The independant 551st PIB was raised in november 1942 in Fort Benning, Georgia. After a long period of fightings, wich started in april 1944 in Italy, the GOYA’s (their nickname: Get Of Your Ass) were brought into the Ardennes by truck to start up a fight with the Germans, who started the battle of the bulge.
These guys not only fought against the Germans, they fought against horrible weather conditions, natural elements, their own superiors… The GOYA’s went to hell and back.
This battle tour is one, you will not forget fast. It is one long journey of horrific encounters, one on one battles and at the end of this 6 hour battle tour, you will stand in a village wich was the end point of these brave men.
The stories of the 551st PIB were nearly lost, because all papers were burnt right after the battle of the bulge. The survivors wrote a book (Left corner of my heart) and another book was written (Messengers of the lost battalion). Later some Wallonian guys dove in to history and made sure these stories weren’t forgotten.
Bob and fellow researcher Marco Eradus researched many positions and details of the 551st PIB men, wich resulted in this outstanding tour.
The battle tour starts in Werbomont and will take you to Rahier and Cheneux (were we make a small detour in this story). We will drive over half hardend roads, through thick woods, retracing the steps of the GOYA’s.
We will end in the hamlet Rochelinval, were we will literally make the last steps of A company and make a final salut at the remembrance place: The monuments dedicated to these heroes.
Duration: apr. 6 hrs.
“Our group of friends, always in for a good laugh, was completly flabbergasted by the stories of these soldiers. We were silence for minutes while overlooking the hills of Rochelinval…”