Return to Salerno D+41 years
I enjoyed the great fortune to visit Southern Italy with my parents in 1984. We toured the battle fields from Salerno to Rome with other men from the Texas 36th Division. Ironically, some Germans who had defended the beach were also there at the same time. I had the honor of translating for the former foes.
Here is dad on Red Beach 41 years later. He got kind of quiet and strange on the beach. He told me not to walk on the sand as it was mined. He also told me not to pick anything up as it could be mined! Those horrible times were indelibly ingrained into him.
This was an important time for both of us. He always wanted to return to Salerno and I always wanted to go there with him.
These are the pre-Roman, Greek ruins of Paestum. At dawn, in the second wave on September 9, 1943 in front of these ruins, dad's LCI dropped the ramp as he vomited on an English officer because he was sea sick. Dad always said he never got the chance to apologize as it was "hot" with German fire. They were trained to get off of the boat ASAP and not to stop for any wounded. The intended blue beach was too "hot" due to a German machine gun silo; hence his LCI was diverted to red beach. One of dad's many fox holes was in these ruins. He tried to find it with me....
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