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US Army

Malmedy Survivor Statement

 

Malmedy Survivor Statement 

 

December 20, 1944

Sworn Statement

 
The following article appeared in THE PEKAN NEWSLETTER of October 2007 which is the newsletter of the 526th Armored Infantry Battalion.  And inTHE BULGE BUGLE, February 2008.
 
Battery "B", 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, in convoy going south three miles from Malmedy, stopped the convoy at 13h00 when motor fire and machine gun fire was heard.
 
We got out of the truck and jumped in a ditch beside the vehicles.  Some men took off when they saw we were being captured.  They took watches, gloves and cigarettes from the prisoners then they put us inside a barbed wire fence.
 
Tanks passed for 15 minutes.  Everything was alright until a command car turned the corner.  At that time an officer in the command car fired a shot with his pistol at a medical officer who was one yard away to my left; then he fired another shot to my right.
 
At that time a tank followed the command car and opened fire on the 175 men inside the fence.  We all fell and lay as still as we could.
 
Every tank that passed from then on would fire into the group laying there.  At one time they came around with a pistol and fired at every officer that had bars showing. (One officer put mud on his helmet to cover the bars).
 
The tanks stopped passing about 14h45.  At 15h00 someone said let's go.  At that time 15 men got up and started to run north from where we were laying on the side of the road.
 
Twelve of the men ran into a house (northwestern part of the crossroad) and three of us kept going.There was a machine at the crossroads plus four Germans.
 
When we got in back of the house they could not fire the machine gun at us.  They burnt the house down into which the 12 men ran.  When the three of us were in the back of the house we played dead again because a German in a black uniform came around with a pistol looking over us.  We lay there until dark, when we rolled into a hedgerow where we weren't under observation.
 
Laying there was a S/Sgt from the 2nd Division shot in the arm.  We started to walk but stayed 200 to 300 yards from the main road.  In about a quarter of a mile we met a medic who was shot in the foot and a fellow from my outfit.  The four of us came into Malmedy.
 
Bodarwe's cafe
 
All I got was a scratch on my fingers from a machine gun.
 
Source: Battle of the Bulge February 2008

T/5 Theodore J. PALUCH

"B" Battery

285th Field Artillery

Observation Battalion

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium