OPERATION HUSKY JULY 1943 / JULY 2013
#1

THE RETURN TO EUROPE 1943.

 

The 10th of July 2013 is the 70th anniversary of OPERATION HUSKY. This was the invasion of the island of Sicily which at the time was held by the Axis forces of Germany and Italy.

A decision had been made by the Allies that on the defeat of the Axis in North Africa, that Sicily would be used as a stepping stone to continue the advance into Europe.

 

I have visited Sicily on a number of occasions. Circumnavigated it by bus and train and travelled north to south many times, as I traced the routes of the British and Commonwealth 8th Army, The US 7th Army and the Canadian 1st Division.

This operation was notable for the following:

 

The General Patton slapping incidents.

The Audie Murphy SNAFU comment.

The Combat Engineers and their “Bridge in the Sky”

Alec Guinness the actor (Later Sir Alec) in command of an LSI. (Landing ship infantry)

The battle for the Malati Bridge (3 Commando Army)

The reporting of Ernie Pyle, famous American war correspondent.

And many other outstanding stories.

 

As a tribute and commemoration, I have chosen to write a short biography of three of the soldiers who died during the 38 days of the operation. One British, one American and one Canadian.

 

Colin Hotham.

 

There is nothing we can do

for the ones beneath the

wooden crosses except to

pause and say, 'Thanks pal' (Ernie Pyle.)

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#2

SERJEANT HORACE JOHN CLEMENTS

70th Lt AA REGT ROYAL ARTILLERY. BRITISH 8th ARMY

 

Horace John Clements was a Londoner born in 1915 and married to Mary Louise Stallwood in December 1937. He was employed as a painter before joining the Army as a private in the Royal Artillery.

As a member of 215 Battery, LAA Regt, he landed on Sicily as part of Operation Husky. By then he had been promoted to Sgt.

On the 8th of August 1943 he and a friend lit a fire on the beach at Agnone, Sicily. Unknown to them it was lit on top of a mine buried there. In the ensuing explosion Sgt Clements was killed and his friend severely wounded!

Sgt Clements is buried in the Syracuse War Cemetery on Sicily.

His daughter Barbara was born after he left England, so he never saw her. It is to Barbara I am indebted for supplying the documents and photo used to prepare this story.

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#3

PRIVATE LOUIS A. SZATALSKI

COMPANY C. 36th ENGINEER COMBAT BATTALION. US. 7th ARMY

 

Louis A. Szatalski was born in Albany New York in 1917. In 1941he joined the US Army and having been drafted, he reported to Camp Upton, Long Island for training, where he joined the 36th ECB.

He landed with Company C at Licata, Sicily on the 10th July 1943 and he was killed on the same day. He was buried in a temporary grave in the American Licata Cemetery the following day.

After the war his remains were reburied in the Sicily Rome Cemetery, at Nettuno on mainland Italy.

My thanks go to Larry Duzal (SonofaMP) for his research assistance.

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#4

PRIVATE BRUCE DONALD DAVISON. CANADIAN 1st DIVISION.

LOYAL EDMONTON REGIMENT.

 

Bruce Donald Davison was born on the first of June 1920. He lived and worked on the family homestead in Deep Creek, British Columbia, before enlisting in the Canadian Forestry Corps in 1940.

In 1941 he travelled overseas with No.7 CFC to Scotland and while working there met and married Margaret Cameron. In 1942 he re-trained for combat and was posted to the Loyal Eddies in April 1943. The Canadian 1st Division was included in the invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky) and by the 27th July 1943 he had landed there.

In the fierce fighting for the high ground near Agira, he was killed. In 1944 his body was moved from the temporary burial site and moved to the Canadian War Cemetery, Agira, when it was set up.

His daughter Ann was born in June 1943 after Bruce had left for Sicily.

My thanks go to Len Gamble for use of material from his excellent book SO YOUNG THEY WERE (Armstrong's fallen of the Second World War), which I found to be a good research tool and a good read as well.

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#5

Excellent post and tribute to those three fine men, who are representative of the fine band of brothers they kept company with.

 

Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to the Sicilian Campaign.

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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#6

REMEMERING OPERATION HUSKY - 10th JULY 1943. IT WILL NOT BE FOROTTEN!

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#7

Amen to that!

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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#8

It is good to see people remember. It is sad that there are so many that don't.

Maj Todd O. USMC, Retired
Grandson of LTC John O'Brien
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#9

This was forwarded to me and I am sharing with all of you.

 

 

 

dear friends

 

remember the date, am typing this e-mail in the evening of 9 July 1943. To-morrow (to-day when you receive the message) it will be D-71 years of operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. (D-Day 10 July 1943)

 

Amphibious landings took place at Licata (3rd Infantry Division and supporting units), Gela (1st Infantry Division and supporting units) and Scoglitti (45th Infantry Division and supporting units). Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division were dropped behind the beaches at Gela from 226 C-47 and C-53 troop Carrier transport planes

 

Almost every day I think of this operation since I am working on a book about the temporary American GELA Cemetery, where over 1,200 young American men and women were buried between July 1943 and April 1947.Hope to finish this book this year.

 

I have all the names of these men and women, know almost all the dates they died, know the unit, plot and grave number at Gela and know where they are buried now

 

Perhaps you can help me, I am still looking for pictures of individual graves at the Gela Cemetery, perhaps you or family members may have these, who can help me, any information, pictures, documentatio, dogtags of those killed in Sicily are more than welcome

 

will keep you posted on this

 

greetings from overseas

 

Jan Bos

Nijmegen, Holland

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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