June 8, 1944 — Rome is liberated (part 6) Memphian writes Dad about fall of Rome

Monthly Family Update — June 2024
June 8, 2024
June 9, 1944 — Rome is liberated (part 7) Another Memphian writes about fall of Rome
June 9, 2024
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June 8, 1944 — Rome is liberated (part 6) Memphian writes Dad about fall of Rome

A Memphis newspaper reporter wrote, “One of the first doughboys to enter Rome was Pvt. Charles J. Redders. In a letter written to his dad on Father’s Day, he wrote, ‘I was riding on the front of the light tank on the highway to Rome. At 9 that night we entered the city and, dad, our battalion was the first to enter Rome.'[1]

“I have never in my life seen such happy people as the Romans. I was sitting on the front of our tank, holding on to a gun with one hand and shaking hands with the civilians with the other.

“Some of them almost pulled us off the tank. The girls were kissing and hugging us, but that didn’t make us mad, for it had been a long time since we have seen such pretty girls. We had been on the lines for three months.

“We slept in the city that night. I went over to a Roman’s house and he had a bath ready for me. I really appreciated it, since tanks raise a lot of dust.

“He gave me so much to drink that I got pretty drunk, but that was a special occasion. I had a good meal and a good bed, but it couldn’t last, and in the morning we took off after the Germans again.”

Yup, the war was to continue in Europe for another eleven vicious months.


[1] News Clipping found in Phil’s scrapbooks.

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