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What happened to B Squad?

The 3rd Platoon, D Company, 394th Infantry was located in a clearing just southeast of Losheimergraben, Belgium, since it went on line in November 1944. I was in the 3rd squad of that 81mm mortar platoon. On the afternoon of Dec. 15, 1944, my squad leader, Sgt. Norm King and an enlisted man were assigned to cover our OP for a 24-hour period. I tried my best to go with Sgt. King but he decided to take Claudie Phillips. King and Phillips arrived at the OP in the evening and were greeted by Sgt. Jones and his B Company rifle squad, who were there to protect the OP.

The following morning, as we all know, the Battle of the Bulge began. Soon after the German shelling began early that morning, Sgt. King was in phone contact with our platoon radioman, George Bero, at the CP. Bero asked him to take azimuth readings of the German artillery gun flashes. King put down the phone and took the readings. He returned to the phone and tried to call Bero but found the phone was dead. A German shell had struck the platoon CP building and killed Bero.

After the shelling stopped, Sgt. King contacted Sgt. Jones, who found his phone to B Company also was dead. Both were sure the shelling had cut the phone wires and repairs would have to be made to restore phone contact with their CPs. A man from the rifle squad and King began checking the wire back to their respective platoons. Within a few minutes Sgt. King found German soldiers in his immediate area. Luckily, King was able to hide in some brush, but the B Company man was not so lucky and was captured. King was unable to get back to Phillips but after great difficulty was able to reach an A Company outpost, then return to the 3rd Platoon position by late morning.

After the Bulge was over, Phillips' body was found. All these years I have wondered what happened to the B Company squad and how, when, and where Phillips died. If anyone can help me I would greatly appreciate it.

Robert D. Cornell D/394

242 Beverly Place

Munster IN 46321

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