Vet recalls intense fighting in Italy

It's done darling. Ask and ye shall receive! Ah, the powers of Marion... :lol::lol:

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"

MARION! Put your right hand on your left shoulder and put your

left hand on your right shoulder, NOW CONSIDER YOURSELF HUGGED!!!!!!!!!!!

Rocky R----------n.


For a second there or so, thought you were going to have me do the hokey pokey. :lol::lol: Hug received and reciprocated! :wub::wub:


So damn many mountains and cold, cold, cold. Two pair of woolens on and a blanket. For water we melted snow Mule trains were slow in getting to us.


When I was reading Dogfaces... and also when I read Bennett Palmer's book, The Hunter and the Hunted, I felt so sorry for the men every time I read a passage about the miserable winters they had to endure in Italy. The mountains sounded almost inconquerable; trying to fight your way up narrow, narrow passageways with animals as transport. Trying to get wounded down the same passageways would sometimes take hours and hours. Hard to imagine how any of you endured as you did. :unsure:


A different front but, I know one wife said that on cold nights her husband would climb in bed and and every time exclaim, sure glad I'm not in Bastogne. You don't forget things like that.


Bennett Palmer's page (36th Inf Div)

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"

when the Germans got close they (the 151st) lowered their howitsers and BORE SIGHTED, and knocked out the German tanks and stopped them.


I've read about that. The 105mm Howitzer was a great field piece. But I can not imagine it being used as an anti-tank weapon. I imagine that it is difficult to lower the barrel down low enough to fire it at close range. Can you imagine the blast!!

In "An Army at Dawn" it describes how the German 88 shells (from both tanks and field guns) traversed the desert floor while kicking up a dust rooster tail or dust devils. That would scare me enough to pack up and leave.




Custermen; Not only could the German artillary fire in a straight trajectory

but In Italy they came up with an 88 shell with a timer and they set it so

it would explode before it hit the ground,like an aerial burst. Mostly trying

to knock out our mortars. At night they had flares they would fire and had

a parachute hooked to the flare so it just floated down. Talking about our

howitzers. When the Germans counterattacked at Salerno if it hadn't been

for the 151st. Field Artillery the Germans would have drove the 36th Divn.

back to the beach. That's history, not say so. Talking about the mountains

when we first went up to the top, we said , man this fog is thick! Fog my butt

we were in the clouds. Cold and wet. I always tried to have two pair if socks.

I carried the extra pair under my fatigue shirt. Warm and dry. But above

all I am convinced that Almighty God watched over me. Just a shrapnel

bite on the leg. Custermen ,sorry I got carried away. All this happened

over 60 years ago, time to put it to rest. Roque


Custermen ,sorry I got carried away. All this happened

over 60 years ago, time to put it to rest. Roque


That's one thing you never have to do here is apologize for elaborating about your experiences. You forget that is WHY WE ARE ALL HERE. Unlike other places, the folks that are here including me, have avid interests in WWII, especially people like me who are writing articles and books. I am HUNGRY for info. What you relay about your experiences are critical to me because I am writing the history of VI Corps and the 3rd, 34th, 36th and 45th played a role in it.


I thank you personally for telling about your experiences. As far as I'm concerned DON'T QUIT!



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"

I can only imagine what you and other Veteran's like yourself must have went through, and I can understand that you want to "put it to rest" as you say. But for the ones that don't have a dad, uncles or grandads around anymore to tell us stories, and share the history with us first hand.......we're so very grateful for kind souls such as yourself for passing your experiences on that we might have a bigger picture of what you all went through during those times. Please don't stop sharing. I thank you, and have the highest regards for you, and the other Veterans that share on this forum.


Thank you,



Here, here, sis. :) Nancy and I happen to be in the same boat; great love for our WWII dads who are no longer around, so we are both are eager for information regarding the war. Nancy and I are both the investigative types, so the more we know the better. It gives us a better picture of what our dads had to go through.


Thanks for stepping in sis. Love ya! :wub:


For those who don't know, Nancy and I also met on the internet and became steadfast friends. I created a page for Nancy's dad about a year or so ago and we are like sisters. She's my Alaskan half. -o- In fact Nancy gave me the nickname, 40's Gal. I love it. It stuck!

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"

Alaskan Gal,Marion,Marion you can twist this old man around your little finger.

And I love it. I told my wife, Elizabeth how well we communicate and she

gives me that little MEXICAN smile with a hug and sez "I'm glad".

I gotta tell you a little story about one of the NICE times I had in Italy.

We had just got back off the line and pitched our pup tent when my buddy

Kenneth Ryan said, Hey-Riojas, remember where we saw that bunch of

chickens back there? I said yeah, well go get one and I'll go over to the

Mess tent and I'll borrow a skillet and stuff and we can eat chicken. I said,

how the hell am I going to get one, all he said, "You got an M-1 doncha"

Needless to say I came back with one. And he was waiting for me. So I

said how the hell you gonna clean this thing, He said just hold it by the



THE TIME. We carried a little coleman stove took one of my canteens

marked gas. filled up the stove while he cut the chicken up and boy

did we eat. Course he also got fixins fer it. just me and him

had a feast. I think this was the summer of '44 still in the mountains.


One of my rare nice moments. Roque J. Riojas to my gal, just Rocky


Yes Roque. Sure brings back old memories. It was a wonder there were any chichens,

ducks or geese left in Europe when we got done there. Seems like here was always

a "open season" on them when ever possible to cook. I also recall that damn black bread load we occasionally "found" when we got into Germany. However with a couple

of eggs with it it was a chefs meal to us also. But chicken or duck was great. Main

problem I recall was "finding" enough fat or lard for frying anything. Anything, sure

beat the diet of C and K rations.


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  387th Engineer Battalion in Italy FSavage 3 4,134 04-03-2022, 05:47 PM
Last Post: FSavage
  WWII veteran recalls fighting at Cassino, Anzio Walt's Daughter 2 5,443 06-13-2012, 08:11 AM
Last Post: Walt's Daughter
  Photo of 34th Monument - Italy - 2010 Walt's Daughter 0 3,547 08-24-2010, 09:01 AM
Last Post: Walt's Daughter
  Found!!!! Picture of my Father in Italy `44 Wendy 5 8,085 06-04-2007, 10:56 PM
Last Post: SonofaMP
  This Day in History - Italy March 12, 1944 Walt's Daughter 3 6,834 05-25-2007, 05:19 PM
Last Post: Walt's Daughter
  Cassino, Italy Walt's Daughter 16 17,518 09-12-2006, 11:58 PM
Last Post: Walt's Daughter
  The 88th in Italy Walt's Daughter 1 4,181 04-03-2006, 04:24 PM
Last Post: Custermen

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)