333rd Field Artillery
"World War II
23 May 2004
U. S. Wereth Memorial Dedication
1100-1200, 23 May 2004
Program submitted by
457th Quartermaster Laundry Company
|Move from Langer House||MAJ Carla Price, Troop CDR.
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
|Introduction of Official Party||MAJ Troy Mosley, Executive Officer,
212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital
|Posting of Colors||SHAPE Color Guard|
|Invocation||Chaplain (COL) Ronald Strong,
|Welcoming Remarks||Mrs. Ada Rikken, President, U. S.
Wereth Memorial Association
|Occasion Remarks||LTG William "Kip" Ward, Deputy
Commanding General USAREUR
|Memorial Unveiling||Herr Schöffe Pauels, Deputy Mayor,
Wereth, Belgium, LTG Ward, Mr.
Herman Langer, Mrs. Tina Langer,
The Langer Family, Mrs. Adda
Rikken, U. S. Wereth Memorial
Foundation, Dr. Norman Lichtenfeld,
U. S. Wereth Memorial Foundation,
Mrs. Gloria Barrow, Daughter of 333d
Surviving Vet. COL John Gagnon,
Military Attaché Brussels
(Reading of Names)
|Chaplain (COL) Ronald Strong|
|Wreath-Laying||LTG Ward and 2LT Lashonda White|
|Host Nation Rep. Remarks||Deputy Mayor Pauels|
|Benediction||Chaplain (COL) Ronald Strong|
|Move to Heppenbach Church||MAJ Troy Mosley|
"333d Field Artillery Battalion 11"
|SSG Thomas Forte||PFC George Moten|
|CPL Mager Bradley||PFC Due Turner|
|SP4 William Pritchett||PV1 Curtis Adam|
|SP4 James Stewart||PV1 Robert Green|
|PFC George Davis||PV1 Nathanial Moss|
|PFC James Leatherwood|
Dec 17, the second day of the Battle of the Bulge, 11 members
of Headquarters and Service Battery (HSB) were separated from their
unit while escaping and evading pursing German Armor and Infantry
units during the Germans last major counter-offensive of WWII, the
Battle of the Bulge. These men chanced upon the Langer Family farm
in search of food and shelter. The head of the family, Mathias Langer,
offered the Soldiers some of the family's last food stuffs. At dawn a
group of Nazi SS stopped in front of the Langer House. The 11
members of HSB, 333d FA Regt surrendered to the Nazi SS, who
forced them to sit in the cold and mud in front of their jeep while they
decided their fate.
The 11 HSB Soldiers were then marched in front of a Nazi SS
jeep to a cow pasture behind the Langer House where they were
tortured and bayoneted to death. The Soldiers' bodies were covered by
the snowfall of an unusually harsh winter, to be discovered after the
spring thaw. Unlike similar such war-crimes committed during the
Battle of the Bulge by German forces, the slaying of the "333d FA Bn
11" was not as well documented as those at Malmedy, where 73 SS
soldiers were prosecuted for the murder of 84 Soldiers killed in
captivity. The Langer Family has marked the site of the tragedy and
maintained it since the end of WWII, almost 60 years ago.
333d Field Artillery
Of the Negro units in the Ardennes during the German counteroffensive of December 1944, one field artillery group (333d Group) and three field artillery battalions, 333d, 969th, and 578th battalions, participated fully during the 27 day siege of the Battle of the Bulge, 16 December 1944 through 12 January 1945. These three battalions provided direct support to divisions in the VIII U. S. Corps including the 106th Infantry and 101st Airborne Divisions. Their artillery support was instrumental to the successful defense of Bastogne. Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, then Commanding General of the 101st Airborne, wrote to the commander of the 969th Battalion, "The Officers and Men of the 101st Airborne Division wish to express to your command their appreciation of the gallant support rendered by the 969th Field Artillery Battalion in the recent defense of Bastogne, Belgium... This Division is proud to have shared the Battlefield with your command. A recommendation for a unit citation of 969th Field Artillery Battalion is being forwarded by this Headquarters." Though not the first earned, this was the first award of the Distinguished Unit Citation to a Negro combat unit in World War II.
GO TO "BLACK SOLDIERS OF THE ARDENNES"
RETURN TO WORLD WAR II
Bennie J. McRae, Jr.