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The start of the Battle of the Bulge

The wounded during the Battle of the Bulge

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Galloway was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1923. Galloway was very fortunate during the Great Depression. His father had a job. Galloway recalls people coming to his house asking his father if they could be hired for the day. Galloway's father paid 3 dollars a day. Galloway was able to go to a private school. Galloway notes feeling the Depression from other people but it did not affect him directly. Galloway went to private school for grammar school and then public school for high school. His father worked for a lighthouse service in Mobile. Chances are Galloway would have followed his father's steps but his father insisted that he go to college. His father saw that change was in the air and that is why he insisted that Galloway go to college. Galloway's father realized that the family lighthouse business was going to be taken over by the Coast Guard. This is what his father correctly foresaw and realized his son should go to college. Galloway finished his senior year and then went on active duty at Ft. Sill. Galloway went to OCS [Annotator's Note: Officer Candidates School], he recalls it being very demanding. Galloway got along fine with his group. All 6 graduated from OCS. After Galloway graduated OCS he was sent to Ft. Bragg [annotator's Note: Ft. Bragg, North Carolina], where he received basic training. Galloway deployed overseas from New York. The trip was good; the food was good. It took about 6 days to go over. Coming home it took 14 days. Galloway recalls that they were running with the Queen Mary. Galloway went in on Omaha Beach, well after the initial invasion. Galloway recalls crawling up the embankment wondering how people did it under fire. Galloway recalls when they liberated Paris. From there they went to Belgium and then on into Germany where they entered the Hurtgen Forest. The Hurtgen Forest being a giant mess; the fight was tough. Galloway was a forward observer and he recalls one time when he went out in a group of 4 and by noon he was the only 1 left.

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Galloway lost his radio at one point and had to join up with another radio operator. Galloway recalls one afternoon just before dark. Galloway worked with the 110th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion. The Sergeant Major came up to Galloway and let him know that he was the only officer left. One cannot imagine how quickly people were lost. After Hurtgen Forest they were sent back to Luxembourg. Nothing seemed like it was going to happen. Breaks helped the men. In Luxembourg they were living in houses. He was going to go sledding for the first time in his life with some local children in Luxembourg. The Saturday that sledding was scheduled was interrupted by a shell exploding at 5:30 am. The Germans launched a counterattack and by the time Galloway got outside to see what was going on, the guard towers had already opened up with machine gun fire on the Germans. It was the first morning of the Battle of the Bulge. Galloway thought it was just a flurry of activity and not a long drawn-out battle. Galloway was sent to his unit as a replacement in September of 1944. The previous forward observer was killed when he was shot in the chest. Galloway had a driver, Corporal Frank Bartoka, a good guy. Galloway knew a lot of people in the service who could not drive or read or write, but were good fighters. Galloway recalls having to help censor the mail. He disliked it. Some of the letters from certain people were all in the same handwriting, meaning that someone was doing a lot of writing for someone. Galloway recalls one time when he spotted a German tank column. Galloway radioed that he had a German column in his sights, this was around the second or third day of the Bulge. Galloway was instructed to not fire unless he was sure. Galloway got up by the road they were on and confirmed they were Germans.

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Galloway was with 3 individuals--a driver, a radio operator and a sergeant-- when they were caught by the Germans. Galloway was taking a new forward observer up to the line when he was caught. The jeep was under fire as they ran into a house. They ran into the basement and waited for the Germans to come in. Galloway and the men were cut off. The Germans went into the house and Galloway had to surrender. Galloway was able to radio his unit and let them know that they were about to be captured. Galloway put his hands up when he surrendered. The Germans came in the basement. Galloway figured it would be best not to surprise the Germans coming into the basement. The Germans took them outside. The radio operator was named Bouche and he spoke French. Galloway was told that the Germans would shoot the officers first. A German officer came over who spoke good English. The man led Galloway and his men to a house. The German officer flipped Galloway a deck of cards. Galloway wanted to talk to his men, but the Germans were set on keeping the men separated. Galloway notes that the frontline German troops were respectful and of high quality and that the overall quality of the troops declined the further he got in his captivity. Galloway gave him his name, rank, and serial number. Galloway was asked what unit he served in but he did not let the Germans know. The Germans were able to figure out quickly what unit Galloway served in. They put Galloway and his men into a train and for 5 days Galloway only had 1 drink of water. Galloway got hit across the face one time when he was on the train, that made him angry. The conditions on the train were rough because they did not have the proper clothing and there was no heating.

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When Galloway was captured and was allowed to talk to his men, he explained to them why he was in the house and why they were in the barn. He did not want his men thinking ill of him for being in a warm house. After 5 days in a train, Galloway ended up in New Brandenburg. It was very cold when Galloway got off of the train. Galloway did not have a blanket or any proper jacket. When they got up to New Brandenburg, Galloway was with about 12 other guys. Galloway stayed up near Brandenburg for about a week at Stalag 2A. They were then taken to Stalag 4B. They were then sent to Oflag 13B. Galloway figured that they were some of the first Bulge prisoners to be taken in. He recalls seeing Serbian prisoners. The American prisoners from Oflag 64 were moved to Hammelburg. Prisoners were put 40 to a room. They had a system of rotation for sleep since certain parts of the room were colder then others. The Germans gave the men shreds of blankets. Galloway recalls getting 1 lump of coal for heat a day per person. Galloway recalls trying to keep his feet warm with the coal. There was nothing to do during the day at the camp other then worry about the temperature and food. At the beginning of the day they were given coffee and some bread. At night they got soup. Galloway recalls being hungry constantly. Galloway went from about 170 pounds to 120 pounds very quickly. There was no entertainment. They did not even have a deck of cards. Every now and then they would draw maps to keep busy. Galloway recalls sleeping a lot because of how weak they were. Once he cut his finger and was given an aspirin for it. There were American doctors in the camp, because a hospital was captured by the Germans. Unfortunately none of these doctors had anything to work with.

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Galloway was able to write back home which was nice. Galloway's parents found out that he was in a POW camp because of what he was able to write. He did not receive any mail while he was there, but he was able to write every now and then. There was not much to write about anyway. A Red Cross delegate visited. The Red Cross got credit for the parcels that were being sent to the camp. If they got a parcel at all there would usually be things missing. If there was a can of jelly in the parcel the Germans would usually take it. Anything that could be used as a weapon would be taken out of the parcel as well. Galloway was not able to purchase additional food. The camp was segregated--Americans on one side, British and whoever else on the other side. The only communication they had were discussions that took place by the barbed wire fence. Galloway got the same amount of food throughout his stay at the camp. When American forces came through with Captain Baum [Annotator's Note: Captain Abraham "Abe" Baum, commander of Task Force Baum and the Hammelburg Raid between 26-28 March 1945] and punched a hole in the fence, Galloway ran up to the tank and tried to jump on it. He and his buddies took off on their own. They were so weak that they could only take about 50 steps at a time before resting. They also had to travel at night for safety reasons. Galloway recalls coming to a river at one point and that is when he found out the other 2 guys he was with could not swim. They had passed a barn at one point and Galloway came up with the idea that when everyone was in church Sunday morning they were going to go up in the barn and rest up. They burst into the barn and there were a bunch of people in the barn, who then turned back in. Galloway recalls running into a bunch of German marines who spoke excellent English. Galloway jokes that they all had a relative or uncle back in Chicago.

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Galloway was walking with his small band that was captured when they came to a hill. A German staff car pulled up and fear was Galloway's initial reaction, but the German officer instead offered Galloway and the men a ride up the hill. Galloway started back to his camp on a train but it was strafed so he had to walk. Galloway started walking for 30 days and ended up near Austria on May 2nd. Galloway was with a group of 20 men. Usually there were 3 guards per 20 prisoners. As long as one stayed ahead of the guard in the back they were fine. A snow storm was brewing and Galloway figured that if they were able to get out of sight initially they would be fine because there was no way anyone was going to be able to track any of them. The next day Galloway ran into a recon outfit and he was informed that the American Army was a few miles behind. Galloway worked his way back to the American lines. Galloway recalls the American soldiers looking at him strangely. Galloway asked for food and clothes. He was put into a jeep and ended up driving to an airfield. Galloway went to the front and asked who was in charge. Galloway found Sgt. Dosse Lopa who happened to be the same Lopa from Alabama who Galloway knew. Galloway was outfitted with all types of proper clothing. Galloway hitchhiked back and remembers seeing 28th Division members and joined back up with his unit. Galloway recalls going back to a place that had a warehouse stuffed with Red Cross parcels. They did not give the men a parcel to begin with. Galloway recalls stealing eggs and potatoes from those places. Galloway recalls going through towns in prisoner of war columns and checking door handles to see if he could go in really quickly to get something.

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Galloway notes that as long as he was ahead of the German officers behind him he could sneak into a house. Galloway stole a honey bun from one of the houses. They got exercise and ate better when they were marching. The Germans were aware that the Americans were stealing but they tended to look the other way. Galloway still has a German beer mug he swiped. They didn't have access to a radio, so news was hard to come by. At one point though, as his prisoner column got bigger, he would hear more information. Galloway is not too sure how reliable the information was at the time. Galloway did not know much in terms of the war so it was hard to piece the little bits of information he was getting together. Galloway turned himself in when he met the 28th Division. Galloway was put into the Camp Lucky Strike [Annotator's Note: American camp near Janville, France] for rehabilitation. At Camp Lucky Strike Galloway heard that passes were being handed out for trips to Paris. The line was over a block long. Galloway and a buddy snuck around the other side of the tent and asked the lieutenant if they could get a few passes. They were regular leave slips. The lieutenant gave Galloway and his buddy a couple of passes. Galloway had to get the MP's to stop a truck going in the general direction they had to go so they could get a ride to the train station. They caught a train into Paris. Galloway recalls having to go up to a window and register his pass. The guy at the window said their passes were no good because they did not have the camp stamp on them. The man let them go anyway. They got hotel rooms and spent 3 days in Paris. Galloway got back to Camp Lucky Strike just in time to catch the boat home. Galloway recalls the liberation of Paris. There were massive amounts of people. Every now and then Galloway saw a French person running after a German or a German collaborator. Galloway recalls French citizens swarming his jeep. Everyone was happy.

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Galloway does not recall going to hotels in Paris because of the crowds. People stayed out in the streets. Galloway was out of Paris before the French soldiers came into Paris. Galloway never saw any of the French soldiers.Galloway recalls heading into the Hurtgen Forest without a lot of information as to what they were actually doing. Galloway got one hint of the fighting. He was moving up towards the line and ran into a forward observer he knew and who was wounded. That man warned Galloway to not go any further. No one gave Galloway any information other then the direction they were heading. The Hurtgen Forest was incredibly dense. One time Galloway witnessed a firefight take place but could not call in artillery because of the density of the forest. Galloway was reassigned to the 112th Infantry during the Hurtgen Forest, but he could never get to the unit. There was an aid station in an old grist mill along a river used by both sides. German doctors and American doctors worked there side by side. Galloway is asked if he ever fired on a German position and he did fire on the town of Schmidt, but he had to stop because the Americans were advancing on top of them. It was hard to call in artillery, especially with the lines being mixed up and jumbled. The fighting at the Battle of the Bulge was not as bad as the fighting in the Hurtgen Forest, even though the end result of the Bulge was worse for Galloway.

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Galloway is not entirely sure how long he watched the German and American units fight it out at the Hurtgen Forest. Galloway recalls both sides shooting like mad and since the 2 lines were almost colliding he could not call in artillery. When soldiers dug foxholes in the Hurtgen Forest they made sure they were covered because of the amount of tree bursts. When Galloway came out of the Hurtgen Forest, it was one of the prettiest scenes he ever saw. He got out of the forest in November and from there he went to Luxembourg. Galloway was in Luxembourg for about 3 weeks before the Battle of the Bulge started. He recalls doing various activities for the local children in Luxembourg. Galloway notes that his forward observer party in the Hurtgen Forest did not sustain a casualty. Galloway notes how lucky they were. During the Battle of the Bulge a bunch of men that Galloway knew were wounded. Galloway recalls one man who took a bullet through his jaw. The man's jaw collapsed onto his chest. The next time Galloway saw the man he had his jaw essentially taped and wrapped shut. The man who bandaged the wound was not a medic, but rather someone who Galloway had given a medic's kit to. Galloway's Captain was hit on the first day. By the end of the first day, Galloway was the only officer left.

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Out of all the men Galloway knew and the men around him, no one was killed on the first day of the Bulge. Galloway met with a few of the officers who were left and a mortar came down and killed a few of them. Galloway notes that the infantry rifleman is the basic unit. Everyone who helped out during the war was supporting the infantry rifleman. On the first night of the Bulge, an officer went around telling people he needed a list because he was going to get food. Galloway told the man we only need food for 5 because out of the 50 they started off with that day, only 5 were left. The war did not change Galloway's life that much, but he doubts that he would have ever gone to law school without the G.I. Bill. The war helped to shape the rest of the world and bring America out of the Depression. Galloway does not know the overall impact of the war on the world aside from the obvious changes it brought on. Galloway believes it is a good idea to have a National WWII Museum. It needs to be here so people will know what took place.

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Galloway lost his radio at one point and had to join up with another radio operator. Galloway recalls one afternoon just before dark. Galloway worked with the 110th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion. The Sergeant Major came up to Galloway and let him know that he was the only officer left. One cannot imagine how quickly people were lost. After Hurtgen Forest they were sent back to Luxembourg. Nothing seemed like it was going to happen. Breaks helped the men. In Luxembourg they were living in houses. He was going to go sledding for the first time in his life with some local children in Luxembourg. The Saturday that sledding was scheduled was interrupted by a shell exploding at 5:30 am. The Germans launched a counterattack and by the time Galloway got outside to see what was going on, the guard towers had already opened up with machine gun fire on the Germans. It was the first morning of the Battle of the Bulge. Galloway thought it was just a flurry of activity and not a long drawn-out battle. Galloway was sent to his unit as a replacement in September of 1944. The previous forward observer was killed when he was shot in the chest. Galloway had a driver, Corporal Frank Bartoka, a good guy. Galloway knew a lot of people in the service who could not drive or read or write, but were good fighters. Galloway recalls having to help censor the mail. He disliked it. Some of the letters from certain people were all in the same handwriting, meaning that someone was doing a lot of writing for someone. Galloway recalls one time when he spotted a German tank column. Galloway radioed that he had a German column in his sights, this was around the second or third day of the Bulge. Galloway was instructed to not fire unless he was sure. Galloway got up by the road they were on and confirmed they were Germans.

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Galloway is not entirely sure how long he watched the German and American units fight it out at the Hurtgen Forest. Galloway recalls both sides shooting like mad and since the 2 lines were almost colliding he could not call in artillery. When soldiers dug foxholes in the Hurtgen Forest they made sure they were covered because of the amount of tree bursts. When Galloway came out of the Hurtgen Forest, it was one of the prettiest scenes he ever saw. He got out of the forest in November and from there he went to Luxembourg. Galloway was in Luxembourg for about 3 weeks before the Battle of the Bulge started. He recalls doing various activities for the local children in Luxembourg. Galloway notes that his forward observer party in the Hurtgen Forest did not sustain a casualty. Galloway notes how lucky they were. During the Battle of the Bulge a bunch of men that Galloway knew were wounded. Galloway recalls one man who took a bullet through his jaw. The man's jaw collapsed onto his chest. The next time Galloway saw the man he had his jaw essentially taped and wrapped shut. The man who bandaged the wound was not a medic, but rather someone who Galloway had given a medic's kit to. Galloway's Captain was hit on the first day. By the end of the first day, Galloway was the only officer left.

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