Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge

Posted on December 26, 2013

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My wife, Carol, and I went to Washington, D.C. on 12th of December, 2013. The trip had a two fold purpose. Our main reason for going was for Carol to receive the Belgium Fourragere 1940 from the Belgium Ambassador in honor of her father, Clyde E. Roller. During the “Battle of the Bulge” his unit, Company F, 12th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division was mentioned several times for their Heroic Actions while fighting the Germans.

In the early days of December 1944, the 12th Infantry Regiment was in fierce combat with the Germans in the Hurtgen Forest in Germany. The 12th moved back into Luxembourg along with the rest of the 4th Infantry Division. The Division had suffered over 7,500 casualties counting those lost to Trench Foot.

The 12th Infantry was positioned along the Sauer River which divided Germany and Luxembourg. Company F was stationed in and around the village of Berdorf. At first, the entire company was along a defensive position near the “Birkelt Farm”. Across the Sauer River was the 212th Volks Grenadier Regiment. The 212th was at full strength and considered the best German unit in the area.

On the 13-14 of December, the 212th and the 423rd Regiment
moved forward from their respective positions and married up with
the 320th along a line from Bollendorf and Ralingen, Germany. Due
excellent intelligence, the Germans knew that the 212th would only
be facing the 12th Infantry Regiment. On the 16th the Germans
began their offensive. Within hours three of the four Out-
Posts had been over run. The fourth outpost had stayed the course.
For four days, the 2nd platoon of F company, consisting of 21 men
and and two Artillery Forward Observers held off the Germans and
denied them access to the village of Berdorf.

The “Battle of the Bulge” lasted for six days. The Germans were
pushed back across the Sauer River and finally into submission.

The “Battle” was a costly one. The American troops that fought in
the southern section (including the 12th Infantry) lost over 2,000
Killed, Wounded or Missing.

Clyde made it through the “Battle” but was wounded on the 21st of
December. He had also been wounded in September of 1944 and
again the 21st of January, 1945. As many of the soldiers did, Clyde
came back with TB.

Clyde died in 1976. His daughter, Carol, stood proudly as she
accepted the Award.

The second reason we went was to meet other Veterans of the
“Battle of the Bulge”. This was a great honor for both Carol and I.
Most of these men and ladies are now in their late 80’s or early
90’s. I will put pictures at the end but let me just say that these are
the greatest people you want to meet. Carol and made an
immediate connection with a few of these Heroes. Francis Chesko,
and Hyman Slavin shared many stories. Two Army Registered
Nurses, Hope Kirkendall and Dorothy Barre were special ladies.
They had been assigned to a Field Hospital in Belgium in October,
1944. Both said as bad as it was they would do it again.

The Luxembourg Ambassador Jean-Louis Wolzfeld, Deputy Chief
of Missions, Olivier Baldauff, Belgium Ambassador Jan Matthysen
and his Lovely wife, Agnes, and BG Mike Delobel were the most
gracious hosts and Representatives of their respective countries.

The World War II Veteran is passing away at the rate of one every
90 seconds. There were and always will be our Greatest
Generation.

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There are over 4,000 stars on this wall representing the more than 400,000 men and women killed during the war

There are over 4,000 stars on this wall representing the more than 400,000 men and women killed during the war

Atlantic entrance to the World War II Memorial

Atlantic entrance to the World War II Memorial

A pillar and wreath for each state or territory

[caption id="attachment_3638" align="alignnone" width="300"]World War II Memorial World War II Memorial

Battle of the Bulge Wreath laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Battle of the Bulge Wreath laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Sergeant of the Guard preparing to render the Hand Salute to the Veterans

Sergeant of the Guard preparing to render the Hand Salute to the Veterans

Wreath laying at the Official Battle of the Bulge Memorial

Wreath laying at the Official Battle of the Bulge Memorial

The original Battle of the Bulge Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery

The original Battle of the Bulge Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery

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Over 1000,000 wreaths were placed on graves at the Arlington National Cemetery

Over 1000,000 wreaths were placed on graves at the Arlington National Cemetery

Wreath laying at the Official Battle of the Bulge Memorial

Wreath laying at the Official Battle of the Bulge Memorial

Veterans of the  Battle of the Bulge.

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.

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Veterans placing their pictures on the tree

Veterans placing their pictures on the tree

Carol placing a picture of her Dad on tree

Carol placing a picture of her Dad on tree

Carol and Luxembourg Ambassador Jean-Louis Wolzfeld

Carol and Luxembourg Ambassador Jean-Louis Wolzfeld

Carol and Luxembourg Ambassador Jean-Louis Wolzfeld

Carol and Luxembourg Ambassador Jean-Louis Wolzfeld

Battle of the Bugle Map signed by over 150 men who served

Battle of the Bugle Map signed by over 150 men who served

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Carol, Command Sergeant Major Schorr Me. This is the same uniform he retired in in 1963

Carol, Command Sergeant Major Schorr Me. This is the same uniform he retired in in 1963

Belgium Ambassador Matthysen, BG Delobel and Hyman Slavin

Belgium Ambassador Matthysen, BG Delobel and Hyman Slavin

Belgium Ambassador, Jan Matthysen and his Lovely wife, Agnes

Belgium Ambassador, Jan Matthysen and his Lovely wife, Agnes

BG Mike Delobel, Military, Defense, Naval and Air Attache for Belgium

BG Mike Delobel, Military, Defense, Naval and Air Attache for Belgium

Olivier Baldauff, Deputy Chief  of Mission, Luxembourg Embassy

Olivier Baldauff, Deputy Chief of Mission, Luxembourg Embassy

Belgium Ambassador

Belgium Ambassador

Belgium Ambassador Matthysen, BG Delobel and Hyman Slavin

Belgium Ambassador Matthysen, BG Delobel and Hyman Slavin

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge

Carol, Belgium Ambassador Jan Matthysen, BG Mike Delobel, Hyman Slavin and me.

Carol, Belgium Ambassador Jan Matthysen, BG Mike Delobel, Hyman Slavin and me.

Carol and Francis Chesko

Carol and Francis Chesko

Hope Kirkendall, Dorothy Barre and Carol Bieneman

Hope Kirkendall, Dorothy Barre and Carol Bieneman

Belgium Ambassador presenting Carol with the Belgium Fourragere 1940

Belgium Ambassador presenting Carol with the Belgium Fourragere 1940

Battle of the Bulge Logo

Battle of the Bulge Logo