1 March 1944
#1

M,

What happened on March 1, 1944? I noticed in the "Overseas" book last night that around 22 men of company F all died that day. That was during German offensives in Anzio and I thought there might be a connection. I found this from history.army.mil

 

At midnight, 28 February, German artillery signaled the commencement of the new attack. But VI Corps and 3d Division artillery responded in mass, returning twenty shells for each one fired by the Germans, expending 66,000 rounds on 29 February alone. When the enemy infantry advanced at dawn at a half-dozen points along the 3d Division front, only one attack made any progress, penetrating 800 yards northeast of Carano before being halted with heavy losses. The other attacks fared less well amid a hail of American artillery and mortar fire. Attacking on too broad a front, the Germans lacked the overwhelming strength needed to break through anywhere, and by the end of the day they had barely dented the American line. Over the next several days, the well-entrenched Americans, supported by closely coordinated artillery, armor, and air support, shattered subsequent German attacks. Even though the 7th and 15th Infantry regiments and the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion often were hard pressed and suffered heavy losses between 1 and 4 March at the hands of the 715th and the 16th SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions, all three units held their positions and beat back successive enemy assaults. The Germans continued to seek a breakthrough, but their efforts gradually weakened. Mackensen realized that the Fourteenth Army had spent itself in a costly and futile offensive after a last German assault failed on 4 March.

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#2

S-3 Journal For Month March 1944

 

The month of March, the regiment continued to operate the beaches and harbor at Anzio, Italy. The 1st battalion operated X-Ray Beach and the 2nd battalion operated Anzio Harbor. The regimental HQ acted as Port HQ, operating all beaches and the port. the harbor area was under shell fire throughout the month. Little damage was actually done ot the port installations.

 

Due to the excellent cooperation of the Navy and other troops engaged in the harbor operation, the tonnage discharged in March more than doubled the February output.

 

During the latter part of the month an intensive program was started to clean up the town of Anzio. All buildings were inspected by an engineer and medical detail, and all breeding places for flies and mosquitos were cleaned up.

 

S.A. Knapp

Major, C.E

3-3

 

==================

 

Journal for the month of March 1944

 

March 1, 1944 - Started repairing and fixing up 10th Port HQ building for occupancy to be used as Port HQ. T/5 Lee and road grader, T/5 Hunt from rear echelon to forward.

 

---------------------------------

 

Daily Journal Report for month of March 1944

 

1 March 1944: Anzio, Italy. Co "D" approx. 2 miles south of Nettuno, Italy. Removed approx. 500 railroad ties from railroad yards between Nettuno - Anzio, Italy. Cleaned ditches, spread gravel, filled potholes, enlarged roadway and required revetment on culvert. Maintained security defense. Co "E" Anzio, Italy. Security defense of the Anzio - Nettuno beaches. Rescue and road patrol for the towns of Anzio - Nettuno. Fire patrol for the towns of Anzio - Nettuno. Filled shell holes on main Anzio- Nettuno road. Improving bivuoac area. Co "F" operating port of Anzio, Italy. Maintained security defense of port area and X-Ray beach. Unloaded from port of Anzio, Italy as follows: Class I, 109 tons, Class II & IV - 160 tons, Class III, 245 tons, Class V - 580 tons, total tonnage discharged -1094 tons. Personnel disembarked - 1355, supply vehichles - 99, tracked vehicles - 84, trailed vehicles - 41, all others - 118, total vehicles discharged - 342. reloaded as follows: Personnel - 306, casualties - 509, prisoners of war - 250, supply vehicles - 211, all others - 4. Air raid at approx. 2310a, during this raid bombs were dropped on building where "F" Co was billeted, causing considerable damage to the building; the following casualties resulted - 11 men known dead, 11 missing, 12 hospitalized. The two medical aid men attached to Co "F" , killed in action during this raid. S/Sgt Lovett, Co "E", and Pvt lcl Pederson, Co "D", reported as missing in action as of 24 January, 1944. These men were evacuated to hospital ship during initial phases of operation on beachhead, ship on which they were evacuated on was reported sunk, they were not listed as survivors.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#3

It's hard for military members of my generation to relate to the dangers associated with air raids. Although the LuftWaffe's effectiveness had been severely reduced by this time, it was still a potent enough force. With the additions of the radio guided bombs (which were used operationally on a large scale for the first time at Anzio) there was plenty still to fear from the skies. Since 1945, however, the US has ruled the air so there is no reason to keep wearly scanning the skies. I attribute the US military's mediocre efforts at camoflage a result of this (compared to what the average German looked like toward the end of the war - moving bushes!) I can't imagine fear and helplessness that must have been associated with being attacked from the sky.

 

The Fury of Aerial Bombardment

by Richard Eberhart

 

You would think the fury of aerial bombardment

Would rouse God to relent; the infinite spaces

Are still silent. He looks on shock-pried faces.

History, even, does not know what is meant.

 

 

You would feel that after so many centuries

God would give man to repent; yet he can kill

As Cain could, but with multitudinous will,

No farther advanced than in his ancient furies.

 

 

Was man made stupid to see his own stupidity?

Is God by definition indifferent, beyond us all?

Is the eternal truth man’s fighting soul

Wherein the Beast ravens in its own avidity?

 

 

Of Van Wettering I speak, and Averill,

Names on a list, whose faces I do not recall

But they are gone to early death, who late in school

Distinguished the belt feed lever from the belt holding pawl.

 

Here is an interesting journal article which discusses this poem:

http://www.vqronline.org/printmedia.php/prmMediaID/9363

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#4
Yes, imagine this going on for months as Anzio. No let up! It's hard for most of us to comprehend. :armata_PDT_23:
Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#5

Even worse than air attack would be artillery. The Japanese and Russians were particularly good at plastering their enemies with lots of artillery fire. At least you can shoot back at planes; artillery shells just come down without any chance of stopping them. Being an artilleryman (at least formerly) I can attest to the noise that shells landing with the characteristic CRUMP can make - and that was at a distance. There were mortar and rockets landing near (relatively - the closest was about 75 meters away) to us in Iraq and that was pretty unnerving. It makes me think of the scene in Band of Brothers where they were getting shelled by the 88's and many of those guys were injured.

I'm lucky to be able to say I don't know what those guys (to include our dear Roque, et al.) went through in WWII. Artillery and air strikes meant even being a REMF (which is more of a Viet Nam acronym I suppose) in Anzio wasn't safe!

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#6

In Vietnam GIs',Marines, went looking for the enemy, Anzio we knew

where the enemy was and they knew where we were, question was

how to say Howdy. Joe--were you at Anzio ?? I forgot.

We said howdy following behind a creeping artillery,mortar, barrage.

Oh the mud. Roque

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#7

Rocky,

Joe Medina was there with my Dad. He said that my dad volunteered for every patrol because he thought digging holes and living in them on that beach, was no way to fight a war. They started calling him "Combat" because he was always eager to go up tp the front. Joe said he was always amazed at how Dad was so "Happy-go-lucky" about things that they went through.

 

I haven't spoke to Medina for awhile and will try to call this weekend. He was sounding pretty good the last time we talked but was suppose to get some things checked out by the doctors this month.

chris

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