June 11, 1944 — All of Dad’s enlisted men sent to the hospital except for two

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June 11, 1944 — All of Dad’s enlisted men sent to the hospital except for two

Staff Sergeant Charles O. Beardslee, who served with Dad, writes this about a camp they were in after leaving Rome, “Now I must tell you about a little incident that happened during this training.”

We had an N.C.O. club set up in a little house about three blocks from our camp. One day when we got off duty early at about 1600. After showering and getting into some clean clothes Sergeant Leaser and I went to the N.C.O. club for a few drinks before dinner.

After three drinks and a lot of conversation we headed back to our apple orchard camp for dinner. We ate but I am unable to tell you what the main course consisted of but I do remember we had a rare treat of ice cream for dessert.

After dinner, Leaser and I went back to the N.C.O. club and stayed until around 9:30 PM when it closed. When we arrived back at camp everyone was gone.

We finally found a medical aid man and he was sicker than a dog that ate too much road kill. We asked him where everybody was and he told us they had all gone to the hospital. He said they all got food poisoning from the ice cream.

Sgt. Leaser and I felt fine so we went to bed, and slept late into the next morning.

When we finally got up we both went to the kitchen made our own breakfast of scrambled eggs, ham, toast, and coffee.

After cleaning up our breakfast dishes and getting cleaned up for the day and with nothing else to do we went back to the N.C.O. club and had a few more drinks and discussed the fact that the alcohol in the drinks must have saved us from the food poisoning.

About 2:00 the poison victims started to dribble back into camp. The following day there was only a couple of people that hadn’t returned. They all wondered how Sgt. Leaser and I escaped being sick.

I guess there is a good reason to have a before and after dinner drink sometimes.[1]

[1] Staff Sergeant Charles O. Beardslee. Dogface Soldiers Memoirs. The Hell Hole at Anzio.

In case you haven’t read or listened to Dad’s book, you can learn more or order it here.

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