On January 25, 1945, the last of Hitler’s troops had been pushed from the small Belgian town of St. Vith, bringing closure to the Battle of the Bulge, the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States in World War II and the third-deadliest campaign in American history.

Thousands of U.S. troops fought at “the Bulge.” Their heroism stands as an exemplar of the fighting spirit, grit, and determination of the U.S. military.

We at SOFREP consider ourselves, first and foremost, students of history. We seek to remember both the battles and the servicemembers who fought them. From time to time, we are fortunate enough to be able to share personal stories of these histories: first-hand accounts from the field of battle.

Today, we are proud to share this letter, written by U.S. Army Staff Sergeant David Baldwin to his brother Frank during the height of the Battle of the Bulge. SSG Baldwin served in the 6th Armored Division. The Sixth was ordered north of the French city of Metz on December 23 to take and hold a sector along the southern bank of the Sauer River. It was heavily engaged in the battle for Bastogne and responsible for driving the Germans back across the Our River and into Germany.

Battle of the Bulge
SSG David Baldwin, somewhere in Europe c. 1944. (Courtesy of Alexander Stein)

Frank Baldwin was a Marine Corps pilot with the VMF-221 and was stationed in the Pacific. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions in the theater.

Frank and David were two of 10 Baldwin children from a large Catholic family in Michigan. Frank Baldwin was the eldest.

Dave Baldwin letter to brother Frank from Battle of the Bulge
Captain Frank Baldwin, USMC. (Courtesy of Alexander Stein)

The letter was written from the 137th Field Hospital which had taken up a position just to the south of the front in support of the Bulge. SSG Baldwin’s words are a stark yet beautiful reminder of the Battle of the Bulge and the sacrifices made by so many.

We thank our friend Alexander Stein for sharing this letter with us. We hope that your grandfather’s words — and his service — may live on in the hearts and minds of our readers.