The history of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion in World War 2.
Top Image: African American crew of an M1 155mm howitzer in action courtesy of the US Army.
Here at Aerial Resupply Coffee, we believe it's important to understand the military history of our country. While it's been said that those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it, we find that it's important to understand history so that one can recognize when they might be headed down a similar path.
In many cases, history rhymes. So grab your favorite roast of Aerial Resupply Coffee, and let's learn about the history of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion.
If you’re a military history or WWII follower, there are countless stories of bravery and sacrifice during the Battle of the Bulge. Classics like Battle of the Bulge with Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, and Charles Bronson (despite its historical inaccuracies), Patton, and HBO’s Band of Brothers give entertaining recreations of the famous surprise German offensive during WWII.
One story that should be more well-known is that of the men of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion. The 333rd was a segregated African American artillery battalion that saw action immediately after Normandy in 1944. In the fall, they were moved to the Belgium-German border and were ground zero for the Battle of the Bulge in December.
According to the National WW2 Museum, Soldiers in the 333rd took up rifles and stopped a German attack at the start of the Battle of the Bulge. Then, American commanders asked to “leave batteries behind to offer continuous support,” thinking the Americans could hold the German offensive. The 333rd laid down artillery fire and stayed as the American lines collapsed with half of the battalion killed or captured. The remaining soldiers managed to regroup and
joined in the defense of Bastogne until the German offensive broke later that month.
One particularly disturbing and harrowing account includes 11 members of the 333rd who evaded capture and were hidden by civilians until they were found, tortured, and killed by German Waffen SS troops. Unfortunately, it took 73 years to officially recognize the 11 members of the 333rd massacred by their German captors when Congress passed a resolution in 2017.
Get the whole story on the brave soldiers of the 333rd here: