Full Version: 39th engineers, Co. A, Anzio to Florence
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Mary Wack


I'm a new member researching my father's war experience in Italy, February-Sept. 1944.

Pvt. John Wack was a member of Co. A, 39th Combat Engineers, and was deployed at Anzio, Piombino, Rome, and the Arno crossing at Florence. He was wounded Sept. 11, 1944 just north of Florence while sweeping mines.

He left a few photos that I will post when they are all scanned. I'm hoping that folks might be able to help me identify "Platoon doc" in August 1944; "Fred"; and "The Three Poles" (looks like Myk-Morzatch-Kowalzek). The latter photo was taken by "Lee" near Pisa by the Arno, while training for a river crossing.

Thanks for your help--what a great site!

Mary Wack

I'd like to share an email I sent to Mary. It will show how her contacting me THIS weekend, was serendipity!


Mary, a warm welcome to you and your family.


Oh, and here is the link to her dad:



Dear Mary:


WOW, was I surprised to hear from you. I am SO thrilled.


Several years ago I found an article posted on the web about your father, and contacted the webmaster and asked if he could put me in touch with your father. He wound up giving me John's phone number and I called later that week.


Your mother answered the phone, and I explained who I was and what I was doing. She seemed very pleased to hear from me and told me John had been reluctant to write down his memoirs, and if I remember correctly, stated that his children had been urging and trying to convince him to do this for a very long time. She told me that maybe I was just the thing he needed to get inspired.


She then gave the phone to your dad, and we talked for quite a while. He told me my father would be very proud of me for taking on this mission, and he promised me he would really try to get some information together. He too expressed how his family had been wanting him to do this for years.


Unfortunately I never heard back from him again, and to my dismay (I wasn't as organized back then), I lost his phone number. I kept hoping to hear from him, but...


I think you will be pleased to know he will be featured twice in the documentary, and in fact, I am getting ready to publish part one on DVD within the next week or so.


In part one he is introduced and I placed the only photo I have of him, which is the same one on the website. I would love to have a picture of him from the war, and in fact, if you could send me some ASAP, I would be able to swap the one photo. It's serendipity to hear from you at this particular juncture.


I look forward to chatting with you (in the) future, and would appreciate anything you could send me regarding his time spent in WWII.


Big smiles,


I am uploading the photos you sent me. Many thanks!