Montemaggorie Italy. 24th August 1944. This is an area where so many things that happened. I find rather hard to think in a matter of a day how this one unfolded.
Our advance party arrived below the town of Montemaggorie to set up gun positions for the guns that would be coming in that evening. It was an entrance to this area down a long winding hill side and history tell me that we were in an area where the enemy could see us coming and going. Our advance party vehicles were strung out with a good timed interval between vehicles. Lt Art DeBelle was our gun position office when our site was given to us for Fox troop's gun position. The selection of where the best spot for each of the four guns in our troop was selected by Lt DeBelle. Now memory tells me that we had brought some of the crews from each gun who started to dig gun pits and slit trenches. Also, our troop command post dugout would have been dug at this time. Art Debelle asked me to stay with him and check out the site for a good road for the guns which were to arrive after dark.
The road to our rear that ran along a hill top and was under German observation. Also under extremely accurate shell fire! Each time a vehicle, motor bike, or truck went along this road the Germans would start to chase it with shell after shell. We that were watching could not believe how the vehicles ran this gauntlet of fire. We could see the shell burst and the ensuing dust cloud would obscure the vehicle under attack. We then would say looks like they must of got him. But in an instant out of this dust cloud would come the surviving vehicle going like hell on wheels. I do believe some made bets on the result whether the vehicle would make it or not.
The day was spent getting all the preparations for the guns coming in. Oh yes, I dug my slit trench along a fine grape vine loaded with splendid big grapes which enjoyed. I must point out that the 48Highlander of Canada moved into our area and dug their slit trenches about a hundred foot further up the slope from us. While we were in grape vines, the 48th were in some taller trees to our front. We had a new officer posted to our troop this morning. His name was Lt Alex Ross and would be troop leader Fox troop. This was to be his first day in action. There is a lot of action and damn scary happenings to come .