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December 31, 1944, Northwest of Bastogne was the village of Champs held by Company C 502nd Parachute Infantry.  The articles below are from the book Rendezvous with Destiny, 1946 and the General Order for the Bronze Star recipient. 

As the book doesn’t mention the name of the soldiers killed and wounded that day they will be listed at the end of this article and links to their Records including their Morning Reports, Medical Reports and the POW records as well. 

End of the Year (Champs, They Were That Morning)


                                                 31 Dec. 1944-2 Jan 1945

The morning of the last day of 1944 gave indications that for the 101st the lull of the past few days was about to end. The 77th Grenadier Regiment of the 26th Volksgrenadier Division launched an artillery-supported dawn attack on the sector northwest of Bastogne held by the 1st Battalion of the 502d. During the next few days this sector was to be a focal point for German armored attacks.

The attack, carried out by the 1st and 3d Companies, of the 1st Battalion, 77th Grenadier Regiment, with 2d Company in reserve, was in the nature of a diversion, to draw off American strength from other sections of the front. The two attack companies, with an effective total strength of only sixty men, had the limited objective of taking the three outermost buildings of Champs and holding them until January 1. At the same time, the 2d Battalion of the 77th Grenadier Regiment,


with about fifty to sixty men, attacked west of Champs to establish a defensive line on the slope of a hill there and to set up an artillery observation post. These two skinny battalions had support of artillery, mortars, and machine guns.

Their attack was at first successful, and the group attacking Champs succeeded in taking the houses which were their objectives; their attack cost Company C an officer and two enlisted men killed, four wounded, and about a squad captured. After about two hours of bitter fighting in the snow, with machine-gun and mortar fire pouring into the German-held houses, the 1st Battalion of the 502d succeeded in capturing the houses and one officer and four enlisted men of the German attacking force.

The remaining fifty-five Germans were dead. Company C also got back most of its captured squad. About noon the Germans tried another attack, but gained nothing. The 502d bagged thirty-seven prisoners and the houses and fields were spotted with German dead and wounded.



GO #38, Hq. 101st Abn Div., APO 472, U. S. Army, 9 April 45, cont’d

Corporal Robert H, Cahoon, 31209656, Parachute Infantry, while serving with the Army of the United States, distinguished himself by heroic achievement in action. On 1 January 1945 in the vicinity of Champs, Belgium, an enemy patrol

of approximately sixty men attacked the defensive positions o f his unit, isolating two important outposts. As the only member of his outpost not wounded, Corporal Cahoon engaged the enemy and for two hours prevented them from advancing.

Although seriously wounded during this action, he remained at his machine gun and inflicted heavy casualties on the attacking enemy forces, V*hen reinforcements arrived and engaged the enemy, Corporal Cahoon continued to fire on the enemy and inflicted more casualties. He refused to be evacuated until the enemy was completely routed from the positions which they had gained in this action. His actions were in accordance with the highest standards of the military service. Entered military service from Pennsylvania. 

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               R E S T R I C T E D

The names and records for Company C 502nd Parachute Infantry for the Battle of Champs who were killed and wounded that day December 31, 1944.  Just click on their names to read their records.

Killed In Action December 31, 1944

Second Lieutenant George W. Manhardt 0-1064166

Corporal George C. Dagres 15360378  

Private First Class William F. Haddick 33148012

Died of Wounds January 1, 1945

Private First Class Woodrow W. Atchison 34105982

Severely Wounded In Action December 31, 1944

Corporal Robert H. Cahoon 31209656 SWA - Lost to Hospital SGO 418 Days

Corporal Richard A. Striegel 33145932 SWA to Fur 1945-03-03 SGO 19 Days

Technician 5th Grade LeRoy R. Bowers 16048013 SWA SGO 73 Days

Private David R. Griffiths 13201076 SWA to RTD (Returned to Duty) 1945-01-29 SGO 12 Days

Missing In Action December 31, 1944

Private First Class Edward Kessler 13111794 MIA to POW

Private First Class Michael Lesko 33686853 MIA to POW

Private First Class Edmund N. Lozano 39577182

Private Robert O. Martin Jr. 33382611 MIA to POW

Private Bernard C. Orr 14080932 MIA to POW 



Leonard Rapport and Arthur Northwood, Jr. Rendezvous With Destiny:  A History of The 101st Airborne Division (Greenville, TX:  101st Airborne Division Association,  1948), 609-610.

502nd Parachute Infantry Morning Reports

Hospital Admission Card Data Files

General Order

Brian N. Siddall

March 1, 2023

Contact BN Siddall @
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