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551st Parachute Battalion Combat Team Plaque

<< Back to Rochelinval


This plaque is located in the center of the park that constitutes the Rochelinval site. It it located on the stone immediately in from of the three flagpoles.  Plaque This bronze plaque is attached to a rough gray field stone and depicts the insignia of the 551st Parachute Battalion Combat Team as well as its "GOYA" slogan. The plaque's bilingual French and English inscriptions describe the extreme sacrifices of the unit during the fighting at Rochelinval. The main plaque is located just above a smaller dark metal plaque recognizing the unit's Presidential Unit Citation. There is a small picture of Lt. Col. Joerg at the top of the field stone.

The 551st's assault of Rochelinval began on the morning of January 7, 1945, after it had already captured the towns of Dairomont and Quartiers. The German forces which occupied the town were well supplied and had had time to fortify their defenses. On the contrary, the soldiers of the 551st slept in the snow in preparation of the attack. By the time the fighting in Rochelinval ended, the unit had lost over 70% of its soldiers. One telling example of the crushing losses which the 551st suffered is that, of the 60 or so soldiers of Company A at the beginning of the assault, only four or five remained after the fighting was over. The capture of Rochelinval deprived German forces of any bridge in a 10 mile radius and Hitler ordered the first withdrawal of German forces from the Bulge the next day, January 8th. The bravery and persistence of the 551st earned them a Presidential Unit Citation.

Monument Text:

"551st American Parachute
Battalion Combat Team


Le 7 Janvier 1945
110 Parachutistes 
Libererent Ce Village
Le 3-1-45 Ils Etaient 790
En 4 Jours De Combats
Leur Commandant Le
Lt Col Wood G Joerg
Et 680 Des Leurs Etaient
Tombes Pour La Paix
Et Notre Liberte

On January 7th 1945
110 Paratroopers
Retook This Town
On 3-1-1945 There Were 790
In 4 Days of Fighting 680
Including Their Commander
Lt Col Wood G Joerg
Fell on The Battlefield
For Peace And
Our Liberty"

"Presidential Unit Citation
Rochelinval, Belgium. January 7, 1945"



Wood G. Joerg


551st Parachute Regiment

United States Army




Battle of the Bulge

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