June 19, 1944 — I was very homesick and the training was intense

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June 19, 1944 — I was very homesick and the training was intense

Dad’s 3rd Infantry Division’s move from Rome was undertaken commencing June 19, 1944. All wheeled vehicles and personnel, except infantry foot elements moved overland to the vicinity of Pozzuoli (which is about five miles from the heart of Naples). … The move was completed by June 24. [1]

The 3d ID’s move was to Pozzuoli, the same training area it had used prior to the Anzio operation.[2]


The training at Pozzuoli was quite rigorous. It was in midsummer and Italy is probably on the same longitude [probably meant “latitude”] as California.

The 25 mile hikes were getting rather tedious. It was 12 miles to the sea and 12 miles back plus the activities of loading on ships and climbing down the nets into a Higgins boat and ramming against a beach time after time making fake landings.

On top of training we had many Divisional parades for the dignitaries to review the troops.

We had a field nearby barely large enough for a parade. The dust rose as if there was a stampede of Texas steers.

The officers in view weren’t always satisfied with the dress down of the troops. If one guy had his foot out of step they’d make us go around another time ’till we had it right!

On this parade ground, the USO and “Special Services” held periodic shows for the troops. Our Division band was almost perfect playing some of the songs which were popular when we left home and a few which were made popular since.

It made me very homesick.[3]


[1] Taggart, 192.

[2] Heefner. Dogface Soldier, 188.

[3] Sgt. Norman Mohar’s WWII Story. In: Chapter 5. http://tinyurl.com/l6ercdp       

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

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