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Serving Uncle Sam: A Military Life in WWll

Gerald Schwartz USAAC (USAAF) 1940 - 1945


Chapter 32: Amendola. Bulls, Sheep, Turkeys. Meals Fit For Kings. Working the Me-109. Russian Front

Oct 29.1943 Amendola. Italy. I went out scrounging this morning with Lt. Benedict, Sgt. Moulton, and several others, and we returned with bricks for fireplaces, bags of cement, and we 'confiscated' some turkeys, one of which I got.

Amendola Airbase

We went out again in the afternoon and killed two 800 pound bulls, and as we were returning to camp we passed a herd of turkeys. We stopped off to get some more gobblers, and I got two more. Back on the truck again, when we passed a herd of sheep and decided we needed fresh mutton.

We were all 'city slickers' except for one Texas boy, and he showed us how one throws a ewe onto a truck. He seized it by the wool on its back, then lifted it straight up over his head and threw it on the back of the truck! We stood there amazed, not by the strength of this country lad, but by the simple manner in which he accomplished something that we sophisticated former city dwellers could never have imagined!

Amendola 1944

"A" Flight is going to barbeque it, so we will have fresh meat for a few days anyway. We did not share this fresh meat with the rest of the squadron, because it was our own idea, and we felt that because we were obtaining materials to be used by the entire squadron, anything extra (like the turkeys and sheep) was of a personal nature, to be utilized by our own flight ('A' flight)!

Yesterday, a friend of mine, Al Schoenfield rejoined us after a long bout with Malaria. He returned from Algiers, hitch-hiking by air all the way. He has spent a lot of time in Army hospitals with malaria because once you get it, it keeps coming back!

Oct 29,1943: Things were quiet this morning, so I washed out a few clothes. I killed one of the gobblers, cleaned him, and hung hit up outside the tent for the night. In the morning Sgt. Spracks (one of the two Texas men in our tent) and I will salt him, and cook him in the afternoon. We should get about 4 gallons of soup. Our planes went out on only one strafing mission today. I finished my second bottle of champagne tonight.

Oct 30 ,1943:1 worked this morning on plane No.74, did a 50 hour inspection. After lunch Spracks and I cut the turkey and cooked him. We put in flour, diced potatoes, peppers, dehydrated onions and then cooked him. When tasting the soup, it was delicious ! We got a loaf of bread from a friend Glucksman (who swiped it while on guard duty last night). I got 2nds on tea during supper and brought it to the tent. The menu that night was soup, boiled turkey, bread, and topped off with a bottle of Champagne. For us, a veritable feast!

Nov Ist,1943:1 was supposed to go on pass today, but Is Sgt. Pettis said I couldn't go because there was too much work to be done. So I worked on Plane No. 81 for a while. 'C' Party arrived, and brought quartermaster supplies with them.

I tried to get to work on Lt Benedict's Me-109 (German fighter plane), but was nosed out by my friend Ceferino Vigil, who had asked before me.

Nov 2nd: I killed a gobbler, and cleaned, and cut him up, them put him in a 5 gallon can with water, to make soup. I slow-boiled him all afternoon, and when we ate him at night it was delicious. Brady got a bottle of whiskey and we all had a few snorts. We are told that we will soon get P-47s, and we know nothing about them. The news from the Eastern front is that the Russians have the Germans on the run along the whole front, and lack only 15 miles of cutting them off. There are 250,000 Germans in the Crimea!

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