January - July 1944
"After a few more days at Bari, I was flown to Sardinia, to be told I had been sent to the wrong place again..."

"We don't need no welders here. What else can you do? ..any experience typing?" I said some, had taken a typing course in high school, and got the job of doing the Supply Sergeant's typing in a little tent. The Supply Sergeant couldn't type, and spent most of the time drunk or had the shakes bad from drinking powdered lemon and water for alcohol. He couldn't hold a pencil if he wanted to. The Italians called it the "grappo", and it was the strongest drink in the whole of Europe I reckon, unless Russian vodka. I had some Russian vodka later when your Mom and I went over to Europe in 1994. It was so strong, it felt like the top of my hair was waving. One taste of that is all it taken for me."

(Allied control of the islands of Sardinia and Corsica allowed them to be used as air bases to prevent further invasion by the Axis along the Italian and French coastlines).

"About all the war we saw was our planes crashing on landing or taking off. One plane started down the runway, and they saw it was on fire, so they pulled off to one side and came out running. The 1,000 pound bomb that was inside the plane, didn't leave anything but a big hole of the area when it exploded. The French had a field a few miles from us. They were coming by to go on a raid, when we noticed one of the plane engines had quit. The plane made a perfect belly landing, until the plane came to a wide ditch in the wheat field behind our tents, and it broke open and all the bombs came out without expoding. No one was hurt in that crash."

"I got to stay about six months (January 28, 1944 to July 1944) in Sardinia, and I was glad, for I had it made. Besides typing, I also got to go with the truck to the port city of Cagliari to get supplies, and would go swimming in the blue water along the coast. Sardinia is a pretty country, with lots of mountains around."

"The people would travel around by two wheeled carts with their supplies. It was windy all the time on the island. One day, it blew so hard that it blew the top off of a stone block house, made from the local stones that comprised the mountains. A guy ran out who had been asleep. He had dust all over him. We had 2x4s around tents when we could get ahold of them, used as a brace to keep the tent from blowing down. Some tents were old. We had mosquito nets draped across each end of the canvas. The cot had a pup tent atop it to keep water from leaking through. We had mattress covers, canvas cots. I went out to the wheat fields, and filled the mattress with wheat. Alot better than just that canvas cot."

"We used homemade heaters, made from oil drums, to heat our tent. We would use 100 octane airplane fuel, sent through a copper pipe. It a wonder we didn't blow up. We even washed our clothes in it. It didn't smell bad after airing out, and it strictly got our clothes clean."

"Anyone could play some type of sport if they wanted to. I played basketball. On Sardinia, we had a clubhouse made with stone blocks (from the local mountains). We would play cards, read, or drink after supper. It's a wonder I didn't become an alcoholic, 99 percent of the guys did. The supply tent had a radio, but it wouldn't pick up anything much but a BBC station in England. They would say how many USA planes went on a bombing raid, and always say the British were out in force. The best setup I had with eating was at Sardinia also. We had white eggs from laying chickens behind the mess hall that were gotten from the big local farms. Had fresh eggs everyday, anyway we wanted them cooked. Lots better than the standard fare, which was powdered, dehydrated eggs."

"Never forget when I was about to be transferred back to Italy, an officer told me to take a motorcycle, with a side car, back to the hanger. I told him that I have never even been on a motorcycle. The hotshot officer told him to take it back to the hanger. So, I got on, spinned the wheels some, and eventually got it to the hanger. I managed to stop it. It's a wonder I didn't run into a building..."