WWII veterans, Battle of the Bulge

Although I didn’t participate in this I have always felt I probably would have if I had gone into the Army instead of the Navy and the Pacific. I had many friends who were. This was a surprise to the Allies and occurred in terrible winter weather with few of our troops having proper clothing or training, many suffered from frost bitten feet there and the rest of their lives.
Troops with no combat training were thrown in with very high casualties. In Woodland Cemetery many World War II veterans are buried, the only one known whose disinterred body is buried here lost his life in this battle. Ernest Orville Payne was born August, 31, 1925, to Charlie and Mae Bryson Payne in Streetman.
His siblings were Bonnie, Tiny, Jimmie, Vallie, Nancy, Doris, Billy, Fred, and Frank. This information was submitted by Billy. His maternal grandparents were Rev. Billie Bert Payne and Addie Bryson. Paternal grandparents were Elisha Foster and Maybelle Payne. He attended school in Streetman, Wortham, and Mexia where he graduated in l943. While in high school he joined the Texas State Guard, he also enlisted in the Army before graduating.
While waiting to be called he delivered ice in a horse drawn wagon. Inducted in November 1943 at Camp Walters, Texas and transferred to Camp Blanding, Florida, after 17 weeks of combat training he was transferred to Fort Benning, Georgia for more training as a paratrooper and high explosives.
After a leave home he was sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and then went to England arriving on his 19th birthday in June 1944 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Div. 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment. After a few weeks of advanced training, the Airborne Troops of the British and American forces jumped from planes in an effort to capture several bridges across the Rhine River.
Several days later the British tank units replaced the paratroopers. The only comment through the censored mail was he landed in a farmer’s turnip patch near the Remagun Bridge. On Dec. 16, l944, the Germans launched a massive surprise attack on the lowland area near the Rhine River. (Many thought the war was virtually over.)
Eisenhower ordered the paratroopers back into combat to support infantry and tank divisions in the lowlands of Belgium. Paratroopers moved north to support the 104th Infantry.
The Germans attacked on Dec. 16 spreading halfway across Belgium. The 506th Regiment dug in around Bastonge to defend its crossroads supply and transportation depot beginning on Dec. 27. Paratroopers were in place. Germans were attacking Bastonge when a shell from a 88 mm cannon exploded killing Pvt. Orville O. Payne. This battle is known as the Battle of the Bulge.
It was the same day Gen. Patton’s 3rd Army broke through the German lines and through the German pressure on the American troops. The battle for the lowlands was effectively over, but Pvt. Payne was buried at Verdun, France at the American Military Cemetery.
Three years later his body was disinterred and returned home for burial with full military honors at the Woodland Cemetery near Kirvin. During World War II news and information on the war was strongly censored and held back. I did not hear of this important conflict until much later. It was found to have caused great concern as Hitler’s plans were unknown to even our top officials who were caught asleep, and thought the fighting was virtually over.
If this German plan had worked the outcome might have been affected. A few months back Grandma and I passed an estate sale coming out of Corsicana and decided to look in, but most of the property had already been sold. There was a booklet “Battle of the Bulge” left, due to my interest in this I bought it, took it home and read it. To my surprise the former owner was World War II Captain Berlin Compton, who had written in long hand on the inside cover his experiences regarding this period. Which show the serious concerns of General Ike Eisenhower and others.
Captain Berlin Compton
“Trained with the 86th Infantry Division (1944) in California, with the Navy to make ship to shore landings in preparation for landing on Japan proper – The Battle of the Bulge in Germany caused the 86th to be sent back across the U.S. to the Boston Port of Embarkation, and on overseas to La Harve, France and on overseas to Germany.

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