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 "From now until the end of the world,  we and it shall be remembered. We few, we Band of Brothers. For he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."

Northern France    Rhineland    Ardennes-Alsace    Central Europe










  The Veterans

  Fletcher B. Cox

  Donald A. Fuesler

  Francis X. Hoelscher

  Charles R. Hughes

  Richard E. Hunton

  Hugh F. Ingalls

  Andrew Miller

  Seymour L. Schnuer

  Edward D. Snell

    Charles R. Hughes
Company "E", 379th Infantry Regiment

  The 95th Infantry Division dubbed "The Iron Men of Metz" by German officers at Metz, France. Iron was a strong symbol for the German military as evidenced by its use in the Iron Cross - Germany's highest military award. This site is rather new but is being added to by those of us who are still here to contribute. The people of Metz honor the 95th. Inf. Div. As their liberators and rightly so for our division suffered great losses at Metz! 

  The City was surrounded by a series of seven well built forts - the largest being Fort Jean D'Arc where our regiment, the 379th Inf. Reg. Suffered great losses. The city was connected to these forts by underground railway and thus provided strong resistance to our attacks. The city of Metz had not been taken by force for over 2000 years - even though this area, known as Alsace Lorraine, was fought over by the French and Germans for many years. It was here that World War I ended in November 1919 and it was here that the 95th Div, pushed off on "Armistice Day" in November 1944 hoping that another "armistice" might be declared before this, our 1st major battle. The Forts surrounding Metz were built by the Germans shortly after WW I. They were constructed of reinforced concrete and could withstand aerial bombardments as well as direct artillery fire. They were well planned to provide devastating cross fire by both small arms and artillery weapons. After all of those years, trees, brush, etc. Grew up and the forts actually looked like ordinary hills, rather than massive forts. 

  It was here at Metz that General George S. Patton's advances were suddenly brought to an end at the request of a British General Field Marshall Montgomery who was jealous of Patton's successes that brought embarrassment to him. All supplies were immediately cut off to Patton, Montgomery's request, even though Patton had the enemy reeling on their heels, and thus, thanks to Montgomery, the Germans were given time to reinforce this area and were well prepared for the 95th when we were commanded to take the area. Thanks to Montgomery's jealousy, many American lives were lost here because Gen. Patton would have kept assaulting the enemy and the area would not have become the stronghold that Germany was permitted to fortify and recoup because of the "politics of war." After being severely wounded at the end of the war with Germany I was flown to the States and hospitalized at Fort Dix, New Jersey in the Army's Tilton General Hospital for 1 and 1/2 years. One day I found an area in the hospital where the patients could register their names and outfits. I found the name of Sgt. Paris of "Easy" Company, 379th Inf., 95th Inf. Div. And couldn't believe he was still alive because he was reported killed at Metz. He and Lt. Crabbe and I were on our company's first combat patrol before shoving off at Metz. I found his hospital ward and discovered that he was truly alive, but blinded by the lack of nutrition (given potato skins to eat) during the time spent as a prisoner of war. He had been captured by an SS unit at Fort Jean D'Arc and was forced to serve them by carrying water and supplies and also by riding a bicycle set-up generator system to provide electricity to the fort. He, under guard, got to see the fort, and especially the exposure our troops were subject to as he observed us through several of the firing ports of the fort and stated he was surprised that any of us got through there alive. The fort was three or four stories deep and had special quarters for the German officers, many of whom had their wives or girl friends with them. All the German soldiers had access to the theater where movies and other entertainment was provided. They ate very well and had comfortable living quarters.

  About 25 of us got past the fort and through an enemy mine field that for some reason wouldn't detonate and dug in on a small hill overlooking a town below. We were completely surrounded and cut off from the rest of our Division. We had very little ammunition and weapons and several wounded - no water or food except for the small amount of water in our canteens. I, as a 1st scout was ordered to scout around for an artillery observer who was to direct rings of artillery fire around us to protect us from counterattacks. I wandered some distance from the hill through a wooded area and heard a group of German soldiers, led by an SS officer, who were also scouring the area. Fortunately for me, I saw them before they saw me and I started for the hill where our small company group was dug in. They all opened fire on me - even the SS officer with his Schmeizer Machine Pistol ("burp" gun)- but thanks to our Heavenly Father I was able to escape to the safety of our men who opened fire on them. This was a blessing I was not aware of at the time and it occurred many times during combat until the terrible day that I couldn't avoid being wounded. Against all odds, I was protected so many times. I was constantly being exposed to concentrated enemy fire as a 1st. Scout in crossing fields, in street fighting and on evening and sometimes daylight patrols. We were stranded on that hill for almost a week and fortunately the artillery observer found us and protected us with rings of artillery. 

  We had very little ammunition, no food and only a few sips of water, no blankets and several wounded. When you go three days without water, you get into serious problems health-wise. You dehydrate and start to hallucinate - so something had to be done. Another 1st scout and I decided to infiltrate into the German held town below our hill to find some water. We gathered several canteens and the evening of the third day on the hill slipped carefully into the town. Fortunately there was no moonlight that night and the starlight provided enough light for us to fumble through the enemy outposts. We found an old hand pumped well that was rusted and needed priming but we were able to pump enough water to fill the canteens. We walked erect and were undisturbed in our pumping because the enemy supposed us to be some of their comrades. We got back to our men on the hill and took water around to each man to quench his thirst. 

  After the fifth day of being stranded, one of our artillery "grasshoppers" (a small Piper Cub observation plane) flew over our hill and dropped blankets, morphine and medicine for our wounded. The next day they dropped D-bars (Concentrated chocolate bars) as nourishment and the next day they dropped boxes of ammunition, one of which rolled down the hill and hit me in the middle of the back (which over the years has naturally fused and given me a lot of pain and discomfort). The next day some of our regiment attacked and overran the hill and we were saved from our isolation and enemy counterattacks. Many of the boxes of supplies rolled down the hill into enemy territory but the other 1st scout, a hill-Billy from Tennessee, went down after them. He was very much like Sgt. York of WWI and a great guy to work opposite in street fighting and as a companion on combat patrols. He was my hero! Well - that is part of my Metz experience.

I want to thank Charles R. Hughes for his great testimony and his photographs.