Lieutenant Richard Green commanding the 3rd Platoon of Company C, 51st Engineer Combat Battalion, had orders to defend east of the railroad tunnels near Trois Ponts, supported by a 57mm anti-tank gun crew of the 526th Armored Infantry Battallion. Two other men of the 526th, Corporal Bruce Frazier and Private First Class Ralph J. Bieker positioned themselves 250 yards east of the anti-tank gun with the intention of pulling a 'daisy chain' of mines in front of the lead German tank as it approached from the direction of Stavelot. The job done, the two GIs were to run back to the anti-tank gun just east of the hotel. Shortly before noon on the 18th December the lead tank nosed around a bend towards the 57mm anti-tank gun. Frazier and Bieker fired several rifle shots at the approaching Germans as the tank and others behind it stopped at the daisy chain. Other engineers came back down the road to Lieutenant Green's position to warn him of the Germans' approach. By this time the antitank gunners and engineers in the vicinity of the gun could see the lead tanks and heard others moving down the road through the trees. The gun crew had to make every round count since they only had a total of seven rounds available. As they pondered when to open fire, the third tank in the colunm fired four rounds in quick succession. One shell skipped over the river to their backs and a second no more than six inches above their heads. Another hit a tree behind the anti-tank gun; felling the tree and showering fragments in the area. The anti-tank gunners opened fire and one of their first rounds started the lead tank smoking. There was some difficulty initially with ammunition for the anti-tank gun since seven rounds would not suffice to stop the attacking enemy armour. Cont.
ArdennesBattle for the BulgeNormandiePeiperTroisPontsVadVarVem