Paestum, Italy
23 March 1944

With our move to Paestum, it seems we changed weather as well as location.  Instead of continual rain and cold, we now had balmy, Spring days, plenty of sunshine.  Baseball sprouted teams, sacks were dragged outdoors and sunbathers conditioned their hides.

Based on previous experiences in getting ordinary supplies, we figured on several weeks vacation before our lost planes could be replaced.  But in three days, we were operating again on full scale and very shortly we had more and better planes than ever before , and in addition new crews were drifting in.

Under Colonel Chapmans' guidance, we switched form the British Mark IX to the American Norden bomb sight, the crews put in long hours of practice flights, formations tightened up and our already excellent record for bombing accuracy began to climb to still higher levels.

From close support work we switched to transportation and communications targets and went in for a weary round of tunnel, railroad and highway blasting.  The crews felt like commuters on the same old targets which we socked as fast as Jerry could repair them or even when he didn't.  Interrogations brought out such gossip as what day Mrs. Pomigliano hung  her wash out and the state of Mr. Ficcule's vegetable patch.

An impressive presentation ceremony was held in the ruins of the ancient Greek coliseum where similar ceremonies were probably staged for the helmeted warriors of the fourth century before Christ.

We finally had found " Sunny it".  The  sunshine was good for frazzled, war weary nerves, eggs were plentiful, the food was looking up and we seemed to have the best compact location we'd ever had.

Group was probably literally correct when on the 14th, they told us we'd stay put indefinitely but on the 15th, it became definite and on the 16th, after a 0430 breakfast, everybody except a few of the ground personnel and the combat crews left for ---------- to catch the 2 o'clock LST to Corsica.

  486th Bomb Squadron

    340th Bomb Group

© 2015 by  J. C. Gilley  Last updated  2019

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