The rediscovered dog tags of fallen WWII soldier Roger Taylor that will be presented to the Beloit Historical Society at their "Remebering Roger" memorial service Sunday Dec. 29, 2019. ( / Aaron Self via Tribune News Service)

BELOIT, Ohio -- Pfc. Roger W. Taylor left his family's farm in the Beloit area 75 years ago for deployment to Europe during World War II.

He never came home.

But the dog tags he wore during his 22 months of Army service finally finished their journey back to his home town.

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A U.S. infantryman crawls under a wire fence as he and his comrades advance over snow-covered terrain toward surrounded U.S. forces in Germany's Luxembourg-Belgium salient toward Bastogne, Jan. 6, 1945. (Associated Press photo)

"All I remember is thinking if I hit the ground, I'm dead."

It was just after 8 a.m. on Christmas morning, 1944, outside the village of Echternach, Luxembourg, when a bullet from a Nazi machine gun found its way into Lt. James P. Teehan's helmet.

Teehan, who died in 2000 at the age of 78, had been dispatched as a forward observer for the Army's 802nd Field Artillery Battalion. He was about as far from the family dairy in Springfield as he could have imagined when he and his party set out to capture a Nazi-held chateau that stood between them and Bastogne, Belgium.

For nine days, the Nazis had been battling their way back into Luxembourg and Belgium from which the Allies had chased them only weeks earlier. On Dec. 16, the Germans had launched what would be Adolf Hitler's last great blitzkrieg of World War II.

It began with a massive attack by three German armies of close to 200,000 soldiers along a 40-mile front in the Ardennes Forest of Luxembourg and continued with the Nazis pressing westward into Belgium and aiming for the port city of Antwerp.

It became known as the Battle of the Bulge, so named for the bulge the Nazi forces managed to make in allied lines. "This is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war and will, I believe, be recognized as an ever-famous American victory," British Prime Minister Winston Churchill would tell the House of Commons on Jan. 18, 1944.

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A screenshot of the 18th Airborne Corps post featuring Waffen-SS Obersturmbannfǘhrer Joachim Peiper shared on the official Facebook page of the Department of Defense

A photo of a Nazi commander shown on the 18th Airborne Corps' social media page has been removed and an apology has been issued.

On Monday, the 18th Airborne Corps' Facebook page made the first post of its series to commemorate the World War II operation between German forces and Western Allies known as "The Battle of the Bulge."

The Corps' since-deleted post to kick off the commemoration had a photo of German Schutzstaffel Col. Joachim Peiper.

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Battle of the Bulge veteran Malcolm "Buck" Marsh, A Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, takes part in the ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge at the Mardasson Memorial in Bastogne, Belgium, Dec. 16, 2019. (DOD, Lisa Ferdinando)

An Army veteran of the Battle of the Bulge made the history books come alive with his short speech during a 75th anniversary commemoration in Bastogne, Belgium.

Malcolm "Buck" Marsh Jr., who spoke at the event yesterday, was a soldier in the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment when the Nazis attacked on Dec. 16, 1944. His unit was part of the 3rd Armored Division and it was rushed in to stop the German onslaught.

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A screenshot of the 18th Airborne Corps post featuring Waffen-SS Obersturmbannfǘhrer Joachim Peiper shared on the official Facebook page of the Department of Defense

Don't worry: You have not crossed into the alternative universe portrayed in The Man in the High Castle wherein the Nazis won World War II.

That said, voracious consumers of Defense Department social media content might have been slightly confused on Monday when the 18th Airborne Corps posted a story on Facebook to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge that prominently featured a colorized portrait of infamous Waffen-SS Obersturmbannfǘhrer Joachim Peiper.

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