WWII veterans return from European visit on anniversary of Battle of the Bulge

BOSTON — A historical trip that produced some unforgettable memories as American veterans even got the chance to talk with a German veteran they faced on the battle field. Those Americans received a warm welcome home Monday night at Logan airport after a whirlwind trip back in time and place to the scenes of the Battle of the Bulge, which began 75 years ago on Tuesday.

Andy Biggio, a veteran and author, lead the group of 17 soldiers. Some, like Bob White, hadn’t been back since the war. Bob, who was in the 17th Airborne Division, read a monument to his fellow soldiers. The memories, some horrific, came flooding back.

“It brought back some sad memories,” he said. “It kind of broke me down a little bit.”

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Each man revisiting places they liberated. Ernie Roberts and Rodney Perkins stood on the same street three-quarters of a century later.

In Belgium people flooded the streets to welcome the Americans.

“They were lining the streets on both sides,” Biggio said, adding that it was a tribute to the freedom those Americans restored. “If you see the Belgian people, and for them to see a living WWII veteran, to them that’s a superhero.”

Those veterans in their mid-90s, many with serious health issues, were determined to return one more time. Their bravery still evident to grateful Europeans, something Biggio says we Americans should never forget.

“When we were over there it was like the Patriots’ parade on steroids,” Biggio said. “We couldn’t get into museums or bars. If they’re so grateful, we should be too.”