"BATTAGLIA DI CASSINO - Centro Studi e Ricerche"
Dear 301st BG Association,
My name is Alessandro Campagna, and I am the Vice-President of the Association "BATTAGLIA DI CASSINO - Centro Studi e Ricerche" at Cassino, Italy.
I took the liberty to write you in order of a request we consider extremely important, after visiting several websites related to the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy during the WWII.
But first, many congratulations for your wonderful website, and if you like we should put a link in our one! Our Association organizes conferences, lectures and exhibitions, meetings with Veterans and historical institutions, and manage also a Museum, the Cassino War Memorial. We publish also books or articles about the WWII in Central Italy, with a special focus, obviously, on Cassino and its surroundigs, Rome, Anzio, Nettuno, Formia etc.
During the last years I collected informations and documentation about the town of Terracina, on the Thyrrenian Coast between Cassino and Anzio, approximately.
It is my intention to publish a book on that town during the war, and for these reason I am in correspondence with American Veterans of several US Army units which operated in the area, and especially with members of the 85th US Infantry Division "Custer" which liberated the town on the 24th of May, 1944.
But the first operation of the US Army aiming to liberate the town happened much before the victory at Cassino and the opening of the road to Rome, liberated on the 4th of June, 1944.
In fact, on the 4th of September, 1943, 19 B-17 of the 5th Bombardment Wing dropped 45,6 tons of bombs on the Terracina Airfield. It meant the entrance of the town in the war.
The USAAF planes attacked an important facility used by German (the harbour of Terracina) just few days before the landings of Salerno, and not too early from the imminent beachhead, opened few hours later.
Well, I tried to find informations on that mission on Terracina, but I have found only some informations on the groups constituing the 5th Wing: they were almost all busy on Capua and Capodichino Airports (Naples area). Maybe
the 301st Bombardment Group was only partially involved in the action on Capua ("Mission 144"), but involved also Terracina, on the way back.
Consequently, please it could be very appreciated if you should help us in finding Mission's Number and Squadron operating on that date on Terracina. Maybe there is an Mission Report, or better a "Intelligence Narrative No. 144 - September 4, 1943" which should contain information on that bombing. By the way, it is supposed that it was an unplanned bombing, but the B-17 dropped on the town the bombs they weren't able to drop on Capua A/D because of the clouds of that day...
We consider very important to enclose in the book a description of the first American action managing to liberate this our town.
Recently a member of our Association reported me that probably informationson this aerial action could be in the book: "5th Bomb Wing, 15 AF, History of the Aircraft Assigned", by Richard E. Drain (Springfielld, OH, 1990). Unfortunately we are finding troubles in getting this book in Italy and Europe.
For now a great Hello from Italy, and many thanks in advance for any your eventual assistance. Please, consider that for any kind of help you would receive from our section of Italy, we are extremely glad to assist you. Naturally, we hope to have you among our visitors at Cassino one day. I will be glad to take your members visiting the area!
Dr. Alessandro Campagna
595, Via Castelmassimo
03029 Veroli (FR), ITALY
"BATTAGLIA DI CASSINO - Centro studi e Ricerche"
Alessandro Campagna 595, Via Castelmassimo Veroli (FR) ... 03029 ITALY +39.340.2503874 firstname.lastname@example.org
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