Ang flew a mission on July 30 to close out July with his 19th mission. The crew sheet shows he was on 6K, "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen" so she was flying again after getting a "new nose" after the July 5 accident. Betty continued her routine, but spiced things up a bit with a drive to Santa Barbara and a night out to Earl Carroll's - a Hollywood nightclub. She apparently tells Ang about it because he mentions it in a letter in August. In addition to Kay's husband, Herm, they now have her mother's nephew "Jr" visiting them. But the fun news is that Betty sent Ang a copy of an article that featured five generations of her family. And Ang hears that stories about the bomb groups on Corsica have made it into some papers back home. He is mentioned in one of them which I found online and have included below. Scouring the papers for news of the war was a major pastime on the "home front" so this was a pretty big deal.
Wednesday, July 26. Not very busy at office so far this week. Did some laundry—washed hair & wrote Ang. To bed earlier.
[Letter. Postmark 7-27-44, onionskin stationary]
7-26-44 [no dateline]
Time for a long letter—so here I am. I don’t know if it will make much sense—because I’ve got a head that feels the size of an ack-ack balloon. But, I feel pretty good so I’ll try.
We had another dance at the Officers Club last night—and it was really a lulu. Charley Vail just got back from Cairo—and he brought back a couple of bottles of British whiskey—sooo! We sat down and put a good edge on and then headed for the club. When we got there we started in on Italian Champaign (carbonated vinegar]—and, boy, we really got stinking.
To show you how stinking I really was—I even got up and danced once—how do you like that? The Colonel really got ambitious and he must have raided every hospital in Corsica—because he showed up with a couple of ambulances full of nurses. Boy, they sure were a sight for sore eyes. Half of them had evening gowns on—and the club was full of American perfume. Boy, just like home. It really does an American good to be in something like that once in awhile. I would say that half of the men don’t have sex on their minds when they talk to an American girl over here—its just that they bring back nice memories.
Its nice to see female American faces (there definitely is something different)—hear American voices come out of them—see them wearing American clothes (those evening gowns—oh, my gosh).
As I said there was five of us really getting drunk—and as the evening progressed—so did we. Finally, two new Red Cross girls came over and sat with us for awhile. So help me—they were the exact duplicates of Gerry & Jayne—I guess they are sisters too. Boy, they brought memories back by the dozens—the proms—the Bit & Bridle etc. It wasn’t long before I was ready to cry in my carbonated vinegar.
It doesn’t sound like a very enjoyable evening—but it was! I mean drinking and memories make one feel bad—but good at the same time—if you get what I mean. Its just like having a good crying jag—and then feeling happy afterwards.
At any rate, Charley and I finally staggered home—I don’t know who brought who (or whom) home—we just leaned against each other and went. We must have made it—because I woke up in my bed this morning.
By the way, my first (promotion) papers went in the day before yesterday—and barring an act of God and depending on the good humor of the big shots who O.K. the promotions your husband should be a first Lieut. in a couple of weeks. However, I’m not counting my chickens until that white bar is on my collar. I’ve been a 2nd Lt. so long that it just doesn’t seem possible—does it?
The only thing that worries me is that I’ve only got 18 missions—and that’s pretty soon—usually it takes about 30. However, most of my missions have been lead missions so that may make a difference. Oh well, as I said—I’m not counting my chickens.
Hon—as far as giving you poop—I really do give you all I can. Some things I just can’t talk about—and there is nothing I can do about it. An enlisted man can write all kinds of things and the only thing that happens to him is that the censor cuts it out. But we censor our own mail—and if we get caught saying things we shouldn’t—we’re in hot water.
And now the news & what there is of it. Skeezix is still in fine shape—and working harder than ever. Boy, he really keeps this place of ours clean. He’s a Gem. Arne is fine—and I did give him your regards.
Say, I really got a kick out of the five generations picture. It looks so natural—it really is a good picture. It sure is a beauty of Donny—he really is cute. How did they ever get him that way—that tongue hanging out really got me.
I guess that’s about it honey—I really love you very, very much. Love, Ang
July 27. Marge and Florence here for dinner then to movie. Home by 12:00. Didn’t even write Ang. Pretty tired.
[V-Mail. Postmark 8-9-44]
I just finished reading your long letter. Tch, tch—are my letters as bad as all that? I kinda get what you mean though—I’ll see if I can do little better in the next long one.
Honey, I wrote to Wally Reardon a long time ago. Really, I can’t think of anyone I owe a letter to—and dozens who owe me letters. I’ve really been pouring them out since I got over here.
I’ll see if I can get in touch with Captain Cots—I’ve always liked him. Thanks for giving me his wife’s name—I’d forgotten it—naturally!
Say, Hon, save the gum for yourself—we get plenty of it over here—also the stamps. Thanks, anyway
I love you hon—Love, Ang
July 28. Sort of warmish today - had a snack and then to kids. Had a time of sorts - E. Carroll’s. Home by 1:00. Two [?- hard to read] drinks. Nuts.
July 29. Slept late. Mr. S. over and up to Santa Barbara. Herm home with us - Jr here when we got home. Bed by 1:00. Dead tired.
[V-Mail. Postmark 8-9-44.]
I just got a letter from Peg—dated the middle of last month. There were Boco pictures in it—mostly of the baby—and one nice one of you and Donny. There’s only one thing wrong with it—you look too darn motherly to suit me. I also got your manicure set. You know how much I take care of my fingernails—but Charley is as bad as a woman about it—and he sends his thanks. I do appreciate all those little packages—keep it up, hon.
I can’t get over that five generations picture—it really is good and looks so natural. Its one of my pin-ups—right between two pictures of Lana Turner.
I love you, hon. Love, Ang
July 30. To 12:00 Mass. Got up early and made breakfast for Jr. Wrote Ang. Marge and Flo for dinner. Loafed all day really. To bed about 11:00. Tired
Form 5. July 30. C-30, Combat flight as navigator, B25-J, 3:10h
[See crew sheet for July 30 at "Official Documents" tab.]
[FROM ANG'S FLIGHT LOG. MISSION #19.]
Ferrara R.R. Bridge
1st box hit center & 2nd South approach. 1000 lbs.
Heavy, intense & accurate--3 ships holed.
Used smoke pots.
[note made in ink: "Sgt Slocum shot in shoulder"]
[The crew sheet (see Official Documents tab) is dated July 29. But according to the 57th Bomb Wing records, the 30th is correct.]
July 31. For being Monday the day went awfully fast. Pay day too. Had stomach ache after dinner—wrote letters. Bed 10:30
[V-Mail. Postmark 8-2-44]
Will wonders never cease—I got a letter from Jen today. No news, but her letters always make enjoyable reading.
My goodness, hon, you sure are taking in all the shows in town—you’ll be way ahead of me by the time I get back—I don’t see very many—because they are outdoor movies (sitting on the ground) and we have to wear mosquito netting and leggings—and all that trouble is hardly worth it—except maybe Bob Hope or Lana Turner.
Hon, you’d better start reading the newspapers. Several of the boys were sent clippings with mention of the group or the Squadron—and even one with me mentioned.
I love you, hon. Love, Ang
[I found this article via an online newspaper search. Ang talks about it in his August 28 letter. He gave enough information so that I had a few good search terms. Articles like this were picked up by many "hometown" newspapers.]
On July 18, Ang reports that he's restless and wishing for a rough mission. It's no wonder because being stuck in the hospital with no missions since July 6 would make anyone restless. Of course he gets his wish the next day and earns Cluster #1. He mentions a big dance at the club that he helped build back in May. He also says that Betty's package took 20 days to arrive! Perhaps that's the one she mailed June 27?
Betty reports meeting her Aunt Kay and son Tom who arrived from Chicago. Mostly her diary reports her usual activities and notes receiving a $10 raise. Another nice change is a day at the beach in Long Beach. On the 24th, she gets Ang's July 13th letter saying he should be out of hospital in a few days!
July 17. Up late and to Mass. Went to park for while but no sun. Ironed and read in evening. Bed about 10:30.
Form 5. July 17. T-17, Training flight as navigator, B25-J, 1:15h
[There was a mission on the 17, but Ang is not listed on the crew sheet. He hadn't had a mission since July 6 so I'm sure this was a "refresher" flight to make sure he was ok to fly after being sick. The time in the hospital was a real setback in the effort to get the required number of missions. That number was a moving target itself!]
July 18. Warmer today. Met Kay and Tom. Herm got in for a second - just a second. Didn’t do anything all evening. Bath & bed 10:30.
[V-Mail, no envelope]
Gosh, Babe, I sure have been restless the last few days. You know how I get—can’t sit and can’t stand—want to do something and don’t know what (or do I). I guess it was all that laying around in the hospital that did it. What I need is a good drunk or a good rough mission to take the edge off. Oh well, I guess I’ll live.
Say, dear, send me a copy of the current “Esquire”, will you?
Gosh, I’m so restless I can’t even sit still long enough to finish this letter. I suppose Kay is out there by now—I hope everything turns out all right for them. Let me know how they come out on the trailer deal, will you?
I love you, hon—Love, Ang
July 19. Rather warm today. Got David’s present—after work. Wrote Ang all evening—in a mood—Tom sort of mean. 10:00
Form 5. July 19. C-19, Combat flight as navigator, B25-J, 2:25h
[See crew sheet for July 19 at "Official Documents" tab.]
[FROM ANG'S FLIGHT LOG. MISSION 17]
Sassuola R.R. Bridge
Pattern in center of bridge.
12 FW & ME 109's attacked. Shot rockets at us.
Scared us--did not know what they were
[Ang doesn't note it here, but we know from orders that came in December, that he earned his first oak leaf cluster on this mission. The ribbon bar at the top of page shows the ribbon representing the Air Medal with two of his Oak Leaf Clusters.]
July 20. The days are sure long these days. Met family after work and to movie—had a bite out. Washed hair and to bed about 10:30.
[V-Mail. No envelope.]
I got the candy and the Readers Digest yesterday—thanks a lot. It only took 20 days—and that’s pretty good time. I really go for that candy—I’d appreciate it if you would send me a lb. or two.
We had a big dance at the new club last night—four nurses. I went over for a little while—had a couple of “Gin and Juice”, and then came home and finished the Readers Digest. Ho, hum—such exciting lives we combat men lead.
I got a letter from Kay—and she and Tom were leaving—so I guess she’s out there by now.
I love you darling—Love, Ang
July 21. Worked sort of hard and steady today. Mr. S. for dinner. Wrote letters all evening.
[V-Mail. Postmark 8-2-44]
You’re a darling—do you know that. The P.X. had run out of tooth powder for about a week—and so had I. Just when my teeth were about ready to fall out foul and dirty—your package came with a beautiful can of pepsodent. Its just like being home with you supplying my needs—did I ever tell you that I loved you—If I didn’t, I do!
I’m glad you appreciate my efforts in letter writing (your love for writing “Uncle” John)—I do my best to please. I get so bored sometimes—it’s a pleasure even to write letters—but when I start I get restless and I can never seem to finish a really long letter—excuses, excuses—I love you—Love, Ang
July 22. In office alone today. Got a raise too -- $10 a month. To park in PM - couple hours. Confession in evening.
July 23. To Mass at 9:00. Then down to Long Beach. To beach all PM - and got some sun. Came home about 8:30. Dead tired.
July 24. Had a letter from Ang and he’ll be released from hospital in a few days. Sure glad it’s nothing. Wrote letters all evening. Bed about 10:00.
Form 5. July 24. C-24, Combat flight as navigator, B25-J, 2:45h
[See crew sheet for July 24 at "Official Documents" tab.]
[FROM ANG'S FLIGHT LOG]
Chivasso R.R. Bridge
Pattern in middle of bridge
July 25. Did some shopping at noon - bought some hats. Mr. S. for dinner. Herm in too - stayed here all night. To movies. 1:00AM.
"I guess that’s all I can say about the hospital --
. . . Ang's comment about the hospital where he spent time during this period. It appears he got sick sometime after his July 7 letter. He writes a letter on the 11th saying he’s been sick for a couple of days and is in the hospital. He also writes a couple V-Mails and a long letter on the 13th, in which he tells her more about his "cossacking trip" to Sicily.
Betty’s schedule is the same routine as usual, including another trip to San Diego to check on her Aunt Kay's husband, Herm, who is in the Navy and has also been sick.
Saturday, July 8. In office alone today. Did some shopping for Ang. Got album ready for him. Call from Herm and to S. Diego tomorrow. Movies and bed late.
July 9. Not quite so bad a trip this time. Nothing real serious on H’s mind--nuts. Home by 8:00 PM. Flo called.
July 10. Not as bad a day as I expected. Not too tired. Nothing unusual happened all day. Got some some packages ready for Ang.
July 11. Work very slow - didn’t have much to do. Not very warm today. Home all evening and wrote Ang a long letter. Washed head. 10:30.
[V-Mail. No envelope. The V-Mail is dated 6-11-44 which can't be correct. He's letting Betty know about being in the hospital, which was in July.]
I’m sorry I haven’t written for so long—but I was in no shape to do any writing. I was a mighty sick little boy for a couple of days—but I’m O.K. now. It was the same thing that I had at Hondo, Texas. Fever, headache and my body feeling like it had been put thru a wringer.
Just like Hondo—it took me a little while to get over it—and just like Hondo—they won’t let me out of the hospital. They worry themselves sick over malaria over here—and I’m in the hospital to be observed for malaria. They took some slides yesterday and they turned out negative. The Doc says I probably haven’t got it—but we can’t take chances. So I’ll probably be in here for a couple of weeks while they “observe”.
Please don’t worry dear—I’ll keep you informed on my progress. I love you darling—Love, Ang
July 12. Today about the same as all week. Florence Taylor up for dinner and then to movie. Herm still here. To bed by 11:30.
July 13. Cloudy again until after noon. Quite disgusting. Didn’t have to work real hard either. Wrote letters & to bed by 10:30
[ V-Mail. Also no envelope.]
Well, everything is O.K. at this end. Even the Doc said I was O.K. – and when they admit that much—Well! I should be getting out in a couple of days. My temp. is normal again—but I guess they have to make sure it stays that way before they release me.
I’ll drop you a nice long letter a little later giving you all the dope—hospital—nurses—etc.
I’m glad Kay is coming out there to stay with Herm for awhile. It will be good for both of them. Is she taking the two boys along with her? The four of them ought to have quite a time in that trailer—ha, ha!
I love you dear—Love, Ang
[Letter on air mail stationary. Postmark 7-14-44.]
Well, heres all the details. I’ve already told you how I got into the hospital—so I can go on from there. By the way—thru the process of 26 million tests—they have decided that I do not have malaria—so thats one relief of[f] our minds. I hope to get out tomorrow—but probably won’t—oh well, its not a bad life—in fact I enjoy it, kind of!
The beds with springs & clean sheets are a pleasant change. The food is pretty good—and the nurses—ah, the nurses! Honey, you won’t mind if I fall in love with them—that is with all of them—a sort of mass love. There’s safety in numbers you know—unfortunately I don’t mean the no. of nurses—but the no. of high ranking officers after each nurse—at least 20 colonels for each one. What chance does a poor second Lt. have?
Of course I do have an inside track with one of them (I don’t know how I do it). She’s a little Greek gal from Boston—named Mary. She speaks it about as “well” as I do—and you ought to hear us jabbering back and forth. I was doing allright too, until my conscience started bothering me and I dragged out your picture. Oh well, that’s life for you! However, maybe I still have a chance because she still rubs my back for me once in awhile. It must be my fatal charm.
The doctor is a diamond in the rough. He looks and acts just like Doctor Christianson of the movies.
I guess that’s all I can say about the hospital—except that it seems full of miracles. One fellow was operated for his appendix at eight at night and the next morning he was up and riding around in a wheelchair. How do you like that.
Now, getting back to that trip to Sicily—I forgot to tell you the most important thing of all. We picked up a house boy for ourselves. His name is Carlos—but we call him Skeezix. He’s an Italian boy about sixteen—and cute as the devil.
He was a bellhop at the hotel. We started kidding him one day about taking him with us—and then forgot all about it. The next morning we asked him to show us where we could by[buy] an iron—and he told us to follow him. The jerk led us over to his house—and before we knew it we were swamped by his mother and twenty six thousand relatives. They were all crying and thanking us for taking their Carlos with us—and when the war was over, would we please, please take him to America with us. We tried to convince them that we couldn’t take him to America—but they said that an American “official” (officer) could do anything—and that was that.
Then the mother came running up with an iron for us—insisted it was a gift—so what could we do. She begged—the 26 thousand relatives begged—the kid begged—so we took him along.
Honey, it would tear your heart out to see how these people feel about America. They gladly tear themselves apart from their sons to give them a chance at America. I guess we finally convinced his mother that we couldn’t take him to America—but she wanted us to take him and keep until the war was over.
[different ink here—changed pens or written later]
Probably just to keep him from starving (half) or living in filth anymore than he had to.
At least the experience won’t harm him. We’ll fatten him up—teach him a little English—and a few manners. He’s got more and better clothes now than he’s ever had—and honest to goodness pair of shoes. His eyes almost bugged out when we gave him those. He almost went crazy over our food—especially when he found out he could have all he wanted. And when he found out he could go to the “cinema” every night for free—he was in heaven.
We were going to pay him three and a half a week but the Major said it would make the other Italians dissatisfied so we had to cut his wages to two bucks a week.
He cleans up our “house”—keeps the water bottles filled—and washes our clothes. He really is a handy little tyke. He’s a conscientious little devil—he pesters me to death for more work—I have to get mad and order him to rest before he’ll take a couple of hours off. To show you how conscientious he really is. When we were at his house we told him if he wanted to come with us he would have to take a bath every day. He looked at us like we were crazy for awhile—then he got a determined look on his face and said he’d do it. And by golly he has done it—never misses, we don’t even have to remind him. See what I mean about good habits. He’s even got us doing it.
He’s really picking up English too—doesn’t have any trouble making us understand what he wants. For instance—the other day he had the “G.I.s” (Runs) so he came up and said: “Mr. Adamssss, Sir—eight o-clock toilet—ten o-clock, toilet—twelve o-clock, toilet—today, toilet, nine times. Mr. Adamssss—Capish?” See, no trouble at all with him.
Well, darling—I guess now you know all my secrets. There isn’t much else to write about—so I’ll promise to say I’ll put up a terrific battle against that nurse if she gets any ideas (ha).
I love you darling—I love you very much. All this spare time in bed isn’t doing my thoughts or morale much good. That colored picture of you helps a little—you look so darn real and delicious that one of these days I’m going to start chewing on it.
I love you sweets—Love, Ang
P.S. By the way, quite some time ago I told you I had written a check for $100.00 (two $50)—and as yet you haven’t mentioned it. I hope you got the letter. At any rate the fellow that has them lives in L.A. and will be there one of these months. He’ll probably call on you anyway—but especially if the check bounces—so don’t be too surprised.
Don’t be afraid to ask Dad if you need anything.
July 14. Not enough to do all day. Met Mother after work and did some shopping. Wrote letters all evening. Bed about 11:30. Tired.
July 15. Herm’s relatives up in evening - also Flo & Marge. Herm in too - late. To bed about 12:00. Tired.
[V-Mail. Postmark 7-25-44.]
Got out of the hospital yesterday—and feel fine so you can stop worrying.
I’ve had you on my mind all day today—and its not good for my morale. I woke up thinking about you and layed in bed for about a half an hour letting memories carry me away. Then I thought a cold shower might help so I took one—but it didn’t do any good. So, I’m back on my sack letting my memories and emotions run riot.
As I said, its not good for my morale—but what can a man do--. The things I have been thinking and remembering—tch, tch!
I love you darling—I love you very, very much—I sure would like to have you close to me for an hour. Oooo—what I said!
July 16. didn’t do a thing all day—up rather late & a little laundry. Read all P.M. To movies & dinner. To bed about 10:00. Miss Ang!
[V-Mail. Postmark 7-27-44.]
I got a letter from Bud yesterday—he’s fine but his outfit has moved so I don’t guess I’ll get to see him again. He said that Wally had written me a letter—but I’ve yet to see it. I did write to him quite some time ago.
Skeezix (my boy) is sitting on the floor industriously polishing my boots. The kid is O.K.—in certain things he does take your place. After looking at your picture he said I had a “bona” wife—I think so too. Darn it hon, I miss you awfully. Yesterday I nearly knocked myself out thinking about you.
I love you darling—Love, Ang
In spite of time spent in Sicily on a “cossacking” trip and time spent in the hospital, Ang still flew 6 missions and wrote 14 V-Mails and letters in July! From July 1 through 7th Ang wrote to Betty to tell her about his trip to Sicily on what they called a “cossacking” trip - to get some fresh food and some booze when they can get it. These are recorded as “A” for Administrative flights on the Form 5. In his scrapbook he saved an article about a plane called “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen.” He was navigator on a July 5th mission when the plane’s nose was crushed.
Betty continued her work-visiting-writing letters schedule and prepared care packages to send to Ang.
Saturday July 1. Up about nine—and downtown shopping. Out to Long Beach—had late dinner and talked. To bed about 12:00. Dead tired.
Form 5. July 1. C-1, Combat flight as navigator, B-25J, 2:45h
[See crew sheet for July 1 at "Official Documents" tab.]
[FROM ANG'S FLIGHT LOG. MISSION 14.]
Canneto tunnel mouths.
1st box missed--
we hit tracks & mouth.
Heavy, scant & innacurate.
1 ship holed.
July 2. To 12:00 Mass - but late. Didn’t do much all day. Read and talked. Took some snaps - late dinner. Home about 11:00. Tired again.
FORM 5. July 2. A-2, Administrative flight as navigator, B-25D, 2:50h
[I suppose this was the flight to Sicily.]
July 3. Sure was tired this A.M. Worked until 3:00. Bought some things for Ang—had dinner and to movies. Bed by 11:00.
July 4. Didn’t get up till about ten. Wrote Ang a real long letter. Cleaned up and out to Schrickers for dinner. Home about 10:00. Tired.
Form 5. July 4. A-4, Administrative flight at navigator, B-25D, 2:55h
Form 5. July 4. A-4, Administrative flight as navigator, B-25D, :40h
July 5. Surely was tired today. Worked pretty hard. Out to Rowena’s & thru boxes. Wrote letters—to bed about 10:30.
Form 5. July 5. C-5, Combat flight as navigator, B25-J, 2:15h
[See crew sheet for July 5 at "Official Documents" tab.]
[FROM ANG'S FLIGHT LOG. MISSION 15.]
Ostiglia Fuel Dump
Hit target. 250 lb. bombs.
8 ME 109's attacked from rear of our box. Gunners shot down two---Kresspe very excited.
Two ships holed--one minor injury.
Our nose wheel caved in on landing. Saw Spitzes get 2 more 109’s.
[The original 340th BG B-25 “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen” was lost to further combat with the other damaged B-25s when Vesuvius erupted in March 1944. In April the 340th moved to Corsica and received more B25s to replace those as well as others damaged in a German attack on their new airfield. One of these was named for the Kathleen lost at Vesuvius: I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen II. From what I can piece together, Ang flew the B-25 mentioned in this article on his July 5, 1944 mission. It was his 15th mission and this article says it was the 36th mission of “Kathleen”. T/Sgt Petrozzi was the crew chief at Vesuvius and later on Corsica. More than likely this article was published in his hometown paper. I have tried to track it down, but haven’t had any luck to date. I have no idea where Ang got it!
Photos #1-a&b below are of Kathleen on arrival on Corsica. After the July 5, 1944 crash, Petrozzi went to work to replace her entire nose section. According to a mission crew sheet, Kathleen was back in action by July 23rd. You can view Ang's July 30th crew sheet under "Official Documents" which shows him on 6K.
Photo #2 below shows Kathleen after landing on July 5, 1944.
Photo #3 below shows the crew getting ready to repaint her name.
Photo #4 shows Kathleen after her 100th mission on December 31, 1944. Records show that Kathleen was flown back to the States in July 1945 and was scrapped in 1946.
The crew sheets I have show that Ang flew on 6K at least 10 times.]
[V-Mail, postmark 7-15-44]
I know that I’m a very bad boy—but I’ve been on a Cossacking trip—that is a pleasure & rest trip! We visited Sicily—oh well, I’ll tell you all in a long letter as soon as I finish this. I just wanted to let you know I was O.K.—and the “V” mail goes so much faster.
Did you get my letter telling you about the $100.00 check I wrote—this is the trip I cashed them for. I sure hope it didn’t embarrass you too much—I mean financially.
When I got back there was 10 letters for me—so I feel pretty good.
All the news in long letter honey.
I love you—Love, Ang
July 6. Didn’t have to work so hard today. To show after work. did laundry and wrote a couple letters - am getting swamped. 11:00
Form 5. July 6. C-6, Combat flight as navigator, B25-J, 2:30h
[See crew sheet for July 6 at "Official Documents" tab.]
[FROM ANG'S FLIGHT LOG. MISSION 16.]
Parma R.R. Bridge
1st box hit right approach.
2nd - center of bridge.
July 7. Mr. L. out of office today so not too busy. Sent some packages to Ang. Also wrote letters in evening. To bed about 10:30.
[Letter. Postmark 7-9-44, air mail stationary, addressed to L.A.—this letter is either mis-dated or maybe in the wrong envelope—should be dated 7-7?]
Well, here is the long letter I promised—and the details of the cossacking trip. The boys get kind of sick of army chow—so ever so often we send a ship out to get fresh vegetables and eggs. This time I went with them—and due to “plane trouble” we had to stay four days—boy, what four days. Back home, they wouldn’t have meant anything—but a couple of months on Corsica and we can have a good time anywhere.
Sicily is pretty well built up since the war wrecked everything they had. It has a couple of fairly large towns—we visited Catania. I have a bunch of post cards—but I can’t send them so will have to bring them home. I also bought a cross from one of the local monks (?)—its supposed to be hand made, but its really nothing special and looks like maybe they bought it from Woolworths. However, he said it was blessed—and I thought you might like something from one of these old monasteries(?). I’ll send it on one of these days!
Now, getting back to details. As soon as we pulled into town about 20,000 kids ran up yelling “Woman, Johnny?” No, we didn’t want a “woman”! “Eat, Johnny?” Yes, we wanted to eat—so two of them led us to a small restaurant. We had to buy them a meal too—but, boy, it was worth it. We ate all our meals there—and I’ve never been such a glutton in my life—and that’s saying a lot. After all this army chow—we just went hog wild. Italian Spag—steaks—chicken—fresh vegetables and fruits. Heres what I had the first meal—and don’t think I’ve gone crazy, because the other boys had the same thing. Two big plates of Spag & Sauce—yum! One half a chicken—and a tenderloin steak. A big Dago salad—two bottles of beer—and probably two lbs of fruit afterwards. The prices are outrageous—but the cooking was wonderful, so who were we to kick. Just to give you an idea—the beer was $1.50 a bottle (quart). Now you can see why I needed the $100.00
When we finished, the kids started again. “Food bona (good), Johnny?” Yes the food was multa bona. “Hotel, Johnny?” Yes, we wanted a hotel—so they took us over. It was called the Hotel Bristol—I guess the best in town. The rooms weren’t too much—but the beds had honest to goodness springs on them—and there was actually a clean sheet on each one, so they looked pretty good to us. The rooms had a sink in them—and on each floor (way down the hall) there was a flush toilet. The hotel even had one bagno (bath) in it. Of course it was on the first floor—but it was quite a novelty. And with all this came the third floor chamber maid—“Mama”—fat—fift[y]ish—and jolly as the devil. After we came back from supper—she came in and helped us drink our vino. Mostly thru the use of hands—we managed to understand each other. She kept on telling us that she liked the Americans—and kept on warning us to stay away from the women in the town—“too much malata (you guess). She said when the Germans had control of the town, she used to go out of her way to “fix them up”—but she liked the Americans. Cute people, these Sicilians.
Well, that went on for the full four days. Sightseeing—eating—drinking—eating—sleeping—eating—eating and eating. Boy, I’ll never forget that food. We did quite a bit of sightseeing—there’s a lot to be seen. Old roman ruins—an old Roman arena in the center of town—old and beautiful churches—etc.
We rode for hours on end in these open air, horse drawn cabs. One night we rode for several hours thru town and along the water. The night was wonderful—and cool. The moon was as big as could be. The view—the sights—the ruins—the big beautiful church domes. Ah me, I could just see you next to me—under the spell of all that—cuddling up—Gee, a man can only stand so much—and being all married men we were glad when we got back to the hotel and Mama telling us about the “malata”. Maybe you didn’t know it—but you, at least the thoughts of you, came darn close to wrecking my nervous system. We had to do something—and we did. We ordered nine bottles of vino—and got stinko—and I do mean stinko. Praise the lord for flush toilets—twice I filled it with my insides—and still wouldn’t stop. About four in the morning—I passed out on a chair—and that’s where I was when I woke up.
It’s a heck of a note when a man deliberately drinks himself into unconsciousness—but that open air cab—the moon—and my thoughts completely demoralized me—my morale had gone to hell.
Don’t let it worry you dear, I feel fine now—I guess every man over here gets that way once in awhile.
Well, honey, I guess that just about finishes the cossacking trip. There isn’t much more to say—except that I love you. I love you! Love Sweets, Ang
Joni Adams Sesma, daughter of Angelo and Elizabeth Adams. Ang served on Corsica with the 57th Bomb Wing, 340th Bomb Group, 486th Bomb Squadron. April 1944-April 1945.