October 19, 2017


Washington, D.C. – This week, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution authored by Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) recognizing the 11 African-American soldiers of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion who were massacred in Wereth, Belgium during the Battle of tahe Bulge in December 1944. Piedmont native, James ‘Aubrey’ Stewart, was a member of the “Wereth 11.”

“These soldiers were tortured by Nazi troops, yet they stood brave in the face of evil.  They made the ultimate sacrifice and this recognition is long overdue,” Senator Manchin said. “I am proud that James ‘Aubrey’ Stewart is a West Virginian and honored that we can now ensure his legacy and the legacy of the entire unit are never forgotten.  There’s a road in Piedmont that is named in honor of Technical Sergeant Aubrey Stewart, and now his service and sacrifice are finally receiving the national attention he deserves. Aubrey’s story is like so many West Virginia Veterans; he led a life of selfless service and patriotism. Growing up in the small town of Piedmont, he was the first African American to be hired at the paper mill. He worked at the mill for 18 years, but at the age of 36 was too old to be drafted into World War II. So, he volunteered for the war and found himself on the front lines. His last letter home on December 7, 1944 showed more concern for his family to have a good Christmas than for his personal safety. Aubrey’s patriotism, service and bravery show a grateful nation not only what West Virginians are made of, but what it means to be a hero.”

In 2013, Mr. Kip Price, who was raised in Piedmont and a friend of Aubrey Stewart’s family, but is now a resident of Fairmont, took the initiative in support of a resolution to be passed by both chambers of the United States Congress in memorialization of the “Wereth 11.” Mr. Price, a retiree from the Monongahela Power Company, has been a longtime advocate for Veteran recognition. 

“I talked to Senator Manchin yesterday and was so excited to learn the resolution has passed the Senate,” Price said. “It’s been many years for these men to get the recognition and honor they deserve. It’s going to correct history. I can’t thank Senator Manchin enough.  I look forward to joining Senator Manchin and many friends in Mineral County in the coming weeks to commemorate Aubrey and this milestone.  I would also urge anyone who wants to learn more about Aubrey and these fine men to watch the movie ‘The Wereth 11.’”