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The liberation of South Limburg

Maastricht / Margraten, Sept. 13. 1944

George Brouilette probably joined
30 ‘Old Hickory’ Infantry Division,
in September, after the division had suffered heavy
losses and needed to be
supplemented with new soldiers. This division
was commanded by Major General Leland Hobbs.

George was assigned to
G-Company, 2nd Battalion,
117 Infantry Regiment. On 13 September his company went via Gronsveld to Heer and continued to Maastricht. Limburg's capital had been almost completely abandoned by the Germans when the Americans entered and so the city was liberated more or less without a fight. The western part of the city and Margraten were liberated on September 13. The eastern part of Maastricht was liberated a day later. Then ‘Old Hickory’ moved steadily towards eastern South Limburg.


Restcenter Rolduc

Rolduc, Kerkrade, 2-5 November 1944

On November 2, 1944 the positions of
George's battalion were taken over by
406 Infantry
Regiment, 106 Infantry Division

George and his comrades could
rest in Rest Camps near
Heerlen and Kerkrade.

We know that the men from Old Hickory at that time were in Rolduc where one such Rest center was situated. In one photo we can see how soldiers from the Old Hickory Division in the Rest Center Rolduc were treated to coffee and snacks by the Clubmobile girls But the peace was short-lived, and around November 5 the unit turned back to the front line.

By this time George was hardened by battle. A
month earlier, he had written a letter to his cousin
(half-brother) Raymond, which clearly indicated
that he already knew how tough war was.


Victim of a mine

Mariadorf, November 16

On November 16 - a cold and foggy day - George's unit launched an attack on Mariadorf (just over the border in Eygelshoven). George's unit was advancing through an area that was filled with mines Schützenminen. These anti-personnel mines, usually
abbreviated to Schü-mine,
were specifically targeted to infantry and
were able to inflict terrible injury.

As the advance had been halted for a month,
this had given the Germans plenty of time to place mines.
Advancing in this area was therefore extremely
dangerous for the infantry. This was the case on that day:
there were many victims among the advancing infantry, including George, who stepped on a mine and was

seriously injured. Despite the many
victims the unit took Mariadorf.
104 German soldiers were taken


Buried in Margraten

Margraten, date unknown

On November 17, 1944, George Brouillette, only 23 years old, died of his injuries.

The last possessions George had when he died included $ 11.81, 8 photos, 8 stamps, a prayer book, a rosary, a cross and two religious medals.

After his death George
Brouillette was buried at the
American cemetery
in Margraten. He has his
final resting place in
Block G, Row 9, Grave 15.

George Brouillette’s grave
was adopted by Harry