Charles Corbin and Paul Kline meet again near the same spot they met 44 years ago in 1944. Paul was a young boy of 10 years.
"REMEMBRANCE OF PARFONDRUY"
It was a warm sunny day in the Ardennes in the Fall of l989 as I stood in the back yard of a home near the corner, overlooking a small bridge. I was waiting for Paul Kline, a man who I had last seen as a small boy in Dec. 22. 1944, being 10 then, at this very spot in Parfondruy, Belgium. Paul had sent word he would meet me here. I was reflecting to 45 years ago when I stood here in the snow armed with a 45 cal. sub machine gun. I had just came out of the house behind me and had seen an old man, a young woman, and a small baby dead. I had went through several houses and it was the same tale of horror in each, old men and women shot through the head with their throats cut, lying in a pool of frozen blood. This had been done by the German SS troops of Col. Peiper's 1st. SS Panzer Div,Hitler's pride and joy the same we ran out as we came in. Out of the fog a small boy and little girl had approached me and said "Vive L' Amerique", as they hugged me and asked to go inside. I had said "No" as the people inside were dead. The boy said they were his Mother, brother, and grandfather, and would like to see them one last time. I told him to go in and I went back to my command post. We had fought our way here the day before, a small task force of nine tanks, knocking out several German tanks and vehicles and killed many SS men. The next day the SS counter attacked and cut us off and overran our aid station in Petit-Coo. I was chief of section of our FO section for artillery support of Lt.Edmark our TF commander under Task Force Col. Lovelady of the 3 Armored Div. Commanded by Maj. Gen. Rose Of the First Army.
On the way into the small village we had paused by a large villa and the people inside had asked for help for the wounded. several of our men went inside with a first aid kit and were applying first aid until I came in and told them to leave the medical supplys and mount up and go forward. Bill Whitten told me later he had applied first aid to a baby in a crib. The baby turned out to be Monique Thonton who was found alive under her dead Mother in a barn. The German SS had hearded 16 Belgium Civilians in a barn and shot them all. Monique had 5 bullet holes in her thighs.
We set up our equipment in a house with Task Force Commander Lt. Edmark and mounted our three 30 cal. machines guns in the windows and sat up all night waiting for the SS to come back. But they did not hit us again until late next day and again the following. We thought hell had really broken loose as they came at us with tank fire machine guns and artillery. We held on until Xmas. eve when at 11pm our forces broke through to us. The war was over for me as I had been hit by tank fire and had to be evacuated for a stay of 8 months in hospitals.
About 7 miles East other GIs weren't faring so good as 120 including 11 of our Spearhead recon were herded into a field at Baugnez crossroads near Malmedy and shot several times killing 84, 4 of these being from our own recon. The SS had already murdered 71 GIs the day before. There were 167 civilians' atrocities in the Stavlot area including 24 in Parfondruy. After the war Col. Peiper went on trail and was sentenced to death, but was set free after ten years. He retired to the French Mountains but was killed in the late 70's.
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