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Stories

A Soldier and a Perfect Stranger


A Soldier and a Perfect Stranger

And a Day in History Will live Forever!

December 16, 1944.

 
It was on December 1944 that my regiment of the 106th Infantry Division was plundered in the Battle of the Bulge.  As one of the few survivors of 5,000 men of the 422nd Infantry Regiment, I had lost directions as I wandered into a small Belgium village called Anthisnes (Providence of Liege.) 
 
Being homeless, without rations and needing shelter, it was only natural to seek help in this remote European village in friendly territory.  I knocked on the closest entry I could find.On that December morning during the Christmas season, a young nineteen year old Belgium girl named Adele Orban opened her door and heart to me.  Indeed, I truly believe that in this life someone guides and watches over us, and their protective spirit is “always” present. 
 
Yes, it was my guardian angel who had pre-arranged this unusual encounter between David and Adele.  We both came from two separate worlds; however, we did indeed share a mutual concern—The Ravages of War!  Our friendship had lasted over a half a century and with such a strong bond we consider ourselves now to be more like brother and sister. 
 
As a young soldier I had the memorable experience of participating in the most decisive battle on the western front during World War II.  Also, I was able to share that reality with my new Belgium friends, recently liberated from German hands by our own Army.  It was a remarkable experience that happened during my lifetime and a reminder that indeed—truth sometimes can be stranger than fiction! 
 
The Battle of the Bulge lasted longer than any battle in our nation’s history with the largest number of casualties.  The official historian of the U.S. Army, Charles MacDonald, stated that it was the greatest battle in American history. 
 
American’s World War II generation did save the world, not for glory, not for honor, and not for lasting tribute.  For my buddies that did not return they deserve our blessings. 
 
Source: Bulge Bugle November 2005

By J. David BAILEY

Company "F"

422th Infantry Regiment

106th Infantry Division

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium