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#1 Crosbygirl

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:26 PM

Hello my name is Ann and I am the daughter of a RA Gunner who served in North Africa and Italy.

I am currently compiling a book of Italy Campaign Veterans Memoirs (all services) and I would be most interested to hear from either a Veteran or Veteran's family if they would be willing to share their memoir in my forthcoming book. I already have memoirs from the UK, Poland, Canada, Australia, and the Jewish Brigade. (still require, Free French, Ghurkas, front line medical staff etc) I am very much in need of memoirs from US Veterans. I have tried all areas of Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Pentagon, and the VA but to no avail! Even if you are a family member of a US Veteran and have knowledge about your father/brother/Uncle/Cousin I would love to hear from you as it is most important that I include the American contribution to the Italy Campaign.

It's about time those who fought in Italy Campaign 1943-45 were given credit for a job well done!
I am also fund raising for a Memorial in the National Arboretum in Staffordshire, no-one in the world of commerce, captains of industry or in deed, our government is willing to contribute, any offers of funds or help would be appreciated by the Veterans I am in constant touch with. Many thanks
Please contact me if you are interested and/or need more information
Many thanks Ann

Edited by Crosbygirl, 07 April 2012 - 09:54 PM.
Updating

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#2 sonofaddaydodger

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:22 PM

hi ann
my dad who sadly passed away last year, served in italy with 5th recce, he crossed the straights of messina on a landing craft ,landing on the heel o0f italy .
he was badly wounded in the breakout from anzio ,being shot 5 times ,he was the only suvivor out of 7 on the brengun carrier which he drove.
regards keith
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#3 Rotherfield

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:16 PM

Hi Ann
I have visited the battle site of Monte Camino every year for the last 20 years either staying at a small pensione in Mignano or more recently in the new Country House in Rocca d Evandro, I have a couple of written accounts by two young Lts of the 6th Btn Grenadier Guards who fought the first battle for that Mountain, my Uncle was kiled during the first battle and like so many of his comrades he has no known grave,
Both my mate and myself built a Cairn of remembrance on Point 819 (No 2 Coy positions) in 2002 sadly that Cairn was destroyed bythe now owner of that piece of land, however last year we rebuilt a new Cairn jkust above the hamlet of Formella.
I am planning on going again this September should you know of anybody who is interested please pass on my e mail address:- xxxx
Thank you
Mike Sterling

Hello my name is Ann and I am the daughter of a RA Gunner who served in North Africa and Italy.

I am currently compiling a book of Italy Campaign Veterans Memoirs (all services) and I would be most interested to hear from either a Veteran or Veteran's family if they would be willing to share their memoir in my forthcoming book. I already have memoirs from the UK, Poland, Canada, Australia, the US and the Jewish Brigade. (still require, Free French, South African, front line medical staff etc)

It's about time those who fought in Italy Campaign 1943-45 were given credit for a job well done!

Please contact me if you are interested and/or need more information
Many thanks Ann


Edited by Owen, 07 April 2010 - 04:30 PM.
email address removed it attracts spam-bots

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#4 Richard Harrison

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:41 PM

spoke to my dad the other day who keeps mentioning a reference to a mutiny on the beach at Salerno, my grandad landed with the 46th and apparently there were factions within 46th or even the 56th who were planning a mutiny, not sure what or why but he did mention it to my dad on a number of occasions
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#5 Tom Canning

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:35 PM

Richard Harrison -
WHOA there - the Salerno Mutiny was a fact - BUT it was not by any means planned by anyone in 46th or 56th divisions.

It was in fact a monumental cock up - and Monty put the fickle finger of fate on the man responsible as Maj.Gen Miller - administrator for Alexander.

As Lt.Gen Adam - Adjutant General said - "this has to be the worst case of British Army Justice ever " - he was right and he commuted the three alleged ringleaders sentences from death to ten years hard in the Uk prison system.

There is a good book on this subject which I would recommend you study in order to get the facts as this could be yet another case for Phaethon to follow - It is "Mutiny at Salerno" by Saul David...read it and weep at the stupidity and cowardice of some people - unbelievable !
Cheers
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#6 Rotherfield

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 04:31 PM

Hi
Another brilliant account of the "Mutiny" is in the book Salerno 43, Gulf of Hell by Des Hickey and Gus Smith, it is out of print but I got my copy on Amazon.
The story is too compicated to go into here but the troops that "Mutinied" wanted to fight but they wanted to fight with their own Regiments, the above book is in my mind the best writen about that battle.
Regards
Mike Sterling
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#7 Richard Harrison

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 03:10 PM

Richard Harrison -
WHOA there -................"Mutiny at Salerno" by Saul David...read it and weep at the stupidity and cowardice of some people - unbelievable !
Cheers



Ok Tom, you must remember that the man who told this (my grandfather) is deceased, he told his stories to his son (my dad) when he was 7 years old....he is in his 50's now and like everything with time memories are disorted or incorrect. i merely brought it up as it would be a good avenue to research if Italy stories were a topic of course.....i am echoing what i have been told hence the use of "apparently"

I appreciate you are an Italy Vet, did you land at Salerno / Anzio ? perhaps you could try and let us know what it was like, i read the book back water war and it decribes the British and Canadian landings as sheer Hell, to the comparative bliss of the American landings who supposedly came ashore unoposed.
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#8 Tom Canning

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 03:38 PM

Richard -
I can accept the time variation of memory of youth but I still recommend the Saul David book -

I was a member of the 21st Tank Bde and we had basically Churchill 40 ton Tanks to fight in - therefore we were known as a "Heavy Mob" and thus took no part in Landings - the only Tanks in Italian landings was from elements of 7th Armoured Div at Salerno through to Naples when they went back to the Uk for the D Day landings - 4th Armoured brigade took part in the landings at Bari in support of elements of 78th Div.
An armoured Div has lighter Tanks than that of a Tank Bde for faster and pursuit purposes whereas the "Heavy Mob" tend to knock things like defences down in order to allow the lighter Tanks to pursue the enemy ! at least - that was the theory as illustrated by the RAC cap badge of the mailed fist and arrows....

We landed at Naples later to join the Canadians along with the 25th Tank bde - also a heavy mob - at Lucera above Foggia as Monty had fired their 5th Armoured Div for being bad lads - 25th took the Canadians through the Liri Valley and we were held as reserve and took over after Rome for the Gotihic Line and beyond until the Canadians left for Belgium in the Feb. of '45.The bde then went on to support 8th Indian div.
That being so we were not involved in any landings and my experience of the Sicily landings comes - like many others from - Official accounts and sometimes wayward accounts of authors but NO landing is easy.

Cheers
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#9 Tom Canning

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 06:19 PM

Richard -
Further to your quest for knowledge of the Italian campaign - I would recommend the diaries of Ron Goldstein as telling it like it was - the book by Dan Dancocks - "The D Day Dodgers" which is almost an official account of the Canadians in that theatre -John Ellis's "Cassino- the hollow victory""- "The Battleaxe Divison " by Ken Ford -"The Gothic Line " by Douglas Orgil - or my own attempts to find humour in it all at BBC - WW2 People's War - Autobiog: -
you will find that all this is what Ann is writing her book all about - it was not quite as forgotten as Burma but it did appear that way at times !
Cheers
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#10 Richard Harrison

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:51 PM

excelent cheers, you used to be posted not far from me In Durham, i live 15 mins from there :)
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#11 Tom Canning

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:59 PM

Richard -
you are 15 minutes at Cullercoats from Barnard Castle - sshheess - what do you drive ? - or do you mean South Shields
Cheers

Edited by Tom Canning, 14 April 2010 - 10:00 PM.
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#12 Richard Harrison

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 08:35 AM

two minutes through the tunnel then straight down the A19 to Durham i visit family in Brancepeth weekly and it takes me 15mins (this is travelling out of peek hours in a lets say.... not so sluggish car)
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#13 lennysden

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 06:27 PM

Hi Tom

Just a quick question for you.
You say you was in the 21st tank brigade, which unit ( if you don't mind me asking)?
My grandfather was in the 48th RTR " B group" as a mechanic.

Darren.
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#14 Tom Canning

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 07:24 PM

Lennysden-
I was in "A" squadron of the 145th RAC - the other members were the 12th RTR and your Grandfathers mob of the 48th RTR - which we called the "Golden Tracks" as they never seemed to wear the tracks out in any fighting .......beside they had a shoulder colour of Gold and Light Blue - yeugh !

They did get lucky though in North Africa as their 4th troop "B" squadron - your grandfather's - killed the Tiger Pz VI which is now in Bovington pride of place ! BUT - they had two weeks "rest" at Cattolica in the Gothic Line - we got two DAYS !
Apple Polishers - the lot of them !
Cheers
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#15 lennysden

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 05:59 PM

Hi Tom

Sorry for taking so long to reply.
Many thanks for your reply.
It did make me wonder about the 48th RTR. We ( myself & my father) have the 48th RTR's war diaries which is interesting reading. To make a little bit more sense of the diaries we also have Peter Gudgin's book about the 48th RTR. What myself and my father would hope to find is some photographs of my grandfather either with the 48th and / or with other units out in North Africa / Italy! I know this is like looking for a needle in a haystack considering how long ago WW2 was but " as they say" we live in hope!

Darren
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#16 Tom Canning

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 07:14 PM

Darren
as you say - you can live in hope but.....as an example - I too had some photos' taken with the crew etc - instead of sending them home at every opportunity - I kept them - and lost them when the Tank was knocked out - so all that history is now gone ...
Cheers
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#17 herosson

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 04:40 PM

Ann, (back to the top):
My Dad was with 2nd Battalion Cameron Highlanders who were a reserve battalion throughout the Sicily and Italian advances in 1943. When the allies were bogged down at Cassino his Battalion went into the line along with Ghurka and Polish troops (this was January 1944). As you probably know this was a terrible winter and many tactical mistakes were made during the campaign to clear the way past the Monastery to allow the advance north to continue.
Unfortunately my Dad, who was a Bren Gunner, was seriously wounded by a rifle grenade which took off his right arm and leg. However, due to the skill of the Medical Officer he survived to be shipped home to the UK and after about 18 months was back home with his wife and two children. After being fitted with "artificial limbs" (prosthetics) he went on to raise six children (I was the third); drive his own car; work in the Civil Service and become a pillar of his Church and Community. Today he is a resident of Erskine Home for ex-service personnel in Renfrewshire, near Glasgow and will be 94 this Christmas.
He was full of 'war stories' and experiences. Some funny and some tragic.
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#18 Tom Canning

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 08:13 PM

Herosson-
don't know where you get the idea that the 2nd cams were in reserve in Sicily and initially Italy - fact is that the whole division needed a rest after their exertions in the final battle for North Africa - the 4th Indian - 4th British - 6th Armoured - 7th Armoured led the charge from Medez el Bab to Cap Bon to finish that Campaign - then they "rested"-and reformed - until January '44 when they tackled Cassino in the second battle along with the Kiwi's- when your Father was wounded - the 2nd Cams were in the newly formed ( in Africa) 11th bde with the Mahrattas and Rajputs and were always in the thick of things.The exploits of the Sussex's will live long in memory as well....4th Indian Division had a tremendous record in that war - Beda Fomm - East Africa - Syria - back to the desert at Tunisia - Italy - Greece...
That whole divison was never short of guts as you have explained in your Father's overcoming horrendous injuries to do what he did later.

He certainly has my respect......as did their whole corps of the Red Eagles !
Cheers
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#19 herosson

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 02:03 PM

Tom, thanks for that. This part of my Dad's war recollections has been a little fuzzy. He says he wasn't in North Africa OR Sicily. They were "part of the build-up for the bridgehead" he told me yesterday. This 2nd Battalion was the re-numbered 4th (Jan '43). The original 2nd were of course those wonderful men who fought on at Tobruk (1942) and then marched into captivity behind their pipers 24 hours after everyone else.
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#20 Tom Canning

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 03:00 PM

Herosson-
I do recall that the Cams went into the bag at Tobruk when they marched as if on parade and the German sentries stood to attention as they passed - so you Father was a reinforcement after the North Africa campaign - and their first action was at Cassino 2nd battle - with the Kiwi's - and 6th Armoured at the Station..
Cheers
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#21 herosson

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 04:00 PM

Some of 2 Cams were used as porters instead of the mules actually in the mountains. In the 3rd battle they were on the slopes to the North of point 593 apparently (ref Captain Cochrane and CSM Owens).
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#22 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:14 PM

I am bumping this thread on behalf of Ann who has also recently posted this request on the ww2f Forum.

Ron
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If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE


:peepwalla:

 

I was "called-up", as a 19 year old, on the 1st of Oct 1942 and was one of 5 serving brothers, one of whom, Jack, was in RAF Bomber Command and was killed on March 16th 1945.

I served as a Driver/Op (Wireless Operator) with the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt. (78 Div) from Apr 1943 to Dec 1944 (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt). The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1944 and I was retrained (in Italy) by the Royal Armoured Corps.

 

Finally, I served as Loader/Op with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (6th Armd.,78th & 56 Div) from Mar 1945 to Dec 1946 (Italy, Austria, Germany) finishing up as Tech Cpl. for "A" Sqdrn.  I was "De-mobbed" in Apr 1947

http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503


#23 Crosbygirl

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:00 PM

Hello one and all, Thank you for posting your thoughts about Italy and all those who fought during that particular theatre of war. If anyone has anything in writing either of their own experiences or those of a relative and you would like to have them entered into my book, I will be more than happy to receive them. (Special note to Tom - I do have yours Tom and am working on them!)

Apart from putting a book of memoirs together, I am also chair of a fund raising group who are trying to raise funds for a lasting Memorial for the Campaign veterans and their comrades within the National Arboretum. If anyone is interested in helping or contributing then perhaps they might like to get in touch privately and I can let you have details.

Meanwhile are there any US Veterans out there? I have received memoirs from many service personal, from all participating countries who sent troops but none from the US. Please contact thus allowing me to put a balanced book together.

Many thanks and with best wishes
Ann

Edited by Crosbygirl, 13 March 2012 - 07:02 PM.
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#24 Popswar

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:03 PM

Hi Tom, re "...Italian landings was from elements of 7th Armoured Div at Salerno through to Naples when they went back to the Uk for the D Day landings."

My dad (still with us age 95) was a foot soldier with 7th battalion Green Howards. Landed on the beaches at Solerno, went via Monte Cassio then back to Naples and shipped to UK and did D Day +1. Some one has queried if this is possible - it seems like your story matches dads in some respects so I wondered if you have any more details?
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#25 Tom Canning

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:21 PM

Popswar
Someone is slightly confused - so let's take it piece by piece

your father was with 7th Batt Green Howards - which was in 50th Division -which was in

Sicily - before returning to the Uk in oct '43 - to be ready for D day - June '44

46th and 56th Divisions landed at Salerno - with armoured elements of 7th Armoured Div

and some Commandos - and i would suspect a battalion of 4th or 7th armoured bdes

as they both stayed in Italy whereas 22nd AB went back to the UK with 7th Armoured -

AFTER Naples was "liberated " on 1st October 1943 ...

The approaches battles toward Cassino were long and painful until the first battle of

Cassino around the back end of December - when the French divisions fought through the

NORTH end of the area- and were pulled back by Gen Clark when they might have cut the

highway - and lessened the other three battles for Cassino

Meanwhile - 50th - 51st and 7 AD were in the Uk training for D Day.....

Cheers

Edited by Tom Canning, 03 May 2012 - 09:22 PM.
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#26 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:31 AM

Ann

With ref to your request on ww2f regarding a book I had read, go here: BBC - WW2 People's War - Dale Carnegie’s “Pursuit of Happiness”, courtesy of Stalag XVIII


Ron

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If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE


:peepwalla:

 

I was "called-up", as a 19 year old, on the 1st of Oct 1942 and was one of 5 serving brothers, one of whom, Jack, was in RAF Bomber Command and was killed on March 16th 1945.

I served as a Driver/Op (Wireless Operator) with the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt. (78 Div) from Apr 1943 to Dec 1944 (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt). The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1944 and I was retrained (in Italy) by the Royal Armoured Corps.

 

Finally, I served as Loader/Op with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (6th Armd.,78th & 56 Div) from Mar 1945 to Dec 1946 (Italy, Austria, Germany) finishing up as Tech Cpl. for "A" Sqdrn.  I was "De-mobbed" in Apr 1947

http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503


#27 No.4CommandoBairn

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:23 AM

I'm late to the party ... but have just read some of Hickey and Smith's Operation Avalanche ... the part that includes the role played by No.2 Commando. I shall now read from the beginning.

 

I was fairly sure that dad, No.4 Commando, had fought at Salerno ... I now know that he was at the Pimple with the Duke of Wellington and so he was probably at Sicily beforehand/afterwards. 

 

Now to find out if he stayed with No.2 for Viz or did he volunteer for yet another Unit? The search continues ....

 

My parents talked to me about that 'mutiny' but I can't recall their opinions.


Edited by No.4CommandoBairn, 17 February 2014 - 10:24 AM.

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