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Postmark: 01/20/1944

Return Address:
Pvt. V. Misitano
Co. A. 350th Inf APO 88c
c/o Postmaster N.Y.
(Mother's notation: Jan 31)

Jan 16, 1944
Sun. noon.
North Africa

Dearest Mother,

    Just a few lines to let you know that I'm O.K. and feeling fine.

   Mother, I received the letter that you wrote on Dec. 27, on Sun. but this is the first chance I got to ans. it, and even now I can't do much writing because we have to fall out in about 20 min. I won't be able to write again mother, till Sat. or Sun.

   Mother, we're really being kept busy with training, so I hope you'll understand that I can't write as often as I'd like.

   I was glad to hear that you are all well at home, and that daddy's arm is much better. As for me mother, I did have a slight cold but got over it fast, and in the best of health now. Well mother, I'll close now with lots of love to you mother dear daddy and the kids.

   Your loving Son,


Supplemental Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes:

First Days in North Africa:

Excerpts from "The Blue Devils in Italy", The Story of the 88th Infantry Division. by John P. Delaney

(page 34): Soon the men were on the move again, this time bound for Oran. Who can forget those back-breaking days and nights aboard those infamous French boxcars, the 40-and-8 of World War I vintage, but without the horses? Cold C Rations, one blanket, and in the center of each car a Lyster bag which after a couple of hours of bouncing and jerking had dumped most of its contents over the 40 occupants, especially the poor devil who slept directly under it. The scenery up through the Atlas Mountains was beautiful, it said in the book, but the struggle for a bit of comfort was so occupying that few men bothered to look out the doors or through the cracks in the sides of their boxcar homes. When the troops arrived in Oran, the muddy staging area near Lion Mountain looked like the Promised Land after those boxcars.

In Staging Area No 2, some brave soul decided that a few truckloads of cinders carefully scattered around would improve the (muddy) ground surface. Whoever he was, he overestimated a bit and 442 truckloads of cinders, gravel and fine sand was sent to the area. Every man in the company was turned out on an unloading detail as trucks kept rolling in through the days and nights for seventy-two awful hours. Tent floors, company streets, drill grounds, latrine approaches -- every conceivable foot of ground was paved with the cinder, gravel and sand combination. And still the piles left over looked like miniature Lion Mountains. A colonel checked in on the third day, took one startled look at the convoys and the squads of men unloading the cargoes with entrenching tools, and fled. Less than twenty-four hours after the last truck was cleared, the outfit moved. Two weeks later, just to round out the story, the trucks came back, collected all the sand, gravel and cinders and moved them to god knows where.

Lyster Bag - 36 gallon water storage/dispenser bag


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