Belgien / Schlachtfeld

​​Band of Brothers: Fighting at Foy​




​​“Band of Brothers” was the famous name given to Company E, 2nd Battalion, US 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. They fought during the Ardennes Offensive (also known as the Battle of the Bulge) in the winter of 1944 to 45. ​On 13 January 1945, the Fontaine Woods overlooking the village of Foy in Bastogne, was the frontline for the men of Company E. From this location on the edge of the woods, they launched their attack on Foy, to liberate it from German troops.​

​​From 19 December 1944, soldiers of Easy Company were positioned around the Bois Jaques (Jack's Wood), Fontaine and Fazone Woods. Since then, the Fontaine wood has changed, being about 150 yards further back. This position gives a good view over Foy village, on which Easy Company led an attack from here.

On 13 January 1944, 09:00, three platoons of Easy Company attacked the village. 2nd Platoon, led by Sergeant Carwood Lipton, made a frontal assault. 1st Platoon, led by Lieutenant Foley, came to the left. 3rd Platoon led by Lieutenant Shames, came from the right via the road branching off the main road.

At 10:00, a platoon of Item Company, from the same Battalion as E Company, led a diversionary attack along the main road, towards the church at the crossroads, with 22 men. This was a distraction tactic, to draw fire from German troops away from Easy Company‘s main attack.

However, Easy Company's attack was halted in the fields in front of Foy. The soldiers were targeted by small arms, machine guns, mortar weapons and artillery fire.

Lieutenant Dike, the officer in charge of Easy Company, had already been awarded two Bronze Stars for gallantry, and led the attack on Foy. One of his Bronze Stars had been earned about a week previously, for actions around Bastogne.

At around 11:00, Dike's command broke down and could no longer control the attack. He was quickly replaced by Lieutenant Ronald Speirs, the officer in charge of Dog Company at the time.

Speirs immediately ran from the frontline starting position across the open field, to get the attack back underway. In his account of the event, he recalls being shot at directly by a German soldier. Under Speirs’ command, the attack continued into Foy village.

Due to situation of the different platoons and potential incoming friendly fire, Speirs sprinted from the crossroad opposite the church, up the road and back under fire, to link up with Item Company. This was around 100 yards of open ground in full view of the enemy.

By 15:30, the village of Foy was secured by Easy Company. Six of their soldiers had been killed in the attack, and many others wounded.

Foy, 6600