The 969th Artillery Battalion was an African American United States Army unit that saw combat during World War II. Along with survivors of the 333rd Artillery Battalion, it gave fire support to the 101st Airborne Division during the siege of Bastogne. The 969th did not suffer the same harrowing casualties as the 333rd but was in the thick of it nonetheless. As a result of the 333rd's high casualty rate, those soldiers fought the rest of the war with the 969th even though on paper the members were still designated as the 333rd.
The 969th was equipped primarily with the M1 155 mm howitzer, one of the heaviest artillery pieces in common usage by U.S. forces during World War Two. The gun crews of the 969th were known for singing in cadence as they loaded and fired their guns, and have been praised by many veterans who fought in and around Bastogne, including Donald R. Burgett (cited below), for their deadly accuracy and precision.
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