08.00 on 18 December, German mortar and artillery fire hit Stavelot as tanks of SS-Panzer Regiment 1 crossed the then narrower stone bridge over the Ambleve. At about 10.00, it became obvious to the civilians in the dairy that if SS men discovered Calvanese in their midst, they may well vent their anger on all present. Marcel Ozer volunteered to wade over the river in order to try and get help from the Americans on the far bank. Setting foot in the icy water, the current proved too strong and swept him off his feet and a short distance downstream. He rushed home to change lis clothes then etumed to the dairy, where he and other townspeople decided to evacuate the injured GI. A local Red Cross worker, MadamoiseUe Berthe Beaupain said she could get a sttetcher from a nearby Red Cross juilding and promptly set oft to collect it and her nurse's uniform. Arriving at tiie house in question, she found it occupied by twenty local people and Father Antoine Bernard, a priest from the German speaking village of Amel. Together, she and Father Bernard made their perilous way through advancing SS Panzergrenadiers and gunfire, back over the bridge to the dairy with the much-needed stretcher. Marcel Ozer and Louis van Lancker volunteered to carry the injured American across the river accompanied by Berthe Beaupain, her brother Gustav and Father Bernard. Upon reaching your present location they paused as a Panther tank rounded the bend and began crossing the bridge. Marcel Ozer then seized the initiative and urged the group into the depths of hell. Walking behind the tank, they passed the crushed remams of Sergeant Ellery while further on a dead SS officer sat with his back propped up against the bridge parapet with his legs tumed sideways in order to prevent the tanks from rurming over him. Both small and larger calibre gunfire raked the bridge as the Belgians raced across the river. On the evening of 19 December 1944, American Engineers blew the bridge.
ArdennesBattle for the BulgeNormandiePeiperStavelotVadVarVem