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Postmark: 01/21/1944

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,

    I received your most welcomed V-Mail letter telling me you received my cable gram. I've written a good many other letters too mother, so I guess by now you have received them.

   I'm feeling fine mother, and in the best of health, so mother, please don't worry about me.

   I received a letter from Phil to tell me that he is on desert maneuvers. I also received an identification wrist band and several hankies from Rosie as a Christmas present.

   Well mother, there isn't much more to say so I'll close with lots of love to you mother dear, daddy and the kids. God bless you all and keep you safe.

   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 35): Plans to close in the entire Division at the Oran staging area were changed with the arrival of General Sloan and it was decided to move the units to a larger training area approximately four miles south of Magenta, Algeria. Division Headquarters in the field was set up here and as the various increments landed at Casablanca and Oran they were routed to the new area. Here a rigid training program was instituted with emphasis on mountain climbing, demolitions, mines, marksmanship, physical hardening and the operations of small units at night. In the cold, rocky hills regiments hiked and climbed and fought mock battles. On the plains near Bedeau, artillery units used the ranges of the famous French Foreign Legion for dry runs and practice barrages. The pressure was on.

A favorite division sport in Africa, which also came under the head of training, was the almost daily Arab roundup conducted by MPs and infantrymen to clear bivuoac sites of the peddlers and camp followers infesting the Division area.

Training however, was not the only activity. For one thing there were parties and celebrations on New Year's Eve -- lacking the color and glamour of a Times Square blowoff but nonetheless noisy and moist.


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