April 12, 1944 — Phil writes home after being ordered back to the front line

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April 12, 1944 — Phil writes home after being ordered back to the front line

The Marnemen were eventually ordered back to the front lines on April 12th, replacing the 45th Infantry Division in the Carano-Padigliano area. Their mission was to “straighten out the lines, launch limited objective attacks, and improve defensive positions.[1] 

After a two-week layoff from combat, the 3rd began to move into position to relieve the 45th Division on April 11. By 0600 April 16, the Division had completed the relief and was in command, with a mission to straighten out its lines, relieve enemy pressure on vital strong points and improve its defensive positions.

The 7th and 30th Infantry Regiments occupied the new front-line positions, with the 15th in reserve. The 7th’s sector, on the left, was wooded and cut with draws, affording the enemy good opportunity for infiltration into our positions. The 30th’s front was more open, although it was cut with one unusually deep draw, the Spaccasassi Creek, down which the enemy was to attempt several attacks.

The regiments spend the first day locating sniper posts, improving their defensive works, and establishing outposts and listening posts.[2]

On April 12, Phil wrote home:

Dearest Mother and Dad;

I’m sorry, honest I am, that I have not written in so long, but for the last few days I have been in the hospital. Nothing wrong that couldn’t happen back in the States. Just a case of Malaria, but I will be out in a few days and back with the outfit.

All my bonds will be sent home to you. I guess by now you are getting them about the 5th or 6th of each month aren’t you.

Every thing in my foot lockers is in the best place where it is. When I get home then I will know where the stuff is.

I got a nice letter from Grand Mother in my pile of mail.

By now I guess you know what outfit I am in and when I am at. So that is about all I can tell you about here.

I sure would like to see Granddad sheep. Here we see large flocks of thousands of them.

I think it is wonderful about Bill. But then I knew he would come through cause he is just the kind of a guy that can do it. If he get’s to go to the U of T tho’ that will be nice because he will be able to have some enjoyment, just being at home would be enjoyment enough to me.

No I can’t keep a diary, it is not done around here. Anyway I wouldn’t do it all the time. You see our work is all done at night and by the time I get in I eat breakfast and get to bed. In the afternoon I have to get my orders for the night.

I got a nice V-mail from Mrs. Fountain will have to answer some time.

Must close now darling it is time to turn out the lights.

With all my love, Phil

[1] Champagne, 65-66.

[2] Taggart, 143.

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