Several soldiers went toward the nearby Farm of Henri Lejoly-Jacob but were not left into the house. William Merriken wounded in the leg was one of them. He went to the west side of the farmhouse. But, was found by an SS trooper who tried to shot him. The gun jammed and the others ran. Merriken slipped away and hid in a stable nearby. Later Charles Reding joined him there.
Ken Ahrens, Paul Garska, Cpl. Michael Sciranko and Al Valenzi ran toward a patch of woods about 200 yards away. They came to a creek where they hid. An American Jeep came up the road and picked them up taking them to safety.
Mke Skoda and William Reem running northwest along a line of hedges reaching the farmhouse of Joseph Mathonet. Working there way around the farmhouse they found an open stable door where they joined Paul Martin. Skoda and Reem were badly wounded. Skoda could not go any father despite feeling the stable was unsafe. Martin and Reem continued on into the dark leaving him behind. Four days later Skoda was discovered by the farmer and taken captive by German paratroopers. They took him to another barn where Private Thomas was severely hurt. Later the Germans headed east taking Skoda along with them. Thomas was never found.
Bruce Summers took off straight up the road toward Malmedy. He meets up with Mario Butera and another man in the ditch near the road. Working their way up the ditch and the road, they meet Summers, Butera, John O' Connell, Bobby Werth and then Harold Billow (from Mt. Joy, PA) and William Reem. Eventually, they came to the roadblock where Lt Col. David Pergrin of the 291st Combat Engineer Battalion drove them and other survivors to the Malmedy Aid Center. Carl Draub and Aubery Haridman ran with Summers, Draub and Haridman zigzagged their way along the hedge then followed a gully into the woods. They made their way to a farmhouse where a ten-year-old boy volunteered to guide them to the hill overlooking Malmedy.
When Ted Paluch ran, he saw several men head for the cafe. Instead, he headed across the dirt road behind the structure. Paluch got behind a hedge and played dead waiting for dark. Another soldier joined him there. They watched the Germans set the cafe on fire. While others got up and ran, risking German gunfire, Paluch and another man waited until the Germans went back into the nearby house then rolled on the ground downhill toward Malmedy.
Chuck Reding and William Merriken worked their way to a small woodshed near the farmhouse of Henri and JohannaLejoly-Jacob. Reding was deeply wounded and could not go any further. After dark, they crawled out of the shack and along the back of the farmhouse snaking their way across the road into the ditch. Following the ditch along the road to Malmedy. Fearful they would be spotted near dawn they moved up the bank into a thicket of bushes. Later they crossed an open field half dragging, hopping and walking. They approached the stone houses near the road where they found Monsieur Lerho, a hired hand, milking a cow. The man urged them toward the wooden door. Anna Blaise the owner of the home made them potato soup and coffee. Germans approached outside and Ana and Monsieur Lerho moved the men upstairs to the attic. Germans came to the door and entered the house. Anna spoke to them and convinced them no soldiers were in the home. The next morning Reding wrote a note for Ana to get to the Americans at Malmedy asking them to send an ambulance. Anna left her house and went to the neighbors at the Jamar house. Fifteen-year-old, Emil Jamar volunteered to take the note to Malmedy. He delivered newspapers all over the area and figured he would not be stopped. When Emil reached Malmedy he was meet by two American Soldiers that could not understand him. The Americans took him to Cafe Loffer where he was picked up in a jeep and drove to Hockay. There he was brought to an American officer who spoke French to whom he gave the note. The officer told Emil they would get the American prisoners at Madame Anna's farm, but they need his help to guide them to the farm. Emil led them to the house using a dirt road. Three hours later an ambulance rolled up to the house and took Reding and Merriken to the Malmedy Aid Station.
The following is a list of the thirty-one men from the 285th that survived the massacre. They included: Kenneth Ahrens, Charles Appman, Harold Billow (the last living survivor) Mario Butera, Carl Daub, Donald Day, Theodore Flechsig, George Fox, Paul Garstka, Aubrey Hardiman, Harry Horn, John Kailer, Kenneth Kingston, Ralph Law, Ist Lt. Virgil Lary, Paul Martin, James Matters, William Merriken, Carl Moucheron, John O'Connel, Theodore Paluch, Peter Piscatelli, Andrew Profanchick, William Reem, Michael Sciranko, Michael Skoda, Charles Smith, Robert Smith, William Summers, Albert Valenzi, and Bobby Werth.
Additional survivors from Unit 575 Ambulance Company were Anderson, Roy B., Dobyns, Samuel, Domitrovich, Steven J. and McKinney, James. From the 32nd Recon. Company was Bojarski, Edward J., Johnson, Herman, Lewis, Marvin J., Wendt, Walter J. and Zach, Henry R. From the 518 Military Police Battalion was Ford, Homer D. (the man directing traffic at the crossroads when the attach began).
Often overlooked or glossed over the Malmedy Massacre played a big role in the Battle of the Bulge. Once the first survivors got back to the American lines, word quickly spread through all the Allied troops as to what the Germans had done. This message got to the men at Bastogne. Despite being surrounded and outnumbered by as much as ten to one, they refused to surrender. Because Bastogne held until General Patton's Army could rescue them, the Germans ran themselves out of fuel and lost the Battle of the Bulge.
Many of the men of the 285th developed mental torment associated with the Massacre. Bill Merriken was hunted by terrible nightmares. Robert Mearig (Postman in Litz PA) forced to retire in 1975 due to a nervous breakdown. Harold Billow (Mt. Joy) suffers from seeing things in his head and occasional nightmares. He is the last survivor of the Massacre still alive. Stephan Domitrovich (Beaver, PA) thought of the events of that day often. Samuel Domitrovich (PA) had difficulty being sent back to the front with the 575th Ambulance Company. George Fox (Virginia) often questioned why he survived the Massacre and thought about the men the died often. Virgil Lary held guilt for leading his men to their deaths by surrendering, dying of depression and alcoholism. Like Lary, Harold Hinkle (Marietta, PA) was disturbed by the guilt of helping send his bodies to their deaths by helping to set the route they took that day. In January of 1958, he died of a rare intestinal disorder brought on by the stress of his event, three months after the birth of his only son, Jay. Over time Carl Daub (Colebrook, PA) exhibited increasing erratic behavior and lived in an old army tent at night. In 1988, he snapped killing his wife and assailed his thirty-two-year-old son at home escaping to Bangor Mountain in the Poconos. Despite a massive manhunt his body was not found until November 2003 by a hiker not far from his wrecked car.