134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

Pfc. Albert Bloom

Company E, 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment

Pfc. Albert Bloom

This photo was taken in 1944 in Shelby, Mississippi, while Albert Bloom was in Basic Training with the 69th Infantry Division

"My last battle was the Battle on Flavigny Bridge, September 10 -11, 1944. It seems like I was the last man off the bridge when I was wounded in my right leg. Managed to find a culvert under the bridge, bleeding and in great pain. Rescued by unknown soldier. Spent many months in hospitals in England and the U.S.A."

The battle for the Flavigny Bridge over the Moselle River was one of the bloodiest battles of the Lorraine Campaign. The Second Battalion of the 134th Infantry Regiment was decimated when it attempted to cross the river, preparatory to the drive on Nancy. Some 500 - 600 soldiers were killed, wounded, captured or lost. The 60th Engineering Battalion and the 110th Medical Battalion also suffered great losses.

Thanks to the efforts of Paula Baker and Jerome Leclerc of the Lorraine Center for WWII, Pfc. Bloom has since been reunited with the soldier who rescued him. Below is a translation by Paula Baker from the French newspaper L'EST REPUBLICAIN describing the events leading to their reunion.

Two GI's find each other, 59 years later, thanks to an organization in Vezelise.


Monday, October 27, 2003

The reunited GIs went through Lorraine.

59 years later, two American veterans were reunited by the Lorraine Center for WWII

A few weeks ago, the Lorraine Center for WWII, based in Vezelise, received an e-mail from a WWII veteran named Albert Bloom, who was writing his memoirs and wished to have some photos of the bridge at Flavigny and its surroundings to illustrate his account.

"A good many years have rolled by since the 10th of September, 1944, when my unit, Company E of the 134th Infantry Division, attacked a bridge on the Moselle," Albert Bloom wrote. "Only recently did I learn that it was at Flavigny Bridge where I was very seriously wounded. It seemed to me that I was the last man living who remained on the bridge"...Albert Bloom was saved by "a soldier whose name I did not know."

Some photos were immediately sent to Albert Bloom. Some days later, that history reminded Jerome Leclerc, secretary of the Lorraine Center, of an account which he already had between his hands.
Among his documents, he located the citation awarding the Bronze Star Medal to Sgt. Carroll H. Crouch, of the 134th Infantry Regiment, "for his heroic action at the time of military operations on the Moselle September 10, 1944. When the 2nd Battalion of the 134th Infantry Regiment was committed to take the bridge, Sgt. Crouch received the order to hold a tunnel near the bridge. This he managed to do until morning, when the order was given to withdraw, despite heavy fire. In the middle of that mission, Sgt. Crouch carried out the evacuation of two wounded men...."
Without hesitation, a copy of Carroll's citation was sent to Albert Bloom. Two days later, Albert's reply arrived: "There is no doubt in my mind that I am one of the two men mentioned in the citation of Sgt. Carroll Crouch. I would like to thank him so much."
It happens that Carroll Crouch is a friend of Paula Baker, US correspondent for the Lorraine Center for WWII.

It's Wonderful to Hear Your Voice

The same day, Jerome put Al in touch with Paula, who transmitted Carroll's address and telephone number to him. Al called him right away: "Here's Albert Bloom who waited 59 years to thank you for saving my life in a tunnel near the bridge at Flavigny," he said simply.
"Incredible," Crouch exclaimed. "Hard to believe, 59 years later. It's fantastic to hear from you."
"Afterwards," Al Bloom said, "we spent a long time exchanging memories which were buried within us, but not forgotten."

Thanks to Albert Bloom, Paula Baker, and Jerome Leclerc for providing this information.

Link to a description of the battle at Flavigny bridge

Link to web page dedicated to 1st Lt. Ralph T. Brennan who was killed in action during the battle for the bridge at Flavigny

Link to web page dedicated to Pfc. Calvin C Mordecai who was wounded at Flavigny

Link to web page dedicated to Sgt. Carroll Crouch who was awarded a Bronze Star for heroic service during the battle at Flavigny

Link to picture a of the Monument at Flavigny, France

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