B-26 Marauder 320th Bomb Group

 

Memories of My Time With the 320th B.G. During WW II
by Donald Wilson Round, 444th Bomb Squadron

 

Home 
Editor's Message 
History 
Missions 
Photo Archive 
Film Clips 
Stories 
320th Aircraft 
Reunion Assoc. 
Memorials 
POWs 
Books/Art 
Bulletin Board 
Roster 
Remembrances 
Memorabilia 
Links 
Search 
Contact me 

  

Army Food

 

 
 

Lt. Donald Round relaxing at the 444th Officers Club in Sardinia.

We had good food while I was there, but of course army food is not always the best. Nonetheless, we always had plenty of bread and coffee. There was always a big can of cheese butter in our tent and sometimes a little wine. At times we could get some canned fruit from the mess Sergeant. We had plenty of eggs to eat - for a package of cigarettes the natives would trade 8 eggs. There is no telling how much money they could get in their country for a package of cigarettes. We could get mixed drinks at the Officers Club about a half block away. Our tent had to take turns running the Officers Club. After a mission, the flight surgeon would give us a nip of whiskey. When the liquor got low the squadron would take up a collection of money from the Officers and then the squadron flew a B-26 down to Egypt. In Egypt a bottle of good Liquor cost six dollars, later when I left for home it had gone up to 12 dollars a bottle. Mixed drinks don't taste too good with grapefruit juice, but we had to bear it.

One night, just about dusk, I decided to go down to the tin hut where all the squadron cooking was done. In the back they had all the cans of food stored. I thought perhaps the mess Sergeant might have some extra cans of fruit. The mess Sergeant was coming out the front door with a big sack over his shoulder. The sack looked like it was full of cans. I said, "Sergeant do you have any extra fruit? he said, "Yes sir, right back on the back shelf you will find some". I thanked him and picked out a can of fruit. When I returned to the front he was long gone. I guess he was going to sell what ever he had in the sack. I am sure I could have made a lot of trouble for him but I just let it pass. He was doing a good job cooking and did not need any more trouble.

I recall a day where I went to a small town to pick up my laundry. I gave the laundry woman some soap which the squadron supplied us for my next laundry. After I paid her she brought out some shirts and pants that had not been picked up in about three weeks. I looked at the names on the laundry and they belonged to a captain that had been killed in the line of duty. I told her to keep them for now and I would tell the squadron headquarters about the laundry. I told her I didn't think they would ever come for the laundry. Headquarters said that she probably could use them for material for clothing.

One day another pilot and I were assigned a flight to Naples, Italy to take the 320th dispatches; the other pilot flew as first pilot to Naples. I flew back as first pilot. We checked the weather and set a course for Sardinia. We should have sighted Sardinia in about an hour but we didn't, so I decided to call the Blacktop radar station on Sardinia. We had our radio 1ff signal on for identification, so Blacktop called back and told us to gain some altitude. Blacktop told us to change course about 90 degree to the north so we did. We sighted Sardinia in about ten minutes. We had corrected for the weather, but the weather must have changed to blow us that far south. I had made the trip several times before and had never had any trouble. If we had stayed on the same course we could have ended up in Spain and spent the rest of the war there.

There was a night where there was a big explosion near the squadron area. Consequently, the next morning everyone in our house wanted to see what had happened. The Italian Army had an old ammunition dump about a half-mile away so we took off for that area. A pile of old bombs had made a good size hole in the ground.



Entrance to the 444th Officers Club.
This photo also shows some of the foliage indigenous to Sardinia. Take a look at those cacti.


The Winery

 

We heard that there was a winery in a small village not far away, so all the pilots from our house decided to find out. The winery had three large barrels of wine so we sampled all three. The wine was cheap so we ordered the smallest they had, a 25-gallon barrel. It was delivered to our house but did not taste as good as it did in the winery. We think they sent a lower grade of wine.

 
 

Captain Conrad,
444th Flight Surgeon.

Everything was going fine for awhile and we had a lot of friends over for samples. One day after returning from a mission, the flight surgeon had made a visit to our house - the wine had to go. The flight surgeon asked us to get rid of the wine. When we were off flying missions too many pilots were visiting our house and later could not do their duties. We would do anything Doctor Conrad asked us to do. He was always on the flight line when missions were taking off and landing. He had gone into one burning airplane and pulled out some crew members.(Continued)


Articles Index Page


Copyright(c) 2003 320th History Preservation. All rights reserved.

 

affordable hostingBest Website Builder