Cattolica Italy, February 1945. This will likely be the last segment written while in Italy. I will try to remember things that happened up to when I left Italy. Sometime in early September we were on an advance party. As the battle was moving quite well it seemed we were always on the move. While on this advance party I was doing point duty when some tanks cut into the road in front of me. I missed the turn off to our gun position . Coming up to the next crossroad the medical chaps were loading a provost point man on to the jeep ambulance.
We were all stopped, and to our right within a couple hundred yards the Germans were shelling a group of buildings with increasing fury. I mentioned that the poor devils who ever they were sure was getting some terrible going over. The convoy I was stuck behind was some tanks and the dust and exhaust really burned my face. I pulled over until the tanks past. The next vehicles was some of the 8th Fld Regt RCA and laying in the back of one small truck was Cliff Gillespie who was now a Lt having received his commission while being an original 76th Bty Sergeant. Cliff was a chap who always liked to catch a sleep and here he was in the back of this truck and I swear he had at least a half inch of dust covering him. The next vehicle was one with two Intelligence corps sergeants. I looked at their map and back tracked down the road and at the cross roads I had left moments before the medics were carrying another provost wounded out of the ditch.
The Germans sure knew where the crossroads were and laced in the high explosive shells. While I waited to pass this crossroads another shell or so smacked into the ground not far away. Carrying on I made the turn into our gun area. It was the area that I saw the shells just pouring into and the poor devils was our advance party. None hurt but well dusted up.
Our guns came in and pits were dug and all fed. It gave me a moment to look around at the buildings that we were near. One building looked like it could have been a bank as there was hundreds of safety deposit type boxes that had been pried out and smashed open. I did not see any money but legal papers every where.