Italy 27 June 1944
Mr. Deacon of Castle and Cooke wrote me that he phoned my home to have someone from my home attend the reception of Hemenway Hall in your honor but that my folks had promised to visit my youngest brother at Schofield and could not make it. I’m sorry they couldn’t make it.
As you undoubtedly know by now we’re acting as the first battalion of the 442 and although we are still the 100th we are told that orders dissolving the 100th and making us a part of the 442 are expected to come through at any time. This has been a severe blow to our morale.
Yesterday our division relieved another division with the 442 and another regiment in the lead. The 100th was supposed to be in reserve but the 2nd and 3rd battalions got pinned down and very shortly after the attack started the division CG, who had been fired upon by MG and other small arms fire, commited the 100th in an enveloping movement. The battalion with A Co. in the lead got behind the town the enemy occupied, cut off the road, captured an enemy regimental CP intact and took the town all in 3 hours. We captured many prisoners and a great quantity
of material: maps, about 16 amphibious jeeps, half track troop carriers, motorcycles, SP guns, radios, telephones, and other equipment. This is like the first days of the campaign – the enemy fights a delaying action and we have to go off carrier chasing them on foot, but it’s better now because the terrain is not as mountainous and we can employ enveloping movements effectively.
We passed through Rome on the second anniversary of our leaving Hawaii. Since then I’ve visited Rome twice on day passes. At first there were very few restaurants open and every body had a difficult time trying to get something to eat. GI restaurants and a transient officer’s mess have now been established and it’s much better. I visited St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican, the Colosseum, the monument to Emmanuel II where Mussolini made many of his speeches, two of Mussolini’s former palaces, and other places. On my second visit I went to the Vatican and, with hundreds of other soldiers, had an audience with the Pope, Pius XII. He welcomed the allied troops to Rome and the Vatican and gave us his blessing. He spoke first in English and then in French I was fortunate in getting a seat about 5 yards away from the Pope’s chair.
Rome is a very modern city and to all outward appearances seems untouched by the war. There is not enough electricity and the trolleys run only about 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.
There are many beautiful women in Rome and they are well dressed. I think the streets of Naples are more crowded than the streets of Rome. Rome is very clean compared to Naples.
The allies are doing well now and we hope for a speedy victory.