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.
Doss' Records listed from above)
Brian N. Siddall
February 20, 2023