Nuts - Beer In A Helmet & The Battle Of Bastogne

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Chatham – From horrifying sites in a concentration camp, to lighter moments of serving beer out of a combat helmet to injured troops, Vincent Speranza saw it all during World War II.

Speranza sat down at Edgar's Coffee House in Chatham to tell his stories to WAND's Doug Wolfe.  He also shares his experiences in a book called, “Nuts.”

“I wrote a book at 89 years old,” Speranza said.  “I still have most of my marbles and have no catastrophic illnesses.”

Speranza, who turned 90 in March, was with the 501st Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.  His life was on the line at the battle of Bastogne, Belgium in December 1944.  German troops had the town surrounded with American supplies and ammunition running low.  The Germans sent a message to the Americans demanding their surrender.  The simple one word response from the American command was, “Nuts.”

American forces eventually broke out with the help of tanks commanded by General George Patton.  They eventually worked their way into Germany where the sight of the dead and dying has stuck with Speranza forever.

“A skeleton with just skin on it.  That's all there was, no meat anywhere.  Bones and skin.”

Speranza will share his stories and autograph copies of his book Saturday at Edgar's Coffee House in Chatham from 1pm-3pm.  Speranza has been awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star medal for his service in World War II.

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