15th September 2004 : Mr. W. Guarnere and Mr. E. Heffron.


On September 15th and 16th, I had the honor to meet Bill and Babe in Bastogne. I booked a room in a hotel close to the centre of the city, and stayed with Bill and Babe, with Bill's son Gene, and with their family and friends the whole time.

We had some time off on the 15th, we had a meal, a drink and a chat, and on the 16th we visited the Bastogne Historical Centre, Noville, the Bois Jacques and a few other places in the surroundings of the city.

In the afternoon we did the Medal Presentation I arranged for them at the City Hall, and at 3:00 PM they left Bastogne in direction of Eindhoven, Holland.

At Bill's hotel, the Melba, talking about Bill's friend Clancy
and our meeting in Normandy.

Babe, resting a bit in the centre of Bastogne,
after the long trip from Normandy.


Outside, at the General McAuliffe square,
where we spent some time together until 2:00 AM,
thanks to the fine warm weather...
Mr. Frederic Crucq (photo) also took some nice pictures.

Everyone is most interested in the explanations of Col. (Ret.) Steve Bowman. On the picture are Mr. Ray Pfeiffer
(Tour Organization), Bill, and with the yellow jacket George Luz Jr.


A picture was taken of all Tour members for their magazine.
At the same time a picture was taken for a Belgian newspaper.

"Just had a look at our foxholes..."

"Phil and Babe" in the Bois Jacques...


Bill was interviewed by the Luxemburg (province) Television,
here inside the Bastogne Historical Centre.

Just after the Medal Presentation at the City Hall,
Babe is showing the Remembrance Medal.


24th September 2004 : Mr. F. Guth and Mr. A. Taylor.


I had the pleasure meeting Forrest 'Goody' Guth and Amos 'Buck' Taylor that day.


Buck and Goody at their Medal Presentation.


Speaking for Buck and Goody at the City Hall...

Forrest in the Peace Woods telling about the tree that has his name, in front of the tree you see a plate with Forrest's name and unit.

A view of Foy seen from the outskirts of the Bois Jacques,
just near the foxholes...

The Bastogne Information Desk :
Forrest is signing his own, full-scale picture,
from the time he was in the Airborne

Having a break, in the Bastogne centre, with Buck...



...and Goody.


A last picture in front of the tank on General Mc Auliffe square,
before saying good-bye....


22nd December 2004 : Mr. K. Hesler and Mr. M. Marsh


Shortly after the commemorations at Bastogne I did a battlefield tour in the neighborhood with veteran Ken HESLER, 101st ABN, 463rd PFA, D Btry.

I discussed the plans with him to restyle our site to the HOME of the 463rd PFA. I arrive in Bastogne exactly at 10 AM, as promised to WWII 463 Parachute Field Artillery Ken HESLER and his family. Ken and I meet at the Collin Hotel. His lovely wife and daughter are out to go shopping. First of all, a nice warm cup of coffee. It is very cold outside and we got the famous Bastogne fog.
Mr. Hesler is a very nice friendly gentleman, who likes to talk. I am more the listening kind of person, not really a talker so the connection is 100% OK. We talk about the article in the WW2 magazine, December issue and I ask if we can visit the Hemroulle area (again, but now with Ken, who was there in 1944). Ken agrees. First I ask him to drop in at the City Hall, I tell him I have something for him over there…
We enter the Veterans Department at the 2nd floor. I see some new faces in the office but I don’t ask for details. Most important is to introduce me to the new personal. They seem to know who I am, no problem to present the Official Medal of the 60th Anniversary to Ken. The replacing Mayor enters the Office. He shakes hand with Ken and me and is glad to see us. “Un grand merci pour votre visite, thanks for coming”. 

Ken pointing at the B Btry positions.

When we leave we take the car and go to Hemroulle and we take a look at different positions.


“We took the Germans tanks out of combat right here”,
Ken says, and “Baker Battery was here, at the Grand Fountain Creek”, and then, a bit further, at the Chapel of Hemroulle : “The Chapel was the first Aid Station”. I say “Yeah, Doug told me he was waiting here for a med-evac on Christmas day”.


The farm at the other side of the street was the 463 PFA CP. I am enjoying every minute of this sightseeing.

We drive a bit further to the Rolle(y) Castle. Here was the CP of the 502nd PI. Just in front of the castle are some older little houses...


“You see those three windows over there? Well, from time to time we got here to get some rest. We were doing FO in this place. One day I was preparing food when an artillery shell exploded here right in front of the houses. All windows broke; I was just preparing a warm meal. All the glass flew around and a part of it in the food almost ready to be eaten.


Because we didn’t have much food I had to take all the glass out of it…”

We do a complete tour of the area, leave the car form time to time to have a closer look at things, when the wind becomes very cold and severe snow starts to fall.

Ken in front of Rolle(y) castle, 502nd CP in 1944.

We drive back to Bastogne but take a little turn round Foy and the Bois Jacques. Ken tells me that in January the 463rd has moved in the direction of Foy. That’s after they had a pass to go to Paris for three days… the trip was in the back of a truck without a windshield.

“We kept us warm in sleeping bags”, Ken says… About Foy, Ken remembers the positions of a part of the 506th PIR. “I think it was 3rd Battalion, not sure”. We drive through Bizory. “Hard fighting also here in Bizory”, he remembers. Ken's memory is fantastic.


From right to left : Ken's daughter, Ken's wife, Marvin's daughter, Ken and Marvin.

Back into town we plan to have a little snack. I meet Ken’s wife and daughter. Very friendly people, I am blessed on this day.


Ken is putting some things away in his room while I wait.


Another person with an airborne cap starts to talk to me. “Hi”, he says, “it’s cold today”. We start a little chat and I ask if he want to join me for a drink. I am telling him I am with Ken. “Really? I met Ken just on last Sunday evening” It seems the vets already met.


The man introduces himself: “I am Marvin D. MARSH, I Co, 506 PIR, 101st AB, from Iowa and I am here with my daughter”.

Being with 6 people now, there is a whole conversation going on about everything, really pleasant. At a certain moment I say to Marvin “Marvin, do you have 20 minutes for me? I got a surprise”, “Sure, he says”. I take Marvin to the City Hall and we go back to the 2nd floor. “Hi”, I say, “could you also do something for Mr. Marsh please”. Of course they can! Marvin is so happy with this… He planned to be in Bastogne earlier, but he missed the Medal Presentation.


He never thought he would ever see the medal… I am glad I could arrange this for the both of them… Everybody seems happy, I sure am happy, and because of the snow and ice we decide not to wait to long to turn home, so I leave at about 4:30 PM.

Marvin D. Marsh, I Co, 506 PIR

Christmas Play rehearse in the City Hall with children



22nd September 2005 : Mr. D. Burgett


On September 22nd, 2005, I had the honor to meet Veteran and writer of the famous book "Seven Roads to Hell", mister Donald Burgett, who was a member of A Co of the 506th PIR.

This company and the whole 1st Battalion of the 506th PIR, together with the team of Major Desobry fought tough battles at Noville, north of Bastogne, to stop the advance of the German troops and thus deny them a free entrance into the city.
In Don's book one can learn in detail what it must have been to fight at Bastogne end of 1944, early 1945.
I can absolutely recommend this book.


Donald was accompanied by another famous writer, mister Mark Bando, who wrote several books about the 101st Airborne Division. Mark has also a extraordinary website.


Don Burgett in front of a German tank at Houffalize.
He had to run very quickly having one of those
on his tail while defending Noville as part of Major Desobry's team.



In the morning we meet at Michamps, where Don, Mark and their friends stayed at a B&B. I catch up with my friend Reg (Lennon).

We are glad to meet each other again. We wrote quite a few mails to each other and made some phone calls to organize the event at the Mardasson monument and at the military base.


We got some time before the ceremony, so Mark decides to make a little trip to Houffalize, Champs, Longchamps and Savy before returning to the Mardasson monument to meet the Alderman.

Don at the Bastogne Mardasson Monument,
just before receiving his Remembrance Medal.


Left is the Alderman Mr. J.C. Cremer,
Don at right, I am translating here.

After the Ceremony :
Don and his friends : Brandon, the Alderman, Kevin, Mark,
Don himself, Anne, Stan, Reg (Lennon) en Phil (Fiwi)


Our very friendly visit to the Military Base,
home of the 1st Artillery Regiment,
here at the entrance of the Nuts Cave...

The military gave us a very warm welcome.


Inside the Nuts Cave:
Reg and Mark.

A last trip around Bastogne.
Mark leads us to the
101st Airborne Command Postat Isle-La-Hesse,
after it was moved out of the city
 (> December 26th, 1944)

Mark has an exceptional knowledge
about Bastogne!

A last picture before saying thanks to Don,
and returning home.