US Army

On the Way to the Bulge

 

On the Way to the Bulge
 
On the 11th of December 1944, the 61st Chemical Company of General George Patton’s Third Army went by truck from Château Salins, France, to a small town near Sarrable, Moselle.  As we approached Sarrable a guard from the 90th Infantry Division said: “you can’t go any further as the Germans are in the nearby woods.”  
 
So we went back to a small town where we found a house with a local alley.  We were planning to sleep there but there was a man and a woman and little boy so we left them sleep in the house.  We put on guard on the door and when morning came we open the door and no one was inside, they had gone out the window during the night. 
 
We went out to bivouac in a small brick building that was full of straw supposedly covering some machinery.  I was put on guard duty for the purpose of watching the ammunition.  At 0300 hours in the morning a sergeant came up to me all excited and said get your things together as the Germans broken through up north.  It was the 17th of December. 
 
We waited for two days for the trucks to take us up North where we were put in the 315th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Infantry Division.  The trucks had no tarps and we received three-day rations in case we get cut off.  We still had our summer clothes and as we went further north it got colder, the trucks and tanks were sliding into the ditches.  As we got farther north we had to get off the trucks and we started to walk.  When you heard gunfire you knew they were Germans in the area.  We were told there were German paratroopers dressed in G.I. clothes, who speak perfect English.   It was utter confusion! 
 
Along the way I remember seeing a sign Pierrepont, France. 
 
After we arrived General Patton asked the chaplain to say a prayer for the fog to lift.  The chaplain said: “Do you want me to pray for you to kill more people”.  General Patton said: “That’s right”. 
 
After the fog lifted we went to a small town near Arlon, Belgium.  It was so cold we were issued sleeping bags.  I cut the bottom off the sleping bag and use as my winter clothes, as I had no winter clothes. 
 
Our outfit received the Presidential Unit Citation 
 
It was an honor to serve my county
 
Source: The Bulge Bugle May 2011

By Vincent MEINHART

 

315th Infantry Regiment

79th Infantry Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium