Back in Naples, it would be nearly two months before the Southern France invasion which came on the 15th of August. Some LCTs came trickling back a few days later. There was no evidence of battle damage, only breakdowns. The crews told of a dry run. They'd had a worse time of it in the practice runs in the Bay of Naples.

About the end of September, we went back to Palermo. The Captain had music piped into his mess hall now, and The Mills Brothers were singing,

What was left of the staff of Flotilla 10 the second time at Palermo. Those identifiable are: kneeling from left to right: Hutch, Goldie, Blanchette, DiPanfilio, Bomarito. I am partially covered in back of Goldie. Between me and Blanchette is Pappy Broderson. First standing row:#l Lt. Downey, #2 Lord, #4 Jake Messar, #6 Charlie Miller, #9 Keefe, #10 Frankie Sorentino. In the last row:#2 Berrish, #3 Sulka, #6 Chuck Biroscak, #9 Bruce, #11 Kegly.

"Paper Doll," and absentee ballots for Roosevelt's fourth term were being passed out. I would have voted for him but I wasn't old enough. The stay here was a short one, for most of the craft were laid up with their crews gone home. By the end of October we were on our way back to Karouba.

We were on old ground again, the plan of the day and uniform of the day were the law of the land. Being in transit, we were sort of a universal work pool.

We had borne the brunt, rode the crest, and were now relegated to the role of a lackey, and I guess there's nothing new about that.

After a short stay, some of us were sent up to Southern France. Once again the old workhorse LST was used. Out of Bizerte with a short stop at Naples, we headed up to Marseille.

This LST was showing the wear as well as the men. Amidship stretching almost to the waterhne was a long crack varying with the rise and fall of the ship to more than an inch at its widest point, hi addition, the ship reeked from the coating of dried vomit, etc. on the tank deck. On the previous stormy trip, that had opened the crack, they had been carrying a load of Goumiers to Southern France. These soldiers although excellent fighters were not seamen and not too well aquatinted with the ways of the world. Natures call was answered when and where it came.

hi the course of the afternoon following our departure from Naples, I was making a tour of the ship. While passing through the troops quarters where the dirty canvas bottoms of the bunks were folded back against the bulkhead, I came across an open row. The lone occupant was laying face up on the bare canvas of the middle bunk. His shoulder patch was the familiar blue and white diagonal stripes of the 3rd division. On his chest was a copy of, "The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayym." At his side, between himself and the bulkhead, was an Ml rifle. A large wicker jug of vino rested on the deck. His boots were well worn like all infantrymen.

Upon hearing me approach, his hand flew to his rifle. I spoke to him and he relaxed. I commented about the book he was reading. He smiled and said, "That old tentmaker was quite a guy."

"I know," and I repeated a couple of fragments. "A jug of wine, a loaf of bread... Guests star scattered on the grass..."

"Well, I'll be damned, a pissy assed kid quoting Omar Khayyam! I don't believe it! Where'd you learn that?"

"A year or so, they sent some books over from the States..."

"A year or so ago?" he repeated as he swung his legs over the edge and sat upright. "A damned pissy assed kid quotes Omar Khayym and tells me he's been over here as long as I have. I don't believe it."

He took a long drink from the jug and offered me some. I declined. Wartime vino was too unpredictable.

We launched into stories of the various towns we'd both visited. Eventually the conversation got around to war. Knowing the record of the third, Audie Murphy and Commando Kelly, I mentioned the fact that there must be a lot of heroes in the division.

A terrible sadness crept into me soldier's eyes. "No kid. There ain't no heroes in the third...they're all dead." He finished the vino and said, "I think I'll rest my eyes." With that the conversation ended.

Suddenly alone, I became aware that the opened seam ran down this very compartment, and the red reflections of the setting sun were alternately filling the place like a wound opening and closing with the ship's movements. the empty jug rolled to and fro on the filthy deck.

The harbor at Marseille with its unique bridge in upraised position.

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