Re: Murphy WWII Photos
Hello Mrs. Murphy,
I read your post and had to reply even though you are looking for men who served with your husband. My mother was a WAC in the 5th Army divison and also was trained in Camp Kilmer, N.J. She boarded the ship the Santa Maria through the Grace Lines big ship liners, and was sent to Oran, Algeria, North Africa, Aug. of 1943. She served in the Army 6666 WAC headquarters company which was the first group of WACs in Algiers. Her group was the second to arrive. She was taken to St. Elizabeth Convent on Telemly Blvd., which was converted to their billet. She was a switchboard operator at Allied Force Headquarters.In June after the first contingent of WACs in Algiers moved to Italy with the 5th Army,she was orderdedto move up to Italy to rejoin Allied Force Headquarters in Aug. 1944. She arrived in Naples and boarded a truck which took her 35 miles to Caserta, Italy, the new home of AFHQ-Allied Force Headquarters. It was based in Palazzo Reale-summer palace of one of the princes of Italy. It had been headquarters for 5th Army Forward Echelon(including WAC detachments) fought up to the beaches of Anzio, Cassino, and on up to Florence and Leghorn, which is where they were when she arrived in Italy. In Nov. 1944, her Captain, Capt. Kruskall asked if she'd like to transfer to 5th Army in Florence. She accepted and joined Forward Echelon that was at Traversa about 25 miles north of Florence in the Futa Pass. She worked for 5th Army Forward switchboard. She was housed in tents like the guys were, but they seperated the women from the men.
On April 25, 1945, the Forward Echelon of 5th Army started moving. They drove through Bologna, Italy and set up camp in Crevalcore a small place between a pig farm, and huge manure dump and an Italian latrine. Then they moved again on April 29th and moved to Verona, Italy. Their next move was to Lake Garda and they wre fianlly billeted in a building, another convent named the Santa Maria.
In August 1945 she received her orders to return home, but she could have stayed in the Army in the European Theatre, but would have to stay on as a civilian worker or go home, so she went home. She flew back to Caserta, Italy, then on to Casablanca, Morocco and spent the night there. The next morning they boarded a flight to the USA and en-route stopped at the Azores. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, she landed in New York City and was transportd by truck to Fort Totten, N.Y. They next day she headed by train to Fort Bragg, N.C. to receive her final physical and processing to be separated from the Army. Just after boarding the train the announced the end of hostilities in Japan-VJ Day-Aug. 14, 1945. She then took another train heading south to New Orlean, La. and then on to her home town of Jackson, Mississippi. My mother is retired PFC JOSEPHINE CAROLINE STARNES BUSCH.She is still livingand will be 82 on Feb. 18th this year. Sharp as a tack and has just written her memories of when she was a WAC in the Army. She too has lots of photos of men and women who served with her overseas.
I know you were wanting some of the men that served with your husband, but I thought you might recall some of the places that my mother was at.
Thank you for letting me share with you.