B-26 Marauder 320th Bomb Group

 

An Historical Account of the Time I Spent With the 441st at Decimo & Corsica in 1944
by Luigi Cabras of Villasor, Sardinia

 

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Good Friends

 

 
 

Robert J. Blue, 441st B. S.

I had known many American friends, but the names I remember are very few. I cannot forget Robert Blue, however, who gave me as a present a small gold chain for friendship. Robert Blue came from the United States directly to Sardinia to be with the 441st. His age was only a little more than twenty years old. I remember he was very anxious to fly in a mission with the Marauder B-26 in war action. Another name I remember is Bluston and Cambewort, a violinist who slept in a tent near mine.

I also knew a pilot by the name of Robinsky who brought laundry for washing to my mother at my home in Villasor after she was recommended by his friend who slept in my tent. He, like others, brought laundry to my mother when I myself was not able to do it. In regard to Captain Robinsky, I remember one time when he came to my home with me in a jeep. We were bringing more laundry and picking up some that had already been washed and ironed. Out of his laundry bag he also drew out a tissue of a parachute that was made of silk saying to my mother that he would like to have two scarves embroidered with a B-26 on the border. One was for himself and the other for our friend. My mother said, “yes”. The next time you come for your laundry the scarves will be done. And so it was.

Another time when Robinsky came to my home a beautiful thing happened. In addition to his clean laundry, my mother gave Robinsky a very nice pocket watch. Robinsky when he saw the watch was amazed and embraced my mother who was very moved. He was heartily thankful because he said he had finally found his watch that he thought he had lost. My mother found the watch in a pocket of a pair of pants. Robinsky said that it was a gift from his wife.

I also knew a staff sergeant of the American Red Cross in the 437 B.S. of the 319th BG. His name was George Wiley. He came to my home with the ambulance to bring laundry for washing. One day he gave to me as a souvenir; a bracelet that had a little plate where it had been engraved with his name. Maybe I have it still hidden in some part of my home.

Before I conclude my story on the 441st BS, I want to tell still another thing about the German Junker “Stukas” planes that had settled without wheels on the grounds in the area near the encampments of the 320th B.G.

The day after 8 September 1943, the date of armistice for Italy in the war, German Messerschmitt fighters came from Corsica to Decimomannu airport from which the German soldiers had been forced to hurriedly evacuate following an order by Italian Command some days before. They did machine gun fire to all German airplanes that they had left on the ground in the military airfield, damaging and destroying airplanes and every other thing that they had left. I provide this information to explain what is to follow.

Well! – The airplanes damaged by the attacks had been brought off the airfield and abandoned among the grounds near the encampments of the 320th BG. Before the Americans came to Decimomannu, however, often with my friends we would play on all the riddled stukas.

 
 

Friends from the past

I had been in Corsica several months. I do not remember exactly, but roughly I was there from October to February and perhaps the end of January. We were a few kilometers south of Bastia near the sea. I worked in a kitchen together with other boys from Villasor as well as three to four Americans – very kind and pleasant persons. I could have some other things to tell, but perhaps I have said enough.

I would like to say that before going back home from Corsica, I found my friends in the 441st B.S.. When I said, “Good Bye” (forever) I was anguished and cried. In a B-25 Mitchell, we were carried back home to Sardinia.

Sixty Years Later

 

After sixty years I remain nostalgic and remember my very beautiful adventures of my youthful experience. The soldiers whom I knew were ever splendid and wonderful persons and overall, full of great humanity. To me the Americans have done only well. They had been good teachers of many things. The teacher Joe Formichelli had me repeat one hundred times the words “United States of America” until I learned to pronounce it well and with the musicality of English spoken by the Americans.

In 1946 I moved away from Sardinia and enlisted in the military “Corpo della Guardia di Finanza”, in English, “Financial Custom Officer” where I had been until 1983. Now I am a retired pensioner of the Treasure Department.

I thank you very much, the researchers and men of the 320th who have with great passion given historic testimony of persons and have provided the facts and experiences of those often paying with the sacrifice of own life. It was a period of mondial crisis and we who experienced it hope that the end result would let it be the last great war and that with the sacrifice of millions of human beings it has left us with a better world. (Continued)

 

 Luigi Cabras sixty years later and his son, Alberto


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