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US Army

"I Remember When"

"I Remember When"
 
After we made a long and fast drive to be in the “Battle of the Bulge”, it was dark, foggy and we could hear V-1 rockets going over head, but we had no idea where we were.  After another long day of travel the sun came out and late in the evening HQ Company, 67th Armored Regiment stopped for the night in a group of about four houses on the right side of the road. 
 
The 1st Sergeant told me the regiment had been informed that German soldiers had been dropped behind our lines.  They had been trained in their prison camps with American soldiers.  He said they wore our clothes, carried our weapons, and were driving our vehicles, and knew our pass word.  So any body on guard duty should ask for some common information, they might not know.  I posted two men at the road on guard and relayed the information to them.  
 
Thirty minutes later I heard them calling for the sergeant of guard.  (Of course that was me.)  I rushed down to the road and they had a jeep stopped that had come the same direction we had come from all day.  One of the guards had a tommy gun in the driver ribs (a Private) and the other a tommy gun in a Captain’s ribs.  I said “what is going on?”  at the guard on the driver’s side, I asked him for the password, and he gave it.  I asked him what size shoe he wore and he said: “8½”.  The other guard said the same thing, but when I asked him what size shoe he wore he said: 44½”. 
 
At that time we lowered our guns on them and called for.  I turned them over to an officer for interrogation since they were Germans in American uniforms; they were turned over to our M.P. (Military Police).  The next day we once again on the move. 
 
Two or three days after we captured the two prisoners the forward command post of the HQ Company, 67th Armored Regiment, moved to a house in an open area with a few trees and a house in the center of the field.  We could tell from the way the snow crunched when you walked on it that the temperature was around 15° or 18° degrees.  We had two tanks and our message center half-track to keep in radio contact with the rest of the units. 
 
My friend and I picked up some small limbs and other wood and built a fire in the stove.  Five minutes later the enemy saw the smoke, fired a shell and knocked the chimney off just above the roof.  So we got some snow, put out the fire to make them think they were successful in blowing up the house.  At 10:00 o’clock the fog and clouds overhead lifted, the sun came out and our cargo planes were flying toward Bastogne to drop food, supplies, and medicine to our troops trapped inside of Bastogne. 
 
I went to my tank and got a gallon can, two cardboard boxes and some sugar from the luggage carrier on the back of my tank.  My mother sent me a can of Hershey’s chocolate powder; I had asked for.  I was craving a taste for some chocolate ice cream.I put the open can in the small box, packed snow around the can, filled the larger box with snow and went inside the house.  I put about 3 inches of snow and the can sprinkled in some chocolate powder, sugar, and stir like hell to mix up my snow cream.  When the snow was finished my friends got their spoons, we ate the whole gallon and my friends said it was good.“  To my friends, I guess it just goes to show you how crazy some soldiers can be, while they were taking part in the Battle of the Bulge.  ”After the “snow cream social ordeal”, that after noon or the next day the forward command post moved again. 
 
At noon, the following morning after the lead tank was blown up, the 2nd Armored Division and its attached units was relived of its combat mission by the 3rd Armored Division and 11th Armored Division.  On the 20th of January, HQ Company 67th Armored Regiment moved near Sprimont, Belgium, occupying a large farm house.  We made a right turn from the highway onto a dirt road covered with snow, a deep ditch on either side of the road, and leading through a heavy wooded area to the farm house.  The house was on a flat surface in the middle of a large cornfield, surrounded by heavy woods. 
 
After all the vehicles had arrived a friend of me and I walked into the cornfield in front of the house to see if we could shoot some rabbits.  The sun was out and we had gone about 200 feet when we heard a loud put, put, put, and sound overhead.  I looked up and a V-1 rocket was about 300 feet above us traveling from our right to the left, heading towards Liege.  The rocket was so slow we could see the motor or jet mounted on the top rear end of the rocket.  With every put, put, we could see orange colored flames coming out of the end of the jet.  (And no I did not shoot at it.)We did not see any rabbits so we went back to the farmhouse. 
 
We moved from this area February 4, to Eupen, Belgium, and the 23rd we moved to Aachen, Germany and made preparations for our next jump off. 
 

Source: letter received from Charles Rost dated March 1, 1999

Sgt Charles H. ROST

HQ Company

 

67th Armored Regiment

 

2nd Armored Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium