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#1 Irishmaam

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 01:43 PM

Here is a link for the movie, but I would also like to add this as a topic. Its odd I was looking at photos about this yesterday , and today I see there is a movie about the massacre. Learn something every day. Where would I start a topic for this Marion? Thanks again for giving us a place to explore these heroes & all they had to endure..Cindy

http://www.saintsandsoldiers.com/
~They shall not grow old As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them Nor the years condemAt the going down of the sun And in the morning
We will remember them ~

#2 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 02:09 PM

You just did darlin'. Now we just sit back and wait for folks to respond! smile.gif Thanks for that link and for bringing up a subject that is worth discussing. More people should know about this.
Marion J Chard
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#3 Irishmaam

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 02:21 PM

Thanks Marion I will start with a few compelling photographs...and then I am off to find some facts for this topic...

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~They shall not grow old As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them Nor the years condemAt the going down of the sun And in the morning
We will remember them ~

#4 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 02:23 PM

Just wanted to add what a pleasure it is having you here. You bring such a wealth of info to this site for all to see and you also have a great head on your shoulders. I think I can also find some links and such to add here. Thanks again.
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#5 Irishmaam

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 02:23 PM

Malmedy Belgium Dec 1944


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#6 Irishmaam

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 02:27 PM

Malmedy Belgium
Dec 1944

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#7 Irishmaam

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 02:28 PM

Malmedy Belgium
Dec 1944

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#8 Irishmaam

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 03:23 PM

QUOTE (Walt's Daughter @ Mar 9 2005, 09:23 AM)
Just wanted to add what a pleasure it is having you here. You bring such a wealth of info to this site for all to see and you also have a great head on your shoulders. I think I can also find some links and such to add here. Thanks again.

Thank you very much Marion. I feel very at home here. You have done such a nice job here. who wouldnt want to try and contribute? Its a pleasure for me to add what I can Thanks again
Cindy
~They shall not grow old As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them Nor the years condemAt the going down of the sun And in the morning
We will remember them ~

#9 Jiggersfromsphilly

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 03:31 PM

GOOD JOB Cindy!

#10 Irishmaam

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 12:33 AM

Mortuary Affairs Operations At Malmedy-Lessons Learned From A Historic Tragedy

by Major Scott T. Glass

Quartermaster Professional Bulletin-Autumn 1997

The author thanks First Sergeant Francis Miner of the 3060th Quartermaster Company,Colonel David A. Pergrin of the 291st Engineer Battalion, Joseph Potten of Malmedy, and Henri Rogister of Liege, Belgium. Without their assistance, this article would not have been possible.

Throughout US Army history, Quartermaster Corps soldiers have performed countless noteworthy logistical missions. During the Malmedy Massacre mortuary affairs operation, Quartermaster soldiers added to the Corps' legacy of mission accomplishment in the face of adverse conditions. Lessons learned from this World War II operation can apply to present-day mortuary affairs missions.

In December 1944, Germany launched its Ardennes Offensive (called the "Battle of the Bulge"). The axis of advance chosen by the German high command ran through the Ardennes Forest in the tri-border area of Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. Part of German preparation for the attack included directions from military leaders to all troops: fight with the utmost brutality. German officers urged their soldiers to show no mercy, even to prisoners of war.

Later, a German assault unit would murder US prisoners of war (POWs) at the Baugnez crossroads in Belgium, southeast of the town of Malmedy. The event would occur December 17, 1944, and become known as the Malmedy Massacre. Although not an isolated incident because the German unit that carried out the killings was responsible for at least THREE similar incidents that day, the Malmedy Massacre is the best-known event of its type. Quartermaster soldiers in the graves registration (now mortuary affairs) service recovered and processed the remains of the murdered soldiers.

Collision

COL Joachim Peiper was commander of an armored battle group from the 1st SS Panzer Division during the German offensive. The SS (abbreviation for Schutzstaffel elite guard) units had earned their reputation as some of Germany's most capable and sadistic fighters. Indeed, in earlier fighting on the Russian Front, a unit commanded by Peiper earned the nickname "The Blowtorch Battalion" for actions against captured Russian villages and their inhabitants. On December 17, the offensive's second day, Peiper strove to keep his attack going and take advantage of initial US confusion.

The US Army's Battery B, 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion had begun a road march from bases in Holland to Luxembourg on December 16. The march passed through Malmedy around 1200 on December 17 before the German offensive interrupted this movement. An officer from the battery's parent battalion riding with the march element stopped and conferred briefly with LTC David A. Pergrin, commander of the 291st Engineer Battalion holding the town. Although strongly cautioned by LTC Pergrin about likely contact with German combat units to the east of Malmedy, the battery officer continued the road march.

At about the same time, Peiper's German tanks and mechanized infantry were maneuvering southeast of the Baugnez crossroads on a route that would pass south of that intersection. However, Peiper detoured in order to use a hard-surface road more suitable for his vehicles. This detour would take Peiper on a loop through Baugnez. At approximately 1300, as Battery B moved through the Bauguez intersection, Peiper struck from the northeast. The clash was brief and violent. With no weapon larger than a machine gun and with German tanks and infantry closing in, the battery commander surrendered. The US soldiers dropped their rifles, and Peiper's men herded them into a field at the crossroads.

Crime Of War

Soldiers of Battery B huddled in the snow. A few US POWs that Peiper's men had captured earlier in the day and had forced to ride along on the German combat vehicles joined the soldiers of Battery B. Peiper and the armored spearhead then continued south towards Ligneuville.

Several armored vehicles and a group of German soldiers watched over the US soldiers. Accounts differ, but apparently within a few minutes of Peiper's departure, an unidentified German officer ordered a tank crew to fire on the US POWs. One shot rang out, then another, and then a fusillade of small arms and machine-gun fire scythed into the US ranks.

A few POWs bolted, but most fell where they stood - either killed or seriously wounded. German fire cut down almost all who tried to escape before they could run very far. The SS soldiers on the scene roamed among the fallen POWs, shooting or bludgeoning those who showed signs of life. Others tracked Americans fleeing the site to buildings at the intersection. They set the structures on fire and shot the US soldiers who ran outside to escape the flames.

Nearly 80 US soldiers died at Baugnez after surrendering. Some, however, managed to elude the Germans. A couple hid and did not participate in the battery's surrender. Several ran and found cover during the shooting at the killing field. Incredibly, some in the killing field itself most of them with serious wounds, managed to avoid detection by playing dead and escaping later. These survivors filtered into the 291st Engineer Battalion positions at Malmedy, giving the massacre its name.

Collecting and Cataloging

By late afternoon, senior US leaders strongly suspected the murder of a large number of POWs near Malmedy. Recovery of the remains to confirm what had happened and also to gather and preserve evidence for a possible war crimes investigation became a primary goal.

However, it was not until January 13,1945, that US units recaptured the area around Baugnez. The US First Army headquarters selected a unit for recovery operations and deployed an Inspector General (IG) team to exercise overall control of the remains collection operation.

The 3060th Quartermaster Graves Registration Service Company's 4th Platoon drew the assignment of recovering, processing and identification the remains. The company had activated in October 1944 and started training its assigned soldiers in France. Company personnel began performing actual graves registration duties during the last week of December. Under the supervision of the platoon leader and first sergeant, the platoon element arrived in the Malmedy area and entered the massacre site on January 13, 1945, immediately after US units had recaptured the crossroads area.

Remarkably Preserved

Snow had fallen several times since the massacre and a fresh snowfall covered the bodies. Temperatures had hovered below freezing, and the Germans had made no attempt to bury the bodies. These factors combined to keep the remains remarkably preserved.

The 3060th personnel conferred with the IG team, physicians and representatives of the 291st Engineer Battalion before establishing recovery operations procedures. Operations began at the massacre field on January 14, 1945, and ended late the next day.

Throughout the operation, the recovery field remained a frontline combat area. The US Infantry had dug foxholes across a corner of the field, and German artillery observers could see the activity around the crossroads area. On several occasions, incoming German artillery fire forced temporary suspension of work. In some cases, the shelling mangled some of the remains, complicating recovery and identification.

Heavy snowfall, enemy shelling and lack of available eyewitnesses to the atrocity prevented the Quartermaster soldiers from conducting thorough, systematic searches to locate all of the widely scattered remains. Still, over the next four months, the surrounding area yielded 12 sets of remains all later identified.

Location of individual remains required assistance from a platoon of the 291st Engineer Battalion. The 291st Engineers used mine detectors to locate the bodies from the metal of gear or personal effects. When mine detectors located a set of remains, Quartermaster soldiers used brooms to sweep away the snow covering the bodies.

Graves registration personnel assigned each set of remains a two-digit number Two Signal Corps combat cameramen photographed the initial location and general condition of each body. (This photographing is specifically prohibited in Joint Publication 4-06 (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for Mortuary Affairs and Joint Operations) except when explicitly authorized for official use.)

After the photographs had been taken, graves registration personnel removed each body to a nearby road. In addition to being frozen, most bodies had also frozen firmly to the ground and, in some cases, to other remains. After separating remains from the ground and each other, a careful search under the bodies yielded personal effects. These effects, if any were found, accompanied the body as soldiers removed it from the field on an ordinary stretcher Workers removed neither equipment nor personal effects from any remains during the recovery process.

Secure From Observation

Litter teams from the 3200th Quartermaster Service Company and the 291st Engineer Battalion

carried the remains several hundred meters on a road leading to Malmedy to a point secure from German observation. There the teams loaded the remains onto trucks for the short trip to the processing site. Although 3060th soldiers did not refer to the processing site as a mortuary affairs collection point (MACP), the site and the work conducted there were remarkably consistent with today's MACP

The 3060th set up processing operations in an abandoned railway building in Malmedy The building had bombing and artillery damage to its roof and walls and had no running water and no electricity to permit night operations. However, it was the best available facility which combined space, proximity to the recovery site, security and access to operation support. Processing operations ceased at nightfall.

Other advantages of the railway building included a tile floor for laying out the remains and the building's relative obscurity, which sheltered it from public view. The temperature inside stayed little above freezing, and workers had to set up several coal-burning drums to provide some heat. Upon entering the railway station, 3060th Quartermaster Company workers placed the remains on the tile floor and then moved them to tables for processing. They then removed any bulky; outer, winter garments that would impede examination of body wounds. Processing included searching these garments for personnel effects that might assist with identification. These personal items would prove valuable later.

The 3060th soldiers filled out emergency medical tags of the type then in use, collected and secured personal effects such as pens, letters, watches and wallets. Processing included a preliminary identification. Usually a single identification tag around the neck of a remains could establish identity sufficiently

If processors did not find a tag around the neck of the victim and instead found a tag somewhere else such as a pocket, a search of other personal effects was required to establish identity. Common practice for laundry marking at that time required US soldiers to mark the last four numbers of their Army service number on their clothing. This provided another frequently used way to check the identity of Malmedy victims.

Fingerprints also helped establish identity. In some cases, soldiers used hypodermic needles to inject water in the remains' digits to firm and fill out fingertips to allow a quality fingerprint. Almost none of the Quartermaster soldiers who were processing remains had received formal mortuary affairs training before deploying to Europe. This skill was one that had been specifically identified as critical and taught to new soldiers in the 3060th in France.

Shortly after initial processing, three Medical Corps physicians, under close observation by the First Army IG team, performed autopsies on each set of remains. The autopsy team in nearly every instance used the two-digit number assigned in the massacre field to track and record the procedures. It was still possible that the massacre survivors could have been mistaken, and the dead soldiers had died as a result of combat injuries. First Army headquarters meant to specifically determine if death had resulted from combat action or shooting after capture.

Serious Atrocity

A survey of the 72 autopsies and photographs of remains on file indicate at least 20 had potentially fatal gunshot wounds to the head inflicted at very close range in addition to wounds from automatic weapons. Most head wounds showed powder burns on the remains' skin. An additional 20 showed evidence of small caliber gunshot wounds to the head without powder burn residue. Another 10 had fatal crushing or blunt trauma injuries, most likely from a German rifle butt. This easily confirmed US suspicions that a serious atrocity actually did occur.

Only a couple of the personal effects registers or autopsy records mention the remains having identification tags. As thorough as the effects search and autopsy records are, it can be assumed that the massacred soldiers were not wearing their identification tags at the time of death. These identification tags, very similar to the ones in present use and presumably readily available, should have been worn. Why the soldiers in the Malmedy Massacre did not have identification tags is not known.

This made recovery of personal effects associated with each remains critical to identification. Effects most valuable for identification purposes included pay books, wallets, rank insignia, small Bibles and religious tracts, rings, watches and personal letters found on or under the remains. Despite the almost complete absence of identification tags worn on the remains, 3060th Quartermaster soldiers identified all the remains with certainty equal to that expected of modern mortuary affairs operations: 100 percent.

After processing, identification and autopsy, each remains received a tagged mattress cover as a burial shroud. Several times daily during the recovery operation, trucks evacuated the processed remains to a US military cemetery servicing units operating in the Malmedy area of Belgium. Freezing cold and quick evacuation made refrigeration facilities unnecessary.

Commemoration

For US soldiers killed at Baugnez, their initial resting place after processing would be a temporary theater cemetery at Henri-Chappelle, Belgium, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Malmedy. (The site eventually became a permanent US cemetery for nearly 8,000 war dead.) Once buried, they waited until the end of the war for next-of-kin decisions to either leave them in Europe or bring them back to the US for final burial. Many families chose to bring the soldiers home for interment, but 21 victims of the Malmedy Massacre still rest at Henri-Chappelle.

Lessons Learned

The Malmedy Massacre happened 52 years ago. Although Quartermaster mortuary affairs doctrine has undergone many changes since then, lessons learned from the operation still apply to operations today. Covered in Joint Publication 4-06, these operations range from combat operations to disasters to humanitarian relief operations.

Importance of Formal Training. Just THREE soldiers in the 3060th Quartermaster Company had extensive service as morticians or funeral directors before World War II. The unit capitalized on this experience by having the skilled men teach the newly arrived soldiers. These new soldiers came straight from combat units. Almost without exception, they lacked any formal mortuary affairs experience, although a considerable number had seen combat and the resulting human wreckage. The few soldiers with experience in graves registration recognized that the new troops could not be trained to standard on every possible task. Instead, they identified several key training tasks that the unit commander endorsed. Training on these critical tasks accounted for much of November and early December 1944. The recovery and processing of actual remains at the Baugnez crossroads exercised many of these tasks.

Today's commanders of units with mortuary affairs soldiers or sub-units should enthusiastically support peacetime training and exchange programs to build and sustain technical competence. Formally trained and experienced mortuary affairs specialists are the cornerstone of training programs to expand a unit's capabilities when required.

Search Operations. Search operations at the Baugnez field produced 72 remains in three days. A deep blanket of snow clearly hampered the search effort, as did the direct proximity to German positions. Mostly separated from the central massacre field, another 12 remains were located in the next four months after the snow melted. It is possible that these deaths resulted from the collision with Peiper's unit, causing a scattered distribution. The search conducted was probably the most thorough possible under the circumstances. Leaders coordinating searches today must use the methods and checklists in Joint Publication 4-06 to make searches as productive as possible.

Work Site Selection. Several factors prevented using large buildings near the recovery site as a primary workplace. First, the site remained under German aircraft overflights, observation and intermittent artillery fire. Second, a smaller railway building with some heat source would greatly ease the cold conditions for soldiers performing the processing operations. Third, the railway building in Malmedy was much closer to the barracks and mess facility supporting the workers. Fourth, the smaller building's location was easily protected from public view. Fifth, the road network of Malmedy could be easily accessed from the railway building. Although not a perfect site, the railway building offered the best combination of advantages and the fewest disadvantages. Using Joint Publication 4-06 checklists as a yardstick, the MACP building satisfied most of today's requirements.

Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Expertise. The 3060th's first sergeant arrived with the advance party. This was a wise decision by the company leadership. Even though the platoon leader also traveled with the advance party, the first sergeant's presence ensured the availability of an NCO thoroughly experienced in remains handling. He had been one of the three initial members of the company with previous training and job experience in mortuary affairs. Sending an experienced NCO with unit advance or quartering parties, no matter what the organization's primary support mission, will pay dividends. The mortuary affairs NCO can recommend facilities and sites that best support the mortuary affairs mission.

Locally Contracted Labor. The US Army did not use local labor to assist with the operation. Before World War I, the Malmedy area had been part of Germany. Local families had contributed sons to the German army in World War II. In fact, local residents had pointed out hiding places of some US soldiers attempting to escape the massacre to German troops. During the operation, leaders considered the use of local labor to conserve US manpower, but these factors ruled it out. Even so, today's leaders planning and organizing recovery operations should consider using local labor if allowed by higher authority and if the supporting civil affairs unit can coordinate the use.

Emotional and Mental Health. Mortuary affairs soldiers, as well as the soldiers who assist with recovery operations, will definitely experience some emotional or mental discomfort because of the extremely taxing nature of these duties. This discomfort may range from mild to severe. The discomfort and its effects might not manifest themselves immediately.

Commanders must recognize these facts and plan ways to offset them, ESPECIALLY if the unit will need augmentation from other units to accomplish its mortuary affairs missions. Ways to reduce mental stress include chain of command involvement and assistance from chaplains, psychologists and social workers. This should be an essential part of peacetime preparation.

By the time of the Malmedy operation, most of the 3060th soldiers had some experience in recovery and processing operations. The chain of command did not see mental stress as a threat to continued operations. However, in the next war or operation, large numbers of remains threaten not only to overwhelm mortuary affairs units physically, but also mentally. Commanders must plan to identity and deal with this threat. The ability to sustain stressful mortuary affairs operations for an extended time depends on effective countermeasures to mental and emotional stress.

Coordination With Local Combat Units. This should be one of the first elements of mortuary affairs unit standing operating procedures for occupying a new area of operations. The 3060th benefited in several distinct ways from conducting in-depth, face-to-face coordination with the local combat unit-in this case the 291st Engineer Battalion. Coordination included intelligence, force protection and labor.

-Intelligence. Guides from the 291st led the 3060th advance party directly to the massacre field and advised of potential buildings for processing. This and other information enabled the 3060th to expeditiously begin on-site operations.

-Force Protection. The two forms of force protection at Malmedy were recovery site and work site. The Infantry unit occupying the massacre field provided 24-hour local security for the recovery operation and assisted with communications support. Soldiers from the 291st Engineer Battalion searched for booby traps on the remains because of rumors that retreating Germans practiced this tactic. The 3060th personnel provided guard security for the processing site after operations ceased at nightfall. During daylight hours, the Quartermasters worked secure in the knowledge that the 291st Engineer Battalion still maintained overall security of the Malmedy area. The 291st greatly eased the burden on the 3060th.

-Labor. The 3060th elements at Malmedy did not have a large supply of uncommitted labor. It is rare that a mortuary affairs unit will be able to accomplish all assigned missions without some forms of personnel and equipment augmentation. Fortunately, productive coordination with the 291st Engineer Battalion yielded labor and trucks to locate, recover and move the remains to the processing station.

Supplies and Equipment. The 3060th Quartermaster Company soldiers lacked rubber gloves, aprons, and other similar gear to insulate them from thawed ice, blood and bodily fluids. The standard issue, leather, cold weather gloves provided a poor substitute, becoming thoroughly soaked very quickly. To solve this problem, workers discarded pairs of gloves after one or two sets of remains, but this created a severe demand for a scarce supply item. No expedient item could be procured locally.

-If a mortuary affairs unit is planning to request augmentation during MACP operations, commanders must plan for sufficient items to equip the augmentee soldiers as well as organic mortuary affairs specialists. These should include additional gloves, aprons, footgear coverings and face masks, for example. The mortuary affairs specialists located in forward support battalions should include this equipment in their basic load plans.

Training With Supported Units. Military occupational specialty (MOS) 92M (Mortuary Affairs Specialist) is low-density MOS. Unforeseen circumstances in wartime, humanitarian assistance operations, disasters or other operations will rapidly outstrip mortuary affairs capabilities. This can be offset by preparing to augment mortuary affairs operations.

-Mortuary affairs NCOs at the support battalion level should aggressively offer training to the supported combat units' recovery teams. There will be little time to complete this critical training during preparation for a short-notice deployment.

-Mortuary affairs small unit leaders should prioritize some key skills and build training programs for quickly training mortuary operation augmentees. The programs should be oriented to personnel with no knowledge of mortuary affairs. Having these training task materials on hand and rehearsed allows a unit to rapidly train and integrate augmentees toward mission accomplishment. Particularly vital are training in personal health, sanitation and use of protective equipment to prevent the spread of disease.

Public Affairs and the Media. Leaders of large-scale mortuary affairs operations, whether in peace or war or somewhere in-between, must expect some form of media scrutiny. The simple fact is that these operations are especially newsworthy to host nation and US media.

-Leaders should have a media policy in place with designated team members for interfacing with the media. Rehearsing the designated team members on videotape with trained Army public affairs specialists is a useful technique.

-A key element of a mortuary affairs team's media policy should be to inform everyone on the team about the policy. Remember, at times it is impossible to choose the soldier that the media contacts.

The wide variety of missions assigned to the US Army present many unique challenges to mortuary affairs specialists. The Malmedy Massacre is but one example of a recovery mission challenging in terms of weather; combat conditions, resources and personnel.

Only A Matter of Time

More missions, just as challenging if not more so, are in the future of Quartermaster mortuary affairs personnel. It is only a matter of time. Applying lessons learned from this operation will help ensure that mortuary affairs units and personnel are ready to execute a Malmedy-type mission on the FIRST DAY of the next war.

Sources:

Bauserman, John M., The Malmedy Massacre, White Mane Publishing Company, 1995.

Goldstein, Donald M., et.al. NUTS! The Battle of the Bulge, Prange Publishing, 1994.

Miner; Francis, Notes and interviews, 1996-1997.

Pergrin, David A., Notes and interviews, 1996-1997.

At the time that this article was written, MAJ (now LTC) Scott T. Glass was the Commander, Forward Support Company, US Army Southern European Task Force, Lion Brigade, Vicenza, Italy. He formerly was S3, 22d Area Support Group, Vicenza; Senior Quartermaster Trainer with the Resident Trainer Detachment, 48th Infantry Brigade, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Commander, Headquarters and Service Company, 528th Special Operations Support Battalion (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and also was Battalion S2/3. His other assignments include Maintenance Company Executive Officer and 201st Forward Support Battalion S2/3, 1st Infantry Division; Assistant Plans/Operations Officer, G4, 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Saudi Arabia; and Division Support Command S1, 82d Airborne Division. He is a graduate of the Armor Officer Basic and Quartermaster Officer Advanced Courses, the Mortar Platoon Officer’s Course, Parachute Rigger and Jumpmaster Schools. He has a bachelor of arts degree in geography from the University of Georgia and a master of arts degree in human resources development from Webster University in Missouri.
http://www.qmfound.com/malmedy.htm
~They shall not grow old As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them Nor the years condemAt the going down of the sun And in the morning
We will remember them ~

#11 Irishmaam

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 12:38 AM

Article from World War II Magazine

Massacre at Malmédy

By carefully separating fact from fiction, a clearer picture emerges of the events surrounding the infamous execution of American POWs during the Battle of the Bulge.
By Michael Reynolds

The delightful Belgian town of Malmédy will forever be associated with the most infamous massacre of American troops in World War II. And yet, but for the presence of an Associated Press correspondent there in early January 1945, it is doubtful that this terrible incident would have ever achieved international notoriety. "Nazis Turned Machine Guns on GI POWs" wrote Hal Boyle in his January 1945 Stars and Stripes article, and from that first graphic account sprung a plethora of books and articles about the so-called Malmédy Massacre. Few of these accounts are based on fact, and most are embellished and inaccurate.


It is unlikely that we shall ever know the precise sequence of events at the Baugnez crossroads, near Malmédy, on December 17, 1944, or the reasons for them. The secret lies with the guilty and the dead. Nevertheless, many corroborated facts are known and a careful analysis of these facts can bring us closer to the truth of what happened.


Caption for photo
Soldiers work carefully to clear snow from the bodies of the Malmédy victims. Men from the 291st Engineers, some using metal detectors, were among the first to locate the bodies after the area was retaken in January 1945.

http://www.historyne...sacreatmalmedy/

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~They shall not grow old As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them Nor the years condemAt the going down of the sun And in the morning
We will remember them ~

#12 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 11:13 AM

This was sent to Jim McAuliffe and the guys...

------------------

I just watched a new movie on CD that would be of interest to 87th Division Vets. The Movie, SAINTS & SOLDIERS, was released in 2004 and picked up 14 Best Picture Awards at Film Festivals nationwide. Based on actual reports of the period [Dec1944/Jan1945], it is describing events in the area between St Vith and Malmedy, Belgium during the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge when German troops overran and massacred American troops at Malmedy. The 87th was in this very area.

Four very disparate soldiers from one infantry company who escaped the massacre are joined by a downed British Air Observer who has info regarding the German troop dispositions. A German soldier also figures in the story as do some Belgium civilians. The plot concerns their efforts to penetrate the German lines and deliver the critical info to the American Command which they do at considerable personal cost. In the process, all undergo personal stress and character transformations. Weather conditions in the movie are nearly identical to those we actually experienced at the time. Snow ab 1.5 to 2.0 ft deep and cold.

None of the actors are name actors however some might be recognized as bit players from other movies. I thought the movie was great as did my family, We got our copy via Blockbuster although others surely have it

Gerry Calehuff D345.
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#13 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 11:24 AM

Lee and I belong to NetFlix http://www.netflix.com and they also have the movie. I just added it to my queue this morning. Of course I will give my review as soon as I watch it. armata_PDT_34.gif armata_PDT_33.gif
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
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There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#14 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 07:49 PM

Jim:

Please thank your buddy Gerry Calehuff D345, for the wonderful referral and the terrific review of this movie. My husband and I just got done watching it a few minutes ago and both thought that it was one of the VERY BEST war flicks that either one of us had ever seen.

I am still all choked up as I type this and had to sit down immediately and give my honest impressions. I would recommend this movie to all here and if you are a serious WWII buff or vet; this should be a must on your list.

The acting was superb and the scenarios depicted were extremely realistic. We both became engrossed immediately and became attached to the characters. The movie begins with the Malmedy Massacre and then back tracks three weeks and covers the lives of 4 Americans and 1 stranded British intelligence officer who was shot down and joins the self-made squad. Their journey that begins behind German lines through horrific weather is tense and heartbreaking. The intelligence officer has information that needs to make it's way to the nearest HQ; information that could save thousands of allied lives.

Just thought I would add this... If you are ONLY into watching bang-bang shoot-em up movies, then you probably won't get into it. Let's face it, a great deal of time spent in the infantry included long bouts of no sleep, waiting and keeping watch. This is ain't Rambo fellows.

Here's some info on the movie. If you visit this site you will also be able to see a trailer to the movie. The site is also beautifully mastered and complete with excellent stills.

http://www.saintsandsoldiers.com/
Marion J Chard
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540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#15 j3rdinf

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 11:23 PM

Marions quote: Just thought I would add this..." If you are ONLY into watching bang-bang shoot-em up movies, then you probably won't get into it. Let's face it, a great deal of time spent in the infantry included long bouts of no sleep, waiting and keeping watch. This is ain't Rambo fellows." How true Marion. Few people not there dont seem to realize being in actual combat was such a SMALL part of our life then in actual
hours or days or months. Mostly it was the just being scared, wet, cold, hungry, tired,,
dirty, and wondering what came next.. And when it would end. Decent sleep was mostly out of the question. I recall one night we stopped at a small shelled out village
we just took. I for one crawled into a bed for several hours. Next day I had a "visit"
from the "mechanized dandruff" I had picked up. It was scratch, scratch, scratch till I
got a can of delouseing powder from the medic. This was not unusual.

#16 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 03:35 AM

Too many people have the wrong idea about combat. As you and I stated, there were long bouts of loneliness, cold, hungry, watch and wait... I know folks who have commented that certain movies weren't any good because they had too many lulls. Geez, sorry that reality doesn't hold your attention guys.

I don't know how you guys made it through with so little sleep and food. Man give me a day without little to eat and my blood sugar goes out and whack and I get pretty irritable. Add the no sleep factor and brother watch out. I was telling hubby the other day, "Gee I suck in combat." Then I changed my mind and said,
"Oh hell, put me in the front lines without adequate food and sleep for a couple of days and I think I could take the enemy plattoon out by myself." Shoot, I'd scare myself! ohmy.gif

Oh well, give me a good reality based movie anyday. I also watch racing and it's just not for the bang-ups. Must be something wrong with me. laugh.gif
Marion J Chard
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540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#17 Dogdaddy

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 03:44 PM

Some interesting notes on this theme: Only 1 out of 6 Americans in the military during WWII saw combat. The average combat soldier fired only 6-7 rounds per week. (or was it per month?)

Jim grommit.gif
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#18 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 12:21 AM

This is from Jim Hennessey:

http://www.scrapbook...Massacre04.html
Marion J Chard
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There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#19 chambers

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 01:14 AM

I saw this on the history channel a few weeks ago. I liked the movie. It serves as a reminder that all endings aren't happy ones.

Brooke
God bless those heroes who suffered and died, for plain folks, like you and me.

War is a crime. Ask the infantry and ask the dead.

#20 verow

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 04:30 PM

Saints and Soldiers and one of my numerous movies of war favorite







Véronique
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#21 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 08:36 PM

QUOTE (j3rdinf @ Sep 23 2005, 07:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Marions quote: Just thought I would add this..." If you are ONLY into watching bang-bang shoot-em up movies, then you probably won't get into it. Let's face it, a great deal of time spent in the infantry included long bouts of no sleep, waiting and keeping watch. This is ain't Rambo fellows." How true Marion. Few people not there dont seem to realize being in actual combat was such a SMALL part of our life then in actual
hours or days or months. Mostly it was the just being scared, wet, cold, hungry, tired,,
dirty, and wondering what came next.. And when it would end. Decent sleep was mostly out of the question. I recall one night we stopped at a small shelled out village
we just took. I for one crawled into a bed for several hours. Next day I had a "visit"
from the "mechanized dandruff" I had picked up. It was scratch, scratch, scratch till I
got a can of delouseing powder from the medic. This was not unusual.


Joe:

Just going through this entire post today and I saw your quote above, and just had to add something.

Was talking to one of our store customers the other day, and asked them how they liked the rental, Flags of our Fathers,(we rent movies at our store). His comment? "It was okay. It was a bit slow." Oh good grief. Enough said. As we stated, unless it's bang, bang, bang, all the time, THOSE people find it boring. Well dang it, a lot of it was. Intense boredom quickly followed by intense fighting...

Marion J Chard
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540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard

#22 roque_riojas

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    biggest thing now is getting used to being alone. Don't like to watch socalled war movies. one foot

Posted 20 May 2007 - 09:36 PM

QUOTE (j3rdinf @ Sep 23 2005, 06:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Marions quote: Just thought I would add this..." If you are ONLY into watching bang-bang shoot-em up movies, then you probably won't get into it. Let's face it, a great deal of time spent in the infantry included long bouts of no sleep, waiting and keeping watch. This is ain't Rambo fellows." How true Marion. Few people not there dont seem to realize being in actual combat was such a SMALL part of our life then in actual hours or days or months. Mostly it was the just being scared, wet, cold, hungry, tired, dirty, and wondering what came next. And when it would end. Decent sleep was mostly out of the question. I recall one night we stopped at a small shelled out village we just took. I for one crawled into a bed for several hours. Next day I had a "visit" from the "mechanized dandruff" I had picked up. It was scratch, scratch, scratch till I got a can of delouseing powder from the medic. This was not unusual.


I'm with you Joe; I WONDER, what would be the difference between Battle of the Bulge, snow on level ground and the battle of Monte Cassino, yes snow and also wind,,going from rock to rock going uphill. Hey Joe, I didn't need any delouse powder!!! Just a little heat from our coleman stove. Roque
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#23 Dogdaddy

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 09:56 PM

QUOTE (Walt @ May 20 2007, 03:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Joe:

Just going through this entire post today and I saw your quote above, and just had to add something.

Was talking to one of our store customers the other day, and asked them how they liked the rental, Flags of our Fathers,(we rent movies at our store). His comment? "It was okay. It was a bit slow." Oh good grief. Enough said. As we stated, unless it's bang, bang, bang, all the time, THOSE people find it boring. Well dang it, a lot of it was. Intense boredom quickly followed by intense fighting...


I was watching the History Channel's Color of War recently and one thing I remembered was that the average Combat Soldier in WWII fired his weapon approximately once every six or seven days: " Long periods of boredom and fatigue punctuated by moments of intense fear."

D.Daddy grommit.gif
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#24 roque_riojas

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    biggest thing now is getting used to being alone. Don't like to watch socalled war movies. one foot

Posted 20 May 2007 - 11:32 PM

DOGDADDY ; I AM NOT TAKING YOUR BAIT. ROQUE

JOE,, EASY DOES IT.
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#25 Walt's Daughter

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 11:43 PM

The only thing that he said, was the very same thing that I said in the above post and Joe agreed with it. Sorry I don't get it. wacko.gif

I'm the one who began the post, that Joe replied to long ago. I stated, "Marions quote: Just thought I would add this..." If you are ONLY into watching bang-bang shoot-em up movies, then you probably won't get into it. Let's face it, a great deal of time spent in the infantry included long bouts of no sleep, waiting and keeping watch. This is ain't Rambo fellows."

Joe replied, "How true Marion. Few people not there dont seem to realize being in actual combat was such a SMALL part of our life then in actual hours or days or months. Mostly it was the just being scared, wet, cold, hungry, tired, dirty, and wondering what came next. And when it would end. Decent sleep was mostly out of the question. I recall one night we stopped at a small shelled out village we just took. I for one crawled into a bed for several hours. Next day I had a "visit" from the "mechanized dandruff" I had picked up. It was scratch, scratch, scratch till I got a can of delouseing powder from the medic. This was not unusual."

I then replied in my last one, "Joe:

Just going through this entire post today and I saw your quote above, and just had to add something.

Was talking to one of our store customers the other day, and asked them how they liked the rental, Flags of our Fathers,(we rent movies at our store). His comment? "It was okay. It was a bit slow." Oh good grief. Enough said. As we stated, unless it's bang, bang, bang, all the time, THOSE people find it boring. Well dang it, a lot of it was. Intense boredom quickly followed by intense fighting..."

Jim simply replied to Joe and I, and stated the very same thing, sweetie!

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon

There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Marion Chard