Bits And Pieces Of The Italian Campaign

THE TRUCK & DRIVER

Tribute should be paid here to the omnipresent but generally unsung 2 1/2 ton, 6 x 6 cargo truck, and to the man who drove it. From the standpoint of dependability in delivering essential combat supplies through difficult country such as now confronted IV Corps, the vehicle was invaluable. The driver, who knew no hours and frequently drove the clock around with only an occasional cat-nap and another cup of coffee to keep him going, made his contribution to the success of the campaign just as surely as the combat soldier whose groceries and bullets made up the load.

A DRIVER'S STORY

I recently received (12/31/11) this story of a truck driver. Theresa Graves father drove truck in the Italian Campaign. This is one of the stories she related to me and gave me permission to post here;

"I recently found out that my dad had received 2 bronze stars and one was for him saving a convoy of supplies to be delivered to soldiers. The convoy had come under heavy fire and the convoy had to stop. From what I have been told they all had to abandon their trucks. My dad was ordered to get back in the first truck so they could get going again. They said he crawled under heavy fire and had to move another soldier that had been driving it, he had been killed in the truck. My dad literally had to sit on what was left of this soldier and get the convoy going again. I found out it had been a friend of my dads that had died. I didn't get any names but I was told this happened a lot. The soldiers depended on getting their supplies and ammo."

THE MULE & DRIVER

And no story of this operation could pretend to be complete without also mentioning the lowly pack mule, and the important part he played in IV Corps transportation. At the opening of the drive there were five Italian pack companies attached to our divisions; in addition to these, the 10th Mountain had received some six hundred American mules, some of which were used in their artillery and some in their quartermaster battalion, both of which units had had to be motorized when they first reached Italy. These animals and the men who led them, whether of American or Italian origin, did an indispensable piece of work in getting food, ammunition and medical supplies to advance elements in the more inaccessible parts of the zone. At times, unorthodox as it may seem, gasoline and oil were actually delivered to some of the armored units by pack mule.

FROM; 19 DAYS,

The FINAL CAMPAIGN across NORTHWEST ITALY 14 APRIL-2 MAY 1945

PUBLISHED 1945 BY HEADQUARTERS IV CORPS, U.S. ARMY ITALY

REPRINTED BY THE BATTERY PRESS 1987

FRANK’S FIRST JUMP

Here is the story of Frank A. Andrews of San Jose, CA concerning his problematic first battle jump with the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in “Operation Husky”, the invasion of Sicily-July.1943. His letter at the end of the .pdf document was sent home through a friend while he was in hospital in Bizerte, Tunisia in October 1943. My father was in Bizerte at the time in preparation for jumping off for Naples. This was used by permission from Barbara Andrews, Frank's sister.

The .pdf titled "Franks Letter"

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