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William R. Thomas, C/394 years ago

New member, C/394

     I just found out about the Association and would like to become a member. I was an ASTP engineering student at Commerce TX, until it folded and then was assigned to the 99th, Company C, 394th Regiment. I was in the Battle of the Bulge until about Dec. 17 or 18. I had trench foot and was sent to England.

     For years I had no desire to think or dwell on these experiences and now as I get older and try to recall dates and places I find I cannot. If anyone can help I would like to hear from them.

     Briefly, as I recall we were attacked very early with many casualties. We went on a patrol and almost did not get back. My best buddy did not.

     Later, a few of us were sent to reinforce another unit, at which time I became a bazooka man with 12 rounds, half anti-tank and half anti-personnel. Some way or another we ended up in a small group of houses by a crossroads and we could see the Germans and tanks coming down the road.

     The bazooka slowed them up for a while, but after the ammunition was gone the tanks came into town and put the gun nozzles in the buildings and fired. It was a bad scene.

     After dark we made a break from the houses to the woods to discover we were several miles behind the lines. It took us most of the night to get back to our side as we kept running into the Germans from the rear and getting shot at by our own artillery.

     If I recall this correctly, there were about 30 that started out that night and about 18 or so who got to American lines. I went to a field hospital to see about my feet and they were moving so I got to help, aching feet and all. After the move I slept about 20 hours. They finally got around to looking at my feet. I was put in bed and sent to England. I spent Christmas Day on a British hospital ship and got their Christmas dinner treat of toast and jelly.

     I was put on limited service and did not get back to the 99th.

William R. Thomas

1109 W Vista Ave

Phoenix AZ 85021