Montgomery County will honor the 89-year-old Silver Spring resident on Sept. 19 for his service in the U.S. Army during World War II.
How did you get captured during the Battle of the Bulge?
There were four divisions taken out of the Bulge and four new divisions put in. My division was one of them -- the 106th infantry. [The Germans] cut us off at 30 miles because we were like a nose sticking into Germany, and when we tried to get back, we couldn't, and they took us. It was either that or die.
How long were you in German custody?
Long enough to lose 85 pounds.
Describe the conditions.
Terrible. We walked 160 miles in 13 days. We never ate. Then for six days we were in a boxcar. Again, we never ate. They let us out of the boxcar once a day to go to the bathroom. We were bombed by our own Air Force. But God in his wisdom can make you survive. You can survive without the food. You cannot survive without water. That's why he made it snow.
Where did you end up?
I ended up in a British POW camp called Stalag IV-B. A Russian troop released our camp on April 28, .
What happened when the war ended?
I was fortunate enough to meet Gen. Eisenhower, who was handing out his Eisenhower jackets. He made me feel like a million bucks. We were in the line getting our jackets, and the people in front of me and behind me were talking with him, as I was. A person came over to him and told him they were ready for him to give his presentation, and he said, "They'll just have to wait until I finish my conversation here."
What was most surprising about your experiences?
That I survived.
- Rachel Baye