Segments in this Video

Searching for Augusta Chiwy (04:19)


Bastogne was caught in Germany's attack on the Western Front in December 1944. In the chaos, a Belgian nurse met an American soldier. Military historian Martin King searches for Chiwy's story.

Angel of Bastogne (02:17)

German forces bombed the U.S. aid station in Bastogne on Christmas Eve 1944, killing 30 soldiers and Belgian nurse Renee LeMaire. King learned another nurse named Augusta also worked at the aid station.

Battle of the Bulge (05:28)

In 1944, Hitler ordered German troops to attack the Allied front line to divide the army and capture a supply route. Poorly equipped American troops attempted to hold the Germans back at Bastogne.

Chiwy's Early Life (04:03)

Chiwy was born in a village on the border of Rwanda and Burundi to a Belgian father and a Congolese mother. Chiwy went to Belgium when she was 9-years-old and was adopted by an aunt. Black women were prohibited from being teachers, so Chiwy studied nursing.

Chiwy's Trip to Bastogne (04:04)

Chiwy took a break from her job at St. Elizabeth's Hospital to visit her father for Christmas. She arrived on the day the German's launched their attack that lead to the Battle of the Bugle.

Jack Prior's Road to Bastogne (07:29)

Prior was born in Vermont. He was a member of the football team and ROTC at the University of Vermont. He was inducted into the army as a medical officer after the war started and was sent to Belgium.

Attack on Bastogne (06:11)

With the fighting nearby and the Germans heading for the city, Bastogne residents fled or hid in public cellars. Chiwy and her family volunteered in a cellar under a Catholic school. Prior's medical unit created an aid station and a medical officer went looking for trained medical professionals to volunteer.

Chiwy Joins the Aid Station (04:11)

Prior located Chiwy and she began working at the aid station; the station had few medical supplies. Chiwy acted as a pseudo-doctor and started working alongside Prior.

Assisting on the Battlefield (04:08)

The aide station learned several soldiers needed urgent medical attention and Prior and Chiwy went to the battlefield. Chiwy helped an injured soldier amid machine gun fire. Chiwy and Prior grew closer after their experience on the battlefield.

Running out of Supplies (04:57)

Bastogne was constantly bombarded by Germans. Prior went to the 101st Airborne headquarters for more medical supplies and saw over 600 wounded soldiers. The skies finally cleared and Prior hoped for an air drop of supplies.

Christmas Eve in Bastogne (04:05)

An officer had invited Prior and Chiwy for a glass of champagne in the building next to the aid station when Germans dropped a 500-pound bomb on the station. Prior, Chiwy, and several soldiers dug through the rumble to find survivors and identify the dead, including LeMaire.

End of the Siege (04:12)

The Germans continued their attack on Bastogne. Chiwy agreed to assist Prior at the 101st Airborne's aid station. General George Patton and the 4th Armored Division arrived and the German siege ended.

Prior's Orders to Leave (04:17)

On Dec. 27, 1944, supplies arrived at the aid station. Prior's division was leaving Bastogne and he had to say goodbye to Chiwy. He gave her his address and they wrote to each other for 60 years.

Prior and Chiwy after the War (03:28)

After returning to the United States, Prior married, had six children, and became a successful pathologist. Chiwy married a Belgian soldier, had two children, and continued nursing.

Honoring Chiwy (08:08)

King located Chiwy's address and went to visit her. In 2011, Chiwy was made a knight in the Order of the Crown by the king of Belgium and awarded the Civilian Award for Humanitarian Services from the U.S. Army.

Credits: Searching for Augusta: The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne (02:22)

Credits: Searching for Augusta: The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne

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Searching for Augusta: The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne

3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



This true story begins with two nurses, Renee LeMaire and Augusta Chiwy, as they treat patients in the Bastogne aid station. Renee was killed on Christmas Eve and became famous as "The Angel of Bastogne." Augusta's story was lost to history for 65 years. Augusta Chiwy's story is one of great courage and heroism in the face of racial discrimination.

Length: 75 minutes

Item#: BVL151299

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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