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Teddy Velikoff Diary

Teddy Velikoff Diary

 
Ted Velikoff was a squad leader assigned to Company “F” of the 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment.  During the operation Varsity Campaign, he was reassigned to Company “A” of the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment.  This diary was written by him during his service with the 17th Airborne Division.  Don Eickholt (193 F) provided the diary, courtesy of Ted’s widow and it was prepared for print by Del Hrabe (194 A)
 
Thanksgiving 1944
Almost all the boys had the GI’s.  Most of the fellows blamed the cranberry sauce.  I was lucky not to get it.  All night long fellows going back and forth to the latrine and showers.
 
November 25, 1944
All the fellows with the GI’s had to take medicine every hour.  Never saw the likes of it before.
 
December 1944
Rumors flying around we are going to be alerted: In teaching glider pilots how to fire the MI properly.  Most of those fellows were in combat ahead.  Sounded silly to me in a way.  When they called that off unexpectedly one morning, I knew something was up.  We were alerted and restricted to the area.  Night before we moved to marshaling area.  We burned all our tables etc.  We made these boxes and the likes.  Had a real big bonfire all night long.  I couldn’t sleep to well so I stayed by the fire all the time.  Left the next morning by trucks to the airfield by the marshaling area.  Stayed there for about a week. Had good chow; six man tents again.
 
Xmas Eve
We got on the C-47 about 2:30 PM took off shortly for France.  Crossed the channel and saw the French beaches where they put up their fight in the invasion on D-Day.  We landed on an airstrip in the dark and had lights on the field.  When we landed, it looked as if there was snow on the ground.  Found out later it was white hard sand.  Told us to keep lights out etc. and here the field was lit up and trucks going up and down the road with headlights on.  Trucks came and took us to Mourmelon where our Division was set up in an old French Garrison.
Note – The 680th Glider Field Artillery Battalion was teamed with the 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment.
 
Xmas 1944
Trucks brought us in about 12:30 AM Xmas morning to Mourmelon.  Church bells were ringing and some of the GI’s there from the 101st Airborne were going to church.  We didn’t get settled till about 3 AM.  Had to pull CQ that morning from 5-6 too.  I didn’t get up for breakfast.  Got up about 9:30 a.m. and ate a ration.  Stayed here about 2 or 3 days.  Boarded trucks and we went to Charleville.  Set up along the Meuse River in secondary defense because von Rundstedt started his breakthrough in the Ardennes. Used my little French to get along with a couple of FFI men we had with us on patrol to La Grandville to another platoon.
 
January 1, 1945
At exactly midnight bed check Charlie comes along and drops a couple of eggs on the railroad where Lt De Volin was.  Also Lt Fiests’ machine guns with us open up just for the heck of it because its New Years.  In the morning Stan and I went to church in town (Charleville).  Had to carry weapons into town and church with us.  Seemed funny.  Later that that day, we went into town to try to get some bread.  A man told his 2 cute little daughters to take us to the boulangerie or bakery.  I gave the women 100 francs for 2 loafs of bread.  Those 2 girls were the cutest I ever saw since I’ve been in Europe.  Also gave the old man 100 francs for telling where to get the bread.  You see you’re supposed to have tickets to get bread.  Four dollars for 2 loafs of bread, but it made no difference to me.
 
January 3, 1945
Got on trucks because we were going to move up to the front.  Rode in ¾ ton trucks.  It was dark and misty and the drivers couldn’t see very well.  We ran off the road once.  Lucky there was a high bank or someone might have gotten hurt.  It was a miserable ride.  Got off into some woods near Bastogne.
 
January 3-6, 1945
Spent all that time being in reserve and moving from one place to another.  We were to attack about the 5th but Regiment Commander said men weren’t fit because moving around all that time.  Already the 513th Parachute Regiment and 194th Glider had gone into attacks.
 
January 7, 1945
“Bloody Sunday” is what our Regiment Commander said later on would be known as for that what it was.  We were going into the attack that morning.  Only a few Jerries in those woods they told us would find.  The road we moved up on to the LD was slippery, men falling, slipping all the way up the line.  It was hazy and semi-snow falling.  What a heck of a day to go into the attack, we were in reserve.  After the objective was reached, our company would take over the lead and drop one of the other companies into support.  First fellow in our company to get it was right alongside the fence in a semi-sitting position.  He had a twin brother who was recently killed in Italy.  All the way up they were dropping 88s and screaming meamies in on us.  Those meamies sound as if someone was winding up a V-8.  Radcliff, Frenchy * was the first one to get it in our pit.  Heabays told Sgt Griesser, Paul L.* that if we went into combat he’d be the first to get it and he did.  Those tree bursts were about the worst.  One time 5 of us in one hole.  Reached our objective, but casualties were terrific.  Holmes, Raymond T. * got hit in the leg.  I started to patch him up and then Kempffer came along with a German medic, so I told him to fix him up.  Holmes got out his knife in case the medic tried anything funny.  He didn’t and did a good job.  We started to dig in. Jerry’s right across from us in the other patch of woods.  Tree bursts still falling.  Sweet and I digging together with shovels and our hands.  We wanted to get under ground.  Shells coming in like nobodies business yet.
 
Phill Chetta * was in front of me when all of a sudden he starts calling for me that he’s hit.  I wait till the barrage lifts up and then I go to him.  He’s hit in the leg and arm.  T/Sgt Griesser, Paul L* and I put him in a dugout the Jerry’s had and take off his night and then withdrew.
 
Lt Smith, Joseph B.* knew we couldn’t and told the “B” Company Commander “I’ll be seeing you, good-by”.  No sooner the “B” Company Commander calls up and says to withdraw.  “D” and “E” Companies withdraw and we follow them.  Dick, medic has Hank all bandaged up and needs help to carry him out on a stretcher.  Sweet, Benjamin C., Lt. Friske, medic and myself carry him out.  Gail F. Meyer ** is carrying our equipment for us.  Jerry’s still firing.  We move down the middle of a road till we run into the opening.  Jerry’s are cross firing across it.  So we had to drag Hank alongside a ditch by the road as Jerrys fire overhead.  Smith, Lt Joseph B.* thought he got hit a couple of times in the rear ends.  Just before Jerry cross fired 2 companies in a mob moved up the road and I can’t never figure out why the Jerrys didn’t drop any rounds in.
 
We got Hank back out of danger to ¾ truck which was to take them back.  Both his arms and legs were bad off.  He was turning yellow.  Sanagren, John E. * brought Chetta in too then and they were all taken back.  Thought I’d never make it back to our area where we were set up before we jumped off.  My legs ached.  Stan was a little shell shocked and had to be sent back.  Couldn’t find Kempffer.  McManus, George R., Anderson and Chetta, Phil got it.  We were to stay in our area till we got till we got word that we had to replace “A” Company as they got hit worst than anyone so we went back on line, miserable, cold and not caring mush for anything.
 
January 8, 1945
Wind blowing snow down the foxholes.  Had hot chow and that helps.  A big horse with a wound was alongside our area.  My legs ached more and quite a few of the fellows had to go back because of frozen feet, pneumonia and trench foot.
 
January 9, 1945
I went back to Battalion aid with Nelson, Ellis M.*  Doc said I had trench foot and was to be evacuated.  Rode in a nice ambulance to evacuee hospital.  It really felt good to wash with hot water.  Just let my hands soak for quite a while.
 
January – February 1945
In hospital with Nelson, Ellis M. at Bar le Duc.  Only treatment for trench foot is time and exposure to air.  Heard Karl Velikoff got hit the 19th and I was relieved because I knew about Karl now.
 
February 13, 1945
Left hospital to rejoin the outfit at Chalon.  Stayed in pup tents.  The 193rd was broken up and joined into the 194th.  I went to “A” Company never thought it would work out very good, but how much mistaken I was and was glad.
 
Source: Document received by letter from Joe Quade, 17th Airborne Division, and dated January 2, 2012

Sgt Teddy E. VELIKOFF

"F" Company,

193rd Glider Infantry Regiment

17th Airborne Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium