported by supplem ental flank attacks by C om panies I
& L, C om pany K attached again and drove the enem y from his
This ended the threat o f H otton and m arked a
h ighw ater m ark o f the G erm an drive northw ard tow ard Liege.
M any acts o f heroism w ere perform ed by the officers and men
in C om panies K, I, and L in taking this hill.
The 289th Infantry w as attached to C om bat C om m and B and
the 3rd A rm ored D ivision, and w as given the m ission o f seizing,
organizing, and defending a frontage o f approxim ately 10,000
yards in the very heavily w ooded area running south and east
from G randm enil to E rezee. The regim ent w as ordered to attack
at 0800 on 25 D ecem ber, w ith battalions abreast. W hile dis­
m ounting from trucks in the assem bly area on the eastern flank
o f the regim ent, the 3rd B attalion w as hit by G erm an tanks
w hich had succeeded in breaking through elem ents o f the 3rd
and 7th A rm ored D ivisions east o f G randm enil. A bazooka man
from C om pany K scored a hit on a G erm an tank and stopped this
attack. The three battalions advanced against light opposition,
but due to w ide frontages and thick w oods w ere unable to estab­
lish contact during the night o f D ecem ber 25-26. E arly in the
evening the 3rd B attalion received orders to be prepared to assist
elem ents o f the 3rd A rm ored D ivision in the capture o f G rand­
m enil. O n the m orning o f 26 D ecem ber, the entire battalion was
d etached from the regim ent and attached to CCB for the attack
on G randm enil, w hich it spearheaded. By late afternoon o f 26
D ecem ber, the tow n had been taken.
The battalion, after
reverting to regim ental control, defended G ran d m en il.□
[The next tw o articles a p p ea red in the N o rth w est C hapter
n ew sletter S p ecia l C hristm as Issue a n d are excerp ted fr o m
The H istory o f the 705th Tank D estroyer B attalion, by Lois
Paw ley Wick].]
Sgt R alph "Shorty" V ining
705th T ank D estroyer Battalion
C om pany C
"On C hristm as m orning, 1 took som e m en to get som e gas.
W hen we got to the dum p, we w ere told to w ait in a building.
I w as stom ping around trying to keep w arm w hen I saw a trunk
type box in the c o m er w ith the lid up. It looked like it w as full
o f straw. As I m oved the straw around 1 found a lot o f bottles
full o f liquor. I shut the lid and w ent to see about the gas but I
d id n ’t get any gas. So, I w ent back to the b uilding and stuck
those bottles inside the big coat I w as w earin g and in the side
pickets o f the coat. I w as loaded!
"I got back to w here our destroyers w ere parked ju s t after five
G erm an tanks had com e in and surrendered. T hey had put w hite
sheets over the gun barrels to surrender. B ut som e o f the guys
from the 101st A irborne sneaked up and threw hand grenades
down the hatch.
"Then I called Sgt Don W illiam s and told him about the booze
that 1 had. 1 told him that since he w as the platoon sergeant, he
should control it. He gave each crew enough to w arm up on but
no one got enough to get drunk on. It w as cold and m iserable."
C orporal Lloyd E. A nderson
705th T ank D estroyer Battalion
H eadquarters
"On C hristm as m orning, we heard the jin g le o f sleigh bells.
They cam e from around the side o f a barn. W e w ere on a road
block on a dirt road into B astogne. The road w as co vered with
snow and nobody knew w hat it w as because w e c o u ld n ’t see
around the bam . T hen the sound cam e around the end o f the
bam . It w as a G erm an officer and his girl friend in a horsedraw n sleigh! As they cam e around the c o m e r a tank d estroyer
w as parked in th eir w ay. T hey w ere cap tu red right then and
there. The G erm an o fficer said that the G erm ans w ere supposed
to be holding his area since they had captured B astogne. He w as
inform ed that m aybe they w ere supposed to have, but they h a d n ’t
captured B astogne.
"The horse and sleigh w ere given to the B elgians and 1 d o n ’t
know w hat happened to the girl friend, q
[The fo llo w in g a p p ea red in the n ew sletter o f the Christm as
S p ecia l Issue new sletter o f the N o rth w est C hapter o f
VBOB. It was w ritten by Lou W insor (C hapter H istorian)
a n d p ro vid es fu r th e r inform ation on the above incident ]
A nother C hristm as Season is here and m ost o f our thoughts are
centered around our fam ilies and the jo y o f being w ith them at
C hristm as tim e. But w e c a n ’t forget that once again we have
soldiers fighting for our freedom in a far aw ay land. All o f us
rem em ber w hat that is like, and our thoughts and prayers are
w ith them .
Last tim e [last new sletter] 1 m entioned a history o f the 289th
February 2002
Bill W am och, a student at O hio State, all m em bers o f the 99th
A rchives C om m ittee, heard o f the Sito discovery and felt that
m ore should be done to locate other M IA ’s. W am och com piled
a list o f 33 nam es o f m en from the 99th w ho w ere listed as
M IA ’s.
T his list w as published in The C h eckerb o a rd (the association
new spaper), requesting help from the m em bers. The A rchives
C om m ittee searched records in the N ational A rchives, M ilitary
H istory Institute and the N ational Personnel Records Center.
They ended up w ith a m ass o f data such as m aps, photographs,
overlays, w itnesses, m orning reports, after action reports, etc.,
w hich gave as com plete a picture as possible o f potential search
In O ctober 1990 D ick B yers w ent to B elgium w ith a num ber
o f ex -99 ’ers to dedicate a m onum ent to the division at K rinkeitR ocherath and brought all this inform ation to the O n-Site Search
Team . From this they created a m ap show ing the possible
location o f 2nd Ll. L onnie O. H ollow ay, J r.'s rem ains.
H ollow ay had been w eapons platoon leader, K C om pany, 393rd
Infantry. On N ovem ber 9, 1990, Lt. H ollo w ay ’s rem ains w ere
found about !0 yards from w here he w as last seen on D ecem ber
16, 1944. The team contacted the A rm y w ho sent the rem ains
to H awaii w here positive identification w as m ade.
S eptem ber 6, 1991, Lt. H ollow ay w as buried at Fort Sam
H ouston N ational C em etery in San A ntonio, Texas, w ith full
m ilitary honors.
Finding these bodies is not as sim ple as it m ay seem to some.
Fifty year old m em ories are not alw ays that accurate and even a
srnall error can lead to futility instead o f success. The aica
w here these m en are searching is in m ostly heavy forests, m any
hills, w inding stream s and relatively few roads. D igging in
battlefields is strictly prohibited in B elgium but The D iggers
believed in w hat they w ere doing and took the risk. T hey had
som e trouble w ith the forest rangers, but, w hen they explained
w hat they w'ere doing and w hy they w ere doing it, several
rangers gave them unofficial perm ission and tw o rangers have
even w orked w ith them and helped as m uch as possible.
In June 1992 Jean-L ouis w as seeking perm ission to search an
area in the forest w hen the c h ie f ranger, Mr. Erich H onen, told
him a lum berjack had recently found bones near a foxhole with
rusty rem ains o f som e G erm an equipm ent. Mr. Honen has
verified the lum b erjack ’s story and local au thorities decided to
bury the G erm an bones in a p au p er’s grave in Rocherath.
H ow ever, nothing had been done yet and Jean-L ouis suggested
a search o f the foxhole for identification. T his w as done and on
July 3, 1992, Mr. H onen took The D iggers to the foxhole. They
carefully searched the area and sifted the dirt in and around the
foxhole. T hey not only cam e up w ith a sizeable collection o f
bones, they also unearthed pieces o f a U.S. w inter com bat
uniform and vestiges o f a .30 calib er cartridge belt and clips for
an M l rifle, but, unfortunately, no dog tags. It becam e obvious
to them that these w ere the bones o f an A m erican, not a G erm an.
By the end o f the day, alm ost a com plete skeleton had taken
shape, but things w ere com p licated by the discovery o f duplicate
bones and a set o f U.S. A rm y serg ean t’s stripes. A gain the
rem ains w ere turned over to the U.S. A rm y team w ho also
searched the area and sent all they had to the laboratory in
H aw aii. The M IA Search Team has concluded that they had
found the rem ains o f tw o A m erican soldiers, one o f them a
sergeant, and from exhaustive study o f all av ailable records, feel
reasonably confident that
(Continued on next page)
Thor Ronningen
99th Infantry Division
395th Infantry R egim ent
C om pany I
Jean-P hillipe S peder and Jean-L ouis Seel m et for the first tim e
when they w ere in high school in 1978. T hey w ere both natives
o f B elgium and had grow n up hearing about W orld W ar II and
particularly about the B attle o f the Bulge w hich w as largely
fought in the area they called hom e.
For several years m uch o f this area w as closed to visitors o f
any kind because o f the abundance o f explosives left over from
the w ar. M any explosive devices are still found there. A
determ ined effort w as m ade to clean up these explosives and in
doing so som e m arked and unm.arked graves w ere found in the
cleared areas by policem en and forensic team s. H ow ever, m any
o f the heavily forested areas w ere not searched for rem ains.
In the late 7 0 ’s the tw o young m en began to search for artifacts
and souvenirs, w hich w ere plentiful. On a rainy day in February
1980 th ey w ent searching w ith JP ’s new m ine detector. JL
found his first dog tag before he w as 18 years old near
R ocheralh. it had belonged to M ax W isnieski, from W aukesha,
W isconsin, w ho had been a m em ber o f C om pany A, 38th
Infantry R egim ent, 2nd D ivision. W ith W ill C av an ag h ’s help,
W isniesk i’s w idow w as located.
T his opened up a co m pletely new vista—real front line soldiers
w ith real stories. T hey now began searching for item s with
personal identification such as dog tags, ID bracelets, m ess kits
and canteens w ith nam es and serial num bers or laundry num bers
scratched in them . (A rm y laundry num bers w ere the first letter
o f the so ld ier’s last nam e follow ed by the last four digits o f his
serial num ber.)
In 1986 they contacted the 99th Infantry
D ivision A ssociation for help in identifying and locating m en to
m atch the num bers they w ere gathering. T his began a close
association and in 1987 JP and JL jo in e d the 99th association.
O ver the years they have been able to identify item s belonging
to m ore than 450 veterans from m ore than 50 different units and,
in m ost cases returning them to the veteran or his fam ily. They
have built an extensive file o f nam es, serial num bers and units.
In som e cases it has been hard er to find the veteran than it was
to find the artifact. V eterans o f the 99th w elcom ed these m en as
rnC IT ibcrS a n d C a llC u thci'ii "Tlic
On T hursday, S eptem ber 29, 1988, the "M IA Project" began.
T his is the day the D iggers found the rem ains o f PFC A lphonse
M. Sito, o f B C om pany, 394th R egim ent. Sito had been
guarding the right flank o f a light m achine gun squad in heavy
w oods near L osheim , G erm any, w hen the G erm ans launched the
B attle o f the B ulge on D ecem ber 16, 1944. The squad fought
valiantly but w ere overcom e and had to surrender. Sito died in
his foxhole o f a head w ound and rem ain ed there for 44 years.
The team n o tified the 99th D ivision A ssociation and also
contacted M ortuary A ffairs o f the U .S. A rm y in Frankfort who
sent a team to exam ine the site and take charge o f the rem ains.
On D ecem ber 6, 1989, he w as returned to his fam ily and on
D ecem ber 18 receiv ed a proper burial in St. Stanislaus C em etery
in B altim ore, M aryland.
This w as the genesis o f "The O n-Site Search T eam ." The late
RirhflrH H Ry^rs 2 nd
W hitchsiid, both 99th vstsrdns, Gnd
Februarv 2002
m em bers. On June 1, 2001, Jean-P hillipe, M arc and Jean-L ouis
m et at this area and began digging in the m any foxholes nearby.
M arc called to the others that he had found so m e th in g -a rubber
snow boot.T his contained a leg bone. In digging for the rest o f
the skeleton, a shovel struck a skull and here w as a second
skeleton. C ontinued digging unbelievably brought up yet a third
set o f bones! They had discovered the rem ains o f Sgt. F rederick
F. Z im m erm an, PFC Stanley Larson, o f H C om pany, 394th
Infantry, and PFC E w ing Fidler, o f E C om pany, 394th Infantry.
For nine years the search team had been unable to locate a single
M IA, and now, in a period o f a m onth and a h a lf th ey had
located six!
N ow you know w hy those o f us w ho know them are so proud
o f The D iggers. T hey have recovered eight o f our com rades
w ho have been positively identified and tw o w hose identity is
uncertain. T hey have w orked d iligently for years and invested
m oney, sw eat, em otional effort and countless hours for the sole
purpose o f paying back A m erican veterans for the freedom
Belgium enjoys today. T hey w ell deserve the respect they have
from A m erican, B elgian and G erm an arm y search team s, local
governm ent officials, hundreds o f A m erican veterans and others
w ho are aw are o f th eir w ork. A bove all they have the undying
gratitude o f fam ilies w ho can now put closure on th eir loved
ones w ho had been listed as "M issing in A ctio n ."□
they know w ho these m en w ere, but, in the absence o f positive
identification by the A rm y Forensic Lab, can do no more.
In 1994 M arc M arique and Jean-Luc M enestrey jo in e d The
D iggers so now there are four dedicated young m en on the OnSite Search Team .
For several years. The diggers searched diligently, but w ere
unable to disco ver any m ore rem ains. On January 9, 1998, a
G erm an citizen w orking in his garden in the V illage o f Schm idt
discovered the rem ains o f Sgt Lem uel H. H erbert, a m em ber o f
the 112th Infantry, 28th D ivision. H erbert had been reported
m issing as o f N ovem ber 7, 1944. This led to a m eeting betw een
The D iggers and M anfred K lein and his team , a G erm an
counterpart o f T he D iggers.
The tw o groups now share
inform ation and do w hat they can to help one another.
In 1992 the team received very accurate inform ation about the
location o f the grave o f three m en w ho w ere buried in a
tem porary grave w hen their unit had to pull back. T hey located
the gravesite quickly and discovered a rifle, probably used to
m ark the grave, but no rem ains. It becam e clear that the bodies
had been located, m oved and re-buried as unknow ns. On A pril,
2001, Seel w as in the area and decided to search the other side
o f an adjacent trail. He found an A m erican hand grenade but
nothing else. H is m etal detecto r w as still on as he headed for his
car and got a positive signal. W ith his foot he scratched out a
dog tag, and it had the nam e o f one o f these three m en! D avid
Read! He left im m ediately and notified the rest o f the team . On
A pril 17 they cleared tree debris aw ay from w here the dog tag
had been found. Seel noted the outline o f a slit trench about tw o
m eters aw ay, ch ecked w ith his detecto r and got a positive
The ground w as soft and a foot dow n they
encountered a hum an bone. T hey called forest ranger Erich
H onen to jo in them as they w ere ju s t across the border into
G erm any. T hese rem ains turned out to be those o f PFC Jack C.
B eckw ith, o f C C om pany, 395th Infantry. The d etector gave a
positive reading as they searched about three m eters aw ay from
the first grave. D igging here they recovered the rem ains o f PFC
Saul K okotovich, also a m em ber o f C C om pany. It took about
20 m inutes to find a third grave. By this tim e it w as late
afternoon and a large fir tree had been planted right over the
grave so they left for the day. On A pril 19 it took the better
part o f a day to rem ove the rem ains o f PFC D avid A Read, o f
C annon C om pany, 395th Infantry.
On M ay 14 the U.S. A rm y M em orial A ffairs Team set up
facilities on site and searched the area and exam ined the bones
and the graves very carefully. On M ay 15, the three bodies, in
caskets, w ere delivered to G erm an authorities. On M ay 18, the
G erm ans returned these caskets to U.S. officials at an im pressive
cem etery cerem ony w ith full m ilitary honors from V C orps
troops stationed in G erm any.
This success w as a great em otional boost to the team and led
them to re-exam ine other files and thoroughly review th e ir past
attem pts to locate m issing m en. M arc took the file o f Frederick
Z im m erm an and decided to re-exam ine the area w here he had
been buried. Past searches going back to M arch 1991 had
convinced The D iggers that Z im m erm an ’s body had been
recovered and re-buried as "unknow n." W ith his detector, M arc
w orked in ever-w idening circles until he got a lot o f signals. He
began to dig w ith his shovel and discovered a dog tag, w hich is
alw ays a m oving event, and im m ediately notified the oth er team
[The fo llo w in g article a p p ea red in The R ailsplitter. the
new sletter o f the 84th Infantry D ivision.
It is an
a b b reviated version. The VBOB O ffice has rec e iv e d m any
requests fo r inform ation on p ro p er atten tio n to the f l a g in
the days fo llo w in g S ep tem b er I Ith. E lsew here in this issue
y o u w ill f i n d instructions fo r the p ro p er ha n g in g a n d fly in g
o f the fla g .]
The first fold is the fold o f life, the life th at our com rade lived
here on earth.
The next fold is the fold for the eternal life that we w ill live
from here on.
The next fold is a triangle fold that is the shape o f our heart,
w hich stands for the love and devotion to our country.
The next fold is a fold for courage th at only G od gives us.
The next fold is a fold for the courtesy, com passion and
com petence w e give our fam ilies and country. T his fold is a
fold for the w om en w ho gave us our lives.
The next fold is a fold for the th irteen stripes, w hich stands for
the thirteen original C olonies.
The next fold is the fold for the Red Stripes w hich w hich stand
for the sw eat and blood th at w e shed for our fam ilies and
The next fold is the fold for the W hite S tripes th at stand for
peace, good w ill to all m an and purity th at G og gives us.
C om ing to the finish o f the flag w e see the B lue, w hich stands
for the skies above.
The flag has fifty stars, one for each State o f the U n io n .□
February 2002
A c c o u n ts of e v e n ts a n d e x p e rie n c e s in th e B attle of th e
B ulge a s re c a lle d a n d e x p re s s e d by v e te ra n s of th e g re a te s t
b a ttle e v e r fought by th e U.S. Army in th e g re a te s t w ar ever
fought a re of m u ch historical significance. T h e s e “c lo s e -u p ”
c o m b a ta n t a c c o u n ts a re a c o m p le m e n t to th e stu d y of
s tra te g y a n d logistics a n d a re a leg a cy of a n irnportsnt battle
a n d victory in th e U.S. m ilitary a n n a ls.
T h e s e a re p ric e le s s first-p erso n re co lle c tio n s by living
le g e n d s in w h at G e n e ra l Dwight D. E ise n h o w e r fo re s a w a s
our g re a te s t victory a n d P rim e M inister W inston Churchill,
in sp e a k in g b e fo re th e H o u se of C o m m o n s, c h a ra c te riz e d
a s a n ev er-fa rn o u s A m erican victory.
began shooting. He raised the alarm and other G erm an soldiers
soon appeared and the fire fight began. We retreated to one o f
the houses we had searched and the fighting continued from
house to house. A fter a w hile the G erm ans occupied the house
on each side o f our house and the house across the street from
our house. The fighting continued n!! night
By dawn it w as obvious that either w e w ould try to escape or
we w ould surrender, and we decided to try to escape. The house
we w ere in had a back yard that sloped dow n to a ditch possibly
50 yards from the house, and that appeared to be the only escapc
route. In order to keep the G erm ans at bay we used our radio to
call for artillery support and tank cannot support on the houses
around us. This involved som e risk that our ow n house w ould
be hit by artillery so we retreated to the cellar. The artillery and
tank fire continued for a w hile and we then decided to m ake our
break. By radio we requested a heavy concentration o f high
explosive shells follow ed by a tw o or three m inute cessation o f
artillery fire to be follow ed by a heavy concentration o f
phosphorous shells to create a sm oke screen. O ur plan w as to
m ake a dash out o f the cellar dow n the back yard to the ditch
during the interlude betw een the high explosive shells and the
pliospiiorous sheiis.
A fter m aking that pian by radio, we
prepared to m ake the break out from the cellar dow n to the
ditch. The high explosive shells cam e in as planned. W'hen the
last high explosive shell exploded, w e destroyed the radio, pulled
the pins on our grenades, dashed out o f the cellar and threw hand
grenades as we left the cellar. We ran dow n the back yard to the
ditch and by the tim e we had reached the ditch the phosphorous
shells began to explode creating the sm oke screen. As we ran
dow n the back yard tow ard the ditch, I w as shot high in m y right
thigh but fortunately no bone w as broken.
The G erm ans w ere firing m achine guns and sm all m ortars at us
in the ditch and w e had to decide w hether to m ove out across the
open fields back to our ow n lines. T here w as a fence line
running from the ditch up a gradual slope tow ard the forest
w here the A m erican front line w as located. 1 m oved out o f the
ditch and began to craw l along the fence line in hopes that the
sm ckc crcatcd by the phosphorous sliclls w oulu cuuccdl my
January 23, 1945
E dw ard M. Selfe
9th Infantry D ivision
60th Infantry R egim ent
1st B attalion
C om pany A
B irm ingham , A labam a
On January 23, 1945, 1 w as a platoon leader in C om pany A, 1st
B attalion, 60th Infantry R egim ent, 9th Infantry D ivision, and we
w ere on the front line near a sm all tow n in G erm any nam ed
K onzen. T his tow n is near the border o f B elgium and G erm any,
and is about 20 m iles south o f A achen and about five m iles north
o f M onchow . The B attle o f the B ulge w as draw ing to a close
and the G erm ans had retreated from the M onchow area, patrols
w ere being sent out to locate the G erm an forces, and it becam e
my piaiuoii’s turn to send a co m bat patrol to K onzen.
I w as to lead a com bat patrol o f six m en w ith the objective o f
capturing a G erm an soldier in K onzen and bringing him back to
T he patrol iricliiucJ ilic pldioon sci^caiit, a
radiom an, a m an equipped w ith a B row ning autom atic rifle and
three other infantry m en. The plans w as to enter K onzen around
m idnight w ith the objective o f capturing a G erm an soldier. We
w ould have av ailable by radio artillery support and tank cannon
A C om pany w as dug in along a tree line facing open fields in
front o f K onzen. The snow w as several feet deep in the open
fields in front o f K onzen, and we w ore w hite cam ouflage suits.
T here w as a full m oon but there w ere also clouds, and we m oved
w hen the m oon w as covered by a cloud. W e left after dark and
w orked our w ay across the open fields to K onzen, and arrived at
the edge o f the tow n about m idnight. W e entered K onzen along
a street lined w ith houses and began to search each house as we
cam e to it. A fter w e had searched about tw elve houses, we
approached a large building w hich appeared to be either a church
nr a <;rhonl A G ‘?rrn?.n
cit th s t buiidin^ spottsd ug cind
Fcbruar, 2002
m ovem ent. H ow ever, it did not and m achine guns began firing
at m e as I m oved up the fenec line. W hen the rest o f the patrol
saw that tirm g, th ey rem ained in the ditch. Fortunately, I was
not hit w hile craw ling up on the fence line and ultim ately got out
o f sight o f the G erm an m achine guns and m ortars.
It w as difficult to w alk on m y right leg, and so 1 craw led
through the snow going in the general direction o f the tree line
across the open fields. The snow was deep and my progress was
slow. A t one point 1 w as approaching w hat appeared to be an
abandoned farm house, but I heard noises inside the farm house.
The farm house w as betw een me and the tree line in the
distance, and so I approached the farm house with m y pistol
draw n. W hen I w as able to look in the w indow in the farm
house 1 w as relieved to see a cow m oving about and that was the
noise I had heard. I continued craw ling and partly w alking
tow ard the tree line for several m ore hours, and ultim ately got
w ithin 50 yards o f the tree line w hen I stopped. 1 thought that
there w ould be boobie traps set out in front o f the tree line
because I had set som e boobie traps m y s e lf I called out to the
tree line saying 1 w as from the patrol and asking for help. The
A m erican units along the tree line had been w arned to look out
for the returning patrol, and the captain o f the com pany w hich
1 w as approaching cam e out to his boobie traps and led m e back
to his unit. 1 described to him the situation and told him that if
he follow ed m y tracks back to the ditch he w ould find the rest
o f the patrol.
1 w as then taken to the battalion aid station on a stretcher on
the front o f a jeep . 1 w as exam ined at the battalion aid station
3nci s bsncisiiw \v3s nut on m v Isc N'lv comDsnv comm sricisr
cam e by to see m e and 1 gave him a report on w hat we had
experienced in K onzen including a description o f the G erm an
w eapons that w ere fired at us and an estim ate o f the num ber o f
G erm an troops in K onzen. A fter that I w as placed in an arm y
am bulance and taken to an arm y hospital in Liege, B elgium . At
the hospital m y leg w ound w as treated and a week or so later I
w as sent to a field hospital for recuperation. A fter several w eeks
in the field hospital, 1 w as sent to a hospital in Paris and
ultim ately returned to com bat duty in M arch. W hen I returned
to com bat, I did not go back to A C om pany but instead 1 was
assigned to the 1st B attalion o f the 60th Infantry R egim ent as an
S-2 officer. 1 believe that all o f the m en in the patrol were
brought back but I have never seen any o f them since that night.
Should any o f them happen to read this story, 1 w ould like to
hear from them . I w ould also like to hear from the artillery and
lank crew s w ho probably saved our lives w ith their very accurate
bom bardm ent. [A ddress is 2001 Park Place #1400. Birm ingham .
A labam a 35203-2736]
o f sabotage. These N azi spies were dropped behind A m erican
front lines and caused real problem s in som e areas.
To counteract this, A llied Forces set up road blocks and
checked all soldiers. At the check points they w ould question
everyone w ith questions referring to A m erican slan g -b a seb all
talk, such as line drive, Texas leaguer, etc. Things that only true
A m ericans w ould know.
On January 2, 1945, my survey crew and I were m aking a
r6connsisssnc£ for new bEtter^' positions in cssc we hsd to
displace to support our unit.
W e were stopped at one o f these check points. Evidently, my
answ ers to questioning was not conclusive that I was not a spy.
I w as disarm ed and separated from m y crew w ho w ere also
under interrogation.
From the check point, 1 w as taken, at gun point, to MP
headquarters and questioned further.
Probably part o f the problem was my characteristics: 1 am o f
G erm an dcsccnt, 6 foot tali, blond, fair skinned, blue eyed, butch
haircut, and nam e on my dog ta g -O b erm e ie r. N o w onder they
w ere hard to convince! 1 finally persuaded them to contact my
division through corps headquarters. A couple o f radio calls and
I was released and m y w eapon returned. 1 rejoined m y survey
crew. W e continued on, finished our m ission, and returned to
our unit.
W hen anyone asks m e, "W ere you a prisoner o f war?" I have
to say, "Yes," and then explain I was a prisoner o f w ar o f our
own forces for a short tim e.
This w as my most unusual incident in my tw o years overseas.
C h ris tm a s, 1944
L e ste r " L e s " R. K ing
6 4 3 rd T a n k B attalio n
C om pany A
P h o en ix , A rizo n a
At C hristm as tim e in 1944 ever>' m em ber o f the U.S. A rm ored
Forces w as prom ised a traditional C hristm as dinner: roast turkey
and southern baked ham , candied sw eet potatoes, m ashed
potatoes, com bread stuffing w ith giblet gravy, a fresh veggie
tray, com and peas and green beans, along with fresh, hot-out-otthe-oven dinner rolls, pum pkin and m ince m eat pies.
1 w as a m em ber o f "A" C om pany, 643rd Tank D estroyer
B aiiaiion. Ai ihe lim e, we were equipped wiiii M5 Towed 5 in
anti-tank guns. On C hristm as Eve. we w ere selected to stand
rear-guard for the retreating G l’s through M anhay, Belgium.
The incom ing G erm an artillery and m ortar fire was constant.
All we could do was helplessly w atch as the advancing enemy
infantry, supported by arm or, flanked us on both sides o f
H ighw ay N-15.
Finally, at about m idnight, we received orders to save our own
skins. We hooked the gun to the half-track, forced our way into
the line o f retreating vehicles and headed north through the
burning tow n o f Manhay.
W e had already pulled as m any fleeing foot soldiers into our
track as it w ould hold.
By now, the G erm ans landsm en w ere in force on our flanks.
The scene was m uch like an old-tim e w estern m ovie where the
Indians are on both sides o f the stagecoach with all o f the
P R IS O N E R O F W A R ?
J a n u a r y 2, 1945
W en d ell C . O b e rm e ie r
75th In fa n try D ivision
899 F ield A rtille ry B atta lio n
C h a rle s C ity , Iow a
W hen the G erm an attack started, they attem pted to disrupt the
allied defense by parachuting E nglish-speaking, highly-trained
G erm an soldiers dressed in A m erican uniform s, carrying U.S.
w eapons, and w earing dog tags. T hese spies attem pted to cause
Februan 2002
W e m anaged to escape the tow n w ithout casualties and
positioned the run for the night north o f the village.
C hristm as Day w as spent guarding one o f the hundreds o f
single lane bridges located in the area; w ith o n e-h alf o f a Kration breakfast as the only m eal for each man.
On the day after C hristm as the surviving m em bers o f the
com pany w ere divided am ong the rem aining guns. W e found a
few replacem ents and received our new assignm ent.
The next day we w ere ordered to dig-in our gun on a bluff
overlooking a w ooded valley occupied by the enem y to prevent
their tanks from advancing any further.
The never-ending artillery and sm all arm s fire w as devastating
and casualties w ere heavy am ong our supporting infantry men.
The follow ing day, D ecem ber 28th, the "incom ing" slowed
considerably and our C hristm as dinner finally arrived. Late, but
never the less, a very w elcom e sight. The m ess truck was
parked and the cooks began preparing the long anticipated meal.
The sm ell, no, the m agnificent fragrance o f the cooking food
w as phenom enal.
Every m an ’s ju ices began to flow
uncontrollably as the ice cold air w as filled w ith it.
The eager m en queued up at the portable serving table when
suddenly the gates o f Hell opened! "SPA N G -SPA N G -SPA N G !"
The area w as com pletely bracketed w ith artillery fire!
The startled m en hit the ground trying to m ake them selves
invisible. The cooks gathered their gear, threw everything
haphazardly into the bed o f the truck and flew down the road
w ith pots and pans banging and clanging like a run aw ay chuck
w agon in an old Tex R itter m ovie.
They had m ade the alm ost alw ays fatal m istake o f parking on
a hilltop.
We never did get our C hristm as dinner, nor did we ever see the
m ess truck again until we w ere w aiting for the boat to take us
G erm ans opened up on us w ith sm all arm s, m achine guns, 88
mm paks, and those ever frightening N ebelw erfer, six tube
rockets, better know n to us as "scream ing M eem ies." W hen 1
finally got back to m y squad, alm ost everyone w as hit fi'om tree
burst, including m y squad leader Fisher. He w as hurt pretty bad
and my fi-iend Pete C ovick w as trying to give him a shot o f
m orphine but w as afraid he w ould hurt him . I heard Fisher
yelling at C ovick to stick the dam ned needle in his arm . He was
in a lot o f pain by this tim e. Pete w as trying to give Fisher the
m orphine because our m edic w as dow n w ith part o f his head
blow n away.
1 can still see Jim K elley sitting in the snow looking at his
ju m p boots and cursing the G erm ans for k nocking the heel o ff
his boot. He said, "D on’t they know boots are rationed and hard
to get?"
We finally got w ord to w ithdraw but unfortunately as a
m achine gunner, we have to stay back and cover the w ithdraw al.
W hen 1 felt that I gave our troops am ple tim e, 1 dism antled my
gun and threw parts in all directions so that the G erm ans
cou ld n ’t use it against us. A s soon as 1 started across the field
to jo in m y com pany, the G erm ans started in w ith the artillery
again. 1 could hear the six tube rockets com ing in so I hit the
snow. T h a t’s w hen m y h elm et pushed back o ff m y forehead and
shrapnel hit me across the top o f m y head and w ent out the back
o f my helm et. A m edic w as trying to reach m e but we were
fired at and he finally had to give it up. I d id n ’t blam e him at
the tim e since there w as nothing he could do.
1 lay in that freezing cold for about tw o hours w ith nothing but
a field jac k e t as our overcoats w ere taken aw ay for som e reason.
A rm y logic I’m sure. M y ju m p boots w ere little protection for
my feet.
I can rem em ber calling for m y m o th er as I thought 1 w as going
to the "happy hunting ground."
I felt my eyes close as I w as beginning to feel com fortable and
Soon, 1 felt m y se lf being cradled in very strong arm s and knew
that I w as on m y w ay to that happy place. 1 soon realized that
it w as a hum an voice I w as hearing reassuring me that 1 would
be alright. 1 d id n ’t realize that it w as a G erm an m edic until he
started to bandage m y head. He threw an overcoat over m e and
m y teeth finally stopped chattering.
1 was laying next to another airborne tro o p er w hen our artillery
started pounding the G erm ans. The trooper said, "L et’s get the
Hell out o f here. I d o n ’t w ant to be killed by our own shells."
He helped me up and w e headed back to our lines.
I had no idea w here our lines w ere, so I follow ed him and he
lead us right to our battalion aide station. By the tim e w e m ade
it back, m y feet w ere frozen so bad that I co u ld n ’t stand
anym ore. 1 looked up from m y prone position and saw Frank
G reco from m y hom e tow n o f O m aha. He asked m e to contact
his m other and tell h er th at he w as alright. He did m ake it hom e
The m edics tagged me and a few days later 1 w as in a hospital
in France and then on to England.
A colonel w as checking m y feet and 1 heard him tellin g his
assistant that he w a sn ’t sure about saving som e o f the feet he had
W hen I heard that, I said, "Please, C olonel, d o n ’t cut m y feet
off. I’m short enough." He laughed so hard that tears rolled won
his cheeks. He sm iled dow n at m e and reassured m e that he
w ould do his best for m e. T hank G od, I’m still 5 ’9" tall.
January, 1945
Joseph C am pagna
17th A irborne Division
193rd G lider Infantry R egim ent
2nd Battalion
H eadquarters
O m aha, N ebraska
It was a cold m iserable January day in Belgium . The fog was
thick and the snow flakes large. W e were in single file heading
for som e w oods in the A rdennes w hen we started hearing our
artillery com ing over. It d id n ’t take us long to distinguish our
artillery from theirs.
We were to attack the enem y w hich consisted o f panzer
grenadiers and arm or at 0815 hours. O ur objective w as to drive
the G erm ans out o f the woods. B etw een the fog and the snow
it was difficult to see som e o f our troops, w hich in turn gave the
feeling o f being alone.
We set up our w ater-cooled m achine guns in text book fashion,
that is to place them so we w ould have interlocking bands o f
grazing fire. Even though our guns fired only 500 rounds per
m inute, we w ere soon low on am m unition. IVly squad leader.
Sergeant Fisher, asked m e to find our am m unition supply dum p
and bring back as m uch as I could carry. W hen 1 w alked out o f
the w oods into the open field, all H ell broke loose. The
Februar>- 2002
I have only told this experience to a girl 1 w as dating years
ago. I broke dow n and w as so em barrassed that i have kept it
to m yselt ev er since.
I know that our children should know o f som e o f our
experiences as I realize w e are losing W W II veterans at an
alarm ing rate.
I have regretted the fact that I d id n ’t ask the G erm an m edic for
his nam e and address. He w as such a g reat hum an being, and so
gentle and caring w ith m e. H opefully, he w as reunited w ith his
m other and fam ily. I never saw my m other again as she passed
aw ay w hile I w as recuperating in the hospital in England.
H ow ever, 1 w as fortunate th at I had a father, and brothers and
sisters to com e hom e to.
activity could easily be seen in the snow. So we m ines men
craw led out of the foxhole, and the 6x6, and started trying to
w arm som e C rations on the 6x6 engine. We had a hell o f a
tim e getting the truck started but it finally cranked up and that
m ay have saved our lives.
The tank destroyer crew jo in ed us and we all ate the warm ed
rations and tried to thaw out our num b bodies.
The w oods were noiseless and 1 was planning to drive back to
our com pany CP and g et further orders, w hen a trem endous
occurred! We turned and saw that the tank destroyer was an
inferno w ith fire belching out o f every opening in it. How in the
w orld that G erm an tank m ade its w ay out o f the w oods and got
close enough (about 100 yards aw ay) to destroy the tank
destroyer w ithout our hearing it, is som ething we will never
W ith nothing left to fight a tank w ith, everybody including the
tank destroyer crew piled into our truck (thank G od the engine
was w arm ) and Joe "pul the pedal to the m etal." I w as w atching
fearfully as we made a com plete U-turn at the stream bridge,
fully expecting to get another round or m ore from the German
tank as we cam e into his view at a point about 75 yards directly
behind the burning tank destroyer. But he m ust have seen all o f
our activity in the snow betw een the m ines and our foxhole and
retreated because he w as not in sight as we raced on by on our
w ay to the CP. And so ended that road block m ission.
W e w ere not sent back that night, thank God. I d o n ’t know
w hy, but probably because it w as an extrem ely poor set-up at
best and we were lucky we all w eren ’t killed w hich we would
have been if that Gerniaii tank w ould have jubi cajiic aiuuiid liic
co m er after he knocked out the destroyer.
D ece m b e r, 1944
Beldon Peters
75th Infantry Division
289th Infantry R egim ent
C anyon Lake, Texas
One afternoon during the first days o f the Bulge (I d o n ’t
rem em ber the exact date), six m em bers o f m y squad and m yself,
m ines platoon, A T289, w ere ordered to set up a road block
together w ith a tank destro y er on a hillside road in the vicinity
o f G randm enil, B elgium . W hen we arrived at the site the tank
d estroyer w as already in place at a 90 degree bend in the road
and its crcw w as cam ouflag in g their m achine w ith nearby pine
lim bs. O ur truck driver Joe Pieprzyca (yep, the spelling is
correct) backed our 6x6 truck and m ines trailer about a quarter
m ile from a stream bridge to a spot about 50 yards down the
road from the tank destroyer. A rather trivial point to m ake at
this tim e, but it’s significance w ill be seen later.
W e spent the rem ainder o f the day light hours scratching out
a shallow , poor foxhole in the frozen ground and rocks, and
assem bling a "daisy chain." In case you m ay have forgotten, a
"daisy chain" is a group o f anti-tank m ines tied together about
tw o feet apart w ith a length o f rope long enough to extend out
to the location o f its operators. In this case from the far side o f
the road w here the m ines are assem bled to the foxhole w here we
sat w aiting for a tank to com e dow n the road. The object was
to let the tank g et alm ost to the daisy chain rope and then pull
the m ines suddenly into the path o f the oncom ing tank,
incidentally the nam e "daisy chain" originated trom the tact that
those w ho operated "daisy chains" often w ound up pushing up
So now w ith the road block established, the tank destroyer
crew w aited in th eir vehicle and tw o o f us at a tim e sat one hour
on duty and tw o hours o ff duty freezing in our foxhole w hile
w aiting for the enem y. D uring the o ff duty, we tried to thaw out
enough in the back o f the 6x6 to sleep but it w as alm ost
hopeless. A nd it w as cold! All six o f us had frost bite if not
frozen hands and feet, to this day 1 still feel the effects o f that
night. Both o f m y hands and feet cannot take any cold w eather
and my feet have such poor circulation that I cannot w ear
anything but 100% cotton socks. So back to the ordeal.
The night passed relatively q uiet w ith only sporadic sm all arm s
tire and an occasional m ortar in the distance. So then betw een
8:00 and 9:00 in the m orning, day light had overtaken darkness
aiiu our daisy chain wab csseiiiiaiiy w orihless since aii o f our
R. Keith Ostrum
87th C hem ical M ortar Battalion
Erie, Pennsylvania
I d o n ’t rem em ber the date this happened but it did happen in the
Battle o f the Bulge.
I w as standing at the location o f our 4.2" m ortar gun positions
and looked up in tim e to see a P-38 airplane in about a fifteendegree drive tow ard the earth. I never knew w hat the cause o f
its dive w as—ack ack, G erm an fighter, or w hatever else, but as
the plane w as diving, I noticed that the pilot had apparently
ejected from the plane but his parachute becam e entangled in the
section that ran betw een the tw in tail assem blies (aeleron?) and
the pilot w as being dragged down with the p lan e—being still
connected to the parachute.
The P -3 8 ’s helped us out a lot w ith close-in strafing and divebom bing. T hat incident w as a far cry from the P-47 that strafed
us on U tah Beach on D plus one.
A nyhow , they all deserve a lot o f credit for their roles in the
overall picture.
We alw ays observed that you co uldn’t dig a fox hole in an
airplane, no m atter w hat designation it h e ld -b o m b e r, fighter, or
anything else.
So send it in.
February 20C2
Arma E. Andon
Infantry Division
328th Infantry R egim ent
C om pany H
The recent edition o f your fine publication The Bulge Bugle
contained a review by H arold E. Raugh, Jr., reprinted from
W orld War II m ag azin e-F eb ru a ry , 2001, on G eneral M anton S.
The article brought back som e m em ories w hich frankly over
the years cross m y m ind quite often and particularly during the
period o f the Bulge.
I was CO o f H C om pany from the tim e w e w ent overseas until
I was seriously w ounded on M arch 13th in Serrig, G erm any, on
Mockers Hill.
Both incidents w ere during the B ulge period The first had to
do w ith an attack w here 1 w as w ith the leading rifle com pany
which was m y policy throughout the cam paign.
We had entered a sm all village and noted a garage on the right
side o f the road adjoining a house and for som e reason I said to
our com m unications sergeant, "L et’s take a look." We used his
bayonet and a knife w hich I carried to check for booby traps,
etc., and, none found, we opened the door and there w as my
life’s dream . T here sat a M ercedes phaeton com m and car sim ilar
to the ones the G erm an H igh C om m and officers and H itler used.
I im m ediately radioed for our m otor sergeant to bring a crew and
put this in w ith our other vehicles. M uddy it up and put in some
o f our heavy w eapons and m ake the vehicle look as innocuous
as possible and a prayer to keep m e alive so 1 could take the car
w ith m e after the w ar.
Things w ent well for the next few days w ith nothing said by
either the battalion or regim ental com m anders or division. The
m en were fully cooperative as they took pride in our new
Then about the fourth or fifth day, w hile on a m arch, I saw
com ing a jeep w ith tw o stars follow ed by a com m and car with
tw o stars and knew im m ediately we w ere the target.
Sure enough, out stepped G eneral M anton Eddy and I saluted,
gave him my num ber, and after som e sm all talk, he said,
"Captain, I note you have a non-issue vehicle." I said, "Yes,
General, but we are utilizing it to carry additional w eapons and
am m unition." He then asked me if we w ere using governm entissued fuel and 1 said, "Yes." He then cited the rules and said he
would have to appropriate the vehicle on b eh alf o f the U.S.
Army. So, we kissed our dream car aw ay and candidly felt it
would have happened by a high com m and sooner or later.
However! On or about early January and January the 4th is
my birthday, so this happened on the 2nd I believe. O ur
battalion was approaching W iltz, at the tim e occupied by the
enem y, and we were on high ground in a heavily w ooded area
and it w as now dusk and we set-up an OP w hich w as right out
o f the text book. W e overlooked the entire city and the enem y
in plain sight. B etw een the artillery observer and our team we
were in business. 1 issued orders saying there w ould be no
m ovem ent during day tim e and the night shift w ould be relieved
ju st before day light and no one to be allow ed to go out during
day light.
Previous experience dictated that this order be
follow ed to the letter and 1 w ould take all responsibility in the
event higher rank w anted to visit the OP.
The next m orning I w as up early, having checked that all was
okay at the O P w ith tran sfer o f m en and supplies for the day.
I started back about 50 yards from the route to the O P w hen up
cam e a one star and said, "C aptain, 1 w ant to go out to the OP."
I said, "Sir, no one goes out," and proceeded to explain our past
experiences. He said, "Do you know w ho 1 am ?" I said, "Yes,
you are G eneral Ross, artillery com m ander," and w ith that up
cam e the A ssistant D ivision C om m ander, G eneral H arlan
H artness. W e started again to explain the reason, w hen up cam e
D ivision C om m ander G eneral Paul, asking w hat w as going on.
I started again to explain and all at once all three generals
saluted and 1 said to m y se lf "Boy, they finally recognized my
position." B ut that w as a split second as behind m e w as G eneral
M anton S. Eddy, w ho said, "C arry on. C aptain, and gentlem en,
I w ant to see you."
So that is m y G eneral M anton S. E ddy stories and I w ill never
forget either o ne.o
The W est M ichigan C h apter participated in the T raverse C ity
C herry R oyale Parade, w hich is the h ighlight o f the annual
C herry Festival.
T hey used tw o H um vees w hich w ere provided by the M ichigan
N ational G uard in G rayling, M ichigan.
A fter the parade, they posed for pictures in front o f the VBOB
m onum ent the chapter erected.
P ictu red left to right are: Jim Wibby, W ayne Mentier,
F re d Faulkner, C harles Lewis, Jim Pekkala, F re d Korb,
R ich a rd Rizzio, W alter Hartm an, C arl G oss a n d Maury>
Cole, a
T w enty-five m en o f the 76th G eneral Hospital w ere killed by V1 bom b on January 8, 1945. The intense bom bing o f the U.S.
A rm y installations in the L iege, Belgium , area w as intended to
prepare the w ay for the G erm an offensive to reach Antw erp,
Belgium . On January 8, 1945, during the Battle o f the Bulge, a
direct hit on the 76th G eneral Hospital killed the 25 men listed
B au g h , A lbert-lndiana; B en ja m in , Jam es-N ew York;
B ro w e r, C alvin R, B usskohl, Leo J.A .-Iow a; C ook, Alva
A .-M issouri; C o sta , C h arles;D o rto n , W illie-W estV irginia;
F a r r e r , Frank D .-T ennessee; G e n d a , John E.; G eneske,
R ichard J.; G u d e r b u r r , Paul A .-Iow a; Isen b erg , Jam es L.T ennessee; K ap p , W illiam P., Jr.; M a rsh a ll, Carl N ., Jr.,Indiana; M cW illiam s, A ndrew; M o sh er, Jam es K .-ldaho;
[The fo llo w in g inform ation was su b m itted by G E O R G E
F IS H E R , 2 6 T H
IN F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , 3 2 8 T H
IN F A N T R Y , 3 R D B A T T A L IO N , C O M P A N Y K. w ho is
also p resid en t o f the F lorida Southeast C hapter ]
T w o hundred ninety-tw o people attended the Florida Southeast
C hapter m em orial luncheon m eeting the them e o f w hich was
"The C hristm as W e N ever Had,"
M a rtin , Hrold V .-Ohio; P feifer, Fred E.; P riv e tt, Fred L K entucky; S apio, C harles R.-N ew York; S ch m id t, Erwin
C .-low a; S p u rlo c k , H ubert-K entucky; T a n n e r, H arold D.;
T e ste r, Ernest L.; and W ills, W alter N .-W ashington.
For the firt tim e in 57 years, relatives and friends can learn
about the fate o f these 25 m en. Interested persons should write
to L. M. Bohlig, 7500 Y ork A venue south, E dina, M innesota
55435. Telephone: 952-835-6738. FAX: 952-835-2154.
Email: b ohliglyle@ m .n
iV /fF r iA i
R F r ' i r i v p ’n
The R ew ards o f B ein g P resident
Southeast F lorida C hapter P resid en t G eorge F isher
show n w ith the "Sw ing S iste rs”
A fter a holiday turkey the m em bers and guests w ere entertained
"Svvin^ S is te r s " w ho h sv s pcrformeci st
installations all over the U.S. T heir renditions look and sound
like the A ndrew Sisters and w as enjoyed by all.
p ro c la m a tio n
fro rn
O n v ^ T -n n r
Ip h
w h irh
H e rla re d
D ecem ber 16th as B attle o f the B ulge Day in the State o f Florida
w as read by President Fisher.
It w as a m em orable affa ir.□
Bob Schrell, P resident o f the VBOB San D iego Chapter,
w ith the help o f C haplain Ron R itter o f "E agle's W ings"
displays his Ju b ilee o f L iberty M edal fr o m F rance received
in the nam e o f the organization. □
T h e m o s t te rrib le jo b in w a rfa re is to b e a s e c o n d
lie u te n a n t le a d in g a p la to o n w h e n y o u a re o n th e
b a ttle fie ld .
7 IP I
IT' ■'
Februan, 2002
B O B 57“* C O M M E M O R A T IO N D ec 15th
By John D. Bowen
This year’s commemoration used the Holiday Inn in
Laurel MD as a commemoration headquarters in part due to
early planning for this event
The original plans called for the banquet to be held at
the Ft Meade former Officers Club but because o f the events o f
September 11*, it was necessary, in late November, to move the
banquet also to the Holiday Inn. On Friday evening, the 14* o f
December, early registrants enjoyed the hospitality room and the
books, artifacts and memorabilia that were displayed from the
collections o f the reenactors who dressed in original WWII gear
to meet and greet the veterans.
On Sat , the 15* o f Dec., the group left for a special
tour o f the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt MD. In
spite of regular tours having been cancelled since Sep. 11*, the
staff held a special tour for the Bulge Veterans and discussed the
work o f the center, especially the Hubble Space Telescope. A
tour o f the giant clean room for assembly o f components for the
Hubble telescope was shown to the veterans. Though most o f
the material had been recently shipped out for the up coming
space flight to upgrade the Hubble telescope, in February 2002,
they did discuss what the new improvements would be
We proceeded to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis,
where we an outstanding lunch was served in the Officers Club,
followed by a tour o f the new visitor’s center on the Academy
grounds We then proceeded back to the Hotel to freshen up for
the evening events.
The annual 15* December Banquet was held at the
Holiday Inn with Ambassador Arlette Conzemius o f
Luxembourg and her husband attending as well as Brigadier
General Guy Melchoir, Military Attach6, representing the
Belgian Embassy. Colors were presented by the Young Marines
The guest speaker was Professor Friedrich St. Florian,
Architect o f the WWII Memorial, who gave an outstanding talk
about the Memorial and showed the final design sketches.
The Person o f the Year Honors Award was presented
to Bulge Historian Robert F Phillips, for his outstanding
contributions in presenting, promoting and preserving the
history o f the Battle o f the Bulge Certificates o f Appreciation
were given to Mary B Nolan and William T. Greenville for
their many years o f service to the BOB Historical Foundation.
An award of appreciation was also given to General Melchoir,
whose term o f duty was completed, for his many contributions
in promoting and remembering the Battle o f the Bulge and the
outstanding manner in which he represented the Belgium
Embassy with the Bulge Veterans.
By Marty Sheeron
On a completely reversal weather-wise day o f 57 years
ago, on this date, Dec 16* 2001, Delaware Valley Chapter
(DVC) members and friends traveled by bus to Arlington
national Cemetery VA, to attend and participate in the
Commemorative Ceremonies o f the 57* anniversary o f the
Battle o f the Bulge.
The day began with a visit to the Tomb o f the
Unknown Soldiers.
DVC was privileged to witness the
impressive military display, par excellence, o f the US Army
guard (from the 3"* Infantry Regiment - “The Old Guard”)
guarding and proteaing the Tomb. The personal appearance.
dress uniform, and rifle were meticulous. The guard was a work
o f precision: Cadence, shouldering rifle, and changing o f
position o f rifle was done in a flawless manner Prior to the
wreath laying ceremony the guard was necessitated to admoP'‘'^
the audience to refrain from loud talking and remain silent k it
o f respect to the sanctity o f this hallowed memorial. At 1105,
VBOB National President, John J. Dunleavy laid a wreath at the
head o f the Tomb. Taps were rendered by a Bugler from the US
Army Band.
At the conclusion o f the wreath laying ceremony, DVC
was again privileged to watch the changing o f the guard To the
right o f the tomb, led by a "Buck" Sergeant, the relieving guard
was scrutinized impeccably from head to toe, front to rear, and
his rifle was likewise inspected. After the inspection procedure,
the Sergeant led the guard, in a coordinated cadence, to the
center o f the Tomb where the change took place. The relieved
guard gave the order: “All orders remain the same!” The
Sergeant and relieved guard, in cadence, departed the area
At 1130 DVC members and fnends, joined by other
members from other VBOB Chapters, proceeded to the National
VBOB Monument Call to order was made by Stan Wojtusik,
VBOB National military Affairs Officer Prayer was said by
Monsignor Wm. F. O ’Donnell, VBOB National Chaplain. Stan
Wojtusik introduced guest speaker Colonel Thomas W. Sweeny,
US Army (Rtd), Colonel Sweeny spoke on the courageous
actions VBOB members had taken and the leadership displayed
during the battle A wreath was laid by the VBOB Monument
by Bruno Terlizzi and George Watson, DVC Members Taps
were rendered by a Bugler from the US Army Band
After the above ceremonies VBOB members and
fnends boarded buses for the luncheon at Ft Meyer. On the
way, DVC was given a sightseeing tour o f urban Northern
Virginia including a view o f the damaged Pentagon building,
the Marine Corps Memorial (raising o f the flag on Iwo Jima
WWII), and the Netherlands Carillon (gift from the Netherlands
in gratitude for US aid during WWII On arrival at Ft Meyer,
everyone was required to show a picture ID to the MP who
boarded the bus at the gate (no terrorist was found, ha).
At the Officers Club, the VBOB party was directed to
the “Abrams” Room (named after the famous tanker, Creighton
Abrams from the 4* ArmdD WWII). Luncheon consisted o f a
buffet dinner o f many delicious salads, vegetables, meats, fish
and desserts
After chowing down, John J. Dunleavy, VBOB
National President introduced the incoming National Officers.
George Chekan, Past President and Publisher o f “The Bulge
Bugle,” was given the honor o f swearing in the slate o f officers.
Lou Cunningham, DVC, officially became the new VBOB
National president
On leaving Ft Meyer, DVC was again treated to a
sightseeing tour o f Northern VA and W ashington DC. Leaving
the state o f Virginia, we traveled over the Potomac River via the
Theodore Roosevelt Bridge connecting with Constitution
Avenue into Washington DC. On this avenue were numerous
federal government buildings such as the Department o f State;
Bureau o f Indian Affairs, Department o f Interior, Department of
Justice, National Archives, National Museums o f American and
Natural Histories; National Gallery o f Arts; US Botanic Garden;
US Capitol Building and the Library o f Congress.
The observation o f these historical and politically
powerful structures embedded with American lore and
renowned governmental decisions are a valuable education
outside formal schools and colleges o f higher learning
February 2002
they m ight otherw ise, even to the point that they w ould risk their
lives for each other.
"If y o u ’re in a group w ith friends, and a grenade com es tlying,
a m an w ould throw h im self in fi-ont o f the grenade for another,
even though they ju st m et in com bat," he said. "I saw that many
tim es."
It never cam e to that for D oar and G ray, but they were close
ju s t the sam e........ [E n d o f excerpts.]
We have been advised by the C entral M assachusetts C hapter
President John E. M cA uliffe, that the chapter has been renam ed.
It is now: L am ar S outter/C entral M assachusetts C hapter.
Dr. Soutter volunteered to fly to B astogne, w hich w as then
surrounded, to bring m edical supplies and help w ith the treatm ent
o f 1,500 w'oundcd A m crican soldiers. He a m v c d safely m a
glider despite hostile fire. G erm an troops w ithdrew tw o days
later w ith the arrival o f G eneral G eorge s. Patton and the Third
U nited States Army.
The late Dr. Soutter founded the U niversity o f M assachusetts
M edical School and H ospital, in W orcester.o
Bob sent along a photograph w hich he calls "Soldiers in the
Snow ." The photograph w as purchased at a Second Division
reunion. He would like som e help identifying those who are in
the picture. H andwritten on the back o f the picture are the
Battle o f the Bulge
2nd Infantry Division
CO G, 23rd In f Regt.
M em bers o f com bat patrol near O ndenval, Belgium
,lan 16, 1945
M any o f you are acquaintances o f T illy K im m es and we w anted
to let you know that she h a sn ’t been feeling too w ell. If you
w ould like to help ch eer her up by sending a card, her address
T i l i c y K .im m c s
c/o C entre Saint Jean D ela C rois
30, Rue Ste. Z ithe
L-2763, L uxem bourg
She’ll be glad to hear from y o u .n
w Tm Tw
^ T
K tU lM V il>
wm T
A rr»
15K li>Lr» I j K l i A l
m t
[The fo llo w in g represents excerpts fr o m an article w hich
a ppeared in the Peoria, Illinois S ta r Journal, d a ted Ju ly
14, 2001. The a rticle was w ritten by E rika Wittekind.
H E N R Y n O A R a n d R O R G R A Y , 2N D IN F A N T R Y
D IV IS IO N , w ere re u n ite d at a d ivision reunion. /
If you are in this picture or knew any o f the m en pictured,
contact Bob at 80488 C ourtney Lane, Enterprise, Oregon 978285007.□
Peoria--W hen H enry D oar disappeared am id the battles o f 1944,
B ob G ray [9th Infantry Regim ent, C om pany K] assum ed the
worst: the m an w ho had been his friend from the D-Day
invasion to the B attle o f the B ulge had been killed in action.
"I knew he w as dead," G ray said Friday. He believed that tor
m ore than a h a lf a century.
The W orld W ar II veteran learned the truth last year, w hen a
historian interview ing him told him that D oar had survived being
blow n against a tree at the B ulge and w as shipped hom e because
o f his injuries.
"H e’s been dead all these years, and then to find out he was
a liv e -I cried w ith jo y ," said G ray, now in his 80’s and living in
O regon........
D oar and G ray recognized each other im m ediately across the
"He said, ‘H ey, B ob!’ and 1 cam e barreling through there,"
G ray said. "1 heard m y n am e, and I knew it w as him ."
Both sergeants, D oar and G ray cam e to know each other during
the m any tim es th eir tw o com panies entered com bat together.
A particular cam araderie em erges on battlefields, said Doar, 80
o f G eorgia, ivien becom e closer in a sh o n er period o f liiiic iliaii
r i IE B U L G E D U G L E
b e t You U id n ’t K now Ih is!
It is estim ated that during the w ar, U.S. m ilitary personnel
consum ed about 10 billion w asp-w aisted bottles o f a certain soft
drink. So popular was this beverage w ith the troops that the
arm y brought along several com plete bottling plants when it
w ent to w ar, three being brought ashore to N orth A frica in 1942early 1943.
In som e rem ote outposts and on som e ships far from home, the
precious fluid was so rare that bottles w ere know n to have been
stored in safes.
Thus did C oca-C ola becom e another w orld-w ide symbol of
A m erica.□
If W orld War III is fo u g h t w ith a to m b o m b s the war
after that w ill be fo u g h t w ith sto n e s.
Febriiar\- 2002
violence. Orientals by contrast, shrink from pitched battles .
preferring ambush, surprise, treachery and deceit Ask the men
who fought in Korea and Vietnam On September 11*, the
oriental tradition returned in an absolutely traditional form;
Arabs appearing suddenly out o f empty space like their desert
raider ancestors, assaulted our heartland in a terrifying and
unthinkable surprise raid and, did appalling damage.
Each o f us can recall vividly those cold, dark, damp,
deadly days o f December ’44 and January ’45. We witnessed
full well the horror and devastation o f the battlefield, the
sacrifices made by we, the living, and those who gave their last
full measure o f devotion. We are once again the w orld’s best
hope for peace. Imagine what kind o f man or woman will be
lost when the last veteran o f WWII, now numbering about 4 5
million, passes on. May we, Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation,”
in our vintage years, continue to serve as an example for today’s
generations and those to come.
This is the season o f joy - Christmas and the New
Year. Fifty-seven years ago, it was none o f that, at all. During
a 24-hour cease-fire to recover our dead, the word came down,
before dusk, that those who desired could attend a Mass service
in a small village church near Alsace Lorraine. It was with the
proviso that we must carry our weapon into the church, as a
precaution, in the event the Germans chose to violate the
agreement It is still hard for me to express my emotions as to
how I felt, carrying an M-1 rifle into this House o f Worship,
honoring the birth o f the Prince o f Peace, almost 2,000 years
before. As a former ahar boy, it was even more incongruous
and wrenching The next morning the killing began anew Our
ground zeroes were scattered all over France, Belgium, and
Luxembourg and for me, Germany, twice. In a cold and
desolate place we were like the shepherds that first Christmas
night, wishing we were doing something else or, in any other
place than where we were.
All o f this speaks to a number o f experiences over the
years Writing and speaking o f these happenings helps me again
to bond and have real contact with you good people. I ’m the
writer and speaker and, you all are the second bananas, making
it easy for me to tell it like it was and is. As my memory recalls
what we comrades all went through, it must be written and
recalled in the recesses o f our minds It is like being in a
rowboat, drifting in the fog, wondering where this will take us.
Shakespeare w rote o f Hamlet’s mother when she handed her son
a shining glass and told him to look into it to discover and see
his innermost self The recent terrorist attacks and video are
being held up to the Arab worid o f Bin Laden as a mirror o f his
intrinsic evil
Finally, let us continue to live out our proud lives and
take our strength from our service to our country many years
ago The giant school o f war, in which we all grew up fast,
maybe too fast, equipped us so well, over time and, continues
even today, in our vintage years. The best to each o f you for the
holiday season and, a peaceful and safe New Year 2002.
Remembrance Commemoration
57*** Anniversary of
The Battle of the Bulge
Holiday Inn - Laurel MD
December 15,2001
By Joseph Zimmer, Co B, 345“' Inf, 87'*' InfD
Good evening: So much has happened since we met
last December This is the 14“' Banquet Remembrance and
Commemoration o f the 57* anniversary o f the Battle o f the
Bulge Our Historical Foundation and leaders are owed a debt
o f gratitude for keeping alive the legacy o f that momentous
Battle We thank the Ambassador from Luxembourg and the
representative from the Embassy o f Belgium, for gracing us
with their presence
1 often stand in awe, as 1 view the artists rendering o f
the design by our speaker, the noted architect o f the WWII
Memorial, Friedrich St. Florian. Sir, you are truly a saint, to
have had to put up with the delays, banalities, distortions, and,
sheer utter nonsense you, and others had to go through from
opponents o f the location and design o f this magnificent
proposed National World War II Memorial. Thank you sir,
from the bottom o f our hearts. May we all from the WWII
generation be here, a few years hence, to see your design in its
structural reality and beauty.
We are inspired and thrilled to have the Young US
Marines’ Color Guard participate with us. History shows us,
that the young o f our nation bear the brunt o f wars; the dying,
wounded, whenever our nation fights to defend, protea our
country and to preserve liberty
The invasion force o f
Normandy was purposely structured, in the main, by young
invaders under 23 years o f age. The Naval Battle Group that
left Norfolk shortly after the terrorist attacks o f September II
was made up mostly o f men and women between 2 0 - 2 3 .
Valor, courage, bravery, sacrifice, all are coins in the
currency o f all those who fought and died, and, each o f us in
that currency are very wealthy indeed. The harshness o f life’s
lottery that took the fallen from us has been balanced by, some
gently compensating thumb on the scale o f chance, that gave,
we survivors, life.
We mourn still for the victims, with their families and
friends, of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Sixty
years ago, last week, the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor was burnt
into our beloved nation’s consciousness like no other event
before Today, there are fresh scars burnt into our psyche, more
terrible, because, it happened so recently and, on our homeland.
(The US Island o f Hawaii did not reach statehood until 1959.)
The TV pictures o f the flames o f the collapsing twin towers o f
the World Trade Center, the scorched section o f the Pentagon,
the wreckage of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, will be forever
etched in our minds Curiously enough, these attacks took place
on the 60* anniversary of when construction effort commenced
on the Pentagon - September 11, 1941. None o f what followed
the attacks is about revenge or retribution - IT IS ABOUT
We are at war again, into the fourth month o f the
campaign against those who unleashed that treacherous attack,
killing over 3,500 and injuring many thousands more, orphaning
over 15,000 children. Westerners fight face to face. We choose
the crudest deadly weapons and use them with appalling
I c o n tin u e to stan d in a w e o f all th e c o u ra g e o u s
v e ter a n s o f th e B a ttle o f th e B u lg e .
BGen. James Herbert
U.S. A rm y (Ret.)
February 2002
"Lucky 7th" Arty Bn had recently been supplied w ith the
previously secretive am m o em ploying "the proxim ity fuse"
constructed around its nose plug, w hich activated when the
em itted radio beam encountered an object w ithin 15 yards! We
w ere going to have the proverbial field day...and w e deserved it!
Our parent organization, "The Fighting First," w as still
recuperating from its horrific bloodletting in "The H urtin Forest"
this past N ovem ber, w here the K rauts had grounded us into
Hurtgen Forest and past! Surely now w as tn be pay hack
tim e...but the w ar gods frow ned and said no,...not yet!
The A m erican artillery am m unition supplies across the entire
1st A rm y front were dangerously low, contriving to place
"quotas" on all "shoots"! O ur radio pleas to FDC for fire
m issions received a "w ait out"! O ur frantic telephone m essages
inform ed us their priority w as to our east. There, our sister
regim ent, the 26th Infantry "Blue Spaders," w ere in continuous
battle w ith G erm an arm ored thrust at Bullingen and Butenbach.
T here, LTC D errill, M. D aniels, and his 2nd B attalion would
successfully blunt the G erm an Col. P ieper’s ram paging w estw ard
drive and dream! T hat portion o f the northern shoulder would
rem ain firm!
So now it was to be our turn. The G erm an 1st SS Panzers,
frantically searching for a route on the R ollbahnen to the west,
then sideslipped and proceeded to sm ash at us; TFD now
interm ixed with 3rd B analion 16th Infantry at W eim es. Our
front erupted w ith tank fire and reported infantry advancing plus
intensified artillery fire in our im m ediate front.
O ur first
indicating was a fiying buzz bom b sm ashing into the battery area
and W IAs three pim ners—CpI H om er A Jerom e, T/5 Raymond
A. Fink, and PFC Erlo Baton. W'e were further alerted by a
com m otion reported on our eastern outpost w hich luckily
forew arned everyone in town! Speeding down the only street in
W eim es cam e tw o G.I. je e p s over loaded with K rauts. Firing
m adly and careening w idely to escape our firing gallery
response, they crashed o ff the road on the w est side o f the
Col. D avisson then ordered, "Recon, send a squad to investigate
and recover the bodies and/or the vehicles." Lt C agerosi, our
FO, took over the view ing scopes from our lofty OP as the
subm achine-arm ed Kecon squad gingerly approached the
overturned vehicles. T hey sprayed the area, righted a jeep , and
returned w ith a w’lA spread-eagled on the hood! Another
G erm an captive was shoved into the co-p ilo t’s seat, hands on his
A rriving at the town square, now crow ded with a
Al A. Alvarez
1st Infantry D ivision
16th Infantry R egim ent
C om pany C
"R econ, you find ’em ; engineers, you fix ’em ; tanks, you fight
’em ; and T D ’s, you finish em !" W ith these em phatic, but crystal
clear adjurations, LTC H enry L. D avisson set the tem po for his
task force subordnance com m anders. It w as 16 D ecem ber 1944,
and the yet-to-be-nam ed "A rdennes O ffensive" had exploded.
T his K raut’s m assive tank penetration now w as creating this
northern shoulder o f w hat w as to be its acquired sobriquet, "The
B attle o f the B ulge."
In response, hastily throw n together units from the vaunted 1st
Infantry D ivision (T he B ig Red O ne), w ould acquire its title
"fi-om the aggressive com m an d er o f the 634th T ank D estroyer
B attalion." T ask Force D avisson w as thus quickly form ed as a
lightly arm ored, tank-killing reaction force! M ajor O lson, the
"TD F" S3 designated the line o f m arch, handed out strip-m aps
for a southw ard reconnaissance.
O ur arm ored convoy consisted o f the 1st R econ Troop heading
out w ith puny 37 m m arm ed M-8 G reyhound an n o red cars.
Interm ingled cam e the 1st C om bat E ngineer B attalio n’s A
C om pany, riding its soft-skinned vehicles.
Now cam e D
C om pany o f the 745th T ank B attalion w ith its m easly Lt.
W hippert tanks arm ed also w ith 7 mm guns, but back up by its
75 m m assault gun platoon. Spread out and looking for targets
cam e C C om pany o f the 634th T ank D estroyer B attalion w ith
ilicii 9 iniii lifics, claim ing ihe abiiiiy io com pete with G erm an
arm or. A ll probably supported by "The K ing o f the B a tlic u d d ,"
our four-m an "P.O. C harlie" A rtillery O bservation party (w ith
the com m o capability to call dow n D ivarty and C orps Arty
"barrages or serenades").
O ur battery veterans o f the "Lucky 7th" A rty Bn, who had
fought G erm an arm or in T unisia, A lgeria, the beach at Sicily,
and in the fields o f N orm andy, spoke out in w arning to our little
observer party: "Be ready. T his TF D avisson is outgunned by
the huge Panthers and K ing T ig er m onsters reported com ing your
w ay. R em em ber, your tank-destroying forcc needs to equal or
outgun those battle-tested G erm an B ehenm oths and also m ount
sufficient arm or to protect them selves from the superior G erm an
y oU
______ 1,:__ r 'l 4.1______ it--.
1u u u ciiic^ i\.iii5 <<Ji
rather than tank killers. If not, you w ill have to stop ’em with
indirect 105 mm or 155 m m arty concentrations."
D espite these know ledgeable w ords, we heard only the
spurrings o f Col. D avisson. Q uickly, the "TFD" saddled up and
cautiously com m enced traveling south through snow y Belgium .
The lengthy convoy slid out o f S ourB rodt and R obertville and
clanked into W alk and W eim es, sm all villages recently vacated
by U.S. m edical units.
T he w eather w as frigid cold and dam p, but the fog was
dissipating, and for once, A rty w ould have w onderfiilly clear
H ere we w ere, "The L ucky 7 th ’s" forward
observation party on high ground, salivating at the abundance o f
lucrative targets! Spotting from our to w n ’s church steeple with
our 20-pow er scopes, G erm an convoys, to include tanks,
traveling w est across our front from 863-020 to 8 6 3 -0 2 4 -a n
artillerv' m a n ’s dream ! C om pounding our 2 ood fortune, our
____:______ U -^ iJ------ p
:> iic iu
------- ,»
Looking like "right out o f H ollyw ood" w ith his peaked hat and
black leather topcoat and gloves, in excellent English, he
dem anded m edical attention for his men! In response, someone
in the crow d belted him with a rifle butt! He w as saved from
further harm by the N C O ’s w ho held back the provoked soldiers.
It appeared that in breaking through out outpost, the Germ ans
had hailed in English, then fired and killed the w ounded,
surprised guards. These angry crow d m em bers w ere old-tim e
buddies o f the soldier killed by this "ruse-de-guerre"!
Later, w ith his head now bandaged, the G erm an officer was
carted o ff to the 16th Infantry R egim ental S-2, w here subsequent
interrogation divulged he w as an officer-courier transporting the
photographic p ro o f o f this G erm an explosive and successful
penetration through the A m erican lines. The follow ing day,
angered regim ental staff m em bers descended and oversaw a
sparrh n f thp
----- -----[ i^ u n tt n u v u v n nuJLi p u g K j
February 2002
Our C hief o f Detail and my boss S/Sgt Joseph Desforge and
Motor Sergeant "Shorty" Hofer came up during darkness with a
replacement jeep. Besides replacing our food and extra radio
batteries, they told us we were stopping an enemy armored attack
on the northern shoulder o f something called "the Battle o f the
Bulge." After that illuminating information, we settled back in,
but encountered some new problems. Our "posit" rounds were
exploding at their maximum ordinate as premature bursts over
our heads. Apparently, the sensitive fuses were set o ff by
clouds! As if that was not enough, Sgt Ringers’ howitzer, back
in the firing battery area, had a muzzle burst and the gun was
destroyed, but luckily, with no gunner casualties. Probably the
intense cold on the metal tube and the sudden heat o f the
morning firing caused it. My remembrance o f this December is
the bitter cold, with all the troops occupied with ways o f keeping
warm. The approved method was putting on layers o f any
clothing. Many brainy GIs wrapped blanked strips over straw
around their boots and created an incredibly large footprint in the
snow -anything for insulation to stave o ff trench foot while
occupying their foxholes.
During our lengthy and boring time on watch, someone
mentioned, "Today’s Christmas.
This’ll make our third
Christmas overseas for our ‘Lucky 7th Arty Bn.’" Cote
reminisces about Christmas 1942 in Africa and on the moors in
England on Christmas o f 1943. Lt Cangelosi celebrated by
knocking out an MG position at 864-013 with two direct hits!!
The doughs cheered and waved their arms and weapons,
stamping their cold feet, too, in their exposed foxholes.
Afterward, when I sneaked down to the chow line in an
adjoining cellar, the cooks told us "Boomers" (artillery
observers), "You’re doing a bang-up job."
But more
importantly, he slipped me an extra helping o f meat and
From Christmas to New Years, it was ju st continuous fire -a t
"enemy troops in the open" and "enemy tanks." Our records
show we averaged over 1,800 rounds per day during the last
days o f December 1944. This wall o f steel both harassed and
hampered the enem y’s efforts to exploit and enlarge his armored
thrust. Our uninterrupted night defensive fires, requested by our
supported 16th Infantry, comm encedwith the coming o f darkness
and carried over until daybreak. Even so, another strong tank
counterattack was repulsed in the vicinity o f 053-013 (railroad
tracks near Steinback, Belgium) by the direct fire o f the 634th
Tank Destroyers and 74th Tankers. The blackened hulks of
destroyed German tanks stood out against the snow. The bodies
o f German infantry were not as easily discerned.
New Y ear’s Day opened with hordes o f German aircraft
strafing our positions. As usual the poor bloody infantry
suffered the casualties, and as always, it’s the new replacements.
We "boomers’ hid in our cellars as the bomb explosions rattled
around us, watching the lieutenant celebrate by drinking his
liquor ration as we under-aged peons looked on.
Rumors were now flying that we would attack Faymonville the
first week o f January 1945. So we took under fire all possible
EN positions in the town. Methodically, we increased the
destruction by dropping HE rounds through the roofs, then
followed up with WP to bum the houses. Most o f them,
however, were constructed o f stone and resisted all our
bombardments. Still, slowly, Faymonville was not systematically
jeep accident area and found this valuable film!
These important photos, immediately developed at the rear
headquarters, received prominent world attention as the classic
"Bulge" combat film showing smiling German paratroopers as
"successful warriors in action"!
With our shooting priority reestablished and our observation
still A-OK, our arty observer party initiated fire missions with
visibly outstanding results! Lt. Anthony Cangelosi, our latest
FO, who would break the "bad luck cycle" o f officer casualties
and proceed to "make it" to the w ar’s end in Czechoslovakia,
took targets under fire. First, we fired on "enemy troops
forming for attack," then followed a mission on enemy vehicles.
Finally, we observed for a Divarty TOT on an enemy assembly
area. With the horizon ablaze, we continued with harassing fires
throughout the night. Cpl Maurice Vacher was our instrument
corporal who would be promoted and get the Purple Heart the
following week. He would return, bandaged, with three new
stripes and stories o f great chow in the medical rear. Me, now
a T/5 (corporal’s pay without the authority) and my cohort, T/5
Rene Cote, our dependable driver, rounded out our crew. At
first light, all of us, now professionals after six months on the
combat scene, poured destruction on the advancing white-painted
enemy armor and accompanying white-clad infantry. After four
missions and 275 rounds expended, we reported "enemy activity
ceased and one tank burning!"
Later, during a slow afternoon, Capt Fred F. Chirigotis, from
the 745th Tanks, asked for our indirect fire observing so they
could "use up" their 75 mm ammo. With a total expenditure,
their tanks would be able to acquire new 76 mm tubes! Jumping
at the chance, I got some invaluable and exhilarating shooting
experience and contributed some damage, too!
During another quiet period, on Cote’s watch, he asked, "What
the hell are those guys doing?" An engineering squad seemed to
be laying a hasty mine field in the road leading south in the
Town o f Faymonville. Apparently, these engineers must have
been short of mines because the engineering sergeant had his
squad scrounge up dinner plates fi-om the nearby Belgium homes.
His squad, laden with this ample supply o f dishes, were pacing
off the distances and placing plates face down on the road and
adjoining fields. As viewers, our interest peaked. "Look at him
now. He’s putting some real mines amongst those kitchen
plates!" Finally, the squad members covered these actual
metallic mines with large porcelain dinner platters. "Very clever,
these Americans!" Those porcelain covers will inhibit the mine
metallic detectors." Later that afternoon, as it showed, our
forward area was dimpled with the ingenious defensive
German counter-fire re-intensified and seemed to be directed at
our high ground and steeple, so we moved into town to the
second floor of the town hall or barroom..."kaboom"! The
biggest tank you ever saw blew our jeep to kingdom come. No
one was hurt, but we sure were happy we had gone to church the
previous Sunday. We countered with "purple smoke," our air
strike marking rounds as FDC insisted, "No aircraft available."
A couple more rounds that "landed first, then whistled after" and
whew, he backed out o f view somewhere back into Faymonville.
The troops were understandably quiet as we hurriedly plastered
the town with HE and WP and set numerous fires, everyone
privately hoping he was through with us good guys!
(Continued on next page)
February 2002
Thank God, the troops had fired up a stove, and it was crow ded
and cozy. W hile Lt C angelosi and Sgt V acher observed upstairs,
1 dried up and tried heating m y radio batteries on the stove to
restore th eir strength; "Eureka, I think it w orks."
The artillery liaison bunch gave m e the bad new s that "Jonsey,"
A B attery radiom an, w as K IA ’d w hen we hit Faym onville. The
w ord w as he w as hit by a sniper. W e w ere losing a lot o f
doughs, but they were strangers to me. Jonsey w as an artillery
buddy doing my sam e jo b on the RO. I had ju s t returned a
quarter-m ile o f com m o w ire I’d borrow ed from him.
We continued through the snow at the proverbial "snail’s pace,"
the doughs plodding through snow drifts, the tanks sliding and
slipping o ff the roads. N oticed som e oops had w rapped barbed
w ire around their boots for traction; they claim ed it w orked. My
salvation w as m y sled and w rapped boots. The lieutenant is
pleased w ith his constant com m o as I dragged the sled.
W'e en teied M odeibheiu and fired norm al m issions on enem y
troops, and then strangely, we gave then four m issions o f
propaganda shells. We continued with 13 m issions on enem y
troops at CPs and OPs w ith approxim ately 70 hits on houses
containing troops, w ith resulting fires. T hen we continued with
harassing fires throughout the night—nobody sleeps.
The next m o m in g -d o n ’t know the d a te -w e com m enced
preparation fires prior to forw ard displacem ent, m eaning "move
out and drag the sled." It seem ed to be getting lighter in weight-probably from eating the rations and throw ing aw ay the used
G reat news! The IGtl: Infantjy was squeciied out u f the
advance by the 18th Infantry, so for us, im m ediate support
becam e general support, and another team took over. We were
lu c k y -th e food just about ran out. Sgt V acher quartered us in
a large bam w hile Lt C angelosi checked w ith 3rd B attalion for
hot scoop. W e cleaned up the equipm ent, gassed up the jeep, set
up a stove, and cooked som e liberated food.
W e w ere in heaven; no observation duties, in a warm bam ,
bellies full, ju st radio w atch and w aiting for the lieutenant to
take us hom e..."kaboom "! A round cam e through an opening in
the front w all and O UT the back w a ll-w ith a startling, crackling
explosion that show ered us w ith debris. Straw flew everyw here,
and w e w ere covered w ith shards o f wood, pow dered stone, and
anim al droppings. N o one w as physically hurt, but som eone had
to change their laundry. W e m oved next door to another bam ,
sm aller, but w ith stone w alls.
It w as 31 January 1945, and we w ere pulling radio w atch only
w hile putting in land lines to artillery liaison. L istening on the
artillery net, we heard a rare com m and given to the guns;
"B attery C, continuous fire to the right at 5 second intervals with
a converged sheath" for an expenditure o f 45 rounds at the same
target. C ontact by telephone to my old buddies at Artillery
B attalion FOC discloses that a subsequent 18th Infantry patrol
reports a G erm an 6-gun battery o f 150 mm abandoned their
posifions and guns at the coordinates o f that strange
It w as the beginning o f February; the sun cam e out, and it
seem ed that Task Force D avisson, having halted, then chased the
G erm ans out o f Belgium , then sim ply faded aw ay with the spring
th a w la
D uring that first w eek o f January, we carefully, in conjunction
w ith the m ortars, fired in support o f a patrol attem pting to
retrieve the body o f Lt M cL aughin, o f L C om pany, K IA ’d days
Lt C angelosi "had the w ord" and got us ready by checking our
equipm ent, clothing, and fuolw ear. "i w ant constant com m o
w hile on the attack," he said. "The infantry is going to get us on
high ground every chance they can and protect us, too." T h a t’s
good, but for m e, first 1 m ust get and be w arm . Layering o f
clothing w as the answ er. So it’s long underw ear, shirts, jack ets,
m any trousers, ponchos, w rapped blanket strips over straw , and
jo in in g the "m onster footprint brigade." W ith a French Foreign
Legion "kepi" look, 1 covered m y helm et w ith a w hite pillow
slip w ith a flap covering m y neck. Then i enclosed m y self in a
w hite bed sheet, a snow cape, and em erged through the slit for
my head. Finally, 1 connected up the radio and set it on a
G erm an w ooden sled w ith a 50-foot o n /o ff sw itch for the
lieutenant’s use. W e w ere "ready for Freddy." T hrew som e
cardboard am m o cartons filled w ith coffee, sugar, and cans o f
cream on the sled and loaded m y pockets w ith "goodies."
N ow, as the last preparation, I ate everything I could o f rations;
crackers, cheese, m eat and beans, cocoa, sugar, ca n d y -a n y th in g
for energy. "Now bring on those K rauts. I’m w arm , full, and
have dry feet. I can shoot, scoot, and com m unicate."
On 14 January 1945 w ith heavy snow falling, the 16th
in fan try 's 3rd B atiaiion, com m anded by LTC C harles T. iio m e r,
co-m ingled w ith portions o f TF D avisson’s tanks assaulted
onvilie W e fw
------------ g...............
^ ith m e 1n n llin aa rhe raritn
- cipH^
- — arrr>mn3nipH
1 C om pany, then later L C om pany, As we slow ly trudged into
the northeast portion o f Faym onville, m ines in the snow took out
som e o f A C om p an y ’s 745th tanks, but the doughs continued
despite incom ing m ortars. The first reports w ere 2 KIA and 15
W IA for our 3rd B attalion. W e stopped at nightfall and ran a
line to the nearest com pany. To h ear reports o f 70 casualties for
the 3rd B attalion.
W e fired harassing m issions and kept
everyone aw ake. The next m orning daw ned crisp and sunny, and
Lt C angelosi returned from battalion briefing; "W e are going to
take Schopen, the next tow n to the southeast. L e t’s m ove it."
T rudging again through the snow , w e encountered som e w oods
w here MG fire erupted. Lt C angelosi quieted it w ith an HE
concentration. W e held up in these w oods w ith no fires, no hot
chow , and tried stom ping our feet all night to stay w arm . O nly
good thing w as a can o f sliced peaches (kept w arm in my
arm pit) for breakfast from m y food stash. The follow ing day
(m aybe the 15th o f January), w e accom panied the 3rd
B attalions’s L C om pany, w hich seem ed to be in reserve since we
stepped in the footprints o f the lead com pany. The snow was
knee deep and snow ing fiercely w ith drifts piling up. Som eone
passed the w ord dow n the line, "W e are in a blizzard."
O bservation w as im possib le—w e cannot see anything, but better
still, the G erm ans cannot see us either. My day consisted o f
struggling through the snow , laying a line back on the road, and
finally m eeting our artillery liaison w ire crew ; then splicing the
line w ith frozen fingers and hearing the tw o parties conversing.
W e tried bum m ing rides on the only vehicles m oving, "W easels,"
som e type o f a lightw eight co vered track vehicle. T hey seem to
be am bulances carrying W IA and flying th eir Red C ross flags,
hveryone on the road now piled on a tank dozer for a slippery,
dangerous ride back, and 1 follow ed m y line back into a house.
February 2002
sen t the a tta ch ed a n d a sk ed that we se n d it along to Ross
H. R asm ussen in response to his letter regarding the
C om bat Infantry Badge, w hich a ppeared in the N ovem ber
issue. We thought y o u m ight be interested in reading it.
It is an excerpt fr o m "The H urt in ’ F orest!"]
O ur day seem ed to consist o f sitting around, hunkered down in
cellars protected by logs and sandbags or observing from upstairs
room s and firing m issions in response to local com m anders’
needs or FDC instructions. This daily drudgery becam e ju st
"soldiering"--passing endurance, standing, leaning against the
w all, finally stom ping to w arm up the blood! W e m oved around
like old m en in m ind-num bing w et cold. It was difficult to
understand conversation, let alone instructions. Everyone was
yelling and repeating to m ake sure that sim ple info is
com prehended! W e sat forever, grey w ith shock, trem bling
w hite crouched around pitiful fires, heating and reheating sour
coffee and flinching at every explosion. D oing our jo b had
becom e running w ire, standing radio w atch, surviving another
day. Inhaling harsh sm oke from the burning buildings, squad
fires, continuous cigarettes painted our nostrils black, and we spit
nasty black sputum ! We enjoyed a stolen m om ent o f happy
insanity w hen replacem ents asked us, "Is this as bad as it gets?
W hy us?" because we w ore the m ark o f veterans, the old
w eather-beaten clothes! I guess they hoped we w ere gypsy
fortune tellers and could prom ise them tom orrow ! All we could
tell ’em was, "Suck it up" and "K eep on playing ‘swap the
b ullet!’"
C ontact w ith m y firing battery c h ie f got us this cheery note:
"Keep your butts dry, w atch out for m ines, and stand up on the
radio." W e ju st stared, not com prehending.
In thinking over this horrible period w ith the m iserable
w eather, aggressive G erm an defense, inhospitable terrain,
inadequate clothing, and lack o f proper footgear, I must, in all
truthfulness, state that we o f the artillery field observation team
still had it better than Joe R iflem an, Joe Squad Leader, and Sir
Joseph, the Platoon L eader—and all the other "poor bloody
infantry" geographically located alongside us!
C onsider our sm all four-m an team : we had an im m ediate boss,
our lieutenant, here in this w retched com m unity w here
lieutenants reigned.
W e had com prehensive m aps with
significant features identified. B etter still, all the team m em bers
w ere w ell-brief, inform ed, efficient m ap readers.
We had
constant available com m o to an im m ediately responsive
headquarters, and a straight line to an artillery CPT at the local
infantry battalion C P (the artillery LN officer), the infantry
battalion com m ander’s artillery advisor!
Instant priority to
artillery battalion FDC w hen we announced, "Fire m ission!" A
jo b that produced instantaneous results (destroyed enem y
personnel, arm am ent, or barriers).
But 1 think the m ost
im portant—we had a jeep! (O ur m orale factor.) We could
readily depart this horror and acquire necessities, equipm ent,
food, and replacem ents. E ven R & R trips back to the firing
battery. We were certainly self-sufficient!
D uring and after W orld W ar II, m any "infantry types" have
asked us; "‘B oom ers’ (field observers), how com e you didn’t
qualify for the C IB ? Y ou occupied the sam e perilous foxhole as
us, your infantry cousins, and fought from the sam e buildings
under direct enem y fire?" C onsidering all the reasons quoted
above, I think the answ er has to be: w henever possible, we
could and did help ourselves out o f this type o f predicam ent and
bettered ourselves out o f these precarious situations. T hese lousy
"doughs" had to endure th eir deadly nightm are until they were
relieved or carried out!o
2N D A R M O R E D D IV IS IO N , 17TH A R M O R E D E N G IN E E R B A T T A L IO N ,
C O M P A N Y A, Septem ber 11-14, 2002, N ashville, Tennessee. Contact: John
A. Shields, PC Box 106, East Butler, Pennsylvania 16029. Telephone: 724-274301.
4T H IN F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , Septem ber 23-29, 2002, Spokane, W ashington.
Contact: Bob Reilly, 107 Schafer Street #7A , W enatchee, W ashington 988016340.
II T H A R M O R E D D IV IS IO N . A ugust 11-17, 2002, C olum bus, Ohio. Contact:
11th A RM DD, 232 A dm iral Street, A liquippa, Pennsylvania 15001.
17TH A IR B O R N E D IV IS IO N , Cruise to Panama, April 1-11, 2002. Contact:
Joe Q uade. Telephone: 973-263-2433.
75T H IN F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , Septem ber 4-18, 2002, M yrtle Beach, South
Carolina. Contact: Jam es W arm outh, 6545 W est 11th, Indianapolis, Indiana
78T H IN F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , Septem ber 11-15, 2002, Pittsburgh.
Pennsylvania. C ontact: Red G onzales, 104 O ak G len Road, Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania 15237. Telephone: 412-364-1609.
80T H IN F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , A ugust 14-18, 2002, M elbourne, Florida.
Contact: Eric R eilinger, 3000 South A IA Highw ay, M elbourne Beach, Florida
32951-3421. Telephone: 321-676-1723.
86T H C H E M IC A L M O R T A R B A T T A L IO N , April 14-18, 2002, Biloxi,
M ississippi. C ontact: G eorge L. M urphy, 818 W est 62nd Street, A nnister,
A labam a 36206. Telephone: 256-80-4415.
99T H IN F A N T R Y D IV IS IO N , July 15-21, 2002, Hilton Hotel, Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. C ontact: H arry M cCracken, 314 Mt. M anor Road, Manor,
Pennsylvania. Telephone; 724-863-6263.
IIO T H A N T IA IR C R A F T A R T IL L E R Y 90 M M G U N B A T T A L IO N , May 14, 2002, K issim m ee, Florida. Contact: H arold W. M ueller, 905 Sequoia, St.
Louis, M issouri 63123. Telephone: 314-631-5350.
279T H E N G IN E E R C O M B A T B A T T A L IO N , A ugust 7-10, 2002, G arden
Plaza H otel, Johnson City, Tennessee. Contact: John Petrush, 1238 South 48th
Street, B altim ore, M aryland 21222. Telephone: 410-285-0918.
The army taught me some great lessons—to be pre­
pared for catastrophe—to endure being bored—and
to know that hov>^ever fine a fellov^ I thought myself
in my usual routine there were other situations in
which I was inferior to men that I might have looked
down upon had not experience taught me to look
O L IV E R W E N D E L L H O L M E S , JR .
February 2002
C om position o f C om bat Com m ands
9th A rm ored Division
D ecem ber 16-21, 1944
C om bat C om m and "A"
Demetri Paris
D ivision Troops (A ssigned):
•H eadquarters and H eadquarters f!nm nany, Com bat
Com m and "A"
•60th A rm ored Infantry Battalion
•19th T ank Battalion
•3rd A rm ored Field A rtillery Battalion
•C om pany "A", 9th A rm ored E ngineer Battalion
•Troop "A", 89th C avalry R econnaissance Squadron
•Troop "B", 89th C avalry R econnaissance Squadron
•Troop "C", 89th C avalry R econnaissance Squadron
•Troop "E" (less 4th Platoon), 89th C avalry P.econnaissance
•C om pany "A", 2nd M edical Battalion, A rm ored
•C om pany "A", 131st O rdnance M aintenance B attalion
N on-divisional Troops (attached):
•H eadquarters and H eadquarters Com pany, 811th Tank
D estroyer Battalion
•R econnaissance C om pany (less 2nd and 3rd Platoons),
8 1 1th T ank D estroyer B attalion
•C om pany "B", 8 1 1th Tank D estroyer Battalion
•B attery "A", 482nd A ntiaircraft A rtilleiy AW Battalion
■Battery' "B", 482nd A ntiaircraft A rtillery AVV Battalion
9th A rm o re d D ivision
14th T a n k B a tta lio n
C om bat C om m and "A" o f the 9th A rm ored D ivision has been
aw arded the Presidential U nit C itation for action in stopping
G erm an attacks in the period D ecem ber 16-23, 1944. The
citation w as issued June 12, 2001, 57 years after their gallant
T he C om bat C om m and, w hich consisted o f a battalion each o f
tanks, arm ored infantry and artillery, plus engineers and
reconnaissance troops, repulsed constant and determ ined attacks
by an entire G erm an division. A fter six days and when other
troops arrived, the surrounded survivors fought their w ay out o f
the G erm an encirclem ent.
T heir determ ined fight disrupted the G erm an schedule and
allow ed the U.S. Ill and XI! C orps to bring additional troops to
hold B astogne.
T he three com bat com m ands o f the 9th A rm ored D ivision were
w idely separated and w ere the first to m eet the D ecem ber 16,
1944, attack by H itler’s p an zerfo rces. C om bat C om m and B was
in the north at St. V ith alongside the 106th Infantry Division
w hich had tw o regim ents captured. CC "B" held the G erm ans
from St. V ith until the arrival o f a com bat com m and o f the 7th
_______i mt>h___~
----------- -i.
iv w a a ill Liic CCIILCI
^ w iiix iia iiu
B astogne w hile C om bat C om m and "A," w hich rccciv cd th c PUC,
w as in the south at Beaufort.
The G erm an attackers called the 9th the "Phantom " D ivision
since their attacks w ere being stopped by the divisio n ’s com bat
com m ands at three separate places.
The citation reads:
C om bat C om m and A, 9th A rm ored D ivision, is cited for
extraordinary heroism and gallantry in com bat in the vicinity o f
W aldbillig and S tavelbom , L uxem bourg, from D ecem ber 16 to
D ecem ber22, 1944, by repulsing constant and determ ined attacks
by an entire G erm an division. O utnum bered five to one, w ith its
infantry rifle com panies surrounded for m ost o f the tim e, clerks,
cooks, m echanics, drivers and others m anned the 10,000 yard
final defensive line. S upported by the outstanding responsive
and accurate fire o f its artillery b attalion this w idely dispersed
force stopped every attack for six days until its surrounded
infantry w ere ordered to fight th eir w ay back to them . This
staunch defense disrupted precise G erm an attack schedule and
thus gave tim e for the U nited States III and XII C orps to
assem ble unhindered and then launch the coordinated attack
w hich raised the siege o f B astogne and contributed to saving
m uch o f L uxem bourg and its capital from another G erm an
The outstanding courage, resourcefulness, and
determ ination o f the gallant force are in k eeping w ith the highest
traditions o f the U nited States A rm y."
BEi N,
9 T H
H E A D Q U A R T E R S C O M P A N Y , also sends us inform ation
regarding the Citation and thanks MG G eorge R uhlen, USA
Retired, and others for th eir w ork over the past 56 years in
accom plishing this m atter, "...after lots o f effort, hope and
disapointm cnt success has finally been achieved."
The 9th A rm ored D ivision CCA flag w ill now fly a stream er
inscribed "L uxem bourg—1944"
In addition, there w ill be
personal aw ards o f the PUC given to m em bers who served in the
above U i i i t S u
’Heii o f a way to waste time. Does it work ?"
l'ebruar> 2002
and they continue to honor us in many ways. They maintain an
American cemetery nearby where many o f my 78th comrades are
buried. I’ve been told by fellow veterans who since visited there
that the grounds are im m aculate-not a single solitary weed in
the acres o f cemetery land! Jacky also has converted the bulk of
his large home into a museum and memorial to honor the
American Army and Air Force o f WWII. these trouble times, when we are constantly confronted
with vitriolic anti-American sentiment, it’s reassuring to receive
a few words o f live and encouragement from our friends
From Carl E. Ferguson
75th Infantry Division Headquarters
I thought you might be interested in the enclosed copy o f a letter
I recently received from Paul Hass (75th Infantry Division, 289th
Infantry Regiment). Paul was the driver for the lieutenant
colonel who was killed at Arbrefontaine when a small German
plane dropped an anti-personnel bomb on to the 75th Division
In my response to Paul, I wrote that I would make an effort to
find out the name o f the lieutenant colonel.
Interesting that the terrible disaster o f September 11th in New
York City, prompted him to make the inquiry and recall the
[Edited] 14 September 2001
Dear Robert and the Erskine Family,
My fam ily and I would like to express our deepest throughts o f
pity and tears o f sadness fo r the terrible shock which hurt
America and its people. A ll o f Europe is in fe a r and very angry.
We will pray together with America and hope you will fin d the
terrorists who carried out this horror and punish them.
The world is in deep mourning. The American fla g hangs at
h a lf mast at my house in Belgium and many places throughout
The television reports the news from the USA 24 hours a day
and the newspapers are fu ll o f the disaster.
Never forget and fo rgive this criminal deed.
God Bless America.
Lisa and Jacky
and many friends fro m Belgium. □
Hi Carl,
My name is Paul Harris. In going over an issue from
November 1999 which is almost two years ago, I remembered
your article in The B ulse Buele.
I was the driver fo r that lieutenant colonel who was killed that
night. I f I had not stopped to talk to a buddy I would have been
with him. For the record, we were together fo r weeks almost
side-by-side. Time takes its toll and I can't remember his name.
He was a West Point graduate and was always concerned about
my well-being: making sure I fo u n d a place to sleep and eat.
We were on our way to get a bite to eat when we separated. I
am not positive but I think there was more than one casualty that
Sorry about [not] responding sooner. September II, 2001, was
the wake-up call and [also] to so many people at the World
Trade Center who had to pay the ultimate price and to those left
behind my very best wishes.
Paul Hassn
Members o f VBOB Central Indiana Chapter #47, took part in the
Veterans Day parade November 12, 2001, in Indianapolis,
[ I f you can help Carl with the name o f the lieutenant colonel,
write to him at: 1717 West Elfindale Street #2A, Springfield,
Missouri 65807.]
From Robert W. Erskine
78th Infantry Division
303rd Medical Battalion
Company D
Enclosed please find a copy o f a letter I recently received from
a Belgian acquaintance. Sometimes we Americans tend to
assume that non-Americans don’t feel as we do about the events
of 9/11—but as you can tell from this letter, many outsiders are
reacting as we are to the horror that has befallen us.
The person writing this letter is Jacky Comhair, a Belgian
citizen who lives in southeastern Belgium in a town called
Tongres. During World War II, they were occupied by the
Germans for five years. Units from our 78th Infantry Division
helped liberate them, and we were in that area during the Bulge
Jacky and his area neighbors have never forgotten these deeds
Left to right: H arold Freeman, Chris Schneider, Ed
Suding, J e ff Niese, Gordon Wire, John Kerr, L. Terry
McDaniel, A l Daunoras, and Paul Bain, a
February 2002
F eb ru ary, 2002
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