Joe Crilley

Baker Boys

The Baker Boys of the 326th were the first unit of the l0lst to enter Bastogne, Beligium. The Engineers actually held their own sector outside Bastogne, sandwiched between the 327th/40lst Glider Infantry Regiment which covered nearly 50%) of the southeast to northwest defense perimeter. Holding the extreme south Albe Company of the 326th was the first troops met by Patton's relief force that pulled out of one offensive and turned 90;" north to come to the rescue of the besieged soldiers. In a rather strange encounter the Engineers at first thought that the approaching tanks were Germans in disguise and were quite spooked by the oncoming forces. After some convincing Lt. Webster of A Company finally greeted the tankmen to end the seige. Of the three major campaigns that the lOlst was in, Normandy, Holland and Bastogne, the deadliest for most units was Normandy. But for the 326th Engineers, Bastogne would see the most casualties. As my Dad wrote in a letter to my Mom he lost a lot of his friends in that battle, a fact that he wasn't there always bothered him. Below is a picture taken on top of the Bastogne monument looking south in the direction of the area held by the Combat Engineers.
Bastogne Monument

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