By Clarence Ferguson
From aboard the Elizabeth Stanton came the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the 143rd Infantry. They came from many walks of life to land successfully on the beach of Salerno, Italy. During the fierce battle when the Germans were counterattacking the beach head, many soldiers were killed-those who were not were taken prisoner.
Beginning with their capture, it became a day to day struggle to survive. Along with the cold, hunger and disease, these men had to cope with the mental anguish of being prisoners of war. Hitler had ordered that all prisoners of war be executed before the war ended. The men realized that their being alive when the war ended was very remote, so they set themselves to use their imagination and wit to harass their captors at every opportunity. Many tried to escape physically. There was another type of escape, though, it was only through their imagination. During their captivity, they became welded together in an unswervable bond of comradeship which will remain forever.
Heartbreak and depression were ever with them but sometimes you had to look hard to find it. Atrocities were minimized by diversionary activities, though sometimes it was impossible to do so. These pages record some of the success they accomplished.
Book Condition: Very Good.