February 2, 1944 – Wednesday

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SONY DSCWell from here on and until Feb 27th I have been unable to keep up with my diary.   Everyone on the beach head has to work in order to stay here. This is the toughest of all landings that I have ever been in. Jerry can shell us from every point and can reach us any place on the beach head. Jerry counter attacks all of the time and his dead and our dead are mounting up. As I said before we are on the alert to be used as infantry but mean time everyone has been working night and day you get little rest whatsoever. I was out on bridge guard for a while and we pulled three hours on and three off. By the time you would get to sleep you had to get up. We had it pretty safe for a while but soon Jerry spotted us and had shelled us for nine straight days. I was getting so used to it that a shell would have to be within 25 yards before I would hit the dirt. One day they shelled our bridge and set off our prime Cord. Lucky for us that we didn’t have the T.N.T. connected up or little Charlie wouldn’t be here to day. They used to hit the house we stayed in with Aerial burst but shrapnel never did come into the room we were in! They bombed all around us all of the time and I’m telling you my nerves are getting shot. We layed mine field out ahead of the infantry, put up barb wire entanglements, booby trapped mine field, get into scraps with patrols. Every thing you can think of and there seems to be no relief in sight. This is one landing that the army made where they made a mess of it. They expected Jerry to retreat from Cassino which he didn’t do and now we are paying the penalty for it. They thought the 3rd Division was too big for its pants, but they should have remembered that the 3rd is not the same 3rd they hit Sicily and Italy with. Jerry can look right down our throats and shoot at us, which he does. This has been the bloodiest battle I have ever been in. “D” Company has lost 35 men. We have been very lucky so far we have lost two and C and Hq Co 17 and 5 each. That’s a lot of men for an Engineer outfit. The infantry are worse yet. Some Companies don’t even have enough men to make a platoon out of them. Everyone seems to be getting killed off. Really if the people at home knew what this was like they would die of fright. We get or I should say the infantry gets replacements every day, but still Jerry keeps coming.  One infantry outfit has the Germans stacked up out in front of them so high that tanks can go up and lay their gun barrel over the top of them and fire. That’s exaggerating it a little, but it’s just about that bad. Many things have happened that I have forgotten about at the present time so I will just forget them.

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