Mark Bando op http://www.101airborneww2.com/bandofbrothers5.html schreef:
On a recent visit to the National Archives, I looked at the official company by company casualty rosters for the 506th during the Bastogne period. These official casualty reports (which are subject to errors of ommission), list casualties for E/506th from 18 December to 31 December, 1944 as: KIA-none, MIA-none, 1 Seriously Wounded in Action (SWA), and 3 Lightly Wounded in Action (LWA). At least two names are missing from those lists (see J.Julian and J. Welling info below).
One killed and five men wounded in 14 days is not an indication of heavy fighting or heavy losses. Presumably an even larger number became frozen feet cases during this time period. So Easy suffered in the severe weather conditions, but so did all the other rifle companies of the 101st Airborne, and most of them saw more contact with the enemy as well.
The After Action Report for Easy during this time period lists 1 SWA: Cpl. Gordon, Walter S. Sr, 13099280, 24 December, 1944, Mississippi.
The 3 LWA listed are:
Cpl. Carson, Gordon F, 12130792, 21 December, 1944, New York
Pfc Eggert, Walter F. 36614595 28 December, 1944, Illinois
and Pvt McCauley, Carl F. 35808113 25 December, 1944 Indiana.
To this list, Ambrose adds the name Pvt Welling, James, ASN:6657485, WIA on 21 December.
Although Lt Harry Welsh was shown being wounded near the fire, with Winters and Nixon present, Welsh was then a member of HQ Co, 2nd Bn and no longer in E company. This is logical, as neither Winters nor Nixon were in the company either by then. All 3 of these officers were on the 2nd Bn staff when Harry was hit on Christmas day.
I couldn't locate the name of the trooper shown being badly wounded in the throat on the patrol on these rosters. Since then, helpful visitors to the Forum have identified him as Pfc John Julian, ASN: 34806849, from AL, SWA on 21 December, 1944, and later classified as DOW on January 1, 1945. (DOW="Died Of Wounds"-the DOWs were later simply counted with the KIAs) Julian 'slipped through the cracks' in not being listed on either the 18-31 December 1944 casualty roster or the one for January, 1945. His name is totally absent from both of those lists as though he didn't exist. This may have happened because his date of wounding and the date his remains were discovered (presumably January 1st), overlapped 2 different casualty periods. However, I can't understand why he wasn't initially listed as SWA or MIA on 21 December 44? This most likely happened due to the confused, chaotic situation at Bastogne, further aggravated by the horrible weather conditions. At any rate, Pfc Julian is buried at Hamm, Luxemburg, in the same cemetery as General George S. Patton. Judging from the above, I'd say it's also a pretty good bet that other men who were wounded or killed at Bastogne do not show-up on the official rosters as well. Julian DID get listed in the divisional history (RWD), with 506th KIAs, as well as in the 506th regimental history book.
When I stated earlier that Easy saw an average amount of action, compared to the 26 other rifle companies of the division, Bastogne is a prime example.
Of the other 506th rifle companies at Bastogne in the first 2 weeks, Company 'A' lost 15 KIA, plus 3 DOW (Died of Wounds), plus 7 MIA, with 43 SWA and 13 LWA
B Co. lost 4 KIA, 1 MIA, and 13 SWA.
Company 'C' lost 13 KIA, 3 MIA, and 37 SWA.
These high 1st Battalion losses were mainly the result of fighting beyond the geographic limits of the rest of the 506th, at Noville, Belgium.
In 2nd Bn. rifle companies, Company 'D' lost 1 KIA, 1 DOW, and 5 LWA.
Company 'F' lost 2 KIA, 1 DOW, 6 SWA and 9 LWA.
In Third battalion, Co. 'G' lost 1 KIA, 5 DOW, 10 SWA and 4 LWA.
Company 'H' lost 1 KIA, 3 DOW, 6 MIA, and 37 LWA.
Company 'I' lost 2 KIA, 2 DOW, 2 SWA, and 12 LWA. So in the first two weeks at Bastogne, Company E had the lowest casualty rate of any rifle company in the 506th PIR. During the next period, in January, E Company's casualties soared, but even then, they finished in the middle, as to comparative losses with other companies.
I cite the above for two reasons:
1) to explain why Episode 6 was centered around the activities of one character, and
2) to put E Company's Bastogne experience in perspective. If you think what they experienced was terrible, realize that literally all the other rifle companies of the 506th had more men hit by enemy fire during that late December time period. Average losses in companies of the 501 PIR were even higher than those of the 506th. This is not surprising as the 501 was placed east of Bastogne from the onset, which was the obvious direction most of the enemy forces were approaching from.