MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – On Saturday, Patriots Point and the Battle of the Bulge Association hosted the reunion of six World War II (WWII) veterans, all six fought in the Battle of the Bulge. It was the largest battle ever fought by the U.S. Army that had more than 80,000 casualties in American troops.
Clayton Christensen was an engineer in the 99th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge, the WWII veteran remembered exactly where he was during the battle.
He said, he knew that the U.S. Army needed to get into Europe and head to Berlin and take out Hitler. However, when they were stopped at the Siegfried Line he told News 2 that he recalled thinking, “well, we got a problem now.”
Through choked guns, a lack of ammunition, and 3,000 U.S. troops killed, he recalled three attacks. Each of the attacks lasted 30 to 45 minutes according to Christensen. Even more, five minutes into the third attack, “which it was already dark by then, I heard gun chock up and quit fire. So that just put another knot in my stomach.”
Christensen according to the Battle of the Bulge Association ultimately was a part of the only sector of the American front line attacked where the Germans failed to advance.
The veteran told News 2, he was also glad that he has been able to see six of his comrades throughout the past week in the Lowcountry.
Barbara Mooneyhan is the daughter of a WWII veteran who fought at the Battle of the Bulge and had a role in D-Day said her father was also a James Island resident. Mooneyhan said getting the 39th reunion together was not only for the veterans—but also for their families and others to realize the significance of the roles the brave men have played in our country.
These guys think what they did 76 years ago was not that important, but it was the freedoms that we enjoy today are because of them.Barbara Mooneyhan, Battle of the Bulge Association
Additional WWII Veterans that were also in attendance on Saturday were J. David Bailey from Alexandria, VA, with the 106th Infantry Division, 442 Reg, Company F, Gerald White, 2nd Infantry Division, 23 Reg, Company D from Columbia, SC, Joe Landry, 776th Antiaircraft Artillery AW Battalion, from Shirley, Massachusetts, and George Merz, from Louisville, Kentucky served in the 818th Military Police CO, 8th Corps.
Medal of Honor Recipient General James Livingston and Pat Waters, the Grandson of General Patton were also in attendance on the Fantail of the USS Yorktown.
The Battle of the Bulge Association said they chose the USS Yorktown as it too was used in World War II and “without the Air force, those on board would still be in Belgium and Luxemburg fighting.”
For more on the Battle of the Bulge Association, click here.