HAROLD BILLOW – US Army, 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, Malmedy massacre survivor
As Harold Billow on December 17th 1944 laid face-down on the snowy ground in a field at the Baugnez crossroads, some 2 miles outside Malmedy, he had to stifle his breath and continue to “play dead” to remain undetected. Had he failed by moving the slightest he would have been instantly shot in the head by German Waffen-SS soldiers of the Kampfgruppe lead by SS-Obersturmbannführer Peiper that had taken Billow and some 120 of his comrades as prisoners.
One can not imagine the horror it must have been to lay there among the slain bodies of your comrades while SS soldiers were looking for any signs of life. 87 of Billows comrades were executed here after being taken prisoners, fate would have it that he would survive this atrocity commonly known as the Malmedy massacre.
For every national holiday celebrated Billows says that he decorates the front yard of his Mount Joy home with 87 flags to commemorate the men who perished in Malmedy by the hands of the Waffen-SS.