It was a day not like any other in his life. My dad was landing on Anzio Beachhead in Italy. The landing went very smooth, there was no German presence. The commanders talked about it and decided not to push forward right away fearing that they would be in a bad spot. That was a mistake! They were spotted on the beach!
After being spotted the Germans brought reinforcements in. This was the beginning of a tough campaign for the brave Anzio Beachhead veterans. The beach was at the bottom of high cliffs, so the enemy had a clear advantage. Dad said it was like being stuck on a billiard table. They had to carom and bounce from place to place to avoid being shot.
I wonder what his thoughts were? When your running for cover are you just waiting for the bullet to hit? Are you praying for God to protect you? Are you running as fast as you can, but it doesn’t feel like your moving at all? Does it feel like you’ve been out from cover too long and your time is up? Can you even think at all?
They eventually made it off the beach. My Dads unit was at the factory. This place was an old Italian factory the Germans had used for other purposes. They were eating breakfast when someone spotted what they thought was a German soldier. Then, no it’s not, yes it is. Well it was! The soldier began to communicate that they should give up because they were surrounded by tanks.
As they were being marched off my Uncle’s division watched from a hill. Live to fight another day I guess. What was my Dad thinking when being led away? Am I ever going to make it home now? Will we be beaten and interrogated? Can you see your wife in your mind and just yearn to be transported back home? Are you transported back home in an instant when everything that’s most important to you rushes back into your senses?
Fortunately they were set free after the war ended and helped themselves to eggs from farms to eat while making there way back to home lines. It’s to late now for me to ask my Dad so many of the things I should have. I hope if you read this and still have your parents, that you waste no more time, but cherish the time and talk more. They’re lives are full of stories.
Thanks to my sister Lois for most of the information I have of my fathers Army days.
Love one another!