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US Army

Miracles During the Bulge

 Miracles During the Bulge
My father was in the 7th Armored Division, HQ Company, 129th Ordnance Battalion.  He drove a halftrack from Normandy to the Baltic Sea, along with his brother soldiers in the 7th Armored Division.  My father’s Battle of the Bulge story had a somewhat different facet to it. 
After being in the Bulge for several days, his unit was ordered to Louveigne, Belgium on Christmas Day.  While trying to get to their destination, he proceeded to cross a stream only to discover he was in the sites of a German gun.  As he started to reverse the halftrack the German soldier called out “Merry Christmas” in German and allowed the halftrack to pass unharmed.  My father being of German decent and fluent in German answered the soldier with the greeting of “Merry Christmas” and left the area before they could change their mind.  That was his first Christmas Miracle. 
After arriving in Louveigne, they were told by their officers that they could sleep in the homes of the townspeople if they were invited, as you know the winter was severe that year.  The young couple and their 4 year old daughter that invited the halftrack crew to stay in their home eventually became my aunt and uncle.  That evening after dinner the woman’s sister came home after helping their parents with the chores on their dairy farm located behind the church in Louveigne.  She was staying with her sister because a relative’s home had been bombed and they were using her room at their parent’s home. 
Dad’s second Christmas Miracle happened when he met his hostess’ sister, Angele Gonay, who would become his wife.  After a war time courtship and letters back and forth from where ever my father was, as the war front moved on through Germany, they were married in Louveigne on November 10, 1945.  They arrived back in Illinois in March of 1946, where they began their life, farming together west of Ashkum, Illinois. 
They truly did live happily ever after together.  I had a wonderful upbringing with these two peoples for my parents.  They had many happy reunions with my father’s army brothers and it was a privilege  to know these  men and their families.
I accompanied my parents on trips back to the Bulge battlegrounds during trips to see our family in Belgium.  I am so proud of the roll my "father played in WWII".  My daughter’s  and I  accompanied my parents  to the  50th Reunion of the Battle of the Bulge in St.  Louis, which was a wonderful event.
My mother met Prince Philip of Belgium, and members of the Belgium underground which was quite an experience for her.  My mother passed away in 2005 and my father joined her in heaven in 2008.  I have become an associate member of the Battle of the Bulge organization
 Very truly Yours
 Lillian Voigt
Source: The Bulge Bugle February 2011
By Elvin H. WILKEN' Daughter


"HQ" Company


129th Ordnance Battalion


7th Armored Division



Battle of the Bulge,