Very good story. I have been to Bastogne, and did not know about the beer in the helmet story. I do know that veterans can find their foxholes or mortar pits out in the surrounding country side. Talked to a mortarman a few years back at a reunion that had found a few that he had dug, 40+ years later, with the use of some topo maps.
My FiL was in the 17th airborne, which helped relieve Bastogne, and afterwards were sent up to the North by Patton to secure that flank. It was cold, snowed heavily, roads were covered with ice. Lightly armed paratroopers, M1 Carbines and Bazookas, found themselves looking at 2 units of Tiger tanks that Hitler had sent in to regain ground and take Basogne. You don't hear much of that fighting, which some say was the fiercest of the Bulge, as the 17th was disbanded after WWII, and the 101 and the 82 have the division historians to tell their stories.
The 17th was in reserves in England, was brought over quickly for the Bulge, had no winter boots or coats. Bradley had a need for bodies to plug the Bulge. Those guys had it rough, most got frostbite on their feet.
The 17th went on to fight many battles, the biggest was operation Varsity, which was the largest airborne assault of the war. Paratroopers and CG-4A gliders were used for that. There is a Waco CG-4A in a Museum in Iron Mountain MI, if anyone heads through the UP next year for the NHC. Half of those were built at the old Ford Woody factory during the war, which was in Kingford MI.
Edited for spelling.