Mount Pleasant News

Mount Pleasant, IA

21 Mar 1945




Americans In Italy Under Tension

By Frank Miles

With the Fifth Army in Italy (INA) -- Despite fierce weather of heavy snow, ice, dense fogs and the Russians, British and American advances on Germany, Nazis facing the fifth army fire considerable artillery, hurl air bursts, slash with patrols, bomb from plans and lay thousands of mines. Terrain conditions prevent any widespread ground attacks by either side but every American in this sector is under high tension, which has characterized the war in Italy from the outset.

Often when a uniformed American drops a cigarette butt in an Italian city, a crowd of men and boys scramble for it.

In Florence recently after a furious mill over a real shot one, the GI, who tossed it, grinned.

"These guys here go after butts the good butt shooters in my home town wouldn't even look at."

Lt. Col. Mark T. Martin, a Des Moines newspaperman before going on active duty with the 34th division, had just returned -- a married man -- to his organization. He recently took 21 days leave and flew to London, where he married Miss Olive M Bowles, an English girl.

Col. Russell Jordan, of AMG in Italy, a Des Moines resident and former Polk County district judge, and I promised Colonel Martin that if he were to wed to the English girl, our wives and we would have high tea for them in Des Moines at 6 p.m. on a Sunday after the Germans and Japs are defeated.

Source: Mount Pleasant News, March 21, 1945

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