June, 1944. The last writing touched briefly on the politics of war. It did not then hit home to most of us that we were like the Poles, being used. It was just as well as we were young and the will to survive was likely the uppermost thought in mind.
During this month of June I think we moved twice and ended up in an area near the Volturno River. From this area the guns were taken out and recalibrated. We did a fire and movement type of training with the infantry following close behind our barrage. General Hoffmeister walking along with the Brigades infantry to show the infantry how close you could safely follow a barrage. A great officer a great man. For recreation we went to a beach called Mandragone. Here we prairie chaps swam for the first time in the sea. The salty water was new to we fresh water swimmers. Here at the beach the hot Italian sun and the salt water gave a lot of us fair skinned fellows pretty good sunburns.
At the beach we were entertained by the First Canadian Entertainment company who put on a great show.
At the beach we were restricted in areas that had been cleared of mines laid by the Germans. There were still a lot of trip wire flares that were set off at night by the engineers. These flares were to light up a sea borne landing and again had been left by the Germans. Oh yes I did not mention that in May and June we lost two fellows. Gunner H F Denton who as far as any of us remember drowned in the river and his body never recovered.