Arthur M. Anderson

Guns in Action Great Deal, Soldier Writes from Italy
The following letter was sent from Italy by Corporal Arthur M. Anderson, son of Charles Anderson, 140 Pitt Street, who entered service in March 1942 and arrived overseas in September 1943:

"Dear Folks:  

"I'm on duty now but, as the radio is rather quiet at this time of the day, I'll write to you on the paper nearest at hand. I just finished a letter to Vic and Els with the hopes that he'll answer.

"We're still in the mountains, as we perhaps we'll be for some time, and night before last we had some snow so, you see, it can be cold in Italy, too, at this time of the year. However, we manage to keep warm while sleeping, so don't suffer.  We're supposed to shave daily and that's not so comfortable out of doors.

"I have already been thru what is called a major battle and am now in my second. We are giving the "Gerries" (British for German) much more than they are returning and they fall back tho sometimes slowly. Our big guns are in action a great deal and I'm glad I'm on the giving end of them instead of on the receiving. It  must be tough on the enemy. Our guns are roaring as I sit writing this and, at night, the flashes from them can be seen for miles.

"I went for a little walk in a valley below us yesterday morning to get a few apples. On the way back, I saw some smoke coming from a side hill and stopped to investigate. There were two old men in a cave huddled over a small wood fire eating brown bread and cold pork. They insisted that I share it with them but I, of course, refused. One was 75 years of age and the other at least as old. One had lived in Schenectady, NY and could speak a little English, at least, it was enough to make one understand that the Germans had taken all they had, one having lost three daughters and two sons. It's so pitiful the way many of the old people and children wander about homeless and I'm certainly thankful that you don't have to go through this. I've noticed, many times, that when we give a few crackers or bread to these children that they always share it with others. It's a lesson in human charity that I shall not soon forget.

"I'm running short on socks and, tho I ordered more, I haven't received them yet. Those we get are only part wool and none too warm. I wish that you'd send me those dress wool socks that I used  for golfing. I think I have several pair tans and plaids. They come up higher on the legs than regular wool dress socks.  I'd really appreciate them and, tho I might not get them 'til January, they'd still be very welcome. None of us have received Christmas packages yet and are all looking forward to them. It will be good getting some good sweets, etc. One fellow received a small package from Arkansas a couple of days ago sent September 6th so, you see, it takes about two months for packages to come by boat. "V Mail" takes about 12 to 14 days as does Air Mail. 

"I wrote Dale a letter a few days ago. Suppose he has it by now. I'm sorry you lost your pet squirrel, Pop. Maybe he just went a'courting and will be back soon. 

"Kindest regards to Mrs. Bement and other friends. Hope Lil  had a nice visit."