Wednesday, January 19, 1944

Somewhere in Italy

Dearest Gee.

At last I can say a little more than ordinary if they don’t change their minds and blot it all out. We have been in action against the Germans in the mountains of Italy. Came thru okay although there were a few times I was plenty scared. One day we were up on a mountain and could look over and watch our artillery shelling a town the Germans held. How anyone could live thru that, I don’t know. Just like looking at a movie only it’s the real stuff. This mountain stuff is really rugged. We’re with the Fifth Army now and General Clark is okay. He came to speak to us one day. Quite a guy. Yes, things turned out between Chick and me just about like you and Mildred said. Even the “Hi Gulch” only there was a grin from ear to ear. I told you they’ve moved again, at least that’s what he said in his letter. Things in Italy are pretty well torn up but as fast as they move forward they straighten it up as best as possible. Sure would give my right eye for a camera and film. Could have taken some swell pictures. You needn’t worry about the Italian women. I haven’t seen one yet I’d touch with a ten foot pole, me for you and you for me is my motto. Have been seeing some swell air battles too. Really a sight! Guess this is all for now. So long for now. I sure love you.

Snook

Polish soldiers inside the ruined Monte Cassino Monastery, c. May 1944.

Finally some small details about the Force and what has been happening to Snook in Italy. This letter was written following the fighting at Monte Cassino, following well over a month fighting in the central mountains of Italy, southeast of Rome. Snook had fared relatively well so far, considering the Force had approximately 1400 of their 1800 combat forces killed or hospitalized and the Service Battalion packers and litter men had been reduced 50% from fatigue or wounding (Burhans, p. 162). But Anzio looms after a brief rest at Pozzuoli until the end of the month while replacements arrived.

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