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Airmail Letter
Postmark: 10/20/1944

Return Address:
Sgt. V. Misitano
2628th Hospital Section
APO #790
c/o Postmaster N.Y.
(Mother's notation: Rec. Oct 30)

Oct. 15, 1944

Dearest Mother,

    Just a few lines letting you know that I'm O.K. and that my arm is coming along O.K.

   I received your most welcomed letter mother that you wrote on the 14th of Sept. and enjoyed reading it very much.

   I was very glad to hear mother that you heard from Joe. I kind of guessed mother that he was kept pretty busy or he would of written sooner and oftener.

   Mother, you asked me in your letter if I still wear glasses. No mother I don't, in fact I don't have any to wear. The last time I wore any was way back in May on the night of the invasion when we started the big push. That night I did a lot of running and hitting the ground and one of the times that I went down I hit my head on a rock and broke the glasses which was the third and last pair I broke that way. I haven't tried to get any more since then.

   You also mentioned mother, about daddy painting the house. I always wished mother that when the time came to paint the house that I could be there to do it instead of daddy doing all the work himself. So the gray house on the corner will be my home. Well mother, I only hope and pray to god that I'll get to see it again.

   I won't ask you again mother, about the fellows that I once knew that are no more or that I'll never see again.

   So you have eleven bonds received from the gov't. for me mother. I was just thinking mother that it was this month last year that I started getting them. Time's really passing fast. I wished this war would end a lot faster though.

   My arm is coming along O.K. mother and it doesn't even bother me any more, it's really O.K. mother, so please don't worry about anything.

   I'm getting a pretty good rest from it mother, so maybe in the long run it wasn't so bad getting hit.

   Along with your letter mother, I received one from Tony that he wrote while he was in the Port of Embarkation.

   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:

May Invasion Push (in which Jim's last pair of glasses were broken):

Excerpts from "Draftee Division", The 88th Infantry Division in World War II by John Sloan Brown

(page 1): H hour was 2300, 11 May 1944. From Cassino to the Gulf of Gaerta, artillery barrages broke the stillness of the Italian night as fifteen Allied divisions hurled themselves against the Gustav Line, Hitler's string of defenses sealing southern Italy from Rome and points north. In the American sector infantrymen stormed into German positions seconds after carefully coordinated artillery barrages ceased. Mount Damiano, a critical point, fell in fifty-one minutes; the scarcely less important Mount Rotondo fell the following day. American time-on-target artillery fire annihilated a German battalion surprised in an assembly area, and in three days of savage fighting the Americans pushed tenacious German defenders out of Santa Maria Infante Village, another critical point.

...Within two weeks the attackers, at times moving so quickly that supporting artillery had difficulty keeping them in range, linked up with divisions attacking out of the Anzio beachhead fifty miles to the North. The Germans soon found themselves struggling to extricate their battered Tenth Army from a closing trap.

The identity of the assaulting units was at first held secret, but Americans soon knew that their newly mobilized all-draftee divisions had seen their first major combat. ... The Muskogee Daily Phoenix noted "88th Division Spearheads Yank Smash in Rome Drive"... In an article published a year after the war, the Saturday Evening Post concluded, "The Blue Devil's 88th Infantry Division Stumped the Experts."

Although they may not have been aware of it at the time, the soldiers of the 88th Infantry Division provided the nation's first effective test of conscripted divisions in the conduct of foreign wars.


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