Murder at Cowan
Parachute Infantry 17th Airborne Division
was knee deep in Bastogne by January 17, 1945. The
regiment relived the 193rd Glider
Infantry that day setting up the C.P. 1 Ĺ miles East
of Houffalize when they arrived.
Patrolling was the name of the
game over the next few days. January 19th
was no different for Company B of the 507th
Parachute Infantry. That changed though as 5
soldiers from Company B went missing in action
(along with a Headquarters and Headquarters Company
soldier vanished as well).
Company Bís patrol crossed
Cowan Creek and went up to a ridge east of the
creek. There were 7 soldiers on this patrol. As
they walked across the ridgeline Staff Sergeant
Schwartz kept reminding them to spread out further.
Staff Sergeant Schwartz was on the far right of the group.
A few minutes later a Germany
Machinegun opened up for just a second or two.
Schwartz looked to his left and saw that all of his
men were down. He went from body to body and they
were all dead on that ridge. Sergeant Schwartz
worked his way down the hill and across the creek
back to Company Bís position.
The next day the 507th
went across the creek again, up the hill and ended
up taking Cowan, Vissoule and Alhoumont. The 6
soldiers killed the day before were taken to the Foy
The names and records for
Company B 507th Parachute Infantry for
this article who were killed and the only survivor
January 19, 1945 are below. Just click on their names to read
their records and photos. They have their Morning Reports,
Medical Reports and the Map.
The Lone Survivor
Edward J. Schwartz 36152479 Operation
Killed in Action January 19,
Louis C. Hall Jr
18133936 Squad Leader Company B
Charles C. Peckham
32281987 Radio Operator Company B
Vernon W. Rogers
18108151 Communication Sergeant Company B
Reino Wilson 6947906 Assistant Squad Leader
Clyde A. Sartor 20463316 Rifleman Company B
William H. Pritchard 16063911 Runner
Headquarters and Headquarters Company
The Map with the O highlighted
in red has the area where the men were patrolling
that fateful day.
Received an email yesterday and
today with a letter home to Sergeant Vernon Rogers
Regis F. Guidas
spoke on the phone with Mrs.
Muillings and then sent a
letter as well that was sent February 14, 1946.
is a transcribed version for this letter sent by
There is detailed information about the January 19
attack at Cowan Creek. Mike Alexander Sergeant
Rogers Nephew sent the email above. Mike was
kind enough to send a copy of the letter.
It's always nice when another piece of a puzzle pops
June 1, 2023
Brian N. Siddall
Infantry After Action Report for Bastogne, Page 3.
507th Parachute Infantry Morning Reports
Hospital Admission Card Data Files
Interviews with Staff Sergeant Schwartz
Brian N. Siddall
March 2, 2023