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The Vagaries of War ©


It was a misty and rainy day December 19, 1944 when Company A along with the rest of the 506th Parachute Infantryís First Battalion arrived at Noville, Belgium north of Bastogne.  They were the first soldiers from the 506th to go into combat.


Not long after arriving in the village the Germans started shelling the town from the North.  In a 1945 letter it mentions that Private Doss (Joel H.) from Company A was severely wounded, losing part of his skull from a shell fragment.  Private Doss begged his squad members to put him out of his misery.  That didnít happen as a second Company A member said that he had seen a man with a head wound being treated in a shed by a Medic who cleaned his wound as best he could. 


Doss was taken first to the 1st Battalion Aid Station then onto the Division Hospital west of Bastogne.  When Doss along with other wounded men from the 1st Battalion arrived there they were captured as the Germans had taken the Division Hospital.  A third soldier mentioned a wounded soldier with a severe head wound as a  Medic tried to calm Doss down but to no avail.


Private Doss became a POW just after midnight December 20, 1944 and ended up in Bitburg, Germany which housed a Paratroop POW Hospital there.  Surgery was performed December 22, 1944.  Two days later the Hospital was bombed and many US POWs were killed including Private Doss.


Doss was buried in a Cemetery at Bitburg with the grave number listed by the Germans.  They sent that information ahead via the Red Cross.  After the war ended the Graves Registration men arrived there but they couldnít locate the body for Private Joel Doss. 


To this day Doss is listed as Finding of Death.  His body is somewhere in Europe buried in either a US, French or German Cemetery. 


(Private Doss' Records listed from above)


Brian N. Siddall

February 20, 2023


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