Foggia Station III, Italy
19 November 1943

For a week, the 340th was scattered all over southern Italy.  Rain and more rain grounded the air echelon and greased the roads.  Trucks with flooded ignition systems stalled along the roads, others skidded into ditches.  Nobody wanted to feed us or bed us down.  We were truly orphans of the storm.

With the first sunshine, a few hardy souls straggled into Foggia.  Leaving the highway was like stepping off a dock at low tide.  Mud came half way up the radiators of heavily loaded jeeps and acres of water were unexplored seas to which one hoped there was a bottom.  Some lucky ones found quarters in former farm buildings where the refuse was nearly as bad as the mud outside.  For the next few days everybody was either digging out or digging in.  The front looked a long way off on the map but at night, the bombing of guns on the Adriatic sector still sounded too close for comfort.

Our planes finally got in after some days and the boys went sight seeing over Sibenik, Yugoslavia; Port Gruz, Albania and Guilianova, Italy.

Christmas packages were piling in.  Thanksgiving came and went.  An epidemic of fires broke out as makeshift stoves belched flame in Foggia winds.  New Years Eve -- yep, you guessed  it, it rained.  At midnight every gun and rifle let loose in honor of 1944 but plenty of folks didn't hear them.  We syphoned them out of the trenches the next morning.  And what a morning!  Few gasoline stoves were safe in the gale which swept in off the sea.  Our tents were down or on the way as the swearing occupants wallowed in the mud fighting playful canvas.  Mess tents threatened to take off momentarily and might as well have since the water and mud inside wouldn't have been much deeper.  But 1630 found the chow lines a quarter mile long as usual and ankle deep in mud.

A few days later good weather set in and the absorbent ground quickly dried out, the various clubs were doing a thriving business and we were more or less comfortably settled for the winter.  S-o-o, we got orders to move, Next stop Pompeii L/G.

  486th Bomb Squadron

    340th Bomb Group

© 2015 by  J. C. Gilley  Last updated  2019

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