Belgium / Battlefield
From 19 December 1944, as part of the defence of Bastogne, elements of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division had arrived and occupied the area surrounding Bizory, including parts of the village itself. Additionally, some elements of the U.S. 9th and 10th Armored Divisions, which had received the mission to hold defensive positions near this location against German troops advancing westward from the east, were forced to pullback through the paratroopers' positions around Bizory into Bastogne.
From the 19 December 1944, the American soldiers which included elements of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) of the 101st Airborne Division, were located around Bizory. They faced repeated attacks from elements of the German 26th Volksgrenadier Division, which had come from the direction of Mageret. The German troops’ objective was to reach Luzery on the road between Bastogne and Houffalize, to make a breakthrough towards Bastogne from the north.
Despite the ferocious nature of the fighting during December, in and around the village, including the nearby high ground of Hill 510, as well as between Bizory and Neffe, the men of Lieutenant-Colonel Julian Ewell’s 501st PIR held firm.
Further to the north-west of the village of Bizory, other American troops from the 506th PIR of the 101st Airborne Division, were also mainly active, dug in and around the Bois Jacques (Jack’s Wood), where there was also very heavy fighting. The Bastogne to Bourcy railway line acted as a natural dividing line between the 506th and 501st PIR defensive sectors.
The inhabitants of the village of Bizory, who remained there during the fighting, were greatly affected by these events. Several families had to find refuge in their cellars or were forced to flee to Bastogne to escape death.
During the fighting in the area, it is believed that a building in the vicinity of the village of Bizory was used as an advanced first aid station by the 101st Airborne Division to treat many wounded soldiers from both sides.
The village of Bizory was liberated in January 1945 by elements of the U.S. 6th Armored Division.
Later in January, aided by the U.S. 11th Armored Division, the American troops of the 101st Airborne Division made a breakthrough towards Noville and Foy, making it possible to definitively repel the German forces from the area to the north and north-east of Bastogne.