Band of Brothers

Episode 6

The true story of the men of Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne

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Episode: 06/10

Title: Bastogne

Director: David Leland

Eugene Roe

This episode presents the role of medics during the war. Thus, the viewer will follow throughout the episode Eugene Roe during the fighting of the Easy Company in the forest around Bastogne, in the Ardennes. The members of the E-Company suffered from the cold and the war and “doc” Eugene Roe ensured that these men hold the blow, both morally and physically.

The Easy Company was reinforced on 17 December 1944 in Bastogne in the Ardennes from their base at Mourmelon as the Germans of the 1st and 6th Panzer SS divisions had attacked and depressed the US defense line of the 4th and 28th divisions. ‘infantry. Upon their arrival at the entrance of the forest of Bastogne, the soldiers of the E-Company met the American wounded who were returning from the front. The Easy men lacked ammunition, were not dressed warmly, and risked running out of food. The support artillery of the 506 PIR was also missing ammunition until December 23 after supplies by aircraft that brought him the 75 mm Howitzer ammunition needed.

The Easy suffered greatly from the cold during the Battle of Bastogne and the constant fog prevented the US Air Force from parachuting food and ammunition, and when the weather was more mild, the drops were over Positions.

The men of the Easy Company had to defend the town of Bastogne and had for that reason regrouped in the Bois Jacques. There they dug their mouse holes and waited for the enemy who constantly bombarded their positions.

Easy losses at Bastogne

American National Archives show the official list of losses incurred by the Easy in Bastogne between 18 and 30 December 1944. The information is as follows:

Killed in action (KIA): 0

Seriously wounded in action (SWA): 1
(Caporal Gordon Walter S. Sr, du Mississippi, 13099280, SWA on December 24, 1944).

Lightly wounded in action (LWA): 3
(Caporal Gordon F. Carson, from New York, 12130792, LWA on December 21st, 1944,
Pvt Carl F. McCauley, from Indiana, 35808113, LWA on December 25, 1944,
Pfc Walter F. Eggert, from Illinois, 36614595, LWA on December 28, 1944).

The name of a man is missing from this report, that of PFC John Julian, 34806849, SWA on December 21, 1944. He was wounded during a combat patrol and left behind because of the German firepower. He is declared dead following wounds (DFW) on January 1st, 1945, the E-company still having no sign of life of John Julian. According to the divisional history of the 506th PIR, Pfc John Julian was killed and is now buried in Hamm in Luxembourg, in the same military cemetery where is buried the American general George S. Patton.

On Christmas Day, Lieutenant Harry Welsh was wounded by the explosion of a mortar shell and was quickly repatriated as a result of his wound.

For the other companies of 506th PIR:
A company suffered 11 KIA and 3 DFW, 7 missing in actions (MIA), 43 SWA and 13 LWA.
B company suffered 4 KIA, 1 DFW and 13 SWA.
C company lost 13 KIA, 3 DFW and 37 SWA.
D company lost 1 KIA, 1 DFW and 5 LWA.
F company lost 2 KIA, 1 DFW, 6 SWA and 9 LWA.
H company: 1 KIA, 3 DFW, 6 MIA and 37 LWA.
I company: 2 KIA, 2 DFW, 2 SWA and 12 LWA.

Renée and Augusta

In this episode of the series, one discovers characters like the nurses Renée LeMaire and Augusta Chiwi. These characters really existed; Renée LeMaire worked during the war in the 10th Armored Division in a field hospital located in Neufchateau street, some distance from the barracks where she was declared killed by a bomb dropped during a German air bombardment. The Congolese Augusta Chiwi also worked at a few blocks from the field hospital and survived the bombing.

The 101st Airborne Division received a presidential unit quote for his service at Bastogne. This division remained in place, did not retreat, and although encircled, it retained the Germans who carried out their last large attack, operation Nordwind.

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