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US Army

A Miracle at St Vith

A Miracle at St Vith
 
After leaving Easton, Pennsylvania for basic training at Fort Eustus Virginia, I was sent to England with the 1st Army, 634th AAA Battalion.  Next, I landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day. 
 
  It was around the 3rd day of December, 1944, about a week and a half before the Battle of the Bulge.  We had just cleaned the 40mm gun.  The weather was clear on a beautiful day when Captain Ralph A Wilmot and Lieutenant Colonel Adams Rackes (photo at left) came to me and asked me to be the Colonel’s aid.  At first I said, “No sir, I want to stay with my gun crew.”  But, after more conversation, I accepted the offer.  
   
It was around the 3rd day of December, 1944, about a week and a half before the Battle of the Bulge.  We had just cleaned the 40mm gun.  The weather was clear on a beautiful day when Captain Ralph A Wilmot and Lieutenant Colonel Adams Rackes came to me and asked me to be the Colonel’s aid.  At first I said, “No sir, I want to stay with my gun crew.”  But, after more conversation, I accepted the offer. 
 
This decision saved my life.  All the men of my gun crew were all killed by Tiger tanks, and “D” Battery was captured.  Later, when going through Malmedy, we came upon a field where a massacre had taken place.  It may have been the men of the 634th “D” Battery who were killed there.  This was my miracle at St. Vith. 
 
Afterwards we came at the bridge at Remagen, where we crossed before the bridge came down. 
 
Later, I was in northern Germany, and with the 3rd Army, 443rd AAA Battalion in southern Germany, where another soldier and I captured 60 high-ranking soldiers of the German Army. 
 
Source: Bulge Bugle May 2017
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

By John R COYNE

 

634th AAA AW Bn

1st Army

Campaigns

Battle of the Bulge,

Belgium