On Friday, October 7, the city of Pilsen, in cooperation with the partner city of Liege and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Belgium, unveiled in a part of the fortress called L’Enclos des fusillés de Liège a commemorative plaque dedicated to the 17th Rifle Battalion, which participated with General Patton’s 3rd American Army in liberation of western Bohemia and Pilsen. It is a great honor for the city of Pilsen that it could commemorate the memory in this way and pay tribute to its liberators even in these days.
Valére Gustin, a veteran of the 17th Rifle Battalion, and Luc Rensonnet, the son of the commander of the 17th Rifle Battalion, Georges Rensonnet, took part in the ceremony.
The Belgian 17th Rifle Battalion (17e Bataillon de Fusiliers) entered Czechoslovakia in May 1945 as part of the US V Corps of the US Third Army. The battalion consisted of volunteers who were mostly members of the Belgian anti-Nazi resistance during the years of occupation. The rifle battalion unit was established in January 1945 in the small town of Peruwelz in the Belgian Liege region. On April 28, it was reassigned to the 3rd Army, together with the 5th Army Corps.