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Nocher Liberation 70th Anniversary

Terry D. Janes

 

Recently, the good people of Nocher, Luxembourg held a celebration to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of that town by the 80th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge. They very kindly invited veterans of the division to attend, and provided free airfare, hotel and meals for the men and a family member. When their offer first came across my desk through Bill Black of the 80th Assn., I contacted all the men I could think of, and while all would have liked to make the trip, most were not in good enough health to attend. Five men of the division were able to attend; Charles Parker, 319th Regiment, Bob Burrows, 317th Regiment, Burt Marsh, 319th Regiment, Al Goldberg, 315th Field Artillery, and Ed Glofka, Company C, 702nd Tank Battalion. Their tour began at Mertzig, Bastogne, Hamm Cemetery and Weisswampach. (This town is where the daughter of Rex Bowers had a memorial placed in honor of her father and 11 other 35th Division members who were killed 24-26 January 1945.) According to all accounts, the men were treated like royalty, and all had a great time.

 

For a background on the battle around Nocher and nearby Dahl, I refer you to a story I did a few years ago, about a young GI who was killed in that battle: http://www.thetroubleshooters.com/80th/forrestdavies01.html (and the two pages following that one). The battle was crucial for the Germans, as it was a last-ditch effort to maintain control over their supply lines feeding their advance into the Ardennes. As a result, the Germans poured huge numbers of men and tanks into the battle, and the 80th Division really had a fight on their hands that became a close call as to who would win it.

 

Thanks to Bob Burrows, I made the acquaintance of one of the most talented photographers I have ever encountered. Chris Wilcockson, a British ex-pat living in Luxembourg, has very graciously allowed me to share his very wonderful photos with our readers. My profound thanks to Chris for his generosity! These photographs speak for themselves, and need no narration from me. So, without further ado:

 

 

 

 

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