Piangepane Italy, 1944. If my memory is correct this position was a good gun position and I do not remember getting any shelling right on the guns but there was some along the road. A sort of different experience happened to I/Sgt Bill Copithorn along this roadway. Bill was laying telephone wire to replace wire torn up by shell fire. The worst enemy to our communication wire was our own Brigade tanks who could tangle up hundreds of yards of wire on their tracks. Bill had to take cover in a water filled ditch. I did not explain this was on a moonlight night. Here was our Bill in the ditch under a pretty heavy shelling. When he heard a shell he inadvertently would crouch down and as he crouched down it seemed that a face rose up out of the water. The second time this happened Bill knew that was a face. Here he was standing on the feet of a dead German submerged in the ditch and as Bill crouched he put pressure on the legs and the face would rise up to greet him. Bill after really seeing the face said shells or no shells he was getting out of that ditch, which he did, arriving back at Fox troop with a story to tell and a bit gray at the gill.
Sgt Humble and I along with a section of his gun crew were sleeping in a house that had the owners still there. This Italian lady said if we could get her some flour she would make the greatest spaghetti and chicken meal. One of us gave her some flour so that day we observed this fine lady rolling out the dough, then cutting the dough in strips and hanging the strips of dough across a line, I suppose to dry. The hour of the feast arrived and what a meal this lady produced. Of course Poppa brought out some good wine. I believe we had a minestrone soup too. The spaghetti and chicken, oh momma mia delicious! After the meal Poppa was glowing with the compliments we gunners were paying Momma for the meal. He then called the daughters to sing. What voices they had! It was an evening to remember.
I did not mention as the daughters were clearing the table one of the girls whacked me on the head and exclaimed. "Bianco capella!'' (White hair) and she pulled a lone white hair from my head. Here was I at 23 with a white hair in my head. The Italians were to have none of that. Oh yes the girls were lovely. The rural and small village girls morals were impeccable. No hanky panky! I must say we treated them as we wished our sisters back home to be treated, and Momma treated us like her sons. What a great evening!