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Postmark: 09/09/1943

Return Address:
Pvt. V. Misitano
Co. K. 342nd Inf.
APO 450
Camp Howze, Tex.
U.S. Army

Sept. 8, 1943
Wed. nite 7:30

Dearest Mother,

    Just a few lines to let you know that I'm feeling fine and hope that you are the same.

   We just came off of the field last night after being there since Mon. morn. and now we're getting ready to go out again tomorrow morn. We have our full field packs already rolled.

   We're going to have a class tonight at 8:15 and they're going to tell us what we'll do out in the field and all about the problems that we'll run.

   Mother, I heard that Italy completely gave up today. If that's true then it won't be long till this war will be over and we'll all be back home again.

   Well mother, I'll close now, I have to get ready for the class. I won't be able to write till I come back from the bivouac which will be Sat. morn. So mother take care of yourself and god bless you. Don't worry about me mother, because I'll be O.K.

   I'll close with love to you daddy and the kids.



Supplemental Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes:

Italy Surrender on September 8th, 1943:

The 1970 movie Patton shows the American and British forces campaign in Sicily in July and August of 1943, with the island being fully conquered by mid-August. This led to the surrender of all Italian forces in the war, which was announced by Eisenhower on September 8th, 1943, the date of the above letter.

Unfortunately for the allies, the German command recognized that leaving the southern access to Europe open to invasion was not a tenable position, and quickly mounted actions to move significant German forces into Italy.

As an aside, Churchill lobbied Roosevelt hard to attack Germany through Italy, which he referred to as the "Soft Underbelly of Europe." He had a similar description of Turkey in World War I, leading to the 1915 debacle known as Gallipoli. Fortunately, the Italian campaign fared better than the Turkish one, though it was quite long and hard-fought.

Fierce battles at places such as Anzio, Salerno, and Monte Cassino would soon take place, and the stage was set for a long, slow drive up the Italian peninsula that wasn't completed until the end of the European war in May of 1945.

   - Jim Jr.


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