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October 2020
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US Army

At Houmont and Pinsamont, Belgium on January 1945

At Houmont and Pinsamont, Belgium On January 1945
 
The group of men I was assigned to were told to establish a line of foxholes in an exposed area outside of a small village.  The ground was frozen and the men didn't dig deep enough.  The German Artillery men observing the activity started to lob shells into our position immediately twenty feet away from me, two men occupied one of these shallow holes.   In came a round which landed either in the hole or right beside it.  One G.I. was killed instantly, the other severely wounded.  When I picked up my plasma case and medical kit it was all blown to pieces.  It was so cold I couldn't make my fingers work properly.  I took care of the wounded man and luckily the forward aid station was in the village of Houmont, Belgium, right in back of our position.  Later on, the same day, we dug into new positions at the edge of a forest.  Again we started to take tree bursts which resulted in wounds to the men, but not severe enough for evacuation.
 

The next day we started to attack toward Pinsamont, Belgium.  It was so cold that if you didn't get to the wounded fast enough, there was always the possibility that they would freeze to death.  On this march our Platoon leader Lieutenant Wright was killed by a sniper.

 

That night when I went out on patrol it was pitch black as we started to enter the forest, suddenly the moon came out and lit up an eerie scene in the draw below.  Six G.I.'s were frozen in death where they had sat down to rest, their rifles between their knees snow gathering on their uniforms and helmets.  This scene looked like a sculpture and it is so embedded in my mind that to this day I wonder if they were really dead or bobby trapped and why we didn't stop.  However, we had a mission to find out where the Germans were and possibly capture some prisoners.

 

The second occurrence happened on January 7, 1945 when the entire 17th Airborne Division attacked on their assigned fronts at the same time the Germans were attacking on theirs.  I believe this was the only time during the Battle of the Bulge that this happened.

 
Source: Battle of the Bulge 1995
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cpl Walter E. WRZESZCZYNSKI

1st Battalion

194th Glider Infantry Regiment

17th Airborne Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium