stay in Sissonne, France was interrupted on December 17th, 1944
when we loaded onto huge open tractor-trailer trucks and rode for
countless, miserable cold hours to Werbomont, Belgium.
The Germans had
launched a massive attack to split the allied forces and capture the
English Channel ports. Our task was to help blunt and destroy the German
attack and penetration.
following days, we frequently changed our position as the regiment
maneuvred to confront the German forces from the most advantageous
On December 21st,
1944, winter arrived in Belgium when heavy snow began to fall.
On December 23rd,
1944 at Vielsalm, Belgium, (a small town overlooking the Salm River) we
made contact with attacking German infantry and armor.
was providing an escape corridor through which the survivors of the badly
mauled 106th and 7th armoured Divisions could evade
the overwhelming German forces. The corridor was an 8 mile salient
stretching from the Salm River through the town of Vielsalm and into the
corps area. In the next 24 hours hundreds of vehicles of all descriptions
and desperate troops raced through the 508th corridor to
however was in a perilous position. stretched out like a finger for eight
miles, and at the risk of being cut off and destroyed at any moment.
Therefore on a
bitter-cold Christmas Eve night, the 508th was ordered to break
contact with the Germans and withdraw to a defensive position along the
In executing the
order, the 508th spent Christmas Eve continuously being
harassed by German combat patrols, as they traversed snow-covered roads
and trails, through densely forested areas.
morning, anticipating a massive German Attack, the regiment established a
defensive position along a steep ridge.
We dug foxholes,
cleared fire lanes and set up outposts.
Our efforts paid