This is William Barron FromThe 32nd.|
Reconnance Company, one of eleven
men capture from his section on December 17, 1944
My name is William Barron. In WW II, I was in the 32/Recon of the Third Armored Division. I was late getting back to my squad as I had been detained the night before by the American Forces back in Dison, Belgium thinking I was a German in an American uniform. I got back up to the line early morning of December 17th. 1944 just in time to catch the patrol. We were 4 jeeps and eleven men.1st. Lt. McDermott was in charge. I drove one of the jeeps out of Stolberg Germany. The other jeeps were driven By Sgt.Anderson, Cummings and Marvin Lewis I did not know what our mission was. We were Past St. Vith when we stopped about 11:30 Am. We were screamish about going further. Lt. McDermott said we would turn right at the next crossroads and go up a little ways and come back. As soon as we made the right turn we were captured. We were very surprised to see the Germans, as they took us prisoners. After they disarmed us, they wanted the drivers to drive the jeeps in the column. They separated the rest of the squad from us. I was chosen to lead the column of tanks in my jeep with a young German 15-16 year old SS trooper and a Lt. Col. We proceeded with them right on down the road as if we were going through the American lines. A half-track that was carrying gasoline was hit by a mortal shell, caught on fire and blew up. Most were killed except one that was burned to a crisp, except the one I had to take care of that night.
We had to dig a large hole and bury the other six. One of them had his legs burned off and had been run over by a tank. They would not let us bury any of the American soldiers that had been killed.
CORBIN: Bill, do you remember anything about the Baugnez crossroads?
BARRON: No, We went right on through it.
CORBIN: Did you know about the massacre?
BARRON: No, I did not know about the massacre. I did hear some machine gun fire. The ten other people that were captured with me, Vernon Anderson, Bojarski, Cummings, Marvin Lewis, Walter Went and Henry Zack survived the massacre. Killed were 2nd. Lt. Lloyd Imes, 1st. Lt. Thomas McDermott, T3 James McGee, and Pfc. Klucavy.
HENRI ROGISTER: Did you see the young boy on the bicycle just before the Baugnez crossroads?
BARRON: Yes I did. As I told you I was driving the lead vehicle in the column, when I saw a young boy riding on a bicycle, coming toward the column at a rapid pace. The German SS Trooper on the German tank turned his machine gun right over my head and shot the youngster off the bicycle. It broke my heart to see that animal on the tank shoot that young man for no reason. It was one of many atrocities that happened during the War. It was real sad.
Barron Life As A POW