World War II Battle of the Bulge POW

Clinton, MA

My uncle, Arthur J. Mayou, who served with the 106th Division, was captured on December 18th during the Battle of the Bulge. At the time the Germans were shooting to death every 10th man. While being marched along, the Germans shot my uncle. He played dead until the other prisoners and the Germans had moved on, and then he crawled away.
However, he was captured again by older German troops who fixed his wounds. My uncle and other POWs were then put into a pen and left there. Sometime later, the Nazis (Gestapo Forces, mostly young Germans) came and took the prisoners. They marched them into an open field where they started to machine-gun the American POWs. As luck would have it, my uncle ended up at the bottom of a pile of dying American soldiers. When it was safe to do so, my uncle crawled away again.
But once more he was captured by older German soldiers. This time they marched him from town to town. Along the route, the Germans used the prisoners to work around the burgermeister's home - better known as the mayor.
Years before my uncle was drafted, back in the early 1930s, he happened to be going with a German girl from the small central Massachusetts town of Clinton. In the summertime, two of the girl's cousins would come to Clinton from Germany. While my uncle dated one cousin, he had two of his buddies date the other two cousins.
Now as a POW, he was being moved from town to town. One day while working in the yard of a certain burgermeister's house, a German lady came to the door with a pitcher of water. She spoke to my uncle in perfect English. She wanted to know where in the United States he was from. He told her that he was from a small town called Clinton, Mass. The lady told my uncle that she knew that town! Strange, but true: it turned out this lady was one of the cousins he had fixed up with his friends so many years before. After that, she not only brought water but bread as well. She fed him as long as he was in that town and helped to keep him alive!
My uncle finally was taken to a stalag, where he remained until the end of the war in Europe. While in the stalag, he developed emphysema. He was released and finally came home to Clinton. My uncle lived until 1969.

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