CusterMen MENU Italian Campaign At The Front Books Armies Maps 85th Division GI Biographies Websites

Dated:  Jan 6, 2006

Mail Bag
Page 2
This is a continuation of selected email that I received in 2003 & 2004.
              All email addresses and external links were added with permission from the visitor.
              All names are used with permission or the names are altered for their protection.

Return to Page 1 of Letters.

Date:   August 18, 2004 Location:     ----
From:    William Webb  Subj:   339th Regiment, Co. K
   A contact with a veteran of the 339th Polar Bears.
    I just wanted to let you know that I have been reading and researching the Italian Campaign and this website is  very informative.  My uncle, Kenneth S. Webb, fought in Italy with the Third Battalion, 339th Regiment, Co. K.  He is still able to tell some stories, which led me to begin researching this.  He was wounded in action and awarded the Purple Heart.  His real close friend, Frank Walter, also served with this unit.  Frank passed away about 6 months ago.

   Once again, thank you for this website, and I would appreciate any guidance you could give me to other sites on this subject!
Thank You!!
William Webb

Date:   August 7, 2004 Location:   Far ends of Michigan
From:    Marion Chard Subj:   A daughter of VI Corps Engineers
   This nice lady introduced herself and the website she is working on.  Her site follows the
history of the Engineers assigned to the VI Corps during their service in Italy, southern
France and Germany.  Maybe this will encourage more individuals to start a website and
research the historical archives.  She is an Inspiration.
  What a pleasant and wonderful surprise to stumble upon your site early this morning.  You have a wealth of great information, personal memoirs and stories.  I have added your link to our site and hope that I can steer more people your way.

   I recently created a site in June that is dedicated to my father and his fellow VI Corps Engineers. My father had passed away when I was 12 and all I had left were some campaign ribbons, a few photos and some patches and pins. I had tried several times in the past to accrue info on his tour of duty in the ETO from 1943-1945, but always hit a dead-end. Well, because I am very tenacious, I never gave up and began my search again in earnest this spring. Well, the pursuit paid off and in May of this year, I started receiving letters from WWII engineers and everything has been on the upswing ever since. I guess good things come to those who wait! 

    If you have a chance, please stop by our site and take a look around. If you are so inclined, sign our guestbook and even join our forum. Please note that the site is still in it's infancy and I have a long way to go. I'm hiring a research student to acquire records from the NARA and should be able to obtain my dad's unit records, morning reports, etc., thus enabling me to add a wealth of info to what I currently have.

Marion Chard 
Proud daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek 
Company C, 1st Battalion, 540th Combat Engineers, VI Corps WWII 

Date:   August 7, 2004 Location:     ----
From:    Randall Pope  Subj: 753rd Tank Battalion
   My only source of info on the Tank Battalions is the History of the 1st Armored Division.
Contact me if you know of any webpages that are not on my Favorite Websites page.
 Can you direct me to any information on the 753rd Tank Battalion?  I think this unit was in the Italian campaign.   My uncle was in it but he won't say much about it.
   I have seen the website of the 752nd Tank Battalion and it gives a lot of information regarding how these units were set up.
   Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Date:   August 5, 2004 Location:  Conneticut
From:    Thomas  Subj:  328 Field Artillery Battalion Co. C
 Another email from a contact with the 328th FA.  The first emails from this guy were subdued.
I gave him some pointers and he talked with his grandfather and got all excited about doing
more research.
Hi there
    As you suggested I went to my grandfather's on Tuesday to speak with him. I think I made his year. I downloaded the Op Reports you have posted on your sight for the 328th and read through some of it. You should have seen the smile on his face. He could remember every incident I spoke of. Especially the down time{R&R and the baseball games}.
    He very much recalls Bill Dempsey but says he was not the CO but certainly a 2nd Lieut. in his outfit. Names sort of eluded him but he could remember if I mentioned a name. He remembered your father of B battery.
    Bill Dempsey (Jr) confirmed that the 328th traveled to N. Africa via a singular transport-- theory being it could out run a U-boat.

I have to run to work. But we'll continue later.

Date:   June 28, 2004 Location:    UK
From:   Ron Goldstein Subj:    British Landing
I don't mind positive constructive criticism, especially nice ones like this.  Ron is a veteran of
the British 78th Division.  He invited along a couple of his buddies and we have had some
good conversations about the Brits and Canadians.
Hi there
    Dare I mention an error on your otherwise super site?
   I'm sure other folk have already mentioned it to you but we (that's my mob) landed in Italy on September the 3rd 1943 & not the 9th as you have shown it.  If you need my to see my credentials please ( details omitted) .
   Sorry to have to point this out
All best wishes
Date:   June 22, 2004 Location:    UK (originally Netherlands)
From:    Allen Subj:    Execution of Mussolini
 He sent me copies of the Mussolini execution photos from his collection.  One included the
names above each of the 7 Fascists who were hung.  Since receiving this, I have located it
on the internet in a couple of places. It must be another photo that was mass produced.
My Execution of Mussolini webpage was updated to add one of his photos.
I have got some original pictures too and on one there are names written above the people who were hanged.   If you are interested I could send you a copy.


Date:   June 5, 2004 Location:      -----
From:    Wendall Subj:    85th Division - Kendall L. Alexander
Another son who is researching not only his Father's records but also for his Mother's first husband.
That is a new one but sounds similiar to my family's history during the Civil War.  A war widow
remarried a returning veteran from the same unit.  Also note that he found more info by asking
questions among members of his family.
   My mom has one of those books from Minturno to the Apennines. Still in fair conditon. My dad was a 50 cal. machinegunner. Wounded in Italy in Sept. 1943. His service affected his life until his passing on March 1995. All gave some,some gave all.
         ~~~~~ Follow-up email ~~~~~~
   Spoke with my mom and she said my dad was in the 338th of the Eighty Fifth.He was wounded in the fall of 44. My mom's  first husband was killed in October 44 (337th of 85), so my dad was most likely wounded in October of 44, too.  I was told my mother's first husband and my dad were trying to take the same hill. Hugh Speed Gilkey was his name. My dads' name was Kendall Lyell Alexander.

Wendall Alexander

Date:   May 15, 2004 Location:    Austria (just north of Italy)
From:    Gerhard & Philipp Winkler Subj:     Special Air Navigation Map
  And it doesn't hurt to be bold.  His email made me mad at first---not at him but because I had
cleaned up my room and discovered that I could not locate the 'Paris to Rome' map, one of my
favorites.  Finally, 2 weeks later, I found it and scanned images.  He is sending me a disk with
his research on the mission that accidently bombed his hometown, killing several innocent people.
Dear Steve, 
   Together with my son, I am researching the one and only air attack on my hometown Feldkirch, Austria, that took place on 1st October 1943. The original target Augsburg was aborted because of heavy undercast and Feldkirch choosen as a target of opportunity.
   We try to find primary sources to put the story together - very much like you do in your project, but on a smaler scale. 
   Browsing in the net I came across your wonderful site and was happy to detect the "Special Air Navigation Chart - Paris to Rome" in your collection of maps.  The sample you display already has a lot of bearing to our story, as some of the bombers attacked Prato and I can find a lot of places on the map in the reports given by the air crews. (for example "Pontedera aerodrome" which I only could fix with the help of your map). It is very likely that a map of this kind was used for navigation during the mission.
   May I boldly ask you for a scan of the flight route and surroundings as shonw on my map , as far as this area is covered by your map?  I know I am asking for a lot, because this covers quite a big area. 

Looking forward to your reply,
With greetings from Austria
Gerhard and Philipp Winkler

Date:   June 20, 2004 Location:    Texas
From: Norman Graham  Subj:    Fort Dix Photo
 This contact had a group photo of an infantry company taken at Fort Dix but it can not
be identified.  The photo number "DC-732" is only a few hundred photos from the photo taken
of my Dad's unit, i.e. identified as "DC 636".
   I have a group photo, 6-1/2 x 36, of a group of officers and men, which appears to be of WWII vintage.  On the back it says, "Additional Prints of this Picture may be had by addressing DAVID POND WILLIS Post Photographer FORT DIX, N.J." 
On the front of the picture is the number "DC-732."

Do you have any idea of whom these pictures are of?
Norman Graham 

Date:   June 19, 2004 Location:    Tennessee
From:    Robert Appling  Subj:    Pvt Robert Applin

This inquiry came from someone who lives only 20 miles from me.  Robert sent me a photo
of his grandfather, that shows a Private First Class in uniform with an 88th Division patch and
 the usual campaign ribbons.  His grandfather's name did not appear in the roster in the book,
"The Blue Devils in Italy".    Great guy with a lot of interests in common with me.
My grandfather served in the 88th Infantry Div. under Mark Clark.  He passed away back in 1995 when I was 14.  My father and uncle do not know anything about what my grandfather did in the war because he never talked about it.  However, he was awared two purple hearts and a bronze star.  One purple heart was for being hit by shrapnel and I believe the other was for developing trench foot.  The 
bronze star was awarded in the 1980s for action at Arno River.  Other than that I only know that he was a Corporal.

Is there any way of obtaining additional information from the government as to everything about his specific unit? I don't even know what regiment of the 88th he belonged to.  I'd also like to find out what his brother did in the war as well as a cousin that was a captain in the infantry.

Thank you for your time.  I'm slowly starting a WW2 bolt action rifle collection.  You can see what I've got so far at my website:    http://members.aol.com/lilfudd

~Robert Appling
Grandfather:  Robert Henry Appling
Also cousin to Lucius "Luke" Appling of the Chicago White Sox 1930-1950, Baseball Hall of Fame

Date:   June 18, 2004 Location:    UK
From:   Gary Gailey Subj:    Maps
 I've received many emails on my Army Maps page.  Some were searching for details for use
in wargames.  This guy wanted a 1/6 scale copy to use with the new 12-inch action figures that
look like a "GI Joe" but are made by Dragon & BBI and cost $40-$90 each.  I scanned one of
the field maps and reduced it for use with his models.  I also permitted him to sale the 1/6-scale
version of my maps.
   Could I ask for permission to use some of your map images on my webpages?
   I am a 1/6th scale figure modeller, and I have been looking for map images such as yours.  Because maps for my figures in this scale are very hard to make and find.  And I know that my fellow modellers will appreciate the images as well.

  I will of course link to your webpage and give you full credit for them.

My homepage's are as follows:

Many thanks in advance. 
Gary Gailey

Date:   May 10, 2004 Location:
From:   Jim Gray Subj:    Artillery spotters WWII
This is another of the experts on the L-4 Observation plane.  He had written me a long time
and now sent me more info to one of my questions.  I'm just including the technical stuff
in this email.
  For aircraft that were "organic" i.e. attached directly to artillery battalions, the pilots were initially trained as artillerymen first and pilots second. Each field artillery battalion had an air section with two Piper L-4's each plus there were two aircraft (usually L-5's) attached to the division level artillery HQ. That meant that each division had 8 (armored div.) or 10 (infantry div.) aircraft. A full Army, such as Patton's Third, fielded about 250-300 light aircraft that were "organic" to Army Ground Forces (AGF). These were almost exclusively used for local recon, artillery missions, or transport. 

   These AGF aircraft are not to be confused with those operated by Liaison squadrons who performed similar but more varied duties and were not attached to specific ground units. 
Early on (in 1942-43) most of the light aircraft pilots were recruited directly from artillery officers, but later on (because they had depleted the ranks of experienced officers so stopped giving transfers) they used enlisted men who were trained under the Civilian Pilot Training Program or were washouts from advanced USAAF air cadet training. These men were given the rank of either Master sergeant or Technical Sergeant if they attended and graduated from the Liaison training school at Ft. Sill. The guys who flew for liaison squadrons had much less training in artillery work than the AGF guys. 

  The L-4 was the most prevalent in the AGF, and the Liaison Sqds., equipped with 30 aircraft each, principally operated the L-5's.

If you have any more questions, let me know.
Jim Gray

Date:   May 7, 2004 Location:    Lawrenceville, GA
From: Lauretta K Subj:    Homework
 I really enjoy it when people ask permission to use my material.  I usually say "Yes" after
they convince me that they are not making any money off of my hard work.
My son is doing a WW 2 scrapbook for school. He attends Collins Hill High School in Gwinnett County, Georgia.
May he use your material and reference your webiste as the source of information?

thank you,
Lauretta K____

Date:   April 18, 2004 Location:(don't think he lives in UK)
From:   Derrick Wiltshire Subj:    Royal Engineers
 I told him that the US and British engineers were used everywhere.  Some engineer units
were assigned to divisions and some were assigned to corps and armies.  Therefore, they
could be sent anywhere that a bridge needed repairs.
   I am in the process of researching my late father's route up thru Italy 1944-45, during which time he served with the British Royal Engineer's. I am still in the early stages of finding even the basic detail of where he landed, which unit he was with, detail's of which region's he travelled thro? etc.
   I have found  my father's Army discharge cert and have wrote to the British Army Records Office for Dad's service records, this as you know takes a long time.

   In the mean time I have surfed the net and found your site ( a credit to you for what is a enormous undertaking).   My question if you can help is:-
Do you have any information on the Royal Engineer's route and any guide to where they were and time scales ..basically anything you might have on them, I realise this is bit of a "needle in a haystack" type question.
Any help would be much appreciated

Kind Regards
Derrick Wiltshire 

Date:   April 18, 2004 Location:     ---
From:   Ephraim Subj:    Italian Campaign
We discussed some old wargames about the Anzio battles.  He described a booklet that
he had which I had never heard about.  It appears to be British publication and not one
of the books in my Reference Library.
Just been briefly through your website which is very informative and interesting.
I have a booklet called "The Po Valley Campaign".  It was given to me by my wife's late cousin who lived in Chile but served with the British Army in Italy after the fall of Rome. It is not professionaly done, but it does have photos and maps. As the word "we" is used, I assume it was written by persons who fought in the campaign. There is no author listed.


Date:   April 11, 2004 Location:     ---
From:   Linda Golightly Subj:    Battery B, 328th FA
Another contact from a member of the very same battery that my Father was in.  We exchanged
many emails about the places where her dad served.  Since she was very young when her Dad
died in an accident, my website was able to tell his story.
Dear Sir,

   I am the daughter of Joel M. Golightly who appears in the Battery B photo.  He is on the second row third from left, behind the guy with his eyes closed.  On the roster it has only 'Golightly ?'. 

   I would like to know if there is anyway you can locate any survivors from this Company who might have remembered him.  He was killed in a train accident 50 years ago.  I know very little about him or his military days.

Linda Golightly Baker

Date:   February 20, 2004 Location:    Canada
From:   R Brown Subj:    My Dads Cousin Lost in WWII
 This person had a reference to a map and the coordinates of where a Canadian pilot was
shot down.  He provided a detailed background on the pilot.  He is looking for a copy of the
  I have seached in vain for the map listed below and enclose the following in the hopes you maybe able to assist me.
  Only 24 days before his 24th birthday, Wilfred David Brown after having served 14 months with 112 Squadron was shot down in his Kittyhawk Mk III over Italy. Map references given at the time are as follows N9854 to Avigliano 0.0852 approximately 1520 hours  Map identification number Napoli NE 40/14 No trace of his plane or his remains have been found to date. 

Date:   February 17, 2004 Location:    Naples, Italy
From:   Tony Ryan Subj:    LearnEnglish-Military website
 An unexpected request from an interesting website. This website is a resource for students
who want to learn to read and write English.  The British Council is the United Kingdom's
international organization for educational and cultural relations. Registered in England as a
charity.  I warned him that I could only speak "Southern" dialect.
     I am the Manager of the LearnEnglish Military website. The website is part of the Peacekeeping English Project run by the British Council on behalf of the British Ministry of Defence and British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Peacekeeping English Project, which covers 24 countries in Europe and Central Asia is to help military personnel improve their English language skills so that they can take part in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. The website is free and no password is required. The following links will give you a clearer idea of our work:


We would like to use content (text and images) from your website.
Tony Ryan
British Council Naples 
Napoli   Italy 

Date:    February 8, 2004 Location:  ---
From:   Debbie Clement Subj:   Diary of an unknown soldier
 This ladies' father worked in the navy shipyard.  In his possessions, he had obtained a diary
from a foot soldier.  But there is no identification of who the soldier was or what unit he was in.
She wanted to see if I could identify with any clues hidden in the text.  I'm working on searching
down the names.  The diary covers the period of fighting just prior to Cassino in fall of 1943.
On 8th of November, the 34th Division was deployed between the 3rd and 45th Divisions.
  I wonder how often you get an email with the words "my father" in it.  Well, here goes  another one.

  While going through some of my father's things, I came across a diary kept by a soldier .  My father found this particular diary on board a ship in 1945.  My father was a navy shipbuilder in Norfolk VA at the time.  Over time my father forgot he had this diary.

  This diary is about the size of a 3" x 5" index card and has eleven pages written on front and back.  The title the soldier gave it was "On the Cassino Front".  The first entry was October 29, 1943.  The last entry was January 4, 1944.  The soldier's name does not appear in it but others' names do.  Here's what I got out of the diary:

  The writing soldier was in D company (unknnown regiment) with Poly, Snow, Richie, Dick Shadle?, Mac, Sims, Sims, Shaw & Hawley.  In B company there was Red and Leon, and Riley was the Section leader.  On 11/3 they are near/in? Venafro & Limi Valley (Liri Valley)along with the 45th division.  There is a Lt Flinburg? mentioned.  On 11/4 Ganloti is with him.  Hawley is killed, Sims & Shaw captured. Sorento boys killed.  On 11/5 still at Venfro, he mentions Joe Rivas, Dick, Havenlask, Prepko, Andre, McCaber, Richie, Riley.  11/7 hiding in Olive grove, cold.  11/8 Guarding flank of 3rd (Division).  11/15 He mentions Benton, Pollan, John.  11/16 Lt Harris is mentioned.  11/17  Attacked at 6:30, barrage killed lots of Germans; he killed his 1st German with BAR.  Mentions Lt Honig.  11/18 Old Sullivan & Masson's throats are cut  11/19 Cramer dies.  11/21 Haverlack is killed and Snow is wounded.  11/23 Colave is shot in the legs.  11/27  Lt Foyer is wounded.  11/30  Shaw is hit in the head and dies.  1/4 Polambos killed when rock falls on him.

  Does any of this ring any bells with you as to who the likely writer may have been? 

Thanks for any help. 
Debbie Clement

Date:    January 25, 2004 Location:  ---
From:   Dave Laroo Subj:   Gustav Line
This is from a collector who bought an Iron Cross and documents that traced it back to a
soldier in the German 305th Division.  The German 305th was located just to the east of
Bologna during the winter of 1944.  During the Spring Offensive, the 88th Division captured
many from this unit, including their commander, at the Po River.
Hi Steve, 
     Your site on the Italy campaign is great!! It has been of great intrest to me as I am trying to puzzle out what happend to the German 305th Infantry Division in their last days of action.

    The reason why I am so interested in the fate of the German 305th Infantry Division is because I own an Iron Cross from private Rudolf Piper who server in the 305th. He was awarded this medal on 14th of june 1944. At that time the 305th was at the Gustav Line. I also have a Wound Badge from this private dated 12th of october 1944. As far as I know the unit was still at Pescara at the Gustav Line. I do not know if Rudolf Piper was send back to Germany or continued to fight until they gave up in 1945.
    One question:   I know the German 305th was captured by / surrendered to the Allies in april 1945 near the Po River / Garda Lake. Would you happen to have any more precise information on what date and to what Allied force they gave up?

                      ~~~~~~~~~ ( Email in responce to my reply ) ~~~~~~~
You're worth your weight in gold!!!!!

  This is some really great information you've been able to give to me. This  might be hard to believe, but when i received your E-mail I was browsing on the exact internet page you'd mailed me the link for.

  After going over your information it seems this is what happened: 
  It looks like it was all over for the German 305th Infantry Division on either the 22nd or 23rd of april 1945 just west of Ferrara when they were decimated in a bend at the Reno River. Generalmajor Von Schellwitz seems to have gotten away, but was captured, with his staff, not more than 30 miles towards the Po River at Magnacavallo.

R. Stone

Date:    January 18, 2004 Location:  ---
From:   Bruce Foss Subj:   88th Infantry Blue Devils
A nice little compliment.
   I just want to say thank you. My Dad recently passed away. And I found your site while trying to research his Military career. It has by far been the most valuable to me. Keep up the good work & Thanks again.
Bruce R. Foss

Date:    December 12, 2003 Location:  Tennessee
From:   Bill Batta Subj:   310th Medical Battalion
This is from another fellow Tennessean whose father was in the 310th Medical Battalion,
assigned to 377th Infantry Regiment.  He was probably a medic who went into combat with
the men of Company A.  I have very little info on the medical units within the 85th Division.
I hope that Bill and I can put our resources together and piece together some history.
Hi Steve, 
   My Dad is a vet of the 310  Med Battalion, Co. A , 337th Reg., 85th Div.   His name is Paul T.  Batta.  He earned the Combat Medic Badge, Bronze Star, and several  other decorations. He has many photos of  Italy and he even has an original map of Italy, in Italian. He said  they used it in his outfit. He is just recently coming to terms with his  war time experience and trying to put it into perspective. I have been  doing a  lot of surfing to try and find relevant info. I really enjoyed browsing your website, great job. He is interested in obtaining a casualty list of men from his unit. He was wounded near Bologna, and sent back, and lost track of a lot of his buddies. If you can suggest a site  where I can find this information, I would be very grateful. Thank you,


Date:   December 9, 2003 Location:  --
From:  Kathy Barr Subj: 85th Engineer Battalion
This email was from someone who is creating a website about a unit was new to me:
85th Combat Engineer (Heavy Pontoon) Battalion. I am familiar with the 84th Chemical
Mortar Company.  Both were assigned to the 5th Army.
Check out the website at:  85th Combat Engineers
 Thought you might find  a web site dedicated to the 85th Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion of interest.  This Battalion bridged the rivers Volturno, Garigliano, and Tiber along with many other crossing duties while in Italy. Their Volturno Bridge was the first Heavy Ponton bridge to be built in the European Theatre.  I did the research at NARA in Maryland, and all the photos are from my father and his twin brother's photo albums.  They were both in Company A of the 85th Engineers.  The site follows this unit from stateside training to North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany.

Date:   November 19, 2003 Location:  Georgia
From:  Matthew Roberts Subj: Grandfather Treadway
Our emails got off to a slow start until we connected on Instat Messages.  His grandfather
was in Battery B, 328th FA, with my dad.  I was able to help him and his Father piece together
his grandfather's history using photos, old mail and the few conversations he had with him.
It's great to find details on another Battery B artilleryman.  The most exciting part was the
photo of his grandfather is the first I have seen with a DUI pin of the 328FA.
     Dear Sir,
  Out of curiosity, do you know of any information related to my grandfather, PFC Finnis Treadway.   He's third from left in rear row of large photo at Fort Dix, NJ (his copy hangs over my bed, along side his medals, inc. Good Conduct, and other devices).  I remember a story he told of going
out one night, digging up potatoes, and cooking them for some of his company mates when they were hungry. 
  I enjoyed the website a great deal, thank you for taking the time to maintain it.

  Very Respectfully,
Midshipman Matthew Roberts,
United States Merchant Marine, Naval Reserve.
            ~~~~~~~~~ ( Excerts from our I-M chat on 11/22/03 ) ~~~~~~~
Treadway:  The patch that I have with all his medals isn't a CD, but it has what looks to be two "D"s
                  back to back.   Red, on a white background.
SteveC01e:  Oh. That is the 31st Dixie Division that was the National Guard unit for Miss and AL
                 after the war.  It was in WW2 and served in New Guinea or maybe Philippines.
Treadway:    that was what he was in after the war.
SteveC01e:  Oh.  cool.  Do you have records of that?
Treadway:    he was in the national guard after the war, almost had to go to Korea. 
                   Yes, we have his discharge papers, maybe more.
Treadway:   we're trying to deceifer the return address.
SteveC01e:  Is it an APO address?
Treadway:  yes!  APO!
Treadway:   Pfc Finnis Treadway
                    Btry. "B" 328 F.A. Bn.
                    A.P.O. 85
                    Fort Dix, N.J.
   ( This letter was dated Nov 30, 1943 and was mailed while he was stationed at Fort Dix, NJ.)

Date:   November 21, 2003 Location:  Tennessee
From:  Mike Brady Subj:  Photos of Mussolini
This is from a fellow Tennessean who also had photos of Mussolini's death.
   Interesting. The information I have gotten says that no Americans where in attendance at the execution and that my photos have to be copies. My photos look very realistic and in no way resemble "postcards" or souvenirs.
   My photos while similar to yours are different. Different angles and such.
   Thanks for your input. I'll keep searching.
                    ~~~~~~~~~ ( 2nd email ) ~~~~~~~
   When you hear of veterans who didn't speak much of their service, you are describing my grandfather. He lost a good friend or two and from what little I have gathered the incidents were to close for comfort.  So almost everything I have learned has been on my own and that's not been much. 
  This I do know, after a wound he was assigned the duties of running a hotel of some sort. I have pictures of him that were taking during a wedding. I was told that one of his GI buddies married a local and he was best man at the wedding. The wedding was held at the hotel he was assigned to...
   Thanks again for the information you have shared. No criticism here not even the constructive type. I think you have done and admirable job and look forward exploring your site further.

  Mike Brady

Date:   November 20, 2003 Location:  ---
From:  Erik Sutcliffe Subj:  Battery C, 328th FA
This week saw several surprise emails.  I can hardly keep up with everyone's story.
Hello Steve,
  My name is Erik Sutcliffe.  My grandfather, Anthony D'Amelio served in the 328th FA,  Battery C.  From Apr 44 until the end of the war.   The daily reports on your web site  were very helpful and I have done some research at the National Archives as well.
  As he never talked about his war time experiences, I'm trying to retrace his experiences through unit histories, photos and his citations.  Do you have any information on Battery C or any resource leads.   Also, do you know of any veterans from Battery C that I may contact, or even vets from the 328th?
  I do appreciate your help and if there is anything you may need of me, please ask.
  Erik Sutcliffe

Date:   November 20, 2003 Location:  ----
From:  David Weich Subj:    Anti-Tank Co.
Two emails on the same day.  I'm trying to help locate his Uncle in one of the units that was
near Bologna in April.
   I'm attempting to do some research on my Uncle, 1st Lt. Theodore "Bud" Edward Weich.  He was from Canton, Ohio and did some anti-tank traning at Camp Blanding, Florida, just outside of Jacksonville, Florida.  He was killed in or around Bologna, Italy, about the third week in April 1945.
  Do you know if there is anyway, I can determine if he was a member of the 85th?  I'm trying to find out what unit he was a member of. 
  Thanks very much and you've created a very good website!
 David E. Weich

Date:   November 16, 2003 Location:  UK
From:Luca Di Mascio Subj:  German Death Cards
This transplanted Italian researched the death and burial records for each of the Germans
that I have in my page on German Death Cards.  What a guy!
  I have been looking at your website and found it very interesting. Currently, I am working on a similar site about Cassino and the Gustav Line, which is my main area or research. The German "Death Cards" you show caught my eye as I research all the Death Cards I can find in the hope of finding ones from the Cassino area. I was hoping to find several in those shown on the page but unfortunately these guys are mostly buried in Pomezia, just south of  Rome. However, I am including all the information I found on your cards as it may be of some interest to you.
  I find that the dates of death sometimes do not tally with the dates on the death cards but the date of birth will match the age stated on the card. I usually take this to be a result of the difficulties of keeping records during battle.
  I will further research Siegfried Ebner as he may have died at Cassino even though the date on the card says he couldn't have. Assuming it is the same person would you like a photo of his grave (or any grave from the Cassino cemeteries) for your site? I would be more than happy to take one for you  during my next visit to Cassino, in December. Just let me know.
Luca Di Mascio

Date:   November 14, 2003 Location:  NJ
From:  Karen Foster Subj:  Photos of Mussolini
I replied with some details on what I know about the photos and stories that I have heard from
the Veterans.  Her father was in the 1st Armored Division, which was on the outskirts of Milan.
It is possible that members of this unit were there.  I also received another inquiry on the same
day about these photos from someone who says his father was there.
    I was browsing through your Web Site and I came across the photo of Mussolini Hanging with his mistress in the Square. My Dad, Theodore Wisniewski was with the First Armored Division and was in the square and often told us this story as children growing up. I also have an original photo that my Dad took of the hanging in the square. It is identical to the one on your site without the American G'I's in the photo.

Karen Foster

Date:   November 9, 2003 Location: Maine
From:   Gregory Randall Subj:   85th Signal Co.
This is from another son who is researching his father's history.  I tried to give him something
that would help.
My Dad served with the 85th Signal Co, 85th ID from the division's activation at Camp Shelby until near the end of the War when he was transferred to the 34th ID (not sure exactly when).  He was discharged with the rank of T-5.  I stumbled across your web site in my researching of Dad's unit war history.  He married my mom outside Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  He passed away in 1989. 
  It has been difficult finding info on the 85th Signal Co.  I have found some, but not much. I have had his scrap book restored (pictures at Camp Shelby, Louisiana Maneuvers, troop train to desert training, and company photo at Fort Dix, etc..) and am in the process of restoring his original Ike Jacket with original ribbons and patches.  Unfortunately, as a child, he let me play army in it too often and I removed patches, etc.).  Someday I hope to retrace his steps from induction until discharge by visiting the major places he and his unit were at. 
  Your site has been a gold mine. If you have any suggestions where I might be able to get some specific info regarding the 85th Signal Company activities, I would appreciate it.
Rev. Gregory W. Randall

Date:   November 8, 2003 Location: ---
From:    Karl Engel Subj:   Italian Campaign- 88th Div.
This guy really has a project on his hands.  He is restoring a WW2 aircraft back to the original
condition as an artillery observation a/c for the 88th Division.  He is looking for info on where
it was used and is interested in finding original maps used to spot for artillery.
~~~~~~~ This is a reconstruction of 2 or 3 emails that were lost~~~~~~~
    I’m restoring a L-4 light aircraft as a forward observation aircraft for the 88th Divisional artillery.  I would like any info you might have on where these aircraft were used during the Italian Campaign.
 A gentleman by the name of Ken Wakefield has written 2 books on the subject (The Fighting Grasshoppers, and Light Planes at War) both are excellent sources on the topic.  I have not done much research on the 88th, but their claim to fame in the L-4 world is to have lost the last L-4 in the war up around the Po Valley, they were rumored to have been hit by 155mm round they had called in, talk about a bad day.
    Thanks for replying about your maps.  I just started watching ebay for maps and am in the process of  bidding on an airmap of Rome, figured it was a good place to start.
Talk to you soon, 
Karl Engel 

Date:   August 13, 2003 Location:   California
From:  "Don"  Subj:   Camp Pilot Knob
Don's email convicted me to update my simple page on the Desert Training Center.  A few
months ago, I recieved email from a Francis Blake about this subject.  It turns out Mr. Blake
had written several articles in the US Army "Army Motor" magazine about the camps in the
desert along the California & Arizona border.  The articles has plenty of info on the history
of the camps and the relics that are still located there.
  My name is Don Hunt, I have doing field research of the Desert Training Center and I have some pictures of Camp Pilot Knob that I took in April of 2002.  They are of a rock formation, I do not know if it was related to the army, a picture of a plaque, and what looks like a monument of some sort.  If you like I can email them to you.
  I enjoy your site.  The pictures of your dad and the background is great.


WARNING The government has placed some of these camps off limits to the public.
Date:   August 11, 2003 Location:  ---
From:  Guy Richards Subj:German RZ Series Parachutes
This email comes from a reliable expert on parachutes.  Mr. Richards is the author of a 2-volume
work:  (a) World War II Troop Type Parachutes Axis: Germany, Italy,  Japan. &
(b) World War II Troop Type Parachutes Allies: U.S., Britain, Russia.  He politely informed me
that I had inaccurate info.  I will be correcting the two paragraphs on my Luftwaffe Ground Troops
page.  Thanks Guy.
  I like your Italian campaign website. Allow me to correct a small item. The RZ parachutes "risers" only connected to the harness at the waist....actually about the floating ribs.  I know because after 5 years of research I published (Schiffer) "World War Two Troop Type Parachutes ": Vol.I is Axis; Vol.II is Allies, and both are myth-busters.  The work has made me especially sensitive to all the parachute mis-information that has been accepted as gospel Lo these many years.....and once printed it tends to fossilize. The motivational factor was that ALL the material that touched on the subject was distorted, incomplete or wrong and usually all three.
  Anyway, if you're interested, I got it right and it has some controversy attached.

Both books are thoroughly illustrated and even have packing manuals. I've packed so many for collectors that I included that info since riggers would be reluctant to do that.

Volume I goes into the details of all four of the German RZ series parachutes.  They were dreadful rigs with few virtues, save they were bag deployed and developed rapidly. The RZ 1 was a killer. The RZ 16 was more reliable. The RZ 20 had quick release hardware with a camouflage canopy. The RZ 36 had a delta shaped canopy with a bizarre harness featuring a single point release.  It was used in the Ardennes drop.  It was Not a Russian design, nor was it unique.

One myth I'm endeavoring to kill off is that the RZ owed something to the Italian Salvatore. Not at all, they were similar in harness suspension, but that is all and neither had any connection to the Floyd Smith/Leslie Irvin designs.

Guy Richards

Date:   August 10, 2003 Location:   Texas
From:  Craig Subj:   310th Engineer Battalion
Another great contact with a "Custermen".  His dad has a great story.  We are exchanging
emails and I hope to find out more about the men of the 310th Engr Batln.  I had to go back
and update my group photo of the 310th Engr Batln because some photos didn't work.
    I'm writing to you after finding your superb website dealing with the Italian Campaign and specifically the history of the 310th Engineer Battalion.  My father Warren Stichtenoth was drafted after finishing high school in 1943 and served for almost three years in the US Army Combat Engineers. After training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and Fort Belvoir, Virginia, he shipped overseas to join the 85th Custer Division.  His first stop was a replacement depot in southern Italy before joining the 3rd squad, 1st platoon, "C" Company of the 310th, serving with the 339th Infantry. 

   While in the army, Dad drew portraits of some of his army buddies in the 310th.  The original drawings were sent to the soldiers' wives or girl friends back in the US.  He asked for a photograph copy to be sent back to him and some of them did that.  Recently, he has had a collection of six of these photos of his soldier portraits framed as a set surrounding a vintage army photo of my Dad.  Four of the six soldiers in the portraits are identified, as they signed the original drawings. 

   Following the war, Dad entered the University of Cincinnati's College of Applied Art.  Dad has had a long career as an artist in Cincinnati, both in fine art and in commercial art and advertising.  In recent years since his retirement, he has taught an art class for seniors at Maple Knoll Village in Cincinnati, as part of the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Learning in Retirement.


Craig completed his interview with his father and his research. 
    Go to new biography of Private Stichtenoth

Date:   August 9, 2003 Location:    ---
From:  Bill Cantrall Subj:   Imola
Bill wrote to inform me that I had an error in my description of the battle for Imola.  His reference
seems to disagree with my source.  I do expect that I have a spelling error for the Indian unit.
He gave me a couple of good reference books on the Indian army.  Bill has emailed me
previously.  He served with the AFS in the British Army.
  Your stuff on the Capture of Imola seems very good.  One minor thing: One of the units transferred to X Corps should be spelled “Naba Akhal,” whom I served with, incidentally, in the Sillaro Valley.  An Important question for me is where you found the information that 3/1 Punjabis were transferred to X Corps command from XIII.  3/1 Punjab was an element of 25 Indian Brigade, which Dharm Pal’s Campaign in Italy (Official Indian History) has out of its Monte Grande location by 16 April 45 and in line with the rest of 10th Indian Div alongside 2 NZ north of Route 9.  The rest of your list (but not Punjab 3/1) is confirmed in The Tiger Triumphs, another Indian Army book.  I would prefer you to be right, actually. 
Bill Cantrall, American Field Service

Date:   July 29, 2003 Location:    ---
From:  Verina Johnson Subj:  Military Records
This lady wrote a nice email asking for help on her father's military records.  I told her that I met
a black veteran who said he was basically a truck driver and he served in N. Africa, Italy and
then in Germany.  So, her Dad's story could be similar.  It is sad to hear people searching for
info on their father----but Verina is lucky in that she has a copy of his discharge papers.
So I expect good progress on this.
Follow-up: She emailed me his discharge papers and it turns out he was trained as a fire fighter.
He probably served in Germany, not Italy.
   My father was in WWII in 1943 I need tips on how I can find out more about him and any photos. My father is africian American, he has passed away but I remember him stating that he was either in Germany or Italy.
   Any suggestion. I did not get to spend much time with my father growing up, but i was able to spend the last 4 years with him, but he never liked talking about the war. I tried to get him to talk but he wouldn't. I have no photos of him when he was young and wanted to know if the militay kept records or if you have any suggestion on how i can possibly find a military photo of my dad. Any help will be appreciated.
Verina Johnson

Date:   July 29, 2003 Location:   Pittsburg, PA
From:  Robert Brooke Subj:   My Grandfathers (S. Africa)
This is an excert of two emails I received from Robert, whose grandfathers served in South African
units.  He reqested I include more info on the South Africans, but I just don't haveanything at the
moment.  Good luck in your military career.
  My Grandpa Bobby Jones was the eldest of the two.  Bobby  joined the Rand Light Infantry in 1940.  He was an Oxford educated lawyer, but  insisted on entering the infantry as an enlisted man.  He was with the 3rd  Bde in North Africa before it was disbanded after Alamein.  I'm not sure what he did after that, he died before telling me more detailed stories about Italy.

  Kendall Brooke joined the Natal Carabineers in 1941.  He fought  with the 1st Bde as an infantry Lieutenant / Platoon leader in North Africa, and later the 12th Bde in Italy.  He later became CE Timken South Africa Branch.  Apparently his CO is one of the most decorated officers in South African  history, but he did not like to give medals to his men because he believed that in an elite unit medal-worthy conduct should be expected and everyday occurences.  Something of a sticking point, I'm sure, but Bunka was always proud of the lack of brass.


Date:   June 27, 2003 Location:   Illinois, USA
From:  Mike Johnson Subj:   Pictures of 7 Generals
Here is a feedback on my photos of the 7 US generals listed on Generals page.
Thanks, Mike.
  Those are great pictures of seven generals that you have on your page.

  I just wanted to point out a correction for Lieutenant General McNarney.  He indeed was Marshall's Deputy and then Vice Chief of Staff from March 1942 to August 1944.  In August 1944 until the end of the war, McNarney served as the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean with Field Marshal Alexander as the Supreme Allied Commander.  McNarney also served as the Commanding General of the US Army Mediterranean Theater of Operations.  McNarney replaced Devers in both of these positions, when Devers took over 6th Army Group.
   This picture thus shows 6 levels of command:
      2.  McNarney as Deputy SAC and CG of all US army forces in the theater


Date:   June 12, 2003 Location:   Ft.Wayne,IN
From:Dennis Cutter Subj:   WWII in Italy-- 601st FA Btln
  Another fine compliment.  Check out his webpage: 601st Field Artillery Battalion (Pack)
Hi Steve,
     Fantastic web site you have! Spent 3 hours there. Had to get out of it, so I could get some work done!   NICE JOB!   Love the links, to other areas, as you read. I came across it, looking for information on the 85th & 88th Inf. Div. 
     During Operation Diadem, my Dad's battalion, the 601st Field Artillery Battalion (Pack) was fire support for these two Divisions. Also, the 602nd Field Artillery Battalion (Pack). They transported a 75 mm howitzer through the Italian mountains, on goat trails. The gun could be tore down in 3-5 min., mounted on 7 mules, travel afew 100 yards, stop, reassemble in 3-5 min., fire on the enemy., and do it all over again.  Quite a bunch of guys, they were. They were called muleskinners. 
     I have included a link to my web site. If you get some time, check it out.  There are daily histories on the 88th & 85th Inf. Div. same format as the daily's you have, on the 337th. Great details of the battles! May have information you haven't heard. 
    Once again Steve, GREAT JOB! 
See Ya, Dennis Cutter

Date:  June 10, 2003 Location:   Illinois, USA
From:  William Cantrall Subj:   Help with identifying units on Monte
            Grande Feb.3-March 13.45
A very detailed question from a Vet.  I believe he was with the 34th Division.
Boy, is this a great site!  I stumbled onto it looking for Lovat Scouts.  If I give you background, you can probably plug me into what you know.

    I became an American Field Service Volunteer Ambulance Driver serving with various combat units of the British 8th Army.  We took  over the duty in Br. XIII Corps at the beginning of February 1945 and with the S. Africa Armoured supporting 5th Army.  I served at several posts in the Sillaro Valley, especially with the Gurkhas on Rippiano creek east of the Sillaro and south of M. Spaduro, with the Nabha Akhal, w. of the Sillaro, north of S. Clemente, and with putatively Lovat Scouts.  My post was up the Rio S. Clemente w. of S. Clemente. And onto the shoulder of Mts Cerrere and Grande, as well as I could tell. 
~~~Omitted some detail discussion  ~~~
    When I appeared at the command post, I was ordered into U. S. Army uniform (explanations were not permitted), placed on the stretcher rotation list, and evacuated American sick and wounded as required.  I was subject to the orders of any Allied officer.  Between Feb. 1 and March 13.  I was there briefly early in February and back for one or two weeks later.  Who were these GIs?

Any help will be appreciated.    William R. Cantrall

Date:   June 3, 2003 Location:   Lille, France
From:  Pierre Laevens pismeerschen@wanadoo.fr Subj:   French Expeditionary Corps
After one reader sent me an email complaining that I did not give credit to the French colonial troops,
I received an email from Mr. Laevens.  His email was very constructive and included a list of units
within the French Expeditionary Corps.  With his inputs and assistance, I've created a page on the

French Expeditionary Corps .  Mr. Laevens is a historian of the French troops that fought in France &
Germany and is also a wargammer.   Below, I quote a compliment from one of his emails.
~~~Omitted some detail discussion  ~~~ (email edited to correct English errors) ~~~~
  Your website, that I've explored a little more this past days, deserve to be visited because you give pure historical facts on one hand and on the other, you give information on those who wrote history, at least part of it, by being directly involved. With that you give a special dimension to the events. It reminds that men were behind this; they suffered or died in it. They lived events that can't be fully understood by words but only by those who had lived similar ones. It took a lot of time for veterans to speak of what they endured--if they speak at all.

If you had time you can take a look at this website:
This is a information site about the heirs of the Coloniale: the Marines Regiments. There is some historical information and a lot more you can browse in English, they've got a version in the Shakespeare speach as we sometimes name it.


Date:   May 6, 2003 Location:   USA
From:SSgt Erica M. Bauch, USAF Subj:   Greetings from another member of 
            Erich Bauch's Family
Another contact from a family member of the 328th Field Arty.  Erica is a grand-daughter of Sgt.
Eric Bauch and not only carries the memory of her grandfather's name but also his service to
her country.     See Biography of  First Sgt. Eric Bauch .

  My uncle Charles D. Bauch, forwarded the link to your website.
  I have always enjoyed my grandfather's stories, out of his grandchildren he and I share a
special bond.  For you see, I am currently serving in the United States Air Force, right
now with Air Force Office of Special Investigations. 
   I am proud to do my best to help defend what my grandfather and so many all side of
him as the Greatest Generation. 

Erica M. Bauch, SSgt, USAF

Date:   April 19, 2003 Location:   USA
From:    "Harold Johnston"  Subj:   22nd Miss
I do receive email about my other websites.  This one relates to my Civil War website and
as you can see, it involves a little of geneology research.
     Enjoyed your site. My great great-grandfather was Albert M Johnston Co K 22nd Miss. Inf. Regt.  Company K was formed in Lafayette Co.
     Several years ago I located Col Martin Oatis grave in Cleburne (Johnson County, Texas) I put a CS marker with 22nd Miss Inf Regt on his grave.
     He was in command at the wars end.
Harold W Johnston 
Canyon Lake, Texas

Date:     March 5, 2003                         Location:  Boston
From:    Dolores D'A~~~~                  Subj:     Monte Cassino
She wrote a nice letter of encouragement.  I may recommend the book "Naples '44", by Norman
Lewis, which  details the work with civil problems near Salerno & Naples.
Hello Steve,

I wanted to drop you a note to let you know that your site on WWII - Italian campaign - is top rate. I've been going through it piece by piece for the past few nights and have been learning a great deal.

I'm interested in this particular campaign because I am the daughter of Italian parents who come from that region. My mother is from San Giorgio a Liri - my father from San Appolinare

Where my mother's family was very open about their experiences during this time - my father was altogether different. There's a whole block of his life I know very little about. I asked him - but he always answered vaguely - which is no answer at all. He used to tell me about the sky being dark with planes - all in formation, roaring, going toward Monte Cassino. He was a teenager during this time (born in 1929) and must have been a wild kid. He lost a couple of fingers  - how, he never really said. I do know that the men of San Appolinare were taken to a work camp in Ceprano and he was included in this group. He once mentioned that there was a count off (he called it one, two, three, bang) after a German soldier was killed and nobody in the camp would confess to it. My grandfather who was there with him told him to run away the first chance he got. He heeded the information and did just that. My father died in 1994.

My mother (born in 1936) was much younger at the time. Her memories are more of survival than of war - more about living in a shelter, about what they ate and how they survived day to day life. Their home was totally destroyed during this time (on Corso Achille Spatuzzi). She does tell me about the Moroccans and the fear that went through the village as they came through. 

I've been searching the web for more information about this particular section of the 'Gustav Line' - something that may mention their towns or those surrounding their area (like Pontecorvo, Ausonia, Vallefreda...). I'd appreciate some links or book titles that may lead me in the right direction.  Also, if you know of anyone who may have been in this area and can give me some information, I'd appreciate it greatly.

I think what you're doing with your site is truly wonderful. Oral tradition, while important, tends to get watered down and lost from generation to generation. I want to write what I know about my family so that I may pass it on to the new crop of kids that are now being born. It's important that they know their roots. It's great that your keeping your family history alive!

Dolores D'A~~~~

Date:   3 March, 2003                     Location:   Brazil
From:   Andre Raposo                         Subj:   The Italian Campaign
You can't find much info on the Brazillian's.
Dear sir,

  While browsing the net I found your site. I was really impressed by the quality and amount of information available. I also have a particular interest in this campaign as my grandfather and his brother were part of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (Not Brazile as mentioned in the site) and fought in Italy from Sept 44 to May 45.
   The Brazilian Expeditionary Force (BEF) was constituted by the 1st Brazilian Infantry Division and the 1st Brazilian Fighter Group, a P-47 equipped fighter squadron attached to the US 350 Fighter Wing (the Brazilian squadron received a US Presidential Unit Citation).
  ~~~Omitted some of his Critique of my website ~~~
  But, again, your site is great and a must for those looking for an overview of what was the Italian campaign in WW2.

  Best regards,
  Andre Raposo

Date:   1 March, 2003  Location:   Durham, UK
From:Geraldine D~~~~~  Subj:   Italy
A very nice lady.  Her Father who was a British military police.  She had an interesting photo of him
with an Italian and an American military police taken in August 1945.  This is an interesting addition
to my research on witnesses to the Mussolini's execution.  See Execution of Mussolini.
   your site is very very intestesting. my father served in milan during the war in the british army as a military policeman.
  i grew up seeing photos of mussolini and his mistress hanging upside down. I recall one  photo of my father on the top of the scaffolding cutting down the bodies but, sadly, I think he loan it to someone who did not return it;  it is now only a memory unless there is another somewhere!

  thank you for making such a huge effort to record this piece of history
  Mrs geraldine d~~~~~~

  {I forwarded her a photo I have of the bodies of Mussolini being cut down from where they were hung.}
  ------------------------- 2nd Email -------------------------------

<>Dear Steve,
  how good of you to get straight back to me. This is truly amazing, I really do believe that the photo you sent is the one I told you about, my dad! If I close my eyes I can see the photo I remember dad-  wearing his peaked cap and bending down in the right hand side of the photo; actually seeing the one you sent fills me with great joy. Sadly, Dad died sometime ago but a long while before he did, he wrote some notes about Mussolini.  I imagine they  will be historic details which are already known, I'll try to look them up and let you know.
  My young son C~~~~~~ age 19 will be absolutely thrilled.   
    Dad's name was Edward Pearson. I can't recall which division or anything he was in except the military police and have a number of photos of him with friends whilst he  served in Milan.

   I've left a message for my older brother to contact me about this. Dad first served in  North Africa and then in Italy. Mum and the family remained at home here in england  I've just looked through my photos and found one of dad with an Italian and an American soldier either side of him. Sadly the names of the other two are not entered on the back.  It was taken at Lake Como, Italy on 2nd August 1945.  There is another which must have been taken around the same time of four soldiers, 3rd from left is dad, beside a militry police truck. it says Piazza Cavour lake Como, Italy august 1945. 
    I'll try to scan them and forward them via the internet. If it doesn't work i'll find another way. I'd love a larger version of the one you sent so that I could positievly identify dad, is this possible?  sorry for information overload but I feel 'smitten'.

 looking forward to hearing from you
 sincerely,  Geraldine 

Date:   1 March, 2003  Location:   UK
From:    D. Koenig  Subj:   THE ITALIAN CAMPAIGN
A brief question.  "GHQ" is General HeadQuarters, more specifically a British acronym.
"CMF" is Central Mediterranean Forces.   Never did identify "02E".

  are you able to give me some information to this unit : GHQ 02E  CMF

  Thank you in advance.

    04 Feb 2003                      Location:  Midwest USA

From:  Frank G~~~~~                        Subj:   Re: Paul Brown's Letter
Franks' father had served with Paul Brown.  Frank had a old letter from Paul Brown (see Anzio Diary)
that was sent to his wife at the end of the war.  Paul was asigned to another unit at Camp Rucker, AL,
after he returned home.  Frank's father was in a hospital in the States.  Frank sent me and Paul Brown Jr.
a scan of the 1945 hand-written letter and a group of photos taken at Camp Rucker.  The photos were
some soldiers standing in front of a group of 6X6 trucks.
This was amazing that someone found their father's name in this diary that only listed it once.  And he
was able to fill in some info on what happened to both men when they returned to the States.
I received an email from Paul Brown {Jr.} who said the letter was from his father.  I copied it and sent the original to him.

My father was the motor sergeant for the 179th Inf. RgtPaul Brown was in graves registration.  Both were in the headquarters company of the regiment so they knew each other.  Remember, the unit was together training for three years before it was deployed so they had a lot of time to get to know each other. 

As I read Paul Brown's letter, he was transferred to the 201st Inf. to train new soldiers.  My father was  injured in a motorcycle accident in France.  I understand he and a friend were "testing" a captured German command car and motorcycle and he had to lay the bike down to keep from colliding with the car.  His leg went under the car, causing extensive damage which required months of surgeries and hospitalization.

I think my father was referred to as Sgt G~~~~~ {in the Anzio Diary}or something like that.  He was noted as being "busted".  I dont know what that was about and cant find out because all the records from that era were destroyed in a fire in St. Louis.

Anyway, the diary has opened some doors and I thank you for putting the information on the 'net.

Frank G~~~~~

Date:   29 January, 2003                     Location:   USA
From: Tim Herbert                              Subj:   85th Infantry
Tim found me through a mutual acquaintenance, Don.  But he got me confused with John Heiser, who is
writing a detailed history of the 339th 'Polar Bear' Regiment.  Don gave me the biography of his uncle
Pat Patterson, who was KIA, to use on my website.
  My name is Tim Herbert, and I was referred to you by Don Vitelli, an   acquaintance I made while searching for information about the War years my  Dad, Reverend Dr. R. Norman Herbert, spent with the 85th.
  First, I believe you are the builder of the terrific website concerning the   85th; if so, congratulations, as it is a very nice piece of work.  My Dad served in the 339th, as a Private (promoted to Corporal at some point) in what my Mom recalls as the Headquarters Battalion,Signal Platoon
   His duty included stringing communications wire on or near the front   lines, and in mid-October (I believe) he was badly wounded and subsequently sent home.  He spent the next forty years as a student and then a Presbyterian minister, and only in the last years of his life did he discuss his war years at all, even with my Mom. I recall vividly how my brother and sisters and I could never touch Dad while he was sleeping, when we were young {I think he means that his Dad was sensitve to sudden noises--like my Dad}.  He died 2/10/02.
  I am very interested in contacting anyone who might have known Dad, to find out the specifics of his time in Italy, and if you could direct me to other veterans of the 339th, that would be terrific.  I got the address of the Polar Bear Association from your site; is that the best way to contact folks who might have served with Dad?
   Also, Mr. Vitelli indicated that you are working on a book on the 85th. {Wrong.  That is John Heiser.
I would be very interested in purchasing a copy, once published, and I certainly appreciate and respect the time and effort you are putting forth to recognize this component if "the greatest generation".

Tim Herbert

Date:     21 January, 2003                    Location:   Prato, Italy
From: Riccardo Barni                           Subj:  Maps scale information
Riccardo was researching the area north of Florence/Prato, where the 34th Division
advanced to the GOTHIC Line.  He discovered trenches, tunnels, shrapnel in the area he describes.
Riccardo had a detailed operational report of the 133rd Infantry Regiment which referred to 6-digit
map grids.  I knew how the maps was used but I don't have access to the 1:25,000 scale maps nor
the overlays.  However, Riccardo was able to retrace the path of the 133rd Regiment.  The result of
months of emails was a brochure about the battle north of Prato, which I helped with the English translation.

See Brochure  Parco Memoriale della Linea Gotica at the 34th Division website.
This email is a composite of 2 emails on 21st & 22nd January.
  Dear Steve,
     Thanks in advance for your attention.
     Maybe you are right saiyng my English is "Superb" but after your reply,or other any, I have to spent a lot of energy to translate so i could understand each shadow in talking, that very often is the most important matter.
     My interest about 133rd Battalion{correction- Regiment}of 34th Division "Red Bulls" is due to the fact that the territory on which my province lies was the first point attacked on "Gothic Line" in early Sept. 1944 by Allied forces.
     I love to trek?{hike} in my woods and long times ago i noted traces in the ground that i thought where not a work of ancient farmers or ancestors (this countries have seen Etruscan civilization 800 years B.C.)  Day by day i saw much more details and I discovered that these were the entrenchments of German soldiers against Allied forward and the great lot of rusty iron pieces in the ground are the rest of fire this unlucky people launch each other.  The exact area which I am studiyng is the final zone of the trail: see Santa Margherita, hills around it, till Montepiano.
  As you see coordinates are expressed with 6 numbers in every map they are referring to.  I suppose, however, the numbers I see are always referred to the same maps which scale is very close to Italian 1/25.000.   I see, if I try to find a position, that this 6 numbers, (the first 3 for latitude and the second ones for longitude) are not corresponding to the  numbers stated on my card{map}.
        Note 1) is it not too rough to sign a point with an approx of about 200-250 meters or yards?
        Note 2) in Italian Army we use 8 numbers so we can describe the position point with
                     an approximation of 25 meters.  
  So the easiest solution is to get an American Map and use it to state a new numeration to handwrite on my maps.  Basing obviously on the points of which we have the both description: 1) name or elevation quote and
2) coordinates.

   Important is to be sure the exact point of the ground to which the coordinates are referring to, i.e. Santa Margherita is not usable because we do not know wich part of the village are referred.
   I will be glad to give you the final results of this job, in the meantime if you need something about Italy maps I'll be proud to help you.
  Ciao !

Date:   19 January, 2003                     Location:   USA
From:   Larry Strother                               Subj:   Maps of Italy - WWII
Another reader who is searching for a key to the map coordinates and other info
related to the 34th Division.
  What a pleasure to find your site.  I have been trying for some time now to locate a map  that may help me determine the location in which my father was killed.  My father was a Private in M Company, 135th Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division.  He was KIA 24, May 1944 during the breakout for the Anzio beachhead.  I have obtained the day reports  from my fathers Company for the months of April and May 1944.  These reports include several map grid references where patrols were made and where buildings were located.
   If I can obtain copies of some of the maps that were referenced in these reports I may be better able to know where my dad was operating when killed.  I would like to visit Italy and tour the battle sites.  If I can find theses specific locations it would make the trip much more meaningful. 
  Would you be able to provide any copies of maps that show the area near Cisterna?  It may be between Cisterna and Vellentro that I am interested in.  I would have to revisit the reports but I believe the area of interest is NE of Cisterna.  If the specific grid references used would help I will gladly furnish them. 

  If during your research you come in contact with people whose father was killed in WWII please refer them to www.awon.org.  This is the website for the American World War II Orphans Network (AWON).  Visit the site to get an idea of our purpose and objectives. 

  With your permission I will ask our webmaster to include a link to your site on our  pages. 

  In Their Memory 
  Larry E Strother

   27 February, 2003                     Location:  Somewhere in Italy

From:   SSPzKorps                       Subj:   Howdy
A young internet buddy that I have known through AOL History chat rooms.  He is now
serving his country somewhere "over there".

 I thought I'd send an email telling y'all I made it safely to Italy, and that everything is going well. Since I got off early today at 1530, because all we really had to do today was get our DCUs I decided to write y'all.  Italy has been great so far, great food, great drinks, great scenery, and best of all great women. 
   I was assigned to B Co., 1/508th PIR 'Red Devils', 173rd Airborne Brigade.  I am still im-processing into my unit, I got CIF tomorrow, and I hope sometime in the near feature I get moved out of the Guest Housing and to the Barracks, but I wouldn't count on it it took them about a week to put me into a unit, and about a week and a half to get myself a beret.  Well thought I would drop y'all a short letter.  Y'all take care.

  PFC ~~~~~~

If you want to contact me for any other reason, please read Conatct Info, below, for suggestions.

Legend: Tildas~~~~ are used to conceal personal information for their security.
      BOLD = highlights subject material related to my website.
                {My Comments} = My comments in {Brackets} or blue.
     Links = Most links are internal to my website, only.

Conatct Info:

   I currently receive about 1 email inquiry a week.  Some weeks there are 3 or 4.  I enjoy answering each one and assisting with any help I can provide.  However, I can only answer your email from the material I have available to me.  I'm not a professional researcher---uh, not yet.
   With all the junk SPAM email, I find it refreshing to hear from people who seriously want to use the Internet for legitimate purposes.  I don't mind scanning info from my books and emailing it to you.  Beware: this material may be COPYRIGHTED material.  For example, I may have a photo on my website that I got from a public domain source.  The same photo may be in a copyrighted book.  So if I scan the photo and copyrighted text, then you should be careful that you do not publish it.

So please keep in mind these Do's and Don'ts.

DO send email.  I like to hear from those who visit my website.  I might possibly want to include your info in my biography section.  Drop me an email even if you don't have a question.  I enjoy hearing from beginners and people with interests related to WW2.

DO use a specific subject name.  I delete all email that looks like SPAM; including subjects such as "Hi, its me" and "Eat pizza & loose weight".  I suggest you use the Subject: "Italian Campaign of WW2."

DO conact me if you have any kind of photos or booklets or anything of interest that was brought back by a veteran.  Some of the simple photos are the best.  I'm also interested in the large group photos.

DO include as much information you know before asking for info.
   Poor:  "My Dad was in 45th Division and was wounded at Cassino.  Do you have any info on where he was?"
   Good: "My Dad was in 3rd Batln, 180th Regt and was wounded on 15 Feb, 1944.  Do you know where he might have been on this date?"

DO be specific with your question.  Some emails are too brief and some include name, rank, dates, places and other info, but it doesn't directly state a question.

DON'T Worry; your personal information will not be divulged on internet without prior consent.  I'd like to know what state or area you are from.  I totally avoid creating mailing lists.  So, you will not even receive the joke-of-the-week email.  The only email you will receive will be directly from me about your area of interest.

DON'T assume the material I send you is "public domain" and free of COPYRIGHT protection.   Any material I send is assumed to be for private use only.  Publishing the material in a website or printed material may be a COPYRIGHT infringement.

Now, you can email me.

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