Where you see this **** , it is what I have added.
Things that came to mind after I had typed the entry, from my diary. (Doug)
June 16th, went on pass to Oujda, rented a bike, and bought some canned fruit,
rumors of German
Para-troops in the vicinity.
16th, made night jump shortly after midnight near
in French Morocco. A guy would not Jump. (He was later shipped out of the
Battalion). I made a good landing but had hard time finding 4th gun section.
Some of the bundles landed in wheat field, but 4th section was first to get
to the assembly point. First section did not Jump because door load got stuck
in the door.
? Went on compass course last night wandered all over the hills of Morocco,
did not get back to camp until daylight completely hushed.
25th? Packed all extra equipment, B Battery getting ready to go by plane to
our next destination, packed my old boots, wearing my new ones, they hurt my
feet, going to get some beer tonight. Hope I get some mail.
? Left Oujda by plane for area around Souse or Kairouan, we flew high + very
cold, just about got air sick, pissed in helmet, camped near Kairouan, very
very hot, drinking lots of water. Too hot to do anything in day time, do it
at night, wind like a blast furnace, sharing pup tent with Bennett, dug fox
holes. Guess my hair will grow back to normal one of these days. Know I'm
going into combat, think it's tomorrow night, they showed us the sand table
of the area that we are jumping in, I'm in #4 plane loaded with ammunition.
Lt Cole, Jumpmaster, also went to planes and had instructions in case of a
Some of us had Chutes
that had both Static lines and a rip cord. The Chutes were Camouflaged Nylon
with a Spring loaded Pilot Chute. I heard that they were the type the marine
Paratroops used. I cut off a Pilot Chute and got rid of the spring and carried
the little chute in my Musset Bag and lost everything when I was wounded at
10th?††† Left night of the 9th from
flew over Malta which was a check point about five or six hundred ft. Pretty light
out, took my turn standing at door holding door load, Two guys got airsick,
anti-aircraft fire hit us as we came over the coast of Sicily.
Red light came on, then green light, door load partly stuck in door. I went
out head first, could see flashes and tracers from ground fire before my chute
opened, when chute opened grabbed front risers and slid most the way to
ground, hit very hard. Lots of firing going on. Loaded gun and got grenades
ready. 505 guy beside me broke stock of gun going out door we had hard time
getting oriented, every time we moved, machine gun bullets whiz over our
heads. Joined a group of troopers, and started looking for my gun crew. Came
across Paratrooper with broken leg. He had crashed into a tree stump, He was
on the wrong side of a brick wall about five feet high, when some of the
firing let up, about 4 of us jumped over the wall and lifted him over on the
safe side. Finally met some guys from B-Btry. Fought with the Infantry,
knocked out two machine gun nest and captured the Italians and their guns.
Dead Italian soldier in cart, Lt. from 505 killed while trying to throw
grenade through slit in tall pill box. Olosky shot in foot. Two medics killed
one was from B-Btry.
"B" jumped with the 2nd Battalion of the 505 Parachute Infantry
Regiment, When we loaded the planes in Tunisia
we didn't put on our chutes. When we were about half hour from the coast of
the Crew Chief of the plane came back and told us it was time to chute up.
This was a nervous time for all, slipping around where the air-sick guys
puked on the floor, it was dark, the plane was jerking around, and we had to
get all the straps and harness over all our stuff, it was our first combat, I
guess we were a little nervous.
Pilots missed our drop zone by about 20 miles, and gave us the green light
over an area of Pill Boxes, rock walls and trees. I don't think we were over
250 to 300 ft when we jumped. We also jumped with our guns unloaded and had
little tin crickets for identification. The pass word was George and the
countersign was Marshall.
?. At one point in my wanderings I went to a well in courtyard of house to
fill canteen. There was a Sicilian women wailing because her husband was
lying in the doorway dead. Shot by mistake I would guess in all the confusion
that night.†††† Battalion formed with
prisoners and moved out after we broke their rifles over a rock wall, also a
couple ancient machine guns.
505 guys killed by Italian grenades, moved out late in the afternoon, hadn't
went too far when started to receive some fire from the left flank. Had to
knock down wall to get barrel of the 75mm gun to bear, the rear trail was
sitting on hard road, gun bucked up and back every time we fired. Nobody hurt
and we were soon on our way. Made some of our prisoners pull the Gun, this
was probably against the Geneva Convention. Marched all night, at one time
past a bunch of dead Germans or Italians by some knocked out armoured cars,
the smell was very bad.
Battery was right in the middle of all this wreckage, and smell, when the
long column stopped for a break, we were exhausted and just dropped in the
ditches, it was dark so the living and the dead were sharing the same
ditches, it was hard to tell which was which. We kept moving all night headed
for Gela, we were moving through the town of Vittoria I think about midnight,
when we saw the anti-aircraft fire that shot down so many of the 504th combat
12th. After marching all night we pulled into a barnyard about daylight, and
everybody took a break. When we rested we were on the road again and joined
the combat team at Biazza Ridge. Somewhere along the way we got rid of all
our prisoners I think we gave them to the 45th Division ? Went into position
and dug in. Got some watermelon out of garden, we have captured Italian
tanks, trucks, guns, and a couple motorcycles. Heard that Sgt. Sholonis was
killed when their door load got stuck, and by the time they jumped they were
over the beach. Sgt Raby and his planeload are still missing. Just ate some
K-rations and waiting to move up to front. German planes bombing ships in
harbor, saw only one shot down. Got my foot taped up, just came from where
505th lost a lot of guys.
After we had taken a break mentioned above and had a chance to get some sleep
in the Barnyard, we hit the road rested and in very high spirits. We had
survived our first night combat jump, our first fighting, and winning over
the enemy. The climate was better then North
Africa, and we went in columns,
one on each side of the read with the prisoners pulling the Howitzer in the
middle. Sometimes when we would take a short break and if we were lucky we
would be opposite grape vineyards, or melon patches, or tomato patches, we
would take the steel part off our helmets run out in the field and fill it up
with what ever was available. ďThe spoils of war you know".
we marched down the road, we would see those little farm houses with pretty
curtains in the windows, some close to the road and others further back. When
we got up close we could see that they were not what we thought they were.
They were Pill Poxes with the curtains that looked so nice and pretty†††† painted so they looked like real curtains
incident happened the night we were getting ready to move out from where we
dropped the night of the invasion.
of the guys from my Gun squad get hold of some vino and got himself
pretty well plastered and started to give Captain Harris a bad time. Captain
Harris hauled off and knocked him to the ground, then he motioned for myself
and another guy to come over where the guy was, still to the ground, and told
us to take his rifle away from him and to keep an eye on him until he sobered
up. The guy was later transferred out with the rest of the screw ups.
****† Just before the above incident happened,
another trooper and myself had been guarding a bunch of Italian prisoners.
They were really happy to be out of the war. They would pull out their
wallets and show us pictures of their wives or girlfriends, their babies, we
really didn't have to guard them. They seemed quite content. They just wanted
to get their part of the war over with and go home.
13th.††† Still at Biazza ridge, U.S. 155
artillery outfit just went by. 376 Parachute Artillery and 504 Parachute
Infantry lost a lot of guys. talked to medic out of 504, their plane was hit,
blew up he was only one to get out of his plane he pulled his reserve had got
clear of wreckage and came down with his reserve chute only.
to look at Mark 6 Tiger tank that "C" Battery knocked out, it's a
big son of a gun, had 88mm gun on it; also looked at a 77mm gun, a
motorcycle, and 5 German graves.
**** Cecil Farmer and myself went over to where
they had German prisoners from the Herman Goring Panzer Division, burying
about 15 of our guys in shallow graves. Two troopers from our Battalion were
killed when the light Italian tank that they captured that resembled a
British Bren Carrier took a direct hit from a German 88 on a Mark 6 Tiger
we didn't jump with blankets and it got pretty cold at night, I had been
using my cellophane type gas cape to keep a little warm at night. Looked up
one morning , and here comes Rip True with wheelbarrow full of German
blankets he got out of a barrack near by. The 4th gun section slept warm that
night, but had to go to the 45th Division aid station the next day to get
14th. Marched to Gela, a tough hike, feet are killing me. (new boots). Saw some American
Jeeps and five American Tanks that were destroyed, and a dead Paratrooper
beside bridge, somebody had taken his boots. German and American equipment
scattered in the ditches Sgt Raby is OK. We are now on big hill overlooking
Gela, can see group of
American ships in Harbor, I'm out of water, very thirsty.
Sgt. Raby and his planeload reported missing, found out later that they got
lost over the ocean and flew back to Africa, and came in the next night with the 504th.
July 15th. Still on hill by
Gela, have plenty of
water now. Everybody pissed off because we had to shave, had an inspection by
Col. Gavin. After inspection went to beach, got a ride in amphibious duck to
While on the hill at Gela we had an after battle critique where anybody could speak out his
ideas on the jump, weapons, etcÖ One guy got up and suggested that since we
had such a bad dispersal, that they let the Paratroopers fly the plans, and
make the Air Force jump.
16th. Had mountain rations for breakfast, pretty good, busted part of my
rifle, got another part and fixed it. Went swimming in the ocean today had
lots of fun, lots of landing craft wrecked on beach. Sweated like heck going
over and back. Eating Five & One rations, better then C- or K-rations.
Lots of ships in harbor unloading men and equipment.
17th. Cleaned 75 Howitzer, still waiting to move out. They said we would
leave tonight, we moved out by truck
towards the front. Passed lots of wrecked Pill Boxes and trucks, bridges were
blown up so we went around them. using some captured trucks to move up. A.J.
Pierce driving a big charcoal burning truck. Camped for the night near
Littica. All the towns we went through are pretty old and dirty. Traveled
about 60 miles today, lot of troops going forward.
19th. Cleaned Bazooka and rifle, moved again toward the front more bridges
blown out, moved at night, now in orchard, dug slit trench.
20th. Still in orchard, found well, best drinking water since I left the
States. Took whores bath out of helmet, ate some grapes and cleaned rifle.
21st. Still at orchard, had gun drill, cleaned Bazooka, laying around waiting
to go someplace.
22nd. Moved up to another place, going into action again soon.
24th. Moved to Trappani by truck, crowded as heck, went past burning railroad
station, went into position on outskirts of Trappani. Went into position
under fire they were using time fire, but had their fuses set wrong, and
their shells were bursting high in the air. I could lay in my slit trench and
reach up pick grapes.
18, went down to a stream and washed, filled my helmet with grapes, went
swimming at ocean again, came back and ate. Watched about 200 Italian
prisoners go by with only two guards.
25,† fires from yesterday still burning,
white flags on houses people cheering as we came through the towns, threw us
apples, candy, flowers, and sometimes when we stopped they gave us bottles of
27th, left few guys on gun, and the rest of the Battalion went prowling
through the hills and some little towns, I think this was a show of force to
let the people know that we were in charge. Sweated so much it got in my
eyes. Found out that we are going back to North
Africa. Somebody stealing
morphine out of first aid packets.
28th, off again on another hike through the country side, longer then
yesterday. Went past airport which had been bombed, all kinds of planes
scattered all over. Dead horse in road.
?. Went on firing problem on other side of Trappani. Then went swimming in
the ocean. A bags came in with rear echelon, on guard again post #4.
?††† Visited Areecce (The city above the
Clouds), then went on firing problem and road marches. Civilians come in area
couple times a day to sell eggs, melons and vino. Getting ready to leave,
going back to North Africa, the Island is now in our hands.
? Went on another hike, got back with two blisters, heard again that we are
going back to North Africa. Moved about 3 miles to old German camp. German and Italian equipment
scattered all over. Everybody had the Red Ass, all non-corns ducked retreat.
S---Drunk Sgt R--- & Sgt--- shipped out MC---E-- & E---Put in guard
**** Don't remember all the
details, but do remember when we had to take one guy up to the court martial
proceedings we had to get a stretcher from the Medics because he was too drunk
to walk. The outcome of all this was that they transferred all the habitual
screw up and trouble makers out of the Battalion.
Date ? Went to Airport at Trappani, C-47ís all
over the place to fly us back to Africa. Got souvenir from wrecked German plane. Boarded C-47 and flew back
to North Africa. Went into bivouac at pretty good place. Bob Hope put on show. Moved
by truck to Bizerte, good deal go swimming everyday. Heard that we will be flying back to
**** We were coed right on the beach outside of
the harbor at Bizerte,
went through our biggest air-raid of the war; we could see the German planes
when the searchlights caught them in their beams, Flack was really filling
the sky, and lots of stuff with fuses that didn't work were falling down in
our area and exploding; watched a lighted up Hospital ship come sailing out
of the harbor, making a mad dash for the open sea. Another trooper lost
couple fingers while taking apart a fused 37mm shell he picked up at Trappani
airport while waiting for planes to take us back to Africa.
?†† Back in Sicily
now camped at airport a few miles from Vittoria.
Wrecked German planes all over the place. Took my trench knife and took joy stick
out of a ME-109 fighter. Lots of German bombs in woods, flies terrible, went
to Vittoria one day, got some vino, we do a little drill in morning and get
afternoon off, too hot to do much. Heard that we are going to Italy
? Back to the old grind of training again, had big rain storm got my tent
fixed up hope it will keep me dry. Sleeping on a bed made of 88mm shell cases
(they were like a wicker basket). Adolph Menjou was here today, told us the
people back home thought the war was over and that production had decreased.
Still near airfield at Vittoria shows just about every night. Bowersox and I took bath over by a
Sicilian well, civilians thought that was real funny.
**** This place in the trees at the edge of the
airport was really shanty town. We made huts out of old lumber shelter
halver, and other stuff that we found in the area. Lt. from another Battery killed when he put down a
German teller mine by the mess tent. It went off and riddled the mess tent
and wounded a couple more guys. I heard that he brought it into the area to
lecture about it?
?††† After breakfast all squads had to
furnish two men each to make jump at Gela.
***† Like always when something like this came
up, my 4th gun section would cut cards. Bowersox and myself were the ones
from our squad. We loaded up in the C-47s with a Glider hooked on behind,
with the 75mm gun fully assembled and took off from the airfield where we
were bivouacked. Flew out over the Mediterranean for awhile then came in over the airport at Gela. They dropped the
Glider, then the tow rope over the field, and we jumped and landed in a nice
soft plowed field at the edge of the airport, then pretended to attack a
anti-aircraft position on a hill overlooking the airport. We were quite
concerned that the tow rope would not release and the hook on the end would
hit and split a canopy, so we tied a string to the end hooked up to the tail
of the plane and ran it along the fuselage to the guy standing in the door so
when the tow rope released it would pull the string out of the guys hand, and
we would know the tow rope was released OK.
12th, American pilot flying captured ME 109 killed at field near here while
landing. Raining today. †
13th, 0--- got on a crying drunk, and had the whole Battery in hysterics. Going out
to fire tomorrow.
14, Went out and fired the 75ís.
22nd, squadron of B17's from bases in North
Africa landed at airport here,
they are going on mission deep in Austria.
? Leaving Sicily, went to Agusta by train, stayed overnight in British camp. Marched
to docks and boarded French ship run by the British named "Villa De
Oran". I had yellow jaundice and was put in ships sick bay all the way
to Algiers. Had German prisoners aboard. Landed at Algiers
stayed three days, went by box car to Bizerte,
I was very sick and had miserable trip. Box car was crowded and took long
time to get to Bizerte.
22, Now at Bizerte will stay about 4 days. Went to Tunis
on pass, nice modern city, Raining like heck, on night detail at dock loading
crates of parachutes to go to England
with the 505.
? Now on Liberty ship "Anson JonesĒ headed for Naples I
think? Bunch of British engineers on board.
26, had turkey for dinner today on board Liberty
ship "Anson Jones". Now anchored in harbor of
same place we left from quite some time ago to go back to Africa. On guard tonight.
27, we had pulled into Augusta to wait until dark, and then make dash through the straits of
Convoy was raided going through straits yesterday, lots of British troops on
30,† came through straits of Messina OK, no sign of enemy
planes. Pulled into harbor at Naples, lots of ships sunk in harbor, had long march to quarters, staying in
some Italian college buildings.
****††† Found out later this was the Victor Emmanuel College
1st, Christmas Pkg from home.
5th, went into Naples
without pass, pretty interesting place, on Guard tonight.
8th. went to Naples
with Datoli, walked all over, talked to some survivors of 16 merchant ships
that were sunk in the Adriatic.
They told us there were lots of ships in Harbor at Bari, including
ammunition ships when some Focke Wulf fighter bombers that had twin tails and
were mistaken for our own twin tail P-38ís got in close and bombed heck out
9th, advanced detail left this morning
13th, now about 30 miles from Naples at Italian Army Garrison with the Canadian-American First Special
Service Force. Living in bombed out buildings, allied planes going back and
forth all day to the front lines.
**** This was our first meeting
of the Canadian-American First Special Service Force. We would be with them
quite some time.
21st, took hot shower and got clean underwear, cleaned gun and loaded in
trailer, getting ready to move up again.
22nd, still by San Vittore, got haircut from kid about 12 years old in bombed
out town. On 4 hr guard last night but nobody woke me up, so didn't stand it.
Don't think the guy I was supposed to relieve could find my hole?
23rd, heard of Allied landings below Rome, moved up to new
positions on side of hill, raining like heck. While digging gun pit came
across old roman road.
25th, Christmas at the front, pulled in last night dug gun in, wet and muddy,
saw Bill Faires and Norm Svela. They are in little town close by.
We moved up at night, and when morning came found out we were in a really bad
exposed position on this hillside, we could see Casino and the Abbey in front
of us. I think this is why we did not stay in this position very long. That
night the rain was really coming down, and I was on guard out in front of
position and noticed a long line of guys coming down past me. I asked "what
outfit you guys in"? It was the Japanese 100th Battalion, later to be
part of the Japanese 442nd. Regimental Combat Team.
- †In same place, gun all dug in and
camouflaged did not do a hell of a lot of firing, moved back by Jeep and
trailer to San Vittore for a rest.
- Did a lot of firing, German planes diving on our positions on other side of
hill. Kitchen tent burnt down, Moore got hand burnt.
3rd,† saw our plane dive bomb German
position, went about 25 miles back of front to take shower. On way back to
front Germans planes strafed us, trucks stopped, I jumped out over tailgate
and dove under motor of truck behind us. Green Eyes (Bennett) dove in ditch
full of water, so did Powers. Planes came back about 2 o'clock, two of them shot down, came during fire mission, everybody hit the
dirt. They killed about 20 men and left 3 trucks burning on the road.
4th, still at front. We were dug in on on side of hill, and close
by there was a pile of dead Germans that were piled up like a stack of wood
and frozen stiff.
5th,† watched our planes dive bomb
German positions, Big Battle going on all night, sky was all lit up. Dead
German wrapped in shelter half close to position. Lots of rain.
Jan, 8th, German planes
overhead nearly all day. Moving up tonight.
9th, moved up to the front last night, dug gun in, five of us came
up late, driver got lost on the way up. After digging gun in† dug slit trenches. It is raining very hard,
a few enemy shells bursting near, finished slit trench and had some fire
6th, enemy planes overhead. AA drove them away. Germans shelling town and
hill about a mile away, our planes dive bombing Germans. Mortar shelling in
close by the Germans. Now have slit trench with roof.
10th. Still in position by San Vittore.
11th. Firing at the Germans, shell landed right in front of our gun, -- a
It was in this position when we were first heard the German Nebelwerfer
(Screaming Memmie) a 6 Barrel rocket Gun that made such a horrible screech.
12, or 13, German planes came over while eating breakfast, everybody
scattered, Spitfires chasing Germans, our AA shooting at the Spitfires.
Shelled German dug-out with good effect. B-25 received direct hit from German
AA, burst into flames.
16th. Fired all night. Heard that Rezor from H.Q. had foot blown off by
German mine while laying wire.
17, fired all night, Germans shelling us with Mortars. Took compass reading
on them & fired corps 5 rounds. Today saw German fighter plane blow up
over gun position, Spitfire shot it down, it was a German ME 109.
19th, in position on outskirts of Cevaro, moved in two nights ago. Dug gun
in. Fired very little, now waiting to move a couple miles toward Casino.
Germans shelling close. S---††† had a nervous
break down, sent to rear. Enemy planes overhead every day. Moving up tonight.
24th, Germans shelling pretty close, moved back to fox hole to sleep. We were
attached to the First Special Service Force, then the 36th Division and now
attached to the 91st Recon. outfit. Still wet.
25th, moved up a railroad bed that was being used as a road pretty close to
front. Germans shelled heck out of our old area about 10 minutes after we
left, direct hit where no. 2 gun position was. Crashed P-38 out in front of
26-27-28th, all dug in at new position, doing most of our firing at night.
German shells landing close, a few guys get to go back to a rest camp for a
29th, heard rumor that we would take off in morning, it came true. Packed gun
and went back to base camp at Santa
Maria. First Special Service
Force all ready to go. Pulled out and spent night in a staging area.
29th, marched to docks, got to see Bill
and Norm in Staging area. Rags hit guy that was pestering Major Wicks, boarded
a LST, had shower on board and good chow, even got a bunk, pulled out and
don't know where we are going.
**** Bill and Norm are two guys from my home town
of Port Angeles, Washington. I went through Jr. High and High school with them we
lied about our age and we all joined the National Guard (248th Coast
Artillery) while still in our Junior year of High School, and were called
into federal service Sept. 16th 1940, we had just completed two weeks of our
Sr. year. This call up was just supposed to last a year, it turned out to be
about five years. Bill and Norm went through Jump school after I did and ended
up in the 376th of the 82nd AB.
This is the type of Coast Artillery Gun
I served on before I went to the Parachute School at Fort Benning, Georgia.
It was called a 10" disappearing type Gun
That's my Wife Dorothy on the Gunners platform,
the Breech Block is missing and also the Gunners Sight.
The gun is now at ( Fort Casey ) a Washington State Park.
31st, spent good night on LST, landed on new beachhead at ANZIO.
Saw Spitfire on fire, pilot bailed out and landed in the ocean, plane crashed
in the sea, destroyer picked up pilot.
7th, up all night last night, expected
Germans to counter attack, but they didn't. Fired time delay and HE at them
on different sector. Cold as hell last night. 20 jerry's over today attack
ships in the harbor, think two of them got shot down?
8th, Germans again bombed harbor, our
Bombers overhead headed north. Plane drops emergency gas tank real close,
think it was one of ours. Shelled house today Delayed Fuse, Germans ran out ,
use time fire and got em.
9th. Same as always
10th, B-17 Group going over to bomb German positions, one received direct hit
from German AA fire, went down in balls of fire. Another circled two men
bailed out, plane circled again and then went into dive, crashed I think, 7
men got out of this one.
11th, got rained out of Hole, pitched tent. Ammo cases floating down ditch.
12, Germans dive bombing Harbor.
2 or 3rd or 4th, still in position, Germans shelled us yesterday, used a
little time fire, shells hitting close.
6th, shell hit CP, killed Capt. Harris, a couple others, and one or two
were wounded. German planes over today, saw one crash, two of them flew over
us real close, both smoking. Last night shelled German gun that was in
cemetery. Germans counter attacked but failed. Fighting around a canal over
**** I believe Col. Cooper was
in the building when the shell hit, I heard that this farmhouse had a Navy
radio team in it with a high powered radio that was directing fire for
warships off-shore. and that the enemy radio-direction finder zeroed in on it?
13th, same old stuff, Germans over at night bombing harbor. Saw three shot
down. Olivant and myself went out at night to dig Bazooka position.
**** We did not get much done, it was raining like
heck and the L shaped trench was full of water, there we were up to our knees
in water and miserable as heck, so we started singing some crazy song.
15th, took shower back at the beachhead. I think itís safer up on the front.
16th, Germans over in force last night, raided harbor, and our positions.
Dropped flares, bombs all around us. Big attack going on, fired a lot this
morning, Two ME 109ís tried to shoot down our Cub Observation plane. Missed
him. Germans shelling road close by.
17th. German planes tried to get Cub again, it flew around the Church and big
trees and got away. Saw our B-25ís bomb German positions. Germans over
bombing harbor again. Germans expected to attack again, we are ready for
18th, saw three B-24ís go down in flames over German territory. About 300
B-24ís in raid, saw two make force landing on our side of the lines. One
plane was disabled, crew jumped, empty plane flew over head and over German
lines. in a big circle, German AA missed it. Plane flew back over our lines
and crashed near Nettuno.
Feb. ? German counter attack last night, fired like hell and beat it off. Got some
tanks, Germans sent in wrecker tank to get 2 disabled tanks and we got it
19th, Germans attacked again and driven back, by Artillery and small arms
fire, Germans bomb ships in harbor about 3 times a day.
Feb. 20th, German shells landing close, German bombers came over in the evening
and dropped radio controlled rocket bombs at ships in the harbor.
21st. Same old stuff, enemy planes over so low could have thrown rocks at em,
saw one go down about 2 block from our position.
22nd. Enemy planes over last night, bombed hell out of harbor, hit Ammo dump
or gas dump. AA shell hit about 10 ft. from gun position shook us up a little.
Found some foil that the Germans drop to foul up the radar net, German shells
again landing close.
? Ragsdale to Hospital (Tonsils). Got 14 new men, part of the outfit going to
England. Germans had another big attack, fired a heck of a lot. Fired bell
out of gun, part of gun blew off, nobody hurt, lucky. Rained a lot but hole
is O.K., eating C and K rations.
**** Ragsdale was wounded at Bastogne
and later killed when the ambulances taking the wounded to the rear were
ambushed and shot up.
March ? Same old stuff, in same position, enemy planes and guns still active. Bill
and Norm going to England.
April. ? Still in same position, Battery got two more guns, now in another section, they brought some rear
echelon guys up from Santa
Maria to fill up gun crews, a
few Tech & Master Sgts. I had 3 days at rest-camp with Ben Ziegler at Santa Maria
and Naples. Went down on a LST and came back on a LCI.
**** The rest camp was north of Naples at Santa Maria, and we were supposed to stay around this little town, but as soon as
we got a shower and clean clothes we took off for Naples.
Spent all our rest time in Naples, and just got back to rest camp in time to go to the docks and sail
back to Anzio.
April ? German planes over early in morning, bombed heck out of things, dropped
flares over Battery positions, Bennett got one of the Flare Chutes : big one. One man in
A-Battery wounded, bomb holes all around the Battery positions.
May 11th , still same place,
something big coming off soon, have dug two new gun positions and are now
waiting to move. One man hit by shrapnel coming back from new positions while
riding in truck. I hit the floor. 5 American tanks and their crews knocked
out while trying to cross canal about two weeks ago, we lay smoke screen for
them. Guy made radio from phone handset, razor blade, carbon out of a
battery, lead pencil, and wire. could pick up the "Berlin Bitch"
broadcasting from Rome. Going up tonight to dig gun pits. While digging gun pits, German
self propelled 88 moved in opposite of us and and started firing, really made
us hit the dirt.
**** We had been going up at night to dig gun
positions by the canal, tanks and other stuff were also moving up to the jump
off positions. To screen the noise of this troop movement they had the piper
cubs that were used for Artillery spotting fly back and forth above the front
making a lot of noise, heard that they took the mufflers off. There was no
cover where we were at except a small mound about 10 inches high and those 88ís
were coming in on flat trajectory. This was the night I tried to climb into
above was the last entry. Don't know why I quit . I wish I had kept it up.
you can see, the German Air-Force was quite active at that stage of the War.
By the time we were headed for Rome we did not see hardly any German planes.