LIEGE, MORLANWELZ AND TONGRES
On November 29, 1944, the 25th completed its move to a more permanent location in Liege, Belgium. During this time Liege was under intense attack from the German counteroffensive. As many as 140 V-1 “buzz” bombs fell on the city during the course of a day.
Because the initial site chosen in Liege was not available, a suitable location was found in Tongres, 12 miles northwest of Liege. The five-building barracks complex, built in 1939, occupied and then largely destroyed by the Germans when they retreated, required extensive reconstruction. For a month, mid-January to mid-February 1945, the 25th bivouacked in nearby Morlanwelz, at an unoccupied girl’s school.
The personnel of the 25th moved into their Tongres quarters on February 19, and by March 3 the first wing of the hospital was opened. The entire 1,250 bed hospital was operational by March 25.
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge commenced just weeks after the 25th arrived in Liege. Located just miles from the front, Liege and Tongres were destinations for the wounded who could travel but required more care than could be provided on the front. While the 25th’s own hospital facility was not operational during the Battle of the Bulge, members of the unit served bravely on detached service with evacuation hospitals and other general hospitals.