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Up Brock Smith 2 Brock Smith 3 Brock Smith 4 Brock Smith 5 Brock Smith 6

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In the evening of December 17, we were alerted about the German breakthrough in Belgium. At 9:00 a.m. the next morning. December 18, we loaded up on big eighteen-wheel flat bed trucks with only side rails, no tops.

There were about fifty men per truck, standing room only. It was drizzling rain which changed to sleet and snow as we moved through many small towns and much country. The people all along the way were waving American flags and cheering us on.

We were freezing. The trip took seventeen hours.

I am enclosing several pages from my history book of the 508 [by William G. Lord]. This is to clarify and verify our participation in the Battle of the Bulge.

I will relate my personal experiences of the battle as I saw it.

When we arrived in the vicinity of Werbomont on December 19 before daylight, we got off the trucks and walked into pine thickets and fell to the ground and slept in complete exhaustion until daylight. As it got light enough to see we got organized and set up a line of defense.

The first information we got was about the murder of over one hundred American soldiers at Malmedy. We were also told that the Germans had taken uniforms from those who were killed and captured and about two hundred English speaking Germans were infiltrating our lines in jeeps taken in the first days of battle. They were changing road signs and causing much confusion.

We moved first to Chevron, about eight miles on foot. There were no problems. The next day, the 20th, we were to move to Haute Bodeaux. about ten or twelve miles. There were some trucks, but not enough for everyone. I was lucky, I thought. I got to ride a truck. It was a very dark night. We were very quiet. Germans were in the area.
The trucks were very quiet, too, moving slowly. You could not see the truck in front of you - just a strip of phosphor, like macaroni on each side. All of a sudden, the truck I was on ran off the road, turned over several times and rolled down an embankment. There were about eighteen of us on the truck. We were all in one big pile with full field packs and rifles.

We couldn't move for a few minutes. We were too tangled. Everyone was saying. "Shh, shh, be very quiet."

When we got untangled, we climbed back up on the road. It was very dark. Someone walked up to me. It was an officer. I could see the marking on his helmet. He said, "Soldier, are you hurt?" I said, "No. sir." I was a P.F.C.

The officer said, "I'm going to put a piece of phosphor on your backpack. I want you to walk down the middle of the road until you catch up with the convoy so the truck behind you can see where the road is." I said, "Yes, sir!"

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