During the Battle of the Bulge, which lasted from December 16, 1944, to January 25, 1945, this French-made oil lamp illuminated the operating table at an over-run aid station. Despite his own wounds, Chaplain Merle M. Grove (1912-1971) with the 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, assisted at the aid station where the battle wounded had been evacuated and this lamp shone bright. Chaplain Grove brought the antique lamp home and often recounted that “a lot of GIs were saved by the light of that small lamp.” Grove settled in Mississippi following the war, working as a Christian church minister.
The Battle of the Bulge was the German army’s last major counteroffensive on the Western Front during World War II, lasting six weeks in frigid, wintry conditions in the Ardennes Forest. Both sides suffered high casualties during the battle, with over 88,000 American casualties.