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Postmark: 09/30/1944

Return Address:
Sgt. V. Misitano
Co. A. 350th Inf APO 88c
c/o Postmaster N.Y.
(Mother's notation: First Letter after shot in arm. Rec. Mon, Oct. 9)

Sept. 28, 1944

Dearest Mother,

    Just a few lines letting you know that I'm O.K. and in the best of health, and hoping that all at home are the same.

   Mother, I'm hoping that you get this letter telling you that I've been wounded before you receive word from the war dept. because I know that you'll do a lot of worrying if you do hear from them first.

   I haven't been able to write sooner mother because I've been on the front line fighting. It was two days ago that I got hurt. The wound was caused by shrapnel in my left arm at the wrist. It's not very serious, but it will keep me here in the hospital for a while.

   So mother please don't worry about me because I'll be O.K. and in good shape before long.

   I hope that you're hearing from Phil and Joe regularly.

   I seen Russel G while I was on the Front. His outfit was moving through ours and I happened to see him. We only had a few min. to talk. He really looked good.

   Well mother, I guess this is all for now so I'll close with lots of love to you mother dear, daddy and the kids.

   Your loving Son,


   Please don't worry about me mother because I'll be O.K. I'm still praying and thanking god that I got out of where we were with such a minor cut.

   Well mother, I'll try and write more later.



Supplemental Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes:

Attack on Gothic Line North of Florence

Declassified Headquarters Reports, 350th Infantry, September 1944:

September 21st: Precisely at 0500 the regiment jumped off in the attack towards the northeast. Up to this time the 85th Division had been encountering stiff enemy resistance on every small knoll and it was expected that the regiment would see fierce resistance, as the enemy apparently did not fall back as had earlier been anticipated. As the regiment progressed in the attack, it was bounded on its right by the 66th Infantry Brigade of the 1st British Infantry Division, and had the 349th Infantry as its supporting team on the left. As the advance continued, all of the surrounding terrain received sporadic but harassing artillery fire with Firenzuola, the important road junction town in the valley three miles to the west.

September 22: The entire 1st Battalion Command Post had been captured the previous night. The command post was established in a house and was attacked by a group of enemy after dark. A fight ensued for thirty minutes with the enemy and our soldiers fighting from room to room. The command post, with its ammunition exhausted and being greatly outnumbered, surrendered and was marched to the enemy lines.

[Dad told this story a little differently than the one in the official records. He said that the command team went into the farm house in question and didn't notice that it had recently been vacated by Germans. It turned out that the Germans had only temporarily left the house, and returned after the Americans were inside. They did indeed capture the Americans, and then had an American officer come outside and call to the troops in the surrounding hillside and demand that they surrender. Dad was among those troops hunkered down in the nearby hills, and the officer's demands were quietly ignored. - Jim Jr.]

This day again saw the regiment advancing to the northeast. The British on the right were still five thousand yards to the rear and the regiment on the left was also trailing three thousand yards. The 350th Infantry continued to be the spearhead of the entire 5th Army in its drive to the Po Valley. As the regiment advanced, it received considerable medium and heavy artillery fire from 90 degrees.

September 23: Forward observers with the leading elements observed a large group of enemy personnel and transports in the town of Castel Del Rio and fighter bombers attacked this town at 12:45 and caused a considerable amount of damage and casualties. Due to the fact that the regiment's flanks were entirely exposed and its supply lines were so vulnerable, it was necessary to place one entire battalion on high ground that had been taken in order to secure the mule trains and to insure the successful supply of the regiment. The 1st Battalion was selected for this task and placed its units on the commanding ground as the other battalions continued their attack. Enemy artillery was still extremely active throughout the regimental sector. The British XIII Corps on the right had not made any appreciable gains and were still bogged down, which resulted in the 350th Infantry still pushing forward without flank protection.

September 24: This day was marked by fierce enemy resistance, consisting of medium and heavy artillery, mortars, small arms and strong counterattacks. Hard fighting continued throughout the morning and the casualty rate began to increase by the hour. All aid stations were placed in the immediate rear of each unit so as to facilitate the caring for the wounded and their immediate evacuation. The 2nd Battalion was engaged in a fierce fight and suffered many casualties.

In mid-afternoon, the forward battalions continued to meet stiff enemy resistance but succeeded in holding the ground already won -- both attacking battalions consistently requested litter bearers as casualties continued to mount. A hard rain made climbing very difficult in the mountains.

September 25: As this day began, it saw the two leading battalions still moving forward against continued fierce enemy resistance. In the advance of each unit from hill to hill, they always were faced by groups of enemy dug in at each strategic point who would fight hard and then withdraw to the next defensible feature and the process would start all over again. The enemy shelled the entire area with artillery and mortars from a small town in the British XIII Corps sector on the right. Also, the enemy was seen crammed on the road at Castel Del Rio with transportation and an urgent call was sent to get planes to strafe this spot immediately. The left flank was being strengthed by the 351 Infantry advancing along the Castel Del Rio road in contrast with the right flank which continued to be extremely vulnerable as the British XIII Corps was still lagging by a distance of seven or eight thousand yards.

September 26: 1st Battalion was approximately 500 yards west of M Del Puntale. Colonel Frye at this time continued to personally observe the action. This fighting was particularly difficult as the terrain was entirely barren and open which gave the enemy perfect observation of all movements. All casualties were now being evacuated back along the mule trails to the ambulance collecting points, and then on to the hospitals. The 1st Battalion captured M Del Puntale at 1350 and received tremendous mortar concentrations that came from outside the regiment's zone.

Approach to Monte Battaglia

Scene of bitter fighting in the Fall of 1944. The Second Battalion, 350th Infantry, won the Battalion Unit Citation for the action to take this key feature of the Winter Line in the North Appennines Mountains.

This scene is only a few miles from where dad was wounded, and where he would have been headed in the following days.

Photo Credit: 88th Infantry Division book

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