Freedom Fighters: Jesse Goodwin - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Freedom Fighters: Jesse Goodwin

By Joan Hallmark

Jesse Goodwin says "it was kill or be killed in World War Two". Fighting Hitler's armies in Europe is how Goodwin spent his Christmas and New Year sixty- five years ago.

With over 19,000 Americans killed and 47,000 wounded, the Battle of the Bulge, December 16th 1944 to January 25th of '45, was the single largest and bloodiest battle that American forces experienced in World War Two.

In the coldest winter Europe had known in over thirty years, Platoon Sergeant Goodwin was fighting to win the war and hoping to stay alive. There had been heavy fighting on Christmas Day in the Sar Valley, but when Goodwin arrived in the Ardennes Forest, the Germans attacked with overwhelming force.

For six days and six nights the German Army had the Americans surrounded. Low on ammunition and without food or water, things looked beak for American forces. Surrounded and out manned, escape as the only answer. When the escaped units reassembled, they had the Germans on the run.

Goodwin returned to his family farm near Wills Point in December if 1945 with numerous medals, including a Bronze Star for capturing an entire platoon of German soldiers.

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