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US Army

My Story with the 575th AAA Bn

 

My Story with the 575th AAA Battalion
 
My story is about our 2nd Platoon which was attached to a Tank Battalion.  We took the Towns of Foy and Noville, just north of Bastogne.  We then moved to a wooded area between Foy and Bourcy, two small towns.
 
Being attached to the tank battalion, my job was a runner to deliver verbal messages to and from our 575th Battalion, "D" Battery, 2nd Platoon to the tank battalion.  We parked our halftracks along the woods on a high ridge.  I had order to deliver the verbal message to the tank battalion.  This was through an open field and to another wooded area where the tanks were in position.  As I walked by two German soldiers that were wounded from the day's battle (they were older men), the two German soldiers were hugging each other and crying in pain.  This crying and moaning could be heard into the night.
 
When I got to the tanks I gave them the message.  Then I started to dig a foxhole.  Lots of tree roots and frost, so I didn't get too deep a hole dug.
 
The next morning while it was still very dark, I took a message from the tank battalion to our platoon.  I gave the message to the sergeant and he gave me one to return.
 
In the dark one of the fellows lit the burner to heat up his "C" ration, forgetting to close the shutters for driving.  The Germans who were across the road saw the light and zeroed in on it.  First firing some rounds of rockets called "screaming meemies".  They were mostly tree bursts.  The only place I could go was to lie on the ground and cover my neck with my hands.  I was starting to return when another valley of rockets hit, also tree bursts with shrapnel all around.
 

There was a lot of yelling and crying from the woods.  McGinnis came out and pulled his pant down.  A large piece of shrapnel went through the upper leg.  Part of it was sticking out of the other side of his leg.  He was in great pain.I tried to help him.  Sergeant Davis also came.  Merlin Reiter also was hit very bad.  Nearly lost his arm and a piece lodged into his body and into his heart.  He was in great pain.  Grothy and others were also hit.  Someof the fellows had been in an old German foxhole which was covered with logs.  The shrapnel went through the logs and hit some of the fellows.

 

The Sergeant called the medics and they arrived in about 45 minutes.  The jeeps had stretchers mounted on them and they took the wounded to the hospital.

 

I started to return to the tank battalion about ¾ mile away.  As I walked past the two Germans that were hit the day before, I found that they were now dead.  Their heads were slouched over and they were still holding and hugging each other.

 
The previous day when they were still alive, I told the Sergeant that we should call the medics, but they never came.  These two soldiers were of the German Army and lost from their unit, but as I see it, they were still human beings.  It was very sad.
 

As I got to the tanks, I gave them the message.  The Germans fired some heavy shells at us (88mm possibly) to knock out the tanks in the woods.  I hit for my foxhole, the one I dug the previous night.  When it was over, the trees next to my foxhole were cut off from the shells.

 

On a trip back to those woods in 1995, I found that the foxholes and the large German foxhole was still there.

 
Source: Battle of the Bulge February 2001

T/4 Warren LUFT

Died Jul 9, 2007

"D" Battery

575th AAA Bn

11th Armored Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium