Author(s): William F. Meller
He never planned on becoming a leader--or a hero . . .
In early October of 1944 Private William Meller was 20 years old. Joining I Company, 28th Divison as a rifleman, he was indoctrinated on the front line to the horrors of fighting the battle-hardened German Wehrmacht in the wet freezing cold of the Huertgen Forest. In early November, fighting with only rifles and grenades for three days and without food, water or medical supplies two hundred men of I Company were surrounded, killed, wounded or captured. This created the only Cease Fire in WWII. Meller and two GIs escaped to the American lines with the guidance of a German Corporal.
In early November I Company was re-formed, with Meller as Sergeant-squad leader, second Platoon and moved to the Ardennes; installed their Outpost one half mile facing the Siegfried Line on the German-Luxembourg border next to Walthausen. At 6:30 AM December 16 the Panzer Lehr German Division crossed the Our River: With Staff Sergeant Meller, now the Platoon Leader, 12 men stopped the German Armored Infantry offensive until they ran out of ammunition and the Panther Tanks arrived at 4:30 PM. This was beginning of The Battle of the Bulge.
William F. Meller graduated from Gettysburg College in 1947 with a BA degree in liberal arts. Meller and his wife raised a family, and he enjoyed a successful business career. Now retired, he lives South Carolina.