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Happy to be with you !!!!

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I'am 74, living in Belgium and I'm very proud to have neen invited as a member of this website

I can help peoples by my knowledge of the Battle of the Bulge

I was 12 in september 1944 when American came to liberate my town (Liège)

Many thanks for all

 

Bigfoot Stan C. Bellens

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A hearty American welcome to you Stan (Bigfoot). I have enjoyed our correspondence over the last week and am very glad that we met through our mutual friends, John McAuliffe and Stevenot Gilbert.

 

Note: If anyone wants to view some of our correspondence, you can find it at this link below. It actually involves two new friends - Stan and Steve:

 

Correspondence with Stan and Steve

 

Please don't be shy and please share some of your fascinating memories with all of us. :)

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Hello, Marion

 

What a pleasure to have meet you thanks to john and Gilbert Stevenot

I'm for hours on your wonderful website dedicated to your beloved Father

I have given a lot of informations to Dona Dowley, about her grand'father who was a prisoner in the Massacre in Baugnez on December 17th, 1944

He was among the American soldiers captured by the spearhead of the Colonel J.Peiper He survived because many corpses were fallen on him, he stay quiet and escaped when the germans were gone It's a terrible story of the Battle of the Bulge If you or somebody else need information about the Battle of the Bulge, I can maybe help.

 

In 1994 for the 50th anniversary of the Landin at Normandy, The National Archives ans Press Service of the US Army have edited two CD's

Landing at Normandy - 650 photos - 2 video's - Interviews - Maps and a lot of informations about the units involved in this most terrible battle for Europe

Battle of the Bulge - More than 700 photos - 3 video's - 6 condensed books - Maps - Interviews

These CD's are wonderful with pretty good photos, i received its from a veteran, as a gift for my help to him about his visit in the Ardennes

I can send to you copies fro free, just a friendly gift for all you do.

Let me know Have fun Warm Regards Bigfoot Stan C Bellens

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Stan C. Bellens told you WW2 as he has knew it !!! Pseudo: Bigfoot

 

The town of Liège in Belgium is situated in the middle of a big industrial zoning, before 1940, many Batteries of big guns were placed in very big Pill-boxes all around the town, these guns were able to fire between 10 to 20 kms, to stop the german troops comming fro the East. They was placed from the Dutch border to the french border.

 

On May 10, 1940 when the nazis enterd Belgium and France, these batteries fired at the germans, but the most efficient from Eben-Emael, has been attacked by german paratroopers and by surprise these ennemies taken the batteries which was the most performant. All the others receive the order to stop their fire.

 

Some hours later, the germans entered in Liège, we were occupied we were rationed, no mare fruit, except apples and, no more potatoes and coal, requisionned by the Krauts for their own services and also sent to Germany.

 

I was a kid of eight, we were five boys in our family, The older had 18, the second 16, the third 14, me eight and the younger just 3, born on May 10, 1937 - Happy birthday, Joe !!!!

 

Months passed away, the first winter of war is there, we eat bread make with all kind of flour, a bread just like mastic, heavy, smooth, black/grey no more that one piece by head every morning with ersatz coffie, a block of sugar or a spoon of marmalade. At evening for supper two potatoes, no meat, and sometimes fish, and vegetables from our garden, only 135 grs of meat per person for a week,

no milk, no butter.

 

Impossible to replace the clothes became too small or used, my mother make shirts with the curtains of the windows, my father make shoes with wood and the leather of our school satchel.

 

The manufacture where my father was working, began to give every months some every kind of marmelade, with nuts, sugar, rice, pasta, flour, soap,

and potatoes, we walked 14 kilometers to go and come back to our house.

We listen every evening Radio-Londres, speaking to the French, after we have had also our radio from London with th evoice of Emil ede Laveleye, a speaker in London, he invent the V sign and all the days he finished his broadcasting, by the famous " Les Boches, on les auras "

 

Months and Months passe away, my father was every day with his Europa Map, looking the East front, the North Africa beachhead, to know where the allied forces were, the British and the Russian, and our prayers for America able to support the British who were alone.

 

In january 1942, my father and his older son, are quitting the manufacture, at the big door there are two german trucks, my brother is taken and pushed in the truck with many others for go to Germany, work in the german manufacture hidden underground, he stayed there for 18 months, he came back in july 1943, and enter in the Underground Army for the rest of the war, in september 1944, he was in the first to sign as War Volunteer with my other brother, the older was affceted to the 3rd US Army of General Patton, the second affected to the British as an engineer

 

To be continue Bigfoot - Stan C. Bellens

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Hello, Marion, will you please edited the following sheets as my war souvenirs as a kid. (Marion's note: I am helping edit his letters, but just a bit. I think he does a darned good job!)

 

My older brother after his come back from Germany entered in the Underground Army, we were in 1943. But , I have another account to explain, a day, my mother give me the bag and ask I go to take two breads at the shop where we were repertoried, I take the breads and take the trail to return to our house, it was through a smal wood, ther I meet two kids of my age, asking to me to play , I answer Yes and we begin to play with small balls, a short moment after, one of the kid say, I must return home, OK ! no problem !

 

I continue to play with last boy, ten minutes after he says the same thing, and he run , I look to my bag with breads, it was disapeared, Oh, my God !!!!! I was afraid to return home, what to do ! just nothing, they had stolen my breads, I return to home and explain to my mother what happened, she was angry and give me a slap, there is also my father, we must wait for him, at his return I received a second slap, but a little bit harder, I was happy !!!!!!!

 

On May 11, 1944 in th emorning, my mother say, be ready, we must go to Liège to buy a shirt for your communion We take the tramway 61 going to Liège, we were sitting down and after ten minutes , we heard the alarm hooter we heard then the noise of airplanes very high in the blue sky, shining in the sun, we were out of the tramway, hidden in a house, with all the passengers, ten minutes after end of the alert, the tramway start again and stop after five minutes, my mother was afraid, she say, we return to home " near our house there are two big holes in the street, all the houses were wrecked, no more roof, windows, glasses, doors, the furniture broken, two of my brothers were in the when the american bombs are fallen, nobody was injured. Often , coming back from a mission on Germany, some Flying Fortress has aboard bombs not fallen, then the pilot had the order to let these bombs fall in the Channel before landing, it was too dangerous, our pilot was certainly in a hurry to be quite of the bombs, it was war !!!!!

 

The day after , the Red Cross arrive with a truck to take our few furniture and the truck take the road to Horion-Hozemont to the Castel of Lexhy, where we have been welcome by the Countess of Borghave d'Altena and her sister the Baronne Fallon. The Baroness had three children, a boy named Eric and two girls. with my younger brother we were admiring and happy to be there with a very big park, small lake and a farm with horses , it was the first time we seen all that , so beautiful things. We have began to play together with Eric, fishing, running in the park, what a discovery for us, poor boys of a worker.

 

To be continued To Marion Chard Must be edited on the forum, in the accounts Many Thanks

 

Stan Bellens Bigfoot

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And September is came Part 3 Bigfoot / Stan Bellens

 

Summer was wonderful and September has come. We have heard at Radio London, the landing at Normandy on June 6th, but nothing else, the battles were fierce and long.

 

We were very nervous, then we learned that Paris was liberated By the 4th US Infantry Division and the 2nd French armored Division. And on 7th September, just at noon , we heard peoples yelling, laughing. We ran to the Crossroad, and then we see the first American soldiers young, smiling, with teeth in a black face of dust. They were tired, on their Jeeps, giving to the children chocolate, candies, can swith cheese or meat and naturally cigarettes for papa.

 

It was the column of the 3rd Armored Division with infantry of the 1st Div, Big Red One. A part of the long ribbon go on towards Liège and several vehicles with gun centerd in the park of the Castle. The soldiers put cannons in place, they dig fox-holes under the trees and change their clothes, they take off their shoes, their socks, their underwear and put new one, the dirty stayed on the soil. Not for a long time, with my friend Eric we come to pick up them and give its to my parents. Soldiers were surprised and laughing.

 

With my friend, I get a new idea, I ask to Eric " Did you have a sheet of paper "" he answers, surely, yes we go to his sleeping room and looking in the dictionary, we see << Blanchisserie == Laundry >>> I marked in big letters LAUNDRY and we go to put this paper on the door of my parents.

 

We don't wait a long time, maybe ten minutes later, several soldiers were faced the door , knocked on this and my mother comme to see what is happened. My mother was of Dutch origin and many English words are almost like Dutch. The soldiers explain they want that their shirts, pants and others pieces washed. My mother understand very well the soldiers, but she don't know why the soldiers were there. One of them showed to my mother the paper "Laundry" and she asks who has put this paper in her door. The soldier said that was me, I received a good slap and my parents begin to wash. They do that for more than a year.

 

During the night, the medical section who was in the kitchen of my parents, drinking Nescafé and discussing with the Lieutnant Martin from Waco, Texas having landed in Sicily, North Africa, Normandy, without none injury. He speaks very good French, An officer come yelling that the départure was for ten minutes, the time to retake their shirts, pants and so on. Lieutnant Martin is always alive, he lost his wife some years ago and live with his children, all musicians. I have photos from them if you want, and I can send some of them to you.

 

After that the men of the Big Red One were gone, we stayed several days without soldiers, during these days we take pleasure to find the fox holes in wich we found a lot of things, cigarettes, cans of different kinds, K rations, and chocolate bars, it was really treasure for us.

 

After a week many others American soldiers were in the Castle, they were very numérous with bigs trucks GMC and installed a place to repair the vehicles. They stayed a long time at the Castle, my parents were always washing, the soldiers pay with dollars, or meat, ice cream, coffee, chocolate; we have the choice. Some had their name given by my parents, Moustache, Kansas, Bigfoot Yeah !!! Sergeant, Francisco, Kenny, Churchill, Couchu avec moa, Benny or Mickey.

 

The wardrobe was plenty of food and the money dollars was hidden in an iron box put in my parent's bed !!!!

 

Come the winter, the 3rd floor of the castle was transformed in cinema and every evening there is a new movie with Rita Hayworth, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope, Humphrey Bogart and many others. It was speaking in English, and we don't understand a word, but it was very pleasant.

 

The Christmas Eve of 1944, I was at the cinema with my younger brother, I said to him, it's Christmas today, I'm going to take a gift. In the basement of the castle were the kitchens and to sit down at the tables, there was not enough chairs, then soldiers sit down on wooden boxes with K or A rations. I take a box and I walk to our lodge, then arrive a jeep, my brother was afraid, the soldier said, "What are you doing with this box?", and I answer, "It's Christmas today, Sarge and we have nothing at home." He answers to us, "OK boys, go ahead with your box."

 

We have passed all the Christmas Eve to open the rations to see what was their contents. I didn't know at this era that poor American soldiers were in the snow and frost, often without something to eat. Many years later I have understood and I have been ashamed for a long time.

 

To be continued it will be the last part, next time Dear Marion, will you, please make correction of all my faults

 

3rd Part Have a nice week-end Have fun Warm Regards Stan Bellens / Bigfoot

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Aren't these just precious memories everyone? I eagerly await getting the next chapter. The part that especially touched my heart tonight, was the one regarding the Christmas rations. How very endearing that a young child wanted something to take home for everyone at Christmas. I told Stan not to feel bad about it. He was very young and did something out of love for his family. He certainly was not being selfish. How could he have known?

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