Paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division march into Bastogne, Belgium, on December 19, 1944. Combat veteran Private Brad Freeman, a mortarman with the division’s East Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, passed through the town, thinking to himself, “Here we go again.”

Bastogne

Easy Company Mortarman in Bastogne

By Kevin Hymel

When word reached 21-year-old Private Bradford “Brad” Freeman in Mourmelon-le-Grand, France, that the entire 101st Airborne Division was being put on 24-hour alert for movement to the front, he was neither surprised nor shocked. Read more

An M4A3E8 of 4th Armored Division takes cover along a sunken road while covering the H-4 highway outside Bastogne with its 76mm gun. This updated version of the Sherman has wider tracks for better performance in snow and mud; note the star has been painted over so German gunners cannot use it as an aiming point.

Bastogne

Deadly Drive to Bastogne

By Christopher Miskimon

Private Bruce Fenchel was writing a letter home when his first sergeant burst into the barracks room. “Pack your duffel bags and get ready to roll,” the NCO said ominously. Read more

Battle of the Bulge

Bastogne

Race to the Meuse

By William E. Welsh

The American airborne troops shivered in their foxholes as temperatures plummeted on Christmas Eve 1944. Behind them to the east lay the beleaguered town of Bastogne. Read more

Bastogne

A Screaming Eagle in Bastogne

By Kevin M. Hymel

“DON’T WORRY, GUYS––the Airborne is here!” shouted Private Howard Buford to the worn-out GIs he and his fellow paratroopers passed on the snowy road through Bastogne in the early hours of December 19, 1944. Read more

Bastogne

A Screaming Eagle’s Journey: The Story of Lud Labutka

By Richard Beranty

In an effort to calm his nerves just before he jumped into Normandy on D-Day, Lud Labutka thought it might be a good idea to accept the drink being offered from the paratrooper sitting across from him on their C-47 transport as it crossed the English Channel. Read more

Bastogne

Voices of the Bulge, Part II

By Michael Collins & Martin King

In the first installment, a large German force made a surprise counteroffensive against American positons along the Belgian-German border—an operation that became known in the West as “the Battle of the Bulge.” Read more

Bastogne

Voices of the Bulge, Part I

By Michael Collins & Martin King

BACKSTORY: Unternehmen Wacht-am-Rhein (Operation Watch on the Rhine), better known in the West as the Battle of the Bulge, had its beginnings following the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler’s life by Colonel Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg and a group of other high-level plotters who felt that their Führer was not only leading Germany to defeat but also its doom, and thus had to be eliminated. Read more