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US Army

Two Memorable incidents

 

Two Memorable incidents

 
I recall two most memorable incidents during the Battle of the Bulge, and they both occurred on the same day. 
 
I was a T/3 Combat Medic with the 3rd Battalion, 335th Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division, serial#121-60-191.  I was top non-com with the responsibility of the battalion and line company medics and the setting up of forward aid stations for treating the wounded as we advanced positions. 
 
Soon after our counter-offensive began on January 3rd, 1945, we incurred extremely heavy casualties in our battalion and in our support troops of tankers, anti-tankers, combat engineers, etc.  They were pouring into my forward aid station much faster than Pfc Johnny Andrako and I could treat and evacuated them.  They were lying on the floor and on litters all over the place until we could get to them. 
 
One G.I. was standing against a wall and kept on calling me to help him.  “Hey Doc, Hey Doc.”  Every couple of minutes he called to me, “Hey Doc, help me.”  But because he was standing, I didn’t think his wounds were as life-threatening as the ones sustained by the men on the floor—many unconscious and just bleeding to death.We had to get to these men first to save their lives. 
 
I really don’t know how many hours later I finally asked this man where he was hit.  He answered by handing me his left hand which was hanging by threads from his wrist and forearm.It was all but severed. 
 
I re-aligned the “threads” and the hand to the wrist as best I could under the circumstances, immobilized the arm from shoulder to finger tips, shot some morphine into him, applied sterile dressings, and got him evacuated back on the first available litter jeep.  He received surgical treatment and whether it is true or not, I heard his hand had been saved. 
 
The other incident occurred in that same forward aid station.  Our troop advance was stymied there for almost two days.  We had so many casualties lying on litters all over the place; we did not know where to stack them.  As Johnny and I glanced at each to determine who needed our immediate attention, I must have pushed a litter with a less seriously wounded G.I. under a bed.  Almost two days later (Johnny and I never slept); we heard some low moaning coming from under a bed.  I had forgotten all about the Joe I had pushed under there almost 48 hours earlier.  We must have had a very good sleep.  We dressed his minor wounds, and he walked out of there to find his outfit.  Unfortunately, all my memories are not as pleasant as this one with the happy ending. 
 
Source: Memorable Bulge Incidents = 1994

By T/3 Herbert REIMAN

3rd Battalion,

335th Infantry Regiment

84th Infantry Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium