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US Army

Vivid Memories

 

Vivid Memories
 
On December 13, 1944, our division was relieved by the 87th Infantry Division after two months and seven days of active combat.  We moved to Metz, France, for R&R and to get our ranks replenished.  I was a 6mm mortar squad leader in Company "C"s weapons Platoon.  I received four men to fill out my five-man squad, as I was the only one that was left when we were relieved.
Left to right: Sgt Del Bordner, Capitain Paul Moize, When I returned from the Hospital.
 
The R&R didn't last long because on December 20, 1944, we were heading north to attack the Bulge.
 
In late November 1944, my squad leader, Teddy Witowski, received a battle field commission as 2nd Lieutenant and became our platoon leader.  I was promoted to squad leader.  About the same time, another friend, Paul Moize, a rifle squad S/Sergeant, received a battle field commission to 2nd Lieutenant and promoted to a platoon leader.
 
The first few days of the Bulge were chaotic with fire fights in all directions.  Our Commanding Officer, Captain Ed Kuligowski, became a prisoner of war.  Paul Moize, who had just received his battlefield commission, was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and became our Commanding Officer. (All of our original officers had either been killed, wounded, captured, or transferred.)  In my opinion, the promotion of Paul Moize was one of the best decisions I can recall.
 
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I will never forget.  The attack started the evening of December 24, 1944, lasted all night, and the town was cleared (Arsdorf, Luxembourg) by about noon on the 25th.  I don't know how it was accomplished, but our cooks got a turkey dinner, with all the trimmings, to us Christmas night.
 
The date of January 9, 1945, was a red letter day for me.  That's when my luck ran out.
 
We were in a thick forest near Wiltz, Luxembourg, in deep snow and sub-zero weather.  Our 60mm mortars were of no use in the forest, so our three mortar squads became bazooka teams.  Our 328th History book indicates that on January 9, 1945, the 1st Battalion advanced 1.000 meters against determined enemy resistance -- this I don't know.
 
My bazooka team was attached to the lead rifle platoons.  We had possibly moved out about 25 meters when I received a bullet in the neck.  A medic administered first aid and I was evacuated.  I'll always remember back at a hospital, the surgeon telling me that I was a lucky man because the bullet missed my spine by about ½ inch.
 
Floyd Brown and I were room mates at Boston College in the ASTP.  When the program closed, we both ended up in the mortar section of the same platoon of the 328th.  We both became squad leaders at the same time.  Floyd, also, had a bazooka team on January 9th.  Later in the day, he was evacuated back to the States and was hospitalized for over two years.
 

I was in hospital and rehab for about two months before I rejoined my company.  When I returned Paul Moize was now a Captain.  He placed me in charge of the mortar section until the war ended.

 

I left the company in November 1945.  By this time Paul Moize was a major assigned to another battalion.  Not bad, S/Sergeant to Major in about ten months.  He was an outstanding leader.

 

It was an honor and privilege to serve with the gallant warriors of the Yankee Division.

 
Source: Battle of the Bulge November 2008

Sgt Delbert E. BORDNER

"C" Company

328th Infantry Regiment

26th Infantry Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium