Staff Sergeant Alfred Bell served as a Tank Platoon Sergeant during World War II. He fought in the Invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge as a member of the famous Spearhead Division.
In this episode, he recounts the Battle of the Bulge. During the battle, Bell commanded all five tanks in his platoon. When the company-wide radio communications weren’t working, he left his tank on foot and fought across the battlefield to the aid station where they had battalion-wide communications. Bell still wasn’t able to contact his company with that radio, so he fought tooth and nail to protect the aid station as it was evacuated. By nightfall, Bell had lost an eye, a large portion of his left hand, and most of his fingers. Due to his severe injuries and massive blood loss, he faded in and out of consciousness, and woke up a few days later in a hospital in France.
Bell spent the next two years recovering in a hospital in Texas, where he underwent many reconstructive plastic surgeries.
To learn more about the evacuation of this aid station, and Sergeant Aurio Pierro, who was mentioned in this episode, listen to our interview with Pierro.
More About Warriors In Their Own Words and The HONOR Project
Warriors In Their Own Words brings to life the stories of those who have defended this nation. Using archival interviews going back to WWI, as well as current conversations about more recent conflicts, we hear remarkable accounts of service and sacrifice from those who lived them. These podcasts are a production of The HONOR Project: Heroes of Our Nation On Record.
Since 1991, award-winning documentarians Rob Kirk, Rob Lihani and Donna Lusitana have been recording and archiving the remarkable and very personal stories of veterans from World War I through modern conflicts. To provide an ongoing structure for the preservation of these stories, recounted by those who lived them, Kirk, Lihani and Lusitana joined with digital media pioneer, Marc Honorof, to create The HONOR Project.
“We are in the business of reporting history,” said Kirk, “Right now, these incredibly candid stories from a passing generation are what America wants to hear. We didn’t just sit these men down with a list of questions and ask them to reel off facts. We let them speak from the heart and captured all the emotion of their experiences.”
"By wrapping contextual narration around these astonishing stories and adding high quality production values,” said Lihani, “we have produced podcasts which are not only educational, but fascinating as well, along the lines of Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation, or HBO’s Band of Brothers. Many of these veterans are no longer with us, so their accounts need to be remembered and archived. There simply is no substitute for listening to these men tell us their own experiences, in their own words and voices."
If you enjoy hearing these stories directly from those who lived them, please give us a 5-star review on iTunes or wherever you found us. Thank you.