It did not take too long to get into the routine at RHQ. I had some good friends there, Chuck Watson and Frank Comadina that I had close contact with as much as anyone. The main thing was to be alert when Chuck took the notion to staple a list your were making out to delegate the duty roster. Now Chuck just might as I said staple this to the desk by throwing his knife over your shoulder and missing your fingers that held the roster down. I still have all fingers and this attests to his skill.
Also in RHQ was a school friend of mine. John Wiebe, with the survey section Jim Sinclair was the Sgt in charge of the survey section and a friendship made then has lasted all these years. The RSM Jim Murray, with whom I had daily contact, and I seemed to get on pretty good. The adjutant Capt JL Wallace was a stickler for good deportment and discipline. JL was a fine looking soldier, good bearing, dark curly hair, and he had an attitude that it had to be done correctly or not at all. I do not think that JL and I crossed swords while he was the adjutant. I tried to do my job as well as I knew how. Colonel Armstrong who was in and out of the headquarters also received respect through his manner and rank.
At this early time in my stay at RHQ I did not have too much personal contact with the Colonel. This would change as the war went on. I missed the guns and the gun crew, but here i did not have to dig gunpits, or stay out day and night, either in the gunpit or slit trench. At RHQ we did not miss meals and generally were in a safer area at least in the this static position.This would change too.
Some time in early March, the regiment was relieved by the 11th Army Field Regiment And we moved to Lucera. This area I must admit seems to have left my memory. Guns and gunners went to the 8th Army school of Artillery at San Nicandro. After this school the regiment went back to basics to clean up, wash up, and shine up - get the mud of the Ortona front washed away,rifle range shooting, route marches and, if I recall, a trip to a mobile bath, We chaps needed a wash up too!