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 Dated:  October 25, 2008

Mail Bag
Letters from Readers
This is a sample of the email I've received from readers.  The emails were received in 2003 and are listed in reverse chronological order; i.e., most recent are first.
Maybe some day I will add a Guest Book.  In most cases, I've included the initial email.  For a few cases, the initial email was brief.  After my reply, they submitted a more in-dept discussion in their second email.
* Note: I've stayed away from a Guest Book because of the technical problems and size.  Also, I wanted to have complete control of the entries.

If you want to contact me for any other reason, please read Conatct Info, below, for suggestions.

Legend: Tildas ~~~~ are used to conceal personal information for their security.
   BOLD= highlights subject material related to my website.
                {My Comments} = My comments in {Brackets} or blue.
   Links = Most links are internal to my website, only.

              All email addresses and external links were added with permission from the visitor.
              All names are used with permission or the names are altered for their protection.

Return to The Italian Campaign  Top Menu.             Click here to review Site Map.            Page 2 - Mail prior to 2005

Mail recieved in 2005

Date:   26 April, 2006 Location:     ---
From:    Peter Whittle Subj:       Mussolini
Three authors contacted me in just 3 weeks.  Exciting.

    I was interested to see my book "One Afternon At Mezzegra" listed in your references to the death of Mussolini. I spent most of the summer of 1968 in Italy and Germany trying to trace survivors and witnesses to the events described in the book.
   Two of the key survivors I interviewed were Bellini delle Stelle [Pedro] of the 52nd Garibaldi Brigade of partizans.He was an executive with the Italian oil company Fina when we met and he gave me a good account of his own background and of the events leading to Mussolini's capture and death. The other interesting witness was Lt Fritz Birzer, the Waffen SS man detailed to bodyguard Mussolini when he left Milan and headed north. Birzer ran a timber business in Munich when I tracked him down.
{portion of email omitted}
Your website is a most interesting one.
Peter Whittle

Date:   16 April, 2006 Location:     ----
From:    Ferdinando D'Amico Subj:       Photograph in "The Italian
                 Campaign" website

This is from the aurthor of "Air War Italy 1944-45", a great book on the Axis air operations during the last year of the war.  He reprimanded me for inserting "in" to the title.  I am attempting to run down the veteran who took the photo.
Dear Steve,
        I "stumbled" into your fascinating site just  recently, while searching for material and informations about the Allied units which made the final "push" on the Po Valley and overrun the Axis-held territory north of the Po in late April 1945.
     But let me introduce myself: i am one of the authors of the book "Air War Italy 1944-45", which you kindly quote on the bottom of the page devoted to the "Photos from the 310th Engineer Battalion", with regards to the photo of the crashed Junkers Ju 87D Stuka.
     I have been (and still am) interested to look for photographs of the Axis aircraft which were found abandoned in the airfields of Northern Italy, such as Villafranca, Ghedi, Bergamo-Seriate, Gallarate, Vicenza, Campoformido, Aviano and so on.  As far as I know such images, if they do exist, were mostly taken by the Allied troops which had the opportrunity to overrun those airfields or to be stationed next to them.   Furthermore, I would be deeply grateful to you if  you could look into the material you have collected for photographs of Axis aircraft found abandoned in Italy and if you could "spread the voice" of my research.

    While continuing my search, the discovery of a fantastic site like yours was of top interest to me, and the finding of a photo of a Stuka probably from NSGr.9 was even more interesting!
    While congratulating heartily with you for your commendable effort to preserve the memory of the war on an all too often forgotten front, I thank you for your kindness and patience in reading me so far, and remain -

Kindest regards
Ferdinando D'Amico

Date:   5 April, 2006 Location:     Royal Military Academy, UK
From:    Lloyd Clark
Subj:       Paul Brown's Diary 
What a surprise email !     I connect him with Paul Brown's son and he permitted the use of this material.  He was a little surprised at the request.
Dear sir,
   I am a British academic working at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and have just finished writing a book on Anzio. I should very much like to quote some Paul Brown's memories in the book and wondered where I might obtain permission to do so.
Thank you for your time - and for a wonderful website.

Best wishes,
Lloyd Clark
Department of War Studies
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Date:   30 Dec, 2005 Location:     Italy
From:    Moreno Subj:       Help for an unknown soldier
   This is one of those projects that comes around that touches the heart.  After several weeks of difficult communitcations, the dogtags were finally returned to the family.  Locating the soldier was not too difficult after it was determined that he was not KIA and not with the 10th Mountain Division.  Edwin Cuba was a cryptologist who probably served in the HQ of the II Corps.  I was glad to be able to inform Moreno that Edwin Cuba survived the war and his wife and 2 daughters were located.
  Hello, my name is Moreno and i write from Italy. I have of recent found in a country on the mountains of the Appennino between Emilia and Tuscany, the plates of recognition of an American soldier, probably  dead in the autumn or winter of the 1944.  I would want, if possible, return it to the relatives, one exists still.
Her name is:          Edwin J Cuba
                             18031363   T41-42
   {Serial No. and tetanus shot date}
  I have looked on Internet between the fallen of the 10th Mountain Division but I have not found it. Perhaps it belongs to an other Division  (85th Inf,88th Inf,34th Inf?).
   Does you know the way of track down this soldier?

   I apologize for the translation but I have effected with a electronic program because I don't know the English very well.

   Patricia Corbett, daughter of 328FA Vet, was able to track down the soldier's name and locate his daughter in only 2 days.  Finally, in March 2006, the dogtags were returned to his daugther in Texas.  She was grateful for the memento of her Father who died when she was only 4.
Lost Dogtag

Date:   26 Feb, 2006 Location:     ---
From:    Gail Subj:       Italian Campaign 
 I had a good chuckle when I first read this one: I thought she was looking for her Uncle's arm.
  The spelling of the town is wrong.  It is near Minturno.
Hi Steve,
  I am trying to find where Salocciano, Italy is. My Uncle lost his arm 12 May 1944. I have tried to find it via the Internet but can not.
  He was in Company 1 338th Infantry. Do you think you might be able to help me?

Date:   20 June, 2005 Location:     ---
From:    Lisa Subj:       help finding battle info 
Typical email and an easy answer.  The date of her father was wounded was 3 days before the German attack on the 92nd Division at Serchio Valley, which is 30+ miles north of Leghorn.  I asked her to send her father's unit info and maybe I can find where his unit was located on that date.
   My father, now passed away, was badly wounded December 23, 1944 near a place called Leghorn, Italy.  I have been searching to try and find if the battle had a name, or any info available during that time and place and have had no luck.
   I surely would appreciate any suggestions.
   Thank you so very much!

Date:   20 June, 2005 Location:     Italy
From:    Luca Subj:     310th Combat Engineer Battalion 
   I type fast but sometimes my mind runs ahead of my typing.  And spell check doesn't work on Italian
names.  The text from the history was right---my added text under figure was wrong.
Excuse me , sir . 
    in the section of The 310th Combat Engineer Battalion, you made a little error of syntiax in the name of a little river, "panora".   the right name is "panaro".
   your site is very interesting , i'm an young Italian keen on history of second world war .
best regard
    luca arvigo

Date:   14 June, 2005 Location:     France?
From:    Luca Subj: Naples to Sienna and further, french troops 
   My inputs from an earlier email has paid off.  I like his tongue-in-check comment.
Dear sir, 
   discovering your website, I am grateful you mentionned french troops, as my father belonged to them (Lieutenant B. Lusinchi, 2nd Morocco Infantry Division). 
I hope you'get along with the Brazilians too! 
   Pierre Lusinchi 

Date:   13 June, 2005 Location:     UK
From:    W. Graham Subj:       German Mines 
   Recieved a contact from a Museum in UK.  Of course, I didn't object to this nice request.
To whom it may concern,
    I am writing to you to request permission to use two images from your website. I am currently working with the Queens Royal Lancers Regimental Museum on an Educational Resource to be used by schools in England.  Part of the educational resource we are developing involves the development of a ‘handling collection’ of military objects for the children to examine and investigate. One of these objects is the wooden casing from a German ‘Shu – mine’. I would very much like to incorporate the image from your website into the information I have put together about the Shu Mine. The images will be used to show the pupils the different types of mine the Allied Soldiers faced on a daily basis. 
   The resource I am developing is educational and therefore non-profit making

Museum Education Worker

Date:   12 June, 2005 Location:     UK
From:    Derrick Subj:       Maps of Italy 1944 
   Another question about maps but this one was interesting because he had some documents that
described where each small unit was located, some as small as a 30-man platoon.  For each unit, it listed
a name of a town and a Map reference and coordinates.  One map and coordinate matched up exactly with
one of my Road Maps.  That was a surprise, especially from a British unit.  I sent him a scan of that area 
including the edge of map with its coordinates.  The other maps were probably unique British ones.
Can you help:- 
   My late father served as a Sapper/driver i/c with the British Royal Engineers, 8th Army  1943-48,......he was in Italy during 1944 -45.   I found your excellent website and wondered if you could help with otaining some detailed maps of  the :- regions

    Naples/Salerno area  specifically the town of Avellino -MARCH /AUG1944
    Aquapedente/Siena area AUG to MARCH 1945
   Florence/ Mestre (Venice)  MARCH- DEC 1945.

    What i would liek to do is build a "Timeline" showing his progress up thro Italy during those periods.
Any help would be much appreciated.

Date:   30 May, 2005 Location:     USA
From:    Paul Robinson Subj:       Italy Road Map
   My collection of vintage WW2 road maps came in handy.  I sent him some scans of the map and
 several of the towns that he was searching for, including the one called Terelle.
Hello father was a prisoner of war during WWII. He was captured Feb 4th 1944 at Tertilla, which is in the vicinity of Monte Cassino or Cassino.  Your Italy road map #19 covering the west coast south of Rome might show the area I have been researching without much luck.  I would appreciate any help in the matter. 
Paul Robinson
+++  +++  +++  +++   2nd Email +++  +++  +++  +++ 
Hey Steve...first thank u for responding.  I believe Tertilla was blown off the map when the allied forces finally over-ran the German soldiers sometime during late spring of 1944.  My father, Paul Robinson, was in the 168th US Infantry, 34th Red Bull Division.  I have tracked him from Nov 29, 1943 being at Mt Pantano onward to Mt Trocchio, S Vittore & Cervaro on Jan 6,1944 and then onward toward Cassino.  Father was captured during a German ambush on or about Feb 4th 1944.  I believe Tertilla to be located south-east of Cassino near a place called Piedimonte?  Just south-east of there are Cervaro, S Vittore & S Pietro.  Any info or contacts would be greatly appreciated. 

Date:   April 6, 2005 Location:
From:    Pam Moore Subj:    grandfather killed at anzio 
 What a surprise.  This lady found her father's name on my site at the List of KIA's recorded
by Pvt Paul Brown.  I was glad to finally find someone who had a connection to one of the 470
names on this list.  I was able to fill in some of the history.  Records indicate her grandfather
served with 1st Battalion HQ and then Company B.
   I have been researching my grandfather who was killed at Anzio. I found him listed in Pvt. Browns KIA list. ( Clarence L. Williams killed 5-5-44 ). I knew he was in 45th Inf. Div., 179th Reg. but, that is all. It has a "B" in the unit column, is that his batt. or comp.  ect.....?
    I found him listed in another source & it had a "H".  {Actually 'HQ'}
Also, there is a story that his best friend survived & came to his parent's house when he returned (don't have a name.) I thought if I could narrow down to his company I might could get the info on some vet. message boards.
    I've also been told he was killed in a tank on the beach.
   If you can offer any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it!

Thank You, Pam Moore

Date:   April 3, 2005 Location:  NY
From:    Rex Giardine Subj:   Giardine Family 
   This email came with a big order for items from my PX.  He wanted to leave something
for his children to have about their grandfather.  His father was in the 85th Recon Troop.
 My dad was Pvt. Romeo Giardine, of Mount Union Pennsylvania drafted into service and assigned to the 85th.  He was wounded somewhere near Bologna and after recovering reassigned to a different unit near Casserta so his discharge papers indicate the latter unit. His allegiance remained with the 85th so much so that he insisted his grave marker indicate it rather than the latter unit.  Any rosters you can check to zero in better on his unit in the 85th would be appreciated.  I did a Battle Monuments search of two of his fallen buddies: Edward Barron and John Quinn which indicate they were in the "85th Reconnisance Troop". 

  My father and his friend Sgt. Robert Schultz were the actually first two GIs to be formally greeted by Pius XII at the audience the pope held (primarily for the troops) after Rome was liberated,   The audience was on or about June 8, 1944.   There is a longer story there, I'll save for a later correspondence.

Thanks again.

Date:    March 31 2005 Location:
From:   Leigh Evans Subj:    WWII Italian Campaign website 
   A nice letter.  With a compliment like that, I sure try hard to help them out.  He is right; I don't
have much info on his grandfather's unit.
Many thanks for all the wonderful Italian Campaign info.

    My grandfather served with the 34th Infantry Division, company L, unfortunately I don't know what regiment, although I would guess it would have been either the 133, 135 or 168.  He was at Anzio beach head and was wounded twice, once on the road to Rome by shrapnel in the arm and the leg.  From there he went to a hospital in Naples.  Instead of being sent home he went back to the front lines.  He commented to me that he had seen Mussolini and the others hanging by their feet (dead, of course, as he clarified) in "a small town", so I appreciate your photos that let me see dimly what he'd have seen.  From there he said he went to the edge of France and took over a hotel, where they stayed until receiving orders to return home.  I know your site concerns mostly other divisional units, but I would love any info you might come across about my grandfather's unit.

   Thanks again for the top-notch website.  It was hard to tear myself away from it once I found it, but duty at my place of business called, unfortunately.  I look forward to returning for further reading.
Leigh Evans

Date:   March 7, 2005 Location:     Delaware
From:    Mike Marine Subj:Capt. George BREHM of 328FA
   This was a great surprise.  Mike collects WW2 militaria and has a special interest in anything
related to the 85th Division.  He purchased the ribbons, insignia, dogtags and such at an
estate sale that belonged to a member of the 328 Field Artillery.  Included in it was a sterlin
DUI pin for the 328FA and an officer's crossed cannon for 328FA.  With the help of my friend,
Mr. Dempsey, I was able to send him photos and documents related to Captain Brehm.  In
exchange for the photos, Mike donated some some patches for my PX store.
     As a hobby, I collect and display WWII items. I just purchased some military items that belonged to Capt. George J. BREHM. I printed out a few things, but wanted to ask you: 

    A) Any way I can get you to go to Kinkos or Satples and get you to do a nice copy of the photo you have at Ft. Dix w/ him in it?? 
    B) Do you have any other photos of him not posted?? 
   C) Any record of him being wounded?? He has a Purple Heart. 
    D) Any info on BREHM you can provide will be very helpful. 


Date:   6 Mar, 2005 Location:     ----
From:    R Daye Subj:   337th inf.,Co.H, 85 Div. 
   Provided this contact with maps and info.
   Here is a good place to mention a DVD that was produced entitled "The Last Reunion". 
This contains almost 10 hours of video of the reunion of the 337th Infantry Regiment.  It has
interviews of the veterans and Senator Bob Dole, their dinner speaker.  This DVD is on sale
at my PX.
Hello Steve, 
   Great website, researching information on Uncle, "George W. Little" who was killed in Italy, on May 12, 1944, Company H, 337th.Inf., 85 Div.  Would welcome any information on this spring campaign, would like to find where to look for info about "H" Company activities during this action. Appreciate the fact that you aren't a researcher, but you sure have accumulated lots of useful information. 
Ron Daye 

Date:   March 5, 2005 Location:   ---
From:   Michael Turner  Subj:   Anzio/Italian Campaign OOB 
   This is a little too much detail of the German weapons that I can handle.  We had a
good chat about the heavy tanks used in Italy.
   I was doing some "surfing on the net" and came across your site, it is very interesting and I look forward to spending some more time going through it more.  I am an avid WW II armor and air-craft model builder as well as having in interest in WW II and other aspects of military history.

   I am building a model of a Brumbar German SPG and these were used in this campaign after the
Kursk Battle on the Eastern Front.  I couldn't find any of the units specifically unless they were part of one of the Assault Gun Divisions?  One of them would have been Strum Panzer Abt 216.

   I would like to build a diorama with this tank and most of the pictures that I have seen of these tanks were of it parked in a field or under a tree.  I did see one on a street in an Italian town after it had run out of gas.  Depending how it was used in the battle and with what units, I might also do one with it assisting troops.  I read that they were used as an infantry support weapon like the Sturmug-schultze.

Thank you for any information that you can lend.

Michael Turner

   Mail Bag received prior to 2005 is continued on Page 2 .

Conatct Info:

   I currently receive about 1 email inquiry a week.  Some weeks there are 3 or 4.  I enjoy answering each one and assisting with any help I can provide.  However, I can only answer your email from the material I have available to me.  I'm not a professional researcher---uh, not yet.
   With all the junk SPAM email, I find it refreshing to hear from people who seriously want to use the Internet for legitimate purposes.  I don't mind scanning info from my books and emailing it to you.  Beware: this material may be COPYRIGHTED material.  For example, I may have a photo on my website that I got from a public domain source.  The same photo may be in a copyrighted book.  So if I scan the photo and copyrighted text, then you should be careful that you do not publish it.

So please keep in mind these Do's and Don'ts.

DO send email.  I like to hear from those who visit my website.  I might possibly want to include your info in my biography section.  Drop me an email even if you don't have a question.  I enjoy hearing from beginners and people with interests related to WW2.

DO use a specific subject name.  I delete all email that looks like SPAM; including subjects such as "Hi, its me" and "Eat pizza & loose weight".  I suggest you use the Subject: "Italian Campaign of WW2."

DO conact me if you have any kind of photos or booklets or anything of interest that was brought back by a veteran.  Some of the simple photos are the best.  I'm also interested in the large group photos.

DO include as much information you know before asking for info.
   Poor:  "My Dad was in 45th Division and was wounded at Cassino.  Do you have any info on where he was?"
   Good: "My Dad was in 3rd Batln, 180th Regt and was wounded on 15 Feb, 1944.  Do you know where he might have been on this date?"

DO be specific with your question.  Some emails are too brief and some include name, rank, dates, places and other info, but it doesn't directly state a question.

DON'T Worry; your personal information will not be divulged on internet without prior consent.  I'd like to know what state or area you are from.  I totally avoid creating mailing lists.  So, you will not even receive the joke-of-the-week email.  The only email you will receive will be directly from me about your area of interest.

DON'T assume the material I send you is "public domain" and free of COPYRIGHT protection.   Any material I send is assumed to be for private use only.  Publishing the material in a website or printed material may be a COPYRIGHT infringement.

Now, you can email me.

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