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US Army

My Army Service in The Bulge

My Army Service in The Bulge
 
I was inducted into the U.S. Army on November 11, 1943.  My military basic training was done at Fort Eustis, Virginia and Camp David, North Carolina.  From Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, we embarked by ship and after twelve days by sea, landed in Scotland.  From there, we traveled by train to Aldermaston Court in England.
 
I was with the 639th AAA Automatic Weapon that crossed the English Channel to Le Havre, France.  We were assigned to First Army attached to Vth Corps and the 99th Infantry Division.  Our assignment at Bullingen, Belgium was to shoots the Buzz bombs.  We knew war was getting rough on December 16, 1944, when the Battle of the Bulge begun.  I was a gunner on a Halftrack. 
 
 
 The  V-1
 
 Our orders were to move.  The front was so confused when we were ordered to withdraw, and if the machinery and equipment could not be moved, we destroyed it.
 
On the night of December 16, the 639th Automatic Weapon Battalion lost three 40 mm guns, eleven M-51 halftracks, and machine guns.  When retreating that night, the German army was dropping paratroopers and flares that lip up the sky like daylight.  The men that were manning the guns destroyed them and left on foot with only their rifles.  We were, more or less, in No Man’s Land in the Ardennes, Malmedy Bastogne, St Vith and other villages for about eleven days.  The only food and ammunition we had was what other soldiers shared with us.  We went without a bath the entire eleven days.  The cold was very severe.  It had sleeted and snowed and frozen about four inches or more with heavy fog.  The foxholes had frozen, and we had to break the ice to enter them for protection and sleep, if possible, as we moved from place to place.  We knew this was a very real war.  Frozen bodies of Germans and U.S. troops were everywhere.  On December 21 and 22, the 639th was attached to the First Infantry Division, who turned back Von Rundstedt final attempt to reach Liege. 
 
On December 25, a beautiful, clear day, the fog having lifted, the Air Force gave us some relief.  The frozen bodies were stacked like wood on the backs of trucks.  We received some turkey for Christmas and a lot of German 88 shells.  Many of the soldiers who survived the Battle of the Bulge suffered severe frost bite.  Because of my frost bitten feet, I spent ten days in a field hospital in Belgium.  After December 25, we were called to plug holes wherever needed along the front line. 
 
Source: The Bulge Bugle August 2012
By David M DIXON Jr

 

 

 "C" Battery

639th AAA Battalion

 

 

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium