On this date in 1943, the men of the 36th Division, which included my uncle, 141st Reg, Cannon Co, invaded Salerno Italy. Regretfully this was done under the command of General Mark Clark. Clark had the no so brilliant idea of a sneak attack and sent these boys in without a naval bombardment. As soon as these brave soldiers hit the beach the Germans announced on a loudspeaker "Come on in and surrender, you're all surrounded". Of course they didn't surrender but fought to the death to establish a foothold on the beach. As they were blasted from the hills above Paestrum, only one cannon made it ashore, it was my uncle's unit. He fought on untill KIA on 12/12/1944 in Eastern France.
An incredible footnote, his brother, my uncle Orrville, served in the Navy and was delivering soldiers in a LST ship at Salerno !!! His ship was hit and he spent 14 hours in the water before being rescued. I don't know if they ever knew each other was at this brutal battle. May they both rest in peace along with the others that served their country well.
Edited by 36thID, 09 September 2009 - 09:40 PM.