Mt. Pleasant News

Mt. Pleasant, IA

10 Feb 1945




Slope Is Target For Nazi Shells

By Frank Miles

With the Fifth Army in Italy (IDPA) -- "Jerry artillerymen make our slope a target range! See, they have busted our window but they haven't got a dead hit on the house yet." It was Lt. Robert Jones, Dickens, talking with a smile. He and other GIs were in the cellar of an old building used as a 91st division headquarters in the Apennine mountains. The window pane had been replaced with oil paper and several cracks in it had been taped together.

"Concussion from the explosions shakes and breaks things here," the officer added. "You just missed a nice one."

Darkness caused by a snow storm and heavy fog made use of candles in the room necessary, though some light came from a wood blaze in a fireplace.

"Have some chow with us," invited Lieutenant Jones. "We get only sweet rolls and coffee at noon -- breakfast and supper are cooked for us seven miles back and brought up by trucks."

The telephone rang. The GI who answered handed the receiver to Jones.

"Yes, we'll try to get you some help over there," he said, then talked in code.

"I'm from Iowa, too," informed one of the men. "I heard you speak in our town in 1941." He was Staff Sgt. Lyle C. McClearly, Galva.

"And so am I," from another soldier. He was T-5 Herbert Tesdall, Huxley.

"These Iowa guys will be hard to get along with now that they know they're going to get their names in the paper," joked a tall Michigander, "but they're pretty good Joes."

Source: Mount Pleasant News, February 10, 1945

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