Cabras as a young man from Villasor who
spent time with the 441st.
name is Luigi Cabras. I was born on 25 October
1927 in Villasor (CA).
speak of some facts regarding the period in which the
Military Airport of Decimo was occupied by the U.S.A.A.F.
having come from North Africa starting November 1943
and staying until September 1944. I want to specify
that the airport was completely prepared around 1937-38
on the Villasor’s territory. The airport was given the
name Decimomannu because that town is in a strategic
point. At that time, Decimomannu was a branch
point of the railroad from Cagliari to Sassari and the
railroad from Olbia toward Iglesias on the south west
of Sardinia where at that time it was said there
may be an Allied Landing.
is the town immediately north of the military airport.
Indeed, all of the encampments of the 320th and 319th
Groups were settled with the pyramidal tents among the
olive trees in the territory of Villasor.
like many other young boys, were authorized to enter
and to stay in the 441st B.S. to work. My work
in the camp was to clean up the camp beds and tidy the
area inside and out of the tents. My work was
also to keep watch on the tents when the American soldiers
were away so that strangers did not come near the tent
with any ideas to enter and steal something.
441st Bomb Squadron
the tent where I performed the work which I mentioned,
among others, there was an Italian-American, Joe Formichelli,
an elementary school teacher and Photographer. Because
of a delay in returning from a weekend in Tunisia, he
had been punished by being excluded on a bombing mission
as a photographer on board of the Marauder B-26. So
Joe stayed at home in the tent to do photography work
and to develop the rolls of film which contained the
images of the targets struck by others. So Formichelli
asked me to help him to excavate an area at the side
of the tent in order to create a “dark room”. In
the dark room, I often helped Joe in this work. Many
times I had seen photos taken during the bombardments
performed by the B-26 Marauders. I remember
one time when Joe told me, “See Louis, these are our
Marauders that fly upon Orvieto. The light on
the ground are the explosions of bombs.”
No. 22, our tent
it is important to tell what happened in the summer
of 1944 near our 441st B.S. We were all in our
tents, when we were shaken by an enormous crash of a
big explosion, followed immediately by many others.
Without lost time, we ran out with helmets
on our heads to take shelter in the ditch made for the
purpose of safety near the tent. Someone shouted
“These are German fly bombs!” Meanwhile, the explosions
continued and we felt falling chips around us among
the olive trees and the tent, but nobody was wounded.
In the end, the very strong explosions tapered
off. After a little waiting, we found that it
was exploded piles of American bombs that were among
the olive trees. The grass there was tall and very dry
and must have burned causing the deflagration of
the bombs. It was felt perhaps the bombs auto-combusted
due to the extreme heat. This occurred not far
from the 441st BS.
Antony Kramer, 441st
some time as an orderly, a bed opened up in the tent
and it was assigned to me. Consequently, I spent day
and night in the 441st B.S. This gave me great pleasure
in that it allowed for the possibility to better learn
the English language. At that time, Formichelli’s gramophone
often played country music which I liked very much.
The country music was new to me and I found it to
be very agreeable music. Johnny Antony Kramer who was
a Texan from Houston and called a cowboy, often put
on records of country music. I particularly remember
the song “San Anton Rose”. I can still sing to the very
nice music of that song. (Continued)