This is Walter Stitt of E/33 Armored Regiment
CORBIN: Walter, I know you served in E/33rd.Armored Regiment with T. F. Lovelady and you were in the Battle of Trois Ponts, Belgium in December 20, 1944. I have talked to Cliff Elliott also of E/33 and Jim Cullen of E/36. Will you tell me what you remember of Trois Ponts?
STITT: I was a gunner in the no. 5 tank of Lt. Hope's platoon. We came down from near Spa in the morning. WE entered the main highway above Grand Coo, and as we came around the corner, our lead tank fired at a towed artillery piece and blew up the truck and we had to wait for the fire to subside so we could pass and in so doing the gun barrel poked into the side of the bank and got full of mud and dirt and we had to pull over and clean it out while the rest of the tanks went on down to Trois Ponts. Lt. Hope had turned left at the viaduc and went under the railroad tracks. After four M 4 Shermans went through the Germans knocked out the fourth tank and then picked off the other three one by one. There were not many survivors from the four tanks. We could not get through the underpass so we stayed there until Dec. 22.
Some our tanks were pulled back toward Petit Coo. We backed our tank up between two houses and a light tank was near by, so we were pointed across the tracks. We could see lots of Germans troop coming out of the woods and we fired at them as they tried to pass us for about an hour, as they would hit the ground and get up and run again. A shell hit our tank so we bailed out, but came back when we decided it wasn't damaged to badly. Then we backed it out of there and down the road away from Trois Ponts and set up a road block.. Then they broke through and went into Petit Coo and cut off our Task Force in Trois Ponts until the evening of December 24, when they broke through to them and thus relieved them
Years later I went back there and asked the people who live there how many bodies did the find in the field and they said about 135. That just shows you how determined Peiper's men were in taking their objective.