George "Aravich" Avery

Excerpt from "I Remember Anzio" memoir of George (Aravich) Avery, Co A,84th Cml Mortar Bn
Source: www.4point2.org, a site dedicated to many Chemical Batallions

Landings to the Mussolini Canal

We were given short warning that we were to leave our camp at Pienura. And, as usual, rumors began to circulate: going to England, going to southern France, going home! It was a game I stayed away from. Maybe rumors were a form of hope, or self delusion or masochism. Secrets are kept very well in the Army, only shared with those with the need to know.

We moved as a complete battalion attached to the 3rd Inf Div and that fact alone let us know that wherever we were going it would not be pleasant. The 3rd were veterans of North Africa, Sicily and Salerno and were involved in every major engagement. Driving into the seaport town of Pozzuoli, we headed directly to the docks where a massive group of ships was gathered at the piers as well as anchored offshore. Ships dockside were being loaded at a steady rate and it was apparent that we were some of the last to arrive. We were driven to an LST (Landing Craft Transport) and immediately boarded. Dozens of little kids were at dockside chanting "Anzio," "Anzio, Joe," and begging for cigarettes and candy. Adults were roaming the docks selling oranges, walnuts, "cherry brandy" and "cognac." Old women were begging for food with outstretched arms.

A troop transport direct from New York was moored close to us, and had been there for days. These troops were going unassigned to Anzio, having not yet set foot on Italian soil, and were destined to supply the replacement depots - repple depple in infantry talk. Our hearts went out to them. And, for the very first time, we crossed paths with the 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion. It had joined the war somewhere in Sicily, but had skipped action in Italy for reasons unknown, and was being loaded aboard a LST of its own.

Aboard ship we were invited to make ourselves at home. Part of the LST was occupied by some soldiers of the 3rd Div but, for the most part, we and they kept to ourselves. Having no sleeping quarters, we were fed hot Navy food on deck in mess gear with unlimited coffee served in galvanized garbage cans heated over gas burners and left on deck all night. I have never forgotten that thoughtfulness. I chose to sleep under a truck carrying who knows what on the open deck. We were issued bandoliers of rifle ammo, hand grenades and three chocolate bars.

Now we really knew. These chocolate bars were given to us almost always when there was to be a prolonged battle and food might be short. The chocolate is as hard as a rock, has to be cut to be eaten, never melts, can be carried in your pocket for days and substituted for food.

The following dawn the entire convoy (history says 50,000 American and British troops) set sail in a calm sea, on a beautiful cloudless sunny day. None of us knew where our destination (Anzio) was. Toward late afternoon there was friendly air traffic high above us that every once in a while made its appearance until night fell. Late that night, the sergeants were called by our officers and returned with maps and instructions.

Captain Seigling was to lead us ashore, a first for him. We were in the second wave to come in with our water-proofed jeeps carrying mortars and mortar ammo. The first wave, some minutes ahead of us on our beach, consisted of Rangers and Canadian Special Service Forces.

Dawn came and the land looked so flat and level. We were to go to a wooded area marked on the maps and wait for orders from the 3rd. As we approached a beach just at the edge of the city of Anzio, the naval guns were bombarding the Nettuno-Anzio area producing fires, black smoke and dense dust. For the first time, we experienced rocket ships firing hundreds and hundreds of rockets onto the beach. The German air force made an appearance with a bombing run that ended somewhere between our line of ships. The sky now was full of exploding shells and we all were in our helmets (what goes up, must come down). Guns from all the ships were firing at German planes, and we came under a shower of falling hot metal fragments. The noise was awful. Just ahead of us, a British transport had run into a sea mine, was overturned and burning, with the sea full of equipment and men.

We had grounded on the beach, as intended. The ramps were down, and off we drove, expecting to run into German fire. In the sea behind us the 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion was caught in an attack bombing run, their LST aflame and sinking miles from shore. By now the battle was in the sky confused with American, British, and German airplanes putting us on the ground anxious as to where all these bullets were going.

No German artillery fire raked the beach and there was no rifle fire. The only Germans we saw were dead. We raced through the shambles that were Anzio, with no Italian in sight, no barking dogs, no pleading children. In a very short time we were in our wooded assembly area. We dug deep holes and twice that day were subjected to bombing and strafing runs. We had not yet fired a mortar round or used our rifles. As we were required to wait, and nothing seemed to be happening, we posted guard and went to sleep.

At dawn we were aboard a 3rd Inf Div truck on the way to a proposed gun position. The driver drove here and there never quite sure where he was. Lost! Parts of the beach were under heavy artillery fire. We set up two guns and fired some rounds at a road block, at last being of some help. In a very short time the infantry had advanced so quickly we were out of range. Night found us moving forward, pulling our mortar carts through the early night hours to a new position established on a railroad bed. I ran a phone line to an observer and we started receiving targets against German rear guard locations. For two days, we fired peacefully from this location without any return German fire. Soon we found ourselves out of range and moved again.

Our new location found us on the banks of the Mussolini Canal, and the nature of the fighting on the beach head was changing. Three German soldiers were shot behind our gun position that night which meant that patrols were out. It was here that we were given new carbines and surrendered our old .03 Springfield Rifles.

We did not know it at the time, but we had found our home on Anzio. The Mussolini Canal was about 250 feet wide, had earth banks and, if you stepped off the banks, you dropped into 10 to 20 feet of water. It was plain to us that we were going into a defensive position.

History informs me that by the fourth day of our landing, the Germans had eight divisions at the beach front line with five more divisions on the way from Germany. In North Africa we faced 100,000 German and Italian troops which equaled the number of Germans used to contain the Allies on the beach head.

We were now providing mortar fire, while still attached to the 3rd Inf Div, to Brig General Fedrick's Canadian-American 1st Special Service Force of 2,000 men (not to be confused with the American Special Services whose task it was to supply the Army's recreational needs). Also, this part of the front was held by sections of the 2nd and 3rd Ranger Battalions consisting of another 2,000 men.

To prepare for an attack that was to take place against Cisterna, we had taken some mortars and were walking at night to reinforce an already occupied mortar position manned by Co. B This location had earned the name, "The Rabbit Farm" but I don't know why. A large group of Rangers were passing through us and we were instructed to get off the road until the unit had passed. A ship exploded in Anzio harbor and lit up our area just about turning night into day. We were able to see in every direction. A desperate fire fight broke out just a few hundred yards in front of us. Germans were approaching the same point on the road ahead that the Rangers were going to fortify. All of us were exposed by the ship burning at Anzio, and the fire fight turned into a battle before a battle. We mortar men could not move because we had no cover to protect us. This fight went on through the night for about eight hours. We dug holes and were unintended targets of German flack wagons (self propelled anti-aircraft guns) that roamed the area firing 20mm shells into the line. We were given orders to return to the canal which we did as soon as it was feasible, or maybe even a little before, since we were afraid to be caught by daylight. Smoke shells fired from the Rabbit Farm marked the German position at dawn and scores of artillery pieces broke up the German advance.

In a very short time, our "holes" at the canal were improved. They got deeper and roofs of railroad ties were added. As time passed, we connected holes with shallow trenches. The banks of the canal began to look like an ant hill. Almost from the beginning, there was the least possible movement at the line in daylight. Every observable movement brought gunfire of some sort. The mortars were in use every hour. We were targeting every known German position so that when the time came we would not have to search for targets. Nightly we were visited by a German plane dubbed "Bedcheck Charlie" whose deadly duty it was to strafe and disturb our sleep until driven away. Major activity of the German air force took place daily night and day at Anzio and Nettuno against the ships being unloaded there.

When possible, we were fed at night, with a hot meal cooked in our field kitchen in the rear and brought to us when the jeeps brought ammo for the guns. This service was not to be counted on, as priority belonged to the mortar ammo so, if room ran short, the guns came first.

The entire front was alerted for a major effort by the Germans that was designed to push us into the sea. We were issued an order that defined a "do or die" line and were shocked to learn that our group was already entrenched there! Five days of worry and stress before the attack materialized.

I myself, along with four mortars, 24 men to man them, four telephone linemen, two machine gun crews and Lt. DeAmore, had moved in the rain pulling our little carts to a location known as "The Dairy." It was already in use by some of our mortars and had gained a reputation. Once a farm community, the group of stone buildings had been pounded by German guns into a mass of rubble that served as a makeshift fortress. The cellars were intact and afforded a place where we could rest. A kind of sinkhole depression behind the buildings offered an ideal protected spot for our mortars. Only a direct hit coming from above could reach the spot but people died here nevertheless. From this spot, mortars had been firing against a number of attacks by the Germans against the canal and we were the cause of much death and destruction. This gun pit was so crowded that the forward guns could not fire if the ones in the second row were in use. The men of the 3rd Inf Div shared this hole, and tank destroyers would drive up at night using the shattered buildings for cover while they fired their 100 rounds into the German ranks, leaving before daylight. Ernie Pyle, the infantryman's journalist, wrote of the location calling it "a war within a war." My hand trembles as I write of the memory. We were always subject to bombardment but one attempt to silence us took the form of a barrage of "screaming meemies" (our name for the German multiple rocket launcher) every 15 minutes for 18 hours. Unforgettable.

Counterattack

On the banks of the Mussolini Canal, looking at the vista before you, you don't have to be a general to know what the next step in this war would have to be. Off in the distance, before you can get to the highway that leads to Rome, you can see Cisterna, beyond that Cori, and at the base of the mountains, Valmontone.

Bracing for the German counterattack that must come, all were busy finding the range and zeroing in on every strong point known. Every conceivable target marked. Engineers working at night to build a field of land mines at the road junctions.

The Special Service force had sent out a night patrol that reached Cisterna returning with some German captives and information for a sheltered route up some ditches to Cisterna. The following day the 2nd Rangers were assembled behind a railroad embankment serving as their point of departure for an attack. The Rangers were commanded by Col. Darby. I had run a phone line from our nearest gun to his command post under a bridge at the line of departure, and carried a radio that linked with the 84th and 2nd Rangers in case it was needed. That night the 2nd moved off through a deep ditch and made their way to Cisterna as did the patrol before them. When dawn broke, the day was clear except for the ditch which was covered in ground fog along with heavy morning mists covering the Pontain marshes. Observation was not possible. Where the Special Service force's patrol had found lightly held strong points, the 2nd Rangers discovered that they were in the midst of a regiment of the Hermann Goering Panzer's, resulting in 767 Rangers caught in an ambush at a place called Compoleone (before Cisterna). A one-sided fire fight began for which they were unable to retreat, being cut off by tanks to their rear. Machine gun emplacement made it impossible to leave the ditch. A half-day fight went on against tanks, machine guns, mortar and rifle fire: 4 or 6 men returned to Col. Darby at the end of the day out of the original 767. I returned to our observation post well aware that someday we would be forcing our way into Cisterna.

A second attempt was made by the 3rd Inf. to reach Cisterna, and had penetrated its outskirts, but met such resistance no progress whatever was made. After the loss of 800 men dead, a retreat was called and the 3rd returned to their jumping off line. One half of Co A was moved to the 45th Inf. at a location we called "The Flyover," an underpass under the rail line at the front where we spent a night and a day firing our mortars into German ranks making an attack supported by tanks. We would drop white phosphorous shells onto incoming tanks and the resulting smoke gave aiming points for war ships firing from Anzio harbor. Their big caliber guns made an awful scream as they approached low overhead. Spitfire airplanes were used against tanks at this location. The Flyover engagement was the other side of the coin - we could not take Cisterna and they could not get by this one small strong point. How much room does a road under a railroad take? Thousands of men were involved with the Germans dropping back on the third day. Complete exhaustion ruled. No pursuit was made. We were left to rest that night and the next day. We mortar men returned to our canal position the following night.

The expected German counter attack came at dawn on 16 Feb. The entire beachhead was alive with artillery fire. Much movement was reported in front of the canal but the major thrust fell on the British miles away, in the center of the line. We fell under a sustained barrage and the German infantry (the Lehr Infantry Regiment) were up out of their holes and on the move toward the canal protecting us. They faced an unbelievable rain of artillery fire. Every gun on the beachhead had prepared for this and, whenever a concentration of German infantry was reported, dozens of guns were turned to that area. Behind the approaching German infantry were tanks and mobile half-tracked self-propelled "flack wagons" bringing us under fire from 88's, 20mm guns and machine guns. Crashing shells, machine gun fire, exploding grenades, flaring star shells and tracer bullets made the night alive. German tanks were working their way up the road from Aprilla. The 84th was firing in two directions against tanks and I saw our shells bouncing off of turrets. We named the road from Aprilla "The Bowling Alley" since it was as straight as an arrow. It was a clear shot at anyone riding that road. Of course, they also had a clear shot in the opposite direction. Many tanks and tank destroyers were engaged this day. A tank burns for days if it is hit and their smoke added to the haze that was forming over the battlefield from dust thrown up, fires burning and guns firing. The German air force was active and presented a great danger to us men in the holes because of strafing. By the third morning, the battle had gotten so close we were shooting Germans at our gun pits. No words can give you a picture of the fire power being expended in this attack. For the British, the afternoon of the second day was so decisive that the entire fire power of the artillery was concentrated on the road at Compo Leone. Allied air power from the entire Italian front was called to action at this spot. From our position at the canal the effect of these air strikes was like a volcano in full eruption.

Casualties appeared to mean nothing to the Germans as the Lehr Regiment continued its forward movement in front of us. They advanced simply through weight of numbers. Then, as suddenly as it began, the Germans started to pull away from their contacts all along the 10-mile beachhead front line, leaving behind their dead, equipment, guns and ammunition, carrying very little back with them. 

They were not pursued. It had been three unbelievable nights and days of death and destruction. We ate hot food, the engineers replaced disrupted mine fields that night, and the following night almost everyone on the lines assisted in the stringing of barbed wire.
Between 16-20 February, the U.S. VI Corps lost 5,000 men killed, wounded, missing or from exposure. German casualties were considerably more. General Lucas, who never left his underground headquarters at Nettuno was replaced by General Truscott on 20 February. We did not know it at the time but the battle for Anzio was to tum static after this major thrust. A state of siege was to set in.

Static Beachhead

The Germans had exhausted themselves in the last major effort to drive us into the sea. That is not to say that it became peaceful on the beachhead after these attacks and counter attacks. Far from it. Nightly air attacks were the norm and could be counted on no matter what the weather - strafing runs against the front line, bombing runs against the ships in the harbor. German artillery was active day and night, directed toward any target that could be found.

But the nature of the battle had changed. It was no longer a battle of attacks and counter attacks. That type of action was replaced by patrolling, with some patrols in company strength. All daylight hours were spent trying to keep out of the sight of German observers and we did not move about on the line unless some action was required. Patrolling became the ceaseless night activity on both sides.

In going into defensive positions, the agony of Anzio became something more personal, more confined, and generated great nerve strain from being in close proximity to the enemy for long hours that turned into days, the days into weeks, and the weeks into months. The bulk of casualties were caused by enemy air raids and artillery fire, especially artillery fire.

The 84th found itself in a most fortunate situation at this time for this type of warfare. We were sharing the line with the Canadian-American 1st Special Service Forces who's specialty (and reason for being) was patrolling behind enemy lines. And this regiment was so effective in what they did that the Germans were forced to distance their established line 1,000 yards further from the canal at our location.

As time passed, new procedures, never seen before, surfaced in our fighting at Anzio. Artillery was so organized, and communications between units became so web like, that the more than 450 big guns, and the naval guns from the harbor, and our heavy mortars, were able to fire by one command. A fire command post existed that had the ability to calculate ballistics so that if German infantry were spotted assembling in an area, an order came to us requesting fire at a given coordinate at a given time to the minute. Even though we would fire but a single round, our shell was timed to land at the same moment that hundreds of others arriving at the target. The procedure was dubbed TOT (Time On Target) and, when used, was an awesome thing to observe. Every one was interested when a TOT was scheduled. The night became alive with shells passing overhead at the same moment, the great flash as they fell to earth, the sound like a roar and rumble, the smoke and flames of destruction. You had to feel for those whose lot it was to fall under this deadly shower!

The proximity fuse for artillery shells was introduced by the artillery on Anzio. In place of the shell hitting the ground, exploding, sending earth and shrapnel in every direction, the shell had a special device that was set so that the shell would explode at some predetermined height above the ground, raining shrapnel down onto all those below it. Barrages from artillery using the proximity fuse looked like anti-aircraft fire, with all those black puffs of smoke brought to almost ground level.

An airfield (which I never saw) was established just outside of Nettuno where Spitfires with American pilots landed to refuel, saving the hundred mile trip to the Naples area. These Spitfires were airborne during daylight hours providing protection to the ships in the harbor. But at dusk they left for their Naples home.

"Bedcheck Charlie" was the name given to the German plane that arrived each night to strafe and bomb the ten-mile beachhead perimeter. I can not remember if anyone ever shot down one of these planes.

"Bouncing Bettys" was the name we gave to a bomb dropped from German airplanes that exploded high in the air, scattering an assortment of smaller bombs, some exploding when they hit the ground, some bouncing back up into the air to explode at the height of a man, others burying themselves in a scattered pattern in the ground where they acted as land mines waiting for someone to step on them before exploding. This bomb was feared because you could not move around until the land mine parts were located.

"The Chandelier" was a device dropped by a German pathfinder plane on those nights that we were subjected to an air attack in force. Dropped from a great height, it floated down slowly, supported by parachutes, and lit the entire beachhead in a very intense bright white light exposing all. It took minutes to float to the earth, minutes that seemed like hours.

"Anzio Annie" was a gigantic caliber gun (280mm) that fired mostly into the rear areas making an awesome hole in the ground. It fired from such a great distance we did not hear the initial blast or see the muzzle flash, but we did hear it passing overhead and could see the monumental explosion at its landing. Our air force was never able to silence this long range gun. It was abandoned by the Germans after our breakout.

"Axis Sally" was an English-speaking disc jockey who transmitted from the German side, providing us with the latest popular American music, and could be heard on almost every frequency on our radios. Sexy voiced, she taunted us soldiers on Anzio, assuring us that all the draft dodgers were having a good time with our girls back home while we lay in the foxholes on Anzio needlessly. "Why not drop your guns and come over to the German side." Each new outfit that arrived on the beach at this time was greeted by Axis Sally by the outfit's name. That made an impression.

"The Ladder" was a special artillery firing order that was perfected at this time to protect the line from any tank movement that was reported on the Bowling Alley, that straight stretch of road leading from Cisterna to the front line. When the ladder was called, artillery shells fell in the ditches on both sides of the road, and at a given distance, like the rungs of a ladder, shells fell in a line across the roadway. It turned out to be a most effective tank stopper.

"The Snake" was developed by the engineers and was used to clear mine fields placed by the Germans in front of positions. The engineers fashioned long lengths of pipe that they filled with explosives. These pipes were pushed by a tank into the mine field and the tank gunner would use his machine gun to fire onto the pipe exploding it and the land mines around it for yards. A very effective but sensitive device since sometimes the snake exploded before it was supposed to.

But best of all was a unit that the 3rd Div set up in Padglione Wood where we would be sent, five at a time, to get a hot meal and a hot shower and a change of uniform. I used these facilities once in four months so you can understand how welcome the chance to "go to the showers" were.

I became ill with malaria which gave me a fever and hallucinations and so I spent some days at a hospital on the beachhead. We called this hospital "Hells Half Acre." It was semi- underground with the tents set up in pits surrounded with sand bags. This area received some shelling and nurses died there. Malaria at that time was considered a non-battle casualty and, when my fever broke, I returned to the canal.

Part of my job at this time was to take a telephone out ahead of our position some nights as ordered, to see what was to be seen and report back via the phone. I dragged the phone wire as I moved forward from a spool resting on my back in a special harness that allowed the wire to unwind as I progressed. This particular night, as I was moving out into the field, a star shell went up so I laid still until it burnt itself out. This happened two more times before I realized that because I had a defective spool of wire, which made a clicking sound in its sprocket as I moved ahead, the Germans in front of me were trying to find the source of this metallic sound in the night. I dropped into a hole, hooked up the phone and called back to tell the observer what was happening. He told me to abandon the wire spool and return. A small tank was cruising the field in search of the noise and a fire fight developed over my head with mortars firing at the tank and infantry firing into the darkness (both sides) just in case some one was attacking. I returned shaken.

The 3rd Div (our boss, you remember) set up a system whereby individual soldiers from different attached outfits were pulled from the front line by lottery and were sent off the beachhead for a 7 day- rest. I was lucky enough to be chosen from Co. A. So about 600 of us, all strangers to each other, were loaded onto a LCI (Landing Craft Infantry) and were carried back to Caserta, the headquarters of the 5th Army. On the trip, which only took a few hours at sea, I gave a sailor a German hand gun, a P38, that he offered to buy from me. In a very short time he returned and gave me an entire baloney and a gallon tin of fruit salad. A group of us sat on the deck and ate the whole thing.

Caserta was a town we had fought for and it was strange to be back there under army restrictions So many officers, so many places off limits. But nice to get warm showers and clean clothes. I do not recall much about these seven days except that there were movies to go to, books and magazines to read, cots to sleep on, and a mess hall to eat in with dishes on the table. And, of course, no one shooting at us.

When I returned to the beachhead on 18 May 1944, I was promoted to corporal. No more wire pulling now. I had only to use the phone.

Could you believe that I was glad to be back with my group? Something strange happens to you when you are relieved from the line. After not standing during the day, and always moving at a half crouch when you do move, as you work your way to the rear, you begin to feel more and more at ease so that when you reach the area where the tanks and artillery are stationed, you walk upright and unconcerned. By the you reach the area where the cooks, medics, and ammunition handlers work, you walk upright, straight and tall, whistling, knowing that no one is trying to kill you. And it is very humorous to see men actually nervous in these areas.

Letters to Alice from the beachhead

These excerpts are from my letters written (every day when I could) in combat to my then girl friend, Alice, in New Jersey, who has been my wife since 1946 and who saved all these letters.

29 January 1944 "...a martial night. Moonless, clear, dark, quiet in an awful way. Glow worms dimly trace a clear path cut by a truck crossing a soggy field. A martial night born for superlative exertions clean skin how young it makes even the oldest of them look! New and nice and shiny, awkward, over equipped, scared, content to stay in the background, The Young Innocents, some replacements have arrived naive, shamed at our profanity, interested in the display of pistols, munitions, our apparent lack of concern. Fresh off the boat. I have seen myself as I must have looked when I first walked down the gangplank: in Africa ever so long ago..."

31 January 1944 "...The man that did the censoring and added the line 'me too' to my Lt's. regards knows me far better than most folks do, The three of us, eat, work, and sleep together, and that's close, my love. Do you sleep under the same blank:ets as your boss? We 3 spend the days and nights doing the same work and have gotten to know each other very well. They were the ones who were censoring my mail. They are not personal about it I know, out here nothing is personal but I'm trying to hang on to my last private thread..."

8 February 1944 "... what an ideal Bohemian life I am living! That thought has never come to me until today. A day to day existence with no money involved. I own a suit of clothes, live where ever I can had a roof not caring who might be living under that roof at the time. My food is eaten out of cans, I work if it pleases me, and I am careless in my speech. Anyone's newspaper is my newspaper, I keep nothing as my own and accept as a fact that strangers are my friends and I care not a cent for formality. How simple life has become..."

22 February 1944 "...I was in the hospital because of malaria when my headache was gone, I stole my clothes and left I rejoined my outfit where my CO looked me in the eye and said, 'Came back AWOL? tich, tich' ..."

29 February 1944 "...My cohort and myself were trouble shooting a telephone line early this afternoon and we ran across a seedy looking gent who carried a newsreel camera. He took a few shots of us as we were fixing a break in the wire and we did a dive for him like we do when Jerry sends us a 'floating boxcar' (that lovable railroad gun)...the pictures were taken in a muddy ditch. My pal is a tall lanky guy and I'm the one wearing a telephone across my shirt. There's some barbed wire above me and some smoke in the background. You might find the pictures..."

8 March 1944 "...have some newspapers (Jan 3rd) to read. They all give the impression that the war is almost over. Our newspaper, The Stars And Stripes, agrees, after a fashion: 'It's all over but the fighting' ...""

13 March 1944 "...a beef cow got shot (somehow or other) so we have fresh steaks for supper, dinner, and breakfast. I don't know where from, but a pound of fresh butter showed up too... reminds me of the time I heard Jerry's nebelwerfer (and met my first Tommy on the beachhead). We were in a jeep and that ol' screaming meanie started to come and come and come. We evacuated in a hurry. And the Tommy came up the road bold as brass. He looked at us in wonder, 'Hi, say, move your bloody car, They are landing a mile away, don't you know'...""

25 March 1944 "...I've been to a rest camp for 2 days. Having fun. A beautiful  spot that lives up to its name. There were movies to go to and showers to take. I have an entire new uniform to parade in. We had a G.I. band that played a few hours for us. There was talk that the Red Cross Ladies were to present each and every soldier here with doughnuts and, but for some reason they never showed up. After being washed and dressed up so pretty, we were lined up for a general to look see while he gave us a few choice words..."