Italy. I thought I had pretty well finished with my memories of Italy but a few keep coming back so I will try to get that out of the depths of long ago and put it into print.
Our gun position, some time in early September I wrote about a place with a lot of safety deposit boxes laying around all smashed. Okay we now have the spot. Our troop command post was just a hole dug in the ground big enough for the command post crew. In this case it was Lt Alex Ross and his assistant Don Bulloch, plus a signaler, possibly Fred Lockhart. The command post had a tarp put up over it to contain any light rather than rain protection as we had an extremely dry spell. I had dug my trench in an area about 50 or sixty feet straight behind the command post. Our gun tractors were in behind the buildings another hundred or so feet behind where I was.
All seemed well and as it was getting pretty late I had my pup tent up over my trench. I was a good sleeper and went on the premise that as soon as I went to sleep nothing would happen to me. Well I awoke from a sound sleep and had a great weight holding me down! What was this? It turned out that we had been rained on and my tent had collapsed on top of me and here was about six inches of water in my collapsed tent holding me down. I did not have a drop of water in or around my fart sack, but to get out and save my clothes and blankets was another matter, also I was naked. I knew I had to move soon or go down in the flood that was soon to engulf me I slithered up to the end of the trench then with a supreme leap out I leaped into the rain and pulled my fart sack and clothes out in one motion . Now what? I scampered in the nude lugging my fart sack and clothes to the command post.
The entrance to the command post was really slippery so I slid bare assed into the command post landing at Lt Alex Ross's feet. I was now wide awake. I pulled a blanket over me and spent the rest of the night telling the command post stories of my youth. I'm sure they wished I would have shut up so they could have snatched a moment or so of rest. I think Alex Ross was the only troop officer we had at the time. The regular Gun position officer was away sick so Alex was the gun position officer & troop leader.
Captain Charlie Brown was our troop commander and would have been with the infantry. Alex Ross wrote about this incident in his book, "A Long walk To The Regiment". I also wrote this incident in another couple of publications. It was listed as "bare assed in the dugout". When I slithered in to the dugout Alex Ross was writing to a girl back home and could not think what to write about but with my entrance he had enough to finish the letter. All that command post crew that I have just mentioned survived the war and still are living. Alex Ross at 88, I at 81. The youngest of this group is Fred Lockhart at 79 and will be 80 this year.
Since writing, Don Bulloch has passed away. A good friend. Rest In Peace Don. “