April 19, 1944 — Adopted kids at Anzio

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April 19, 1944 — Adopted kids at Anzio

War correspondent, Ernie Pyle, wrote, “I’ve told you time and again about the dogs our soldiers have taken as pets and mascots. Running second to dogs, I believe, are Italian kids. There’s no way of estimating how many Italian boys have been adopted by our troops, but there must be hundreds.”[1]

Pyle continued:

An outfit will pick up some kid, usually one who has been orphaned by bombing and has no home and no place to go. The children come along of their free will, of course. And they begin having the time of their lives.

The soldiers cut down extra uniforms and clothe them in straight GI. The youngsters pick up English so fast it makes your head swim. They eat better than they have eaten in years. The whole thing is exciting and adventuresome to them. The units keep them in areas as safe as can be found when they go into action.

What will become of these kids when the war ends, I don’t know. Probably many will he carried clear back to America their collective godfathers will try to sneak them in.

I do know of Sicilian adoptees who were brought along on the invasion of Italy, just like the animal pets. And I’ve heard of two other adoptees, already written up by some of the other correspondents, who stowed away and went on the Anzlo beachhead landings on D day.[1]

[1] Ernie Pyle. With Fifth Army Beachhead Forces in Italy. Adopted Kids. News Clipping.

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