Dad in Italy 1944
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5th November 2021 at 11:34 am #22258
I am trying to research my fathers service records.
I started, by using Ancestry.co, Could not find his records, for any service, I have tried the Gov site, and I have had a reply that they cannot find his records anywhere.
Unfortunately he passed away in 1993, and I never gave it a thought until recently to find out more about him.
I do know that he was an apprentice carpenter/cabinet maker, at the Shorts Brothers aircraft factory, in Swindon when the war broke out in 1939. I believe he was called up in 1942, at the age of 20, and he did some training in Scotland(as I have copies of a picture taken of him next to the Forth Road Bridge). He was there for best part of a year, as he unfortunately went down with Pneumonia twice, before he finally was sent to North Africa. From there on to Italy, and Naples. His diary from 1944 is scant but does give a number of places and dates.
March 22nd 1944 Vesuvius erupted, ending on 26th March. He climbed Vesuvius on April 1st(he came home with some lava rock with Italian coins embedded. Nothing then until June 3rd when he was told he was on the Draft for the liberation of Rome.
June 4th Left Naples at 06:00 for Castellammare.
June 5th Embarked at 12:00 departed at 17:00 on LCT720
After 2 bad days and nights at sea, they arrived at Porto-Vecchio Corsica.
From Corsica, they eventually left for Rome on June 14th, arriving on 18th.
September 30th Left for Foggia, then on to Porto St Giorgio, with the main party arriving on the 22nd.
That is all I have. I do not have his service number. I have not seen any WW2 war medals. I believe he was in the Royal Engineers, as he was involved in building/ repairing ship landings.
Any help would be great. I have a couple of photos of him in his uniform with and without a cap, I cannot determine which unit the cap badge represents, that I can post.
5th November 2021 at 7:09 pm #22259
I recommend that you go on the http://www.ww2talk.com website and post the same information there.
I am a battlefield guide for Italy and I am struggling to understand why he would go from Castellamare to Corsica to Rome at that time. Rome was liberated on 5 Jun 44 so it seems more sensible to go straight there by road from Naples.
7th November 2021 at 12:13 pm #22260
Thanks for your reply Frank,
I will post the same on the ww2talk.com website.
No I do not understand either, unless their plans were changed, as Rome was not defended during the liberation…
7th November 2021 at 7:55 pm #22261
The liberation of Rome was an entirely American affair – the British Eighth Army was still too far south to have any impact on securing the city.
He may have been told on 3 Jun 44 that he was a battle casualty replacement for a unit that had suffered heavily at the Fourth and final Battle of Monte Cassino that had started on 11 May 44.
10th November 2021 at 9:32 pm #22262
It was suggested on WW2Talk, that I should confirm with the MOD, that they did a search, as their letter suggested that I had not given enough information for them to check.
I emailed them, and they have replied today that their letter was correct, and that they had carried out a search, and did not find anything on my father.
There does seem to be some confusion on the WW2talk thread that he had a Royal Marines cap badge, and not a Royal Engineer one which we thought.
But I did come across a thread on WW2Talk, from Sapper which was started back in 2008, called Scotland. The assault training, (246. RE), that all 3Rd army training was moved to Scotland in March 1943. Which might explain dad saying he trained in Scotland…
11th November 2021 at 3:41 pm #22263
I have checked at 246 Fd Coy RE were not in Italy so he must have moved Fd Coys after Scotland.
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