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5: October-December, 1943

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Oct 1st to 3rd - Usual camp duties. Regtl parades, also preparing to trip to Palermo.

Oct 4th - Trip to Palermo. Bn ate breakfast at 0530. Men rolled and packed by 0700. Entrucked at 0720 crossed IP 0745. Arrived at staging area at 1530. Distance covered approx. 110 miles. Men fixed camp also washed and shaved for recreational trip to Palermo. Bivouac area approx. three miles E. of Palermo.

Oct 5th - Bn on pass to see Palermo. Historical buildings such as Cathedral and Catacombs. Many other interesting sites. Men were allowed on pass from 0900 to 1800 hours. This Bn had no delinquencies.

Oct 6th - Trip back to old bivouac. Bn left Palermo at 0830 by truck and arrived at old bivouac at 1620 hours. Distance traveled - approx. 135 miles. Bn had good weather all the way thru the trip to and from Palermo.

Oct 7th - Usual camp duties - show at Regt theater starring Toni Martin and Adolf Menjou. Reports on the show from the men were good.

Oct 8th - Usual camp duties - Carbines firing on range. S-5 making trip to Palermo.

Oct 9th - Saturdays inspection - Regt parade. 3rd Bn was the best unit. one man from each co. or five men from the bn were picked to go back to the States. Men left at 2100 hours.

Oct 10th - Church services. Bishop of Agrigento held Catholic mass for men.

Oct 11 - Usual camp duties - still at old bivouac area 9 miles N.W. of Licata.

Oct 12 to 15th - Usual camp duties.

Oct 16th - Usual camp duties - Hq Co. and Co I kitchens feeding Bn. All other companies equipment crated and sent to docks. Five men from each co. left for docks for loading detail.

Oct 17th - Church services.

Oct 18 - Usual camp duties. Trucks arrived for Bn move (35 trucks)

Oct 19th - Capt Hughes S-3 & EM left for Agusta on advanced detail. Maj Carvey returned from Hosp. All pyramidal tents were rolled and shipped. Bn preparing for move.

Oct 20th - Usual camp duties.

Oct 21st - Bn troops rolled their equipment and policed area. Moved to end of olive grove at 1700 hrs to entrucking area. Entrucked at 1945 hrs. Left bivouac area at 2200 hrs - crossing IP at 2205 hours by truck.

Oct 22nd - Travelling all night and arriving in Agusta at 0745 hrs. Distance covered approx. 120 miles. Walked mile to docks with all equipment. Aboard English LCI at 0815 and travelled one quarter mile to transport ship. (SS Stratheden) 0900 hrs. On the transport we found Indian, English, Australian soldiers, and refugees. (destination unknown)

Oct 23rd - Still on board ship (SS Stratheden) Men spent the day cleaning their rifles. Ship sailed out of Agusta harbor at 1130 hrs. During the night another convoy joined our convoy.

Oct 24th - Still at sea. Approx. 0500 hours, convoy was sailing west along North African Coast. Destination near Cape Bone. Troops had boat drill, rifle inspections and face movements.

Oct 25th - Still at sea. Sailing along the coast of North Africa. Convoy docked at Algiers at 1730. English, Australians and Indian soldiers leaving boat. In evening movies were shown on side of boat and the 26th Inf band played in recreation room. Bn troops have two hours inspection of arms and face movements each day (one hr. in the morning and one hr. in the afternoon)

Oct 26th - Still docked in Algiers. Companies having Inspection of Arms and face movements. Hq Co moved from B deck to E deck sleeping quarters. Co "M" on guard at ships guns. (air guard).

Oct 27th - Boat station drill - sailed our of Algiers harbor at 1200 hours and formed convoy approx. 2 miles from Algiers. Convoy sailed at 1630 hours. (west) Destination unknown (SS Stratheden).

Oct 28th - Still at sea. Convoy moving west. Passing thru the Strait of Gibraltar during the night. Change of Destroyers and Cruisers of convoy. Another convoy joined us at approx. 1800 hrs. Destination some place off the coast of Spain.

Oct 29th - Still at sea. Companies having calisthenics, facings, hand salute, Inspection of Arms, Manual of Arms and instructions on interior guard duty.

Oct 30th - Still at sea. In morning, men spent washing their clothes. Inspection of rooms by ship comdrs. Protection of a sea plane flying around looking for submarines.

Oct 31st - Church services - still out at sea. Destroyer dropped some depth charges in afternoon, indicating that there must be submarines in vicinity.

Nov 1st - Still at sea. Companies having calisthenics, facings, hand salute, and Inspection of Arms. Hq Co. washing clothes in afternoon.

Nov 2nd - Still at sea - Destination to be off coast of Portugal. Believed to be going to England.

Nov 3rd - Still at sea.

Nov 4th - Convoy sailed up the Clyde River and docked at 1845 hrs. River separating Scotland & Ireland. Believed to be docked at Greenock. Troops sleeping on board ship.

Nov 5th - Ship unloaded mail and some boxes. Some civilians debarked but most of them stayed on board ship. Ship sailed up the Clyde river to Glassgloe. Ship docked at Glassgloe at 1645 hrs. (Scotland).

Nov 6th - Preparations for debarking. Troops assembled on different decks with all their equipment. Time 1215 hr. Bn debarked at 1230 hrs. Walked approx. 1/4 mile and waited for train. Aboarded train at 1400 hrs. Train left 1410 hrs. Bn split on different trains. Train stopped for troops' lunch at 1705 hrs (Carlisle) Train pulled out at 1725 hrs. At 2145 hrs the train stopped to change engines and troops received coffee and lunches. Train left for destination at 2210 hrs. Train travelling all night.

Nov 7th - Arrived at Blandford, England at 0500 hrs and moved by truck to Down House Camp, Blandford, England. (Approx. 3 miles from Blandford). Place is located S.E. of England. Arrived at camp 0600 hrs. Troops slept in the morning and fixed camp in afternoon. Cleaning barracks and making fires in the stoves in the buildings.

Nov. 8th thru 10th - Usual camp duties. Men cleaning the camp.

Nov 11th - Armistice Day. Co's observed armistice day by standing two minutes silence at 1100 hrs. Church Services in morning.

Nov 12th - Usual camp duties.

Nov 13th - Usual camp duties - Lt Murphy relieved from duties as Bn S-1 & Hq Co Co Comdr and assigned to Hq & Hq Co 26th Inf. Lt Ford relieved from duties as Bn S-2 appointed Co Comdr and Bn S-1 of Hq Co 3rd Bn 26th Inf. Lt Brown relieved from asgmt of Hq Co. 26th Inf and assigned to Hq Co 3rd Bn 26th Inf as Communication Officer.

Nov 14th - Church services.

Nov 15th - Usual camp duties. Dance for 84 EM at Blandford. Men were taken to the dance by truck. 92 replacements for the Bn arrived approx. 2100 hours.

Nov 16th Companies built up to strength as to the new TO. Men transferred from Hq & Hq Co 26th Inf & Service Co 26th Inf to 3rd Bn (16 EM).

Nov 17th - Usual camp duties.

Nov 18th thru 19th - Usual camp duties. E.N.S.A. show in Blandford Camp for the EM. price 1 shilling 6 pence.

Nov 20th - Saturday inspection by the Bn Comdr. Men go on 48 hour pass to Bournemouth. Bn dance for EM in Blandford.

Nov. 21st - Church services.

Nov. 22nd - Usual camp duties - 16 EM allowed to go to London on pass for 4 days. Those passes are given out every four (4) days. Lt Col Corley went on pass to London. Maj Carvey on DS to London. Capt Hughes acting Bn Comding Officer.

.Nov 23rd - Usual camp duties.

Nov 24th - Bn marched to range (Okeford-Fitzpaine Range) Distance traveled approx. 17 miles. Col Corley returns from London. Anti-tank left for Swanage for maneuvers with Anti-tank Co. and Cannon Co.

Nov 25th - Holiday for troops - Church services in NAAFI building. Red Cross mobile truck in Bn area serving doughnuts and coffee. Troops dinner meal consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes, filling, cranberry sauce, soup, dessert, pie, and coffee.

Nov 26th - Usual camp duties in the morning. Preparation for parade for Bn. 14 EM awarded purple hearts at Parade grounds.

Nov 27th - Bn Parade called off because of rain. Men receiving decorations were decorated in the General's office. Gen Huebner presented the medals. Casualties from Sicily returned to Bn (12 Men).

Nov 28th - Eight more casualties returned from Sicily. Church services.

Nov 29th - Morning schedule for troops, usual camp duties. Officers Court Martial School in afternoon at Dorchester. Afternoon and evening US0 show in Blandford, Corn Exchange. Night problems by companies.

Nov 30th - Companies K, L & Hq Co fired rifles on the Okeford-Fitzpaine Range. Each man fired five rounds of ammo. Companies walked to range approx.17 miles. Companies I & M usual camp duties.

Dec 1st - Companies K, L & Hq Co usual camp duties. Companies I & M

firing on Okeford-Fitzpaine range. Each man firing five rounds of ammo. approx. 17 miles to and from range.

Dec 2nd - Usual camp duties. Gen Huebner in Bn area asking men different questions as to morale and training.

Dec 3rd - Bn hike. Men eating noon meal on road. Distance covered approx 20 miles. Co K on SD to Barton Stacy. Co fixing a camp for a new unit coming from the States.

Dec 4th -Usual Saturday inspection. Practice Parade.

Dec 5th - Church services.

Dec 6th - Co firing on 1000 inch range, approx. five miles from camp. Other companies usual camp duties, night problem by companies.

Dec 7th - Companies I, L & Hq Co firing on range. 55 replacements for the Bn.

Dec 8th - Usual Camp Duties.

Dec 9th - Usual Camp Duties in the morning. Bn marched to Blandford camp Corn Exchange to see movies. Names of pictures were SNAFU, "Killed or Not be Killed", "Plain Facts" & "Latrinograms".

Dec 10th - Bn Problem. Men eating noon meal on road. Anti Tank returned from Swanage.

Dec 11th - Usual camp duties.

Dec 12th - Church services. USO show in Corn Exchange, Blandford. The name of the show was "Band Wagon" starring Willie Shore, Josephine Delmar and Dorothy Reckless.

Dec 13th - Co "M" on rifle range. (Okeford-Fitzpaine) Each man firing 5 rounds of ammo. Other companies usual camp duties. Pay day for the Officers and EM. Night problem by Companies. Companies collected money for Xmas gifts for the Children of England. Total amount of collection from the Bn was 469 pounds, 9 shillings, and 6 pence.

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No entries for December 14, 1943 through January 11, 1944

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<< 4: July-September, 1943 || 6: January-March, 1944 >>