The Gothic Line Italy.
The initial success of the advance to the Gothic line was going quite well. The regiment made many moves and sometimes were out of range so moved again.
On one of these advance parties we were on, for once, a piece of higher ground. While we of the advance party were checking out the new gun position, we had a view of the Germans shelling cross roads with two rounds into each cross road except one crossroad. The Germanís were very methodical in doing most everything. When it came time to go with the 2/ic to the designated cross road to meet the guns. I noted that this crossroad was the one that had not received any shelling during the day. I parked my bike opposite the Provost who was doing traffic control. I then had a funny feeling that all was not right and something was about to happen so I spent the next few moments roaming around a couple of houses picking up and tossing aside pieces of someone's belongings with no apparent reason or saving anything.
There was a couple of shells that passed over and hit the next crossroad. Along came 60 Battery and out of one of the vehicles hobbled a gunner who made his way to a waiting ambulance. He had been hit at the crossroad next to the one we were waiting at. I took his name I suppose for no other reason than to be sure it was reported.
60th Battery rolled through the crossroad then 37th battery, our troop of 76th Battery, were almost here and I left the building and went to start my bike ready to lead Fox troop to the new position. Just as I kicked my starter a shell crashed into the house nearest the provost corporal.
Down came all the overhead wires and the air was full of dust and bricks from the exploding shell. The provost corporal was either knocked down or wounded. Before the noise of the explosion died I was off my bike and hollered at our lead vehicle get everyone out as there will be another shell arriving in seconds. Everyone got out of their vehicles and ran into nearby houses.
Then in came the next shell right into the crossroad and exploded. Soon as it exploded I went to my bike and hollered let us get the hell out of here. My bike was laying on its side with the gas draining out. I righted the bike and on the second kick it started. I saw that the provost corporal was being taken away on a stretcher. Now I do not know if this was the original corporal or whether two had been hit. I then lead the way to our gun position.
All our fellows made it through this crossroad okay. Sometime during this time Capt Wolfe brought fire down upon his tank and buildings where our infantry were situated. Reason for this was the German paratroopers were trying to get in the house and were on the roof and also trying to get into Wolfe's tank. Lloyd Fraser a signaler with CaptWolfe remembers this very well indeed. That was a heart pounding situation and the resulting fire cleared the Germans away for the time being.