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October 2020
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US Army

Christmas Eve in an Old Barn

Christmas Eve in an Old Barn

 
We left Metz, France, and drove all night to stop the German attacks. The weather was one of our enemies and the snow made it hard to move our jeeps, trucks and tanks. The roads were covered with ice and snow and when we arrived in Luxembourg our company was also billeted in an old barn.
 
It was Christmas Eve and there I was standing guard duty; it was better cold and I can still remember the full moon shining down the landscape.
 
Many Christmas Eves have gone by however my thoughts still go back to the old barn and Christmas Eve in 1944. Moving on we had to cross the river at Diekirch in Luxembourg and this is where I lost a great friend, Donald Ickes, from Chicago. He was wounded and died (January 18, 1945) there on the riverbank. Each year the townspeople of Diekirch, Luxembourg, reenact this river crossing that resulted in the liberation of their town.
 
Sauer River crossing diorama Diekirch 's Museum
 
This crossing was one of the 26 that the 5th Infantry Division made in France, Germany and Luxembourg. I too was blessed to return home after five major campaigns and begin my life. As long as I live I will never forget the men who were left behind.
 

Source:Bulge Bugle, August 2011

Sgt Dominick D. SANTAGATA

Company "B"

7th Engineer Battalion

5th Infantry Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium