The following video was taken by Belgian National Television at the December 44 Museum, in La Gleize, Belgium. We discovered my father’s helmet was at the museum on a research trip in Normandy and immediately went to Belgium to see it. The museum curator, and renowned historian/author, Michel de Trez, welcomed us and showed us the helmet. We have no idea how the helmet ended up there.
The helmet is unique, of twenty made for paratrooper communications radio operators, only one has ever been found: Ernest R. Blanchard’s. It is in excellent condition. He was in La Gleize during the Battle of the Bulge, but it is believed the helmet was with him in Germany, so we may never know the full story.
In the video, which is in French (except for when Jane and I speak), they discuss how Jane and I came to see my father’s helmet and what a thrill it was to have us there. I can’t tell you how much we appreciated the warm welcome and hospitality of everyone in Belgium! The museum is a “must see,” for anyone interested in the story of the Battle of the Bulge. The museum has a King Tiger tank parked right next to the entrance, one of only a few still in existence.