The 333rd Field Artillery Battalion was an all-black unit of World War II. Their service would begin in Normandy in 1944 with intense combat. Though there were many soldiers who were captured during World War II, none would take on the story of eleven men left to die from the 333rd – they would be called The Wereth Eleven.
Activated out of Camp Gruber, Oklahoma, the 333rd Battalion were eventually transferred to Ardennes where they were set eleven miles behind the front lines in the Battle of the Bulge. While most of the men were ordered to go west, two of the units were ordered to stay behind. All but eleven men were killed in battle by German soldiers. The remaining eleven scattered to find American territory, but until then, they stayed with a local farmer living in Wereth, Belgium. Sadly, a Pro-Nazi civilian revealed their hiding place to Hitler’s troops. The eleven men were taken to a field, heavily tortured and executed in December 1944.
The 333rd Field Artillery Battalion suffered more casualties during the Battle of the Bulge than any other artillery unit. A memorial was put in place in 2001 where the soldiers were killed in Belgium and an honorable ceremony was held in 2006. It is believed to be the only memorial to black soldiers in World War II in Europe.
Watch a clip about The Wereth Eleven above.