- From the book "In my father's foxholes and footsteps"
- The arrival in Italy and the transfer to the Apennines
- The attack on Mt Belvedere
- The defence of Mt Belvedere
- Il Malandrone, Cimon della Piella and Pietracolora
- The conquest of Castel d'Aiano and Mt della Spe
- The Spring Offensive
- Tolè towards Monte Pastore
- The conquest and crossing Savigno
- Fly down into the Po Valley
- Crossing the Po river
- The end of the war in Italy
- Return back to America and to the family
- All Pages
The next objective was to seize Pietracolora. After taking the town we turned left towards Mt. della Croce. Mt. Della Croce and my name Cruz both mean cross. But as usually nothing goes according to plans. The 85th Regiment was to the right of us while the 86th was to our left. The 1st Battalion of our Regiment went through us and led the attack towards Castel d’ Aiano to Mt. della Spe. This attack was a way to create a salient into the German front line. Having led the frontline in the previous attack we now found ourselves on reserve. At this time other Battalions were fighting so we in turn hardly fought.
The hill town of Castel d’Aiano was taken during the second and third offensives. I remained for three or four days at which was part of the front lines, just guarding for Germans coming through. I remember those days well. I had a postcard of Castel d’Aiano; I wished I had saved it, oh what a nice small beautiful town it was before it was demolished. Not much was left standing of the church or its bell tower; it was just a mess. Casteld’Aiano had taken a pounding, not only from American artillery but from German artillery too.
In front of Castel d’Aiano and to the right, there was Mt. della Spe and beyond that a small valley beneath the small town of Roffeno. It wasn’t really a valley but rather small and straight area surrounded by mountains …one mountain after another running eastwardly. The 10th Mountain Division was to attack the mountain on the other side, on the left of the valley. The 1st Armored Division found themselves to the far right of us and they were to take control of Route 64, which was the main roadway in the area. The 85th Regiment was to our left and to the near right was the 86th Regiment. The offensive was to start on April 12, but for some reason or another they kept delaying it. On April 13, if I recall correctly, the death of Franklin Roosevelt was announced. At that moment nothing really mattered to us because we weren’t even sure if we would be living the next day.