Saturday, December 11, 2010

Remembering Bastogne

December 13. That is the date that begins the story told by Dr. John Prior about his experiences in Bastogne, Belgium in 1944.

A few years ago I posted Dr. Prior's
memoir about the Battle of the Bulge. This is a fitting time of year to recall his story.

I recently heard about this episode in history from
Martin King, a British author who is finishing a book about Bastogne, based on the experience of Augusta Chiwy.

Ms. Chiwy is one of the nurses who worked with Dr. Prior when their aid station in Bastogne took a direct hit from a German fighter-bomber on Christmas eve, 1944. Thirty American soldiers died in the aid station, along with one of the nurses, Renee Lemarie.

Augusta Chiwy survived the blast and is still living.

Dr. Prior passed away in Syracuse, NY at age 90 in 2007.

That's a young Captain John Prior, pictured at right, when he served with the Medical Battalion of the 10th Armored Division. At left is Dr. Prior in the 1980's as Chairman of Pathology at Community General Hospital. He also served as President of the Onondaga County Medical Society at the time.

Episode 6 of the HBO television series Band of Brothers includes scenes in the aid station in Bastogne, and both Augusta Chiwy and Renee Lemarie are portrayed briefly in the dramatization (but not Dr. Prior).

Mr. King wrote me that Dr. Prior features prominently in his book about Augusta Chiwy. "The lives of Dr. Prior, Augusta and Renee Lemaire will always be inextricably linked due to the sequence of events that occurred in Bastogne during WWII," Mr. King said.

"I can't emphasize enough the major role that Dr.Prior played with the 10th Armored division . . . . His bravery and tenacity saved literally hundreds of US lives. Augusta remembers him with great affection."

That's a photo of Augusta Chiwy, at right, as a young woman. Below is a brief video about her that was made recently by Mr. King. I look forward to reading his book when it is published.

1 comment:

Globalhospital said...

Great people , hatsoff to them