WWII Vet Reflects On Fighting The Battle Of The Bulge

This Sherman M4 Tank is on display in Middletown Bucks County, It is the tank most used by Americans during World War II.

Neil French remembers like it was yesterday. His tour started after the invasion of Normandy, passing through the make shift cemetery at the top of Omaha Beach.

FOX 29's Bill Rohrer met with the vet about his experience.

"Oh Boy, things that went on let's put it this way. If I wrote a book you wouldn't believe it," French said. "I was a newcomer I was never in combat before they said you are going to be a gunner.

He was a tank gunner, for the 4th armored division, under General Patton.

"His most motivating thing was we never stop. We keep moving all the time, moving, that's what made him famous," French recalled.

Patton's leadership led Neil through Europe, to Belgium and the town of Bastogne where Hitler's Army was waiting.

"We started to slide the trucks the jeeps and on the 24th we were inside the perimeter and all hell broke loose," French said. "All kinds of incoming fire, everything lit up like the fourth of July. There was nowhere to hide."

French shared details of battling the Germans and the harsh December cold.

"The tanks were so cold that if your bare skin touched the medal you couldn't take it off. You had to poor water on it just like dry ice, he said. "It took 5 weeks to break the Germans they didn't want to give up.

These days, Neal still helps the US military, by providing real life experience to government historians like Dr. Robert Cameron of Fort Benning.

It's been nearly 70 years since the US help win the war in Europe, May 8th 1945, a day before Neil's birthday, not a bad way to start your 22nd year.

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