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US Army

16 December 1944

16 December 1944
This is just an example of how little information we had on the 16th of December 1944 about the strength and disposition of the German army.  It was normal for a division to have one regiment in reserve.  Our high command thought that the German army was almost through then we would declare victory by Christmas of that year. 
Instead of a regiment our 99th Division assigned just one company and that was my Company “I” of the 394th Regiment.  I was a 1st Lieutenant and platoon leader of the 2nd Platoon with additional duties of executive officer.  At about 1000 hours on the morning of the 16th of December we received a call from headquarters that the headquarters of the 393rd Regiment had lost communication with Lieutenant Colonel Allen the Commander of the 3rd Battalion. 
We were assigned the mission to go to the front from Elsenborn and reestablish contact with Colonel Allen.  Since I specialized in map reading my Commander Captain J. J. Morris directed me to lead our Company “I” to Colonel Allen’s position and to stop on the way at the 393rd Headquarters and received our final orders.  After walking 4 or 5 kilometers we stopped at the 393rd Headquarters, which was in an old house along the roadside. 
Captain Maurice sent me in to receive our borders while he remained with the company along the roadside.  I entered saluted identifying myself and listen to my orders, I still remember like it was yesterday.  The S3 inform me that they had lost contact with Colonel Allen.  They thought that a patrol in force maybe 50 or 60 Germans soldiers had come through and cut the telephone lines.  Our mission was to contact Colonel Allen and have the telephone lines repaired.  I saluted and began leaving and before I reached the door he called me back and told me that I should have a secondary order that was Restore the MLR.
At that moment it didn’t seem like something monumental.  Little did they know that there were two panzer divisions and one Volsgrenadier.

Source: Bulge Bugle November 2012


















By 1st Lt Samuel LOMBARDO


"I" Company

394th Infantry Regiment

99th Infantry Division


Battle of the Bulge,