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‘Angels of Bastogne’ During the Battle of the Bulge Saved the Lives of Hundreds of U.S. Soldiers

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Augusta Chiwy
Renée Lemaire Lemaire gained the reputation as “the Angel of Bastogne” for the care she delivered to wounded Soldiers. Lemaire died after the first aid station was bombed Dec. 24.

Augusta Chiwy went to Bastogne to visit her father for Christmas. After a long difficult trip, which warfare severely hampered, she found herself among American troops in the town as Nazi forces besieged it. She volunteered to nurse the wounded in the first aid station of the 20th Armored Infantry Battalion, 10th Armored Division.
Chiwy’s role during the siege had largely been forgotten by historians. Another volunteer nurse, Renee Lemaire, was killed when the first aid station building collapsed during a German raid. Lemaire went on to become known as the “Angel of Bastogne.”  Mr. Bryan Gatchell (IMCOM)

A color guard from U.S. Army Garrison Benelux performs its duty at the McAuliffe Monument in Bastogne Dec. 12 2020. During a year defined by a global pandemic, a commemoration of the 76th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, one of the deadliest battles and most decisive Allied victories of World War II, focused on the heroic actions of nurses. A party of dignitaries unveiled a plaque in honor of two Belgian nurses in particular, Renée Lemaire and Augusta Chiwy, who delivered aid and comfort to U.S. military service members during that harsh, more-than-monthlong winter battle. (U.S. Army photo by Julie Piron, USAG Benelux Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Julie Piron)

Col. Joseph P. McGee, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, and Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin R. Benson, brigade command sergeant major, lead Soldiers from the 1st BCT in a parade Dec. 10, 2011, down the streets of Bastogne, Belgium. (Photo Credit: Capt. Luke Bushatz, 1st Brigade Combat Team)

Augusta Chiwy (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photos)

Chiwy was knighted by the King of Belgium and received the U.S. Army’s Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service in 2011 at the age of 93.

Nurses, health care draw focus at Battle of the Bulge 76th

By Bryan Gatchell

Angel of Bastogne’ not forgotten

By Mr. Donovan Abrassart (IMCOM)

The forgotten “Angel of Bastogne” died in her sleep Aug. 23, 2015, in Brussels at the age of 94.

Family members, military and civilian officials paid tribute to Lady Augusta Chiwy during a funeral service Saturday at the Mardasson Memorial in Bastogne.

Belgian Air Force Col. Serge Vassart, representing King Philippe of the Belgians, U.S. Ambassador Denise Campbell Bauer and the Mayor of Bastogne Benoît Lutgen joined the family and many other people in honoring the Belgian nurse who helped save hundreds of U.S. Soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge.

Emotions were running high as people had gathered in the WWII memorial to say goodbye to the, now, unforgettable WWII hero.

“Today, we are mourning the loss of an Angel and of one the biggest treasures Belgium gave us,” Bauer said. “During the worst days this city has ever seen, during the greatest hour of need, Augusta Chiwy risked her life to help save those fighting for freedom in Bastogne.”
With Augusta’s death, it is one of the last surviving witnesses and heroes of WWII who disappears.

“Through Augusta, I would like to pay tribute to all civilians, all the civilians who are popular heroes, notably those who, by their profession, treat people, sometimes risking their lives,” Lutgen said.
Chiwy had come to Bastogne to visit her family when she unexpectedly became involved in the Battle of the Bulge during the final stages of WWII.

“She was not involved in this conflict, she didn’t have to do anything but she was confronted with men belonging to the same humanity, and she considered that she had to have a human behavior that was well over the aspect of the conflict,” said Chiwy’s son, Alain Cornet.
On June 24, 2011, Chiwy received the medal of Knight of the Order of the Crown and on Dec. 12, 2011, she received the Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service by the United States Department of the Army.
After the funeral service held at the Mardasson, attendees headed to the cemetery in Bastogne where Chiwy was laid at her final resting place in a family plot.

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