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April 2019
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US Army

Everlasting Memory

 Everlasting Memory
 
The night of December 16th we were riding in open trucks through snow and blizzard conditions.  Then we were walking most of the night with enemy heavy artillery firing. We arrived at Hunningen at approximately 5:00 a.m. 
 
Eleven men were dropped at a house on the edge of town.  At 8:00 a.m., six of us go on to M.G. outposts. Three men per gun at an outpost located in the worst area of all--middle of a wide open field. 
 
Eight hours of cramped cold and hungry.  Just when we were supposed to be relieved, the German artillery, mortars, small arms broke loose. A gunner from the 99th Infantry Division fired a few rounds until his weapon jammed.  Knowing a machine gunner’s fate "if one must die, die fighting," I unjammed the weapon and used it until German small arms ended.
 
I looked over the gun and noticed a German rifleman approximately 40 foot away. I reached for a carbine. The German fired a tracer bullet. It was aimed for between my eyes.  So help me, it seemed forever reaching me and looked as large as a cannon ball. The bullet hit the M.G. rear sight which was laying flat and glanced above my steel helmet. I dropped like I had been hit, then a small German hand grenade came bumbling in about three feet away.  I reached to throw it out and it exploded. I got a headache, an ear ache and shrapnel in the right buttock.
 
All kinds of Germans ordered us out. A German medic put bandages over our wounds. Our lives were in German hands but we were still living. I was 19 years old. It still seems like yesterday that that cannon ball had my number on it.  I give thanks to the 1/4 inch thickness of that rear sight.  This was the end of the Bulge for me, but I had a long, hard POW experience.
 
Source: The Bulge Bugle May 2000
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By Elmer E LIBBY

 

1st Battalion, "D" Company

 

23rd Infantry Regiment

 

2nd Infantry Division

 

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium