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Airmail Letter
Postmark: 03/26/1944

Return Address:
Pvt. V. Misitano
Co. A. 350th Inf APO 88c
c/o Postmaster N.Y.
Letter sent to brother Phil:
Pvt. P Misitano
APO 80 Los Angeles, Calif.

March 19, 1944
Italian Front

    Dear Phil,

   I received your letter and was very glad to hear from you.

   I am fine and hope you are in good health also.

   By the sound of your letter you must have really had a swell time in Hollywood.

   You said that after your training in Cali. is over you might be shipped to Camp Dix., well Phil, by the time this letter reaches you, your training will be over and I'm hoping that you are sent to Camp Dix, then you won't be far from home, and maybe you could go home on wk. end passes. I'm sure that will make mother plenty happy.

   I received a letter from mother the other day and she said that everyone at home is fine, and also that Tony was home on furlough. I guess you'll be getting a furlough after maneuvers too, huh Phil.

   Well Phil I'll tell you a little about what I've been doing. I guess you'll know before you receive this letter that I'm on the front by mother telling you. Well Phil, it isn't as bad here as I thought it would be, although we do stay in our foxholes. We've been having pretty nice weather lately but the first few days we were here it rained continuously and our holes were muddy and cold and they had about a foot of mud and water in them, but now they're pretty well dried out. We have nice warm clothes, I guess you have seen combat suits, well they're really O.K. Our only real worry is the artillery, and when they send over the screaming meme (bitch) you can bet we really hug the ground.

   During the day it isn't so bad and when it's pretty quiet we come out of our holes and go over to an orchard not far from our position and eat oranges, but I never thought I'd get my chance to do it on a battlefield in Italy.

   Before I came here to the front, I've had some pretty nice spaghetti meals in a few homes that we've bivouaced near, and it really hit the spot. My buddy who is an Italian from Phila., and I would go out to the same house almost every night and we were treated swell. Neither of us can speak Italian very good but between the two of us we did O.K. I've learned to speak Italian a little better since I've been here.

   I haven't seen Russ Gallagher since I've been here. If his regiment is the next camp when I get there we may get to see each other, but chances of seeing each other on the lines is not possible. I'm also going to try and see Joe through the Red Cross the first chance I get. Mother said he's in an Engrs. outfit here in Italy.

   Well Phil, I guess this is all for now so I'll close hoping this letter finds you in the best of health.

   Your Loving Brother


   Phil, when you write to mother, tell her not to worry about me because there isn't anything to worry about. I guess you'll know what to tell her so she won't worry, huh Phil.

   Phil, when were you busted to pvt.? I think pvt is better than a non com anyway, at least out here it is, I know.


Supplemental Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes:

Screaming Meme (images and notes from wikipedia):

The "Screaming Meme (or Mimi)" was a nickname given by allied soldiers to the German Nebelwerfer (smoke mortar). They were initially developed by and assigned to the Wehrmacht's "smoke troops" (Nebeltruppen). Initially, two different mortars were fielded before they were replaced by a variety of rocket launchers ranging in size from 15 to 32 centimetres (5.9 to 12.6 in). The thin walls of the rockets had the great advantage of allowing much larger quantities of gases, fluids or high explosives to be delivered than artillery or even mortar shells of the same weight. With the exception of the Balkans Campaign, Nebelwerfer were used in every campaign of the German Army during World War II. A version of the 21 cm calibre system was adapted for air-to-air use against Allied bombers.

After the crew had loaded and aimed the launcher, they had to take cover 10 to 15 metres (11 to 16 yd) away to avoid the exhaust flames, and would fire the rockets with an electric switch. After firing, however, a long streak of smoke was visible from a considerable distance, leaving the Nebelwerfer vulnerable to counter-battery fire. It was therefore necessary to relocate the launcher and crew as soon as possible after firing. The loud, shrill howling noise of the incoming rockets led Allied soldiers in the Sicily campaign to give it the nicknames "Screaming Mimi" and "Moaning Minnie".


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