When I last posted in the fall, I received word that Dad's shipmate had taken a fall and needed to rehab for a couple of months. Here is the next installment that was received just today....
To continue the story.
July 13 - 17th in Pozzuoli.
July 18 -26. Running hither and yon. First, to Salerno for maneuvers, then back to Pozzuoli with some troops, back to Salerno, then to Nisida, a promantory between Pozzuoli and Naples Bays - for supplies and clothes.
July 27 - August 1. Pozzuoli. AT 0400 on August 1st an LCT loaded with food came to Pozzuoli. I was awakened and took some men and dashed for the LCT. There were about 60 officers from various ships, each with 5 to 10 men so things were quite lively. Just as we got our allotment of food an air-raid warning sounded and searchlights located a handful of German bombers overhead. It seemed that everybody and his brother lit smoke pots which produce a thick, stifling acrid smoke. You couldn't do anything but cover your face, lie on the cobblestones and hope for the best. The Germans dropped a few bombs that fell harmlessly in the water or on the hills, then they fled north. After the smoke cleared we rounded up our stores and took then back to the ship.
August 2 -5. Still in Pozzuoli, there are rumors going around that we'll invade Yugoslavia or Southern France in the near future.
August 6 - This morning we sailed to Nisida with the other ships in Flotilla 4 (36 in all) and in turn beached and took aboard troops of the 8th Army. We took aboard 196 officers and men of the 3rd Division together with their duffle, rifles, burp-guns, bazookas, mortars, etc. After loading, we drifted around Pozzuoli Bay waiting for the remaining ships to take on troops and then proceeded via the mine-swept channels through Naples Bay,
passed Isle of Capri, to Salerno where we dropped anchor.
August 7 - 11. Anchored off Salerno awaiting orders. Periodically we tie up to the jetty to take on more drinking water. We give the soldiers one hot meal a day and for the other two meals they eat C rations or K rations. We have a score of cases of these rations on board. The rations consist of canned or boxed crackers,cheese, chocolate, hard candy and the like. Ship's work has reached a standstill as there are so many soldiers on board. They sleep, sunbathe, and gamble (shoot craps) throughout the day.
August 12th - Today we took on more water and at last got our sealed orders. We are to invade Southern France in an operation code-named Bigot-Anvil. The data and instructions given us measure about 2" thick.
to be continued....