BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest battle of World War II. It was Hitler's last big offensive to try and turn the tide of the war. It ended in a crushing defeat for Germany and a decisive victory for allied forces.
Richard Hussey, now age 92, was just a 19-year-old kid fresh off the farm from Hudson when he went overseas in September 1944. Little did he know at the time that in just a few short months he would be right in the middle of the largest battle the U.S. Army ever fought.
He was a member of the 84th Infantry, dubbed the "Railsplitters." He wanted to share his story with NEWSCENTER. Unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse, so we met him in the hospital and talked with him there.
He recalled talking about his first day of combat in that battle. "I got injured first day and they sent me back to the hospital and the shrapnel went through my steel helmet and stuck in my skull," he said.
Pfc. Richard Hussey, or "Huzz" as they called him, was not knocked out of battle with that injury. He returned to the front lines once he recovered a few short weeks later.
"When they sent me back to my outfit I went up in a foxhole with my best friend for life and we had, let's see, we had 168 days of combat in the infantry and he never got a scratch and I got wounded twice," he said.
That best friend for life was Cecil "Pete" Brown. They were both machine gunners, and they were both country farm boys, Pete from Mississippi and Huzz from Maine.
"He woke up in the morning and milked three or four cows," Pfc. Hussey said. "He was a farmer and he'd milk cows and he went and cut wood all day and then he come home at night and milk three or four cows again, and my situation in Maine was very similar."
Hussey said you can't really know what it was like unless you were there. He said he does remember the day he learned Germany had surrendered.
"We spent a lot of time in foxholes, but there was this building," he said. "The building we were in the guys was having some wine and dancing around having a good time."
Looking back, he speaks with great pride for President Harry Truman who he said made some tough choices. As for his own service, he's proud of that too.
"I'm no hero, but circumstances made me a hero."
Richard Hussey received a number of military honors for his service including two purple hearts.