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Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.

Naples...Caserta...Rome,   pp. 99-100 PDF (503.8 KB)

Page 99

Naples . . .Caserta . . .Rome
Sunday, Atugust 19
Arriving at Naples at 11 p.m.-about a 7 hours' flight from
Paris-we were met by my brother-in-law, Lieut. Warren Johnson,
and an Army conducting officer. Motored to the Parker Hotel,
where we found an officer's dance in progress. Had sandwiches
and beer, talked of home, and retired early.
Driving through the city, we visited the large assembly depot
at the old Naples fair grounds, where our G.I.s are being assem-
bled to be sent home. This depot is the best we have seen; it has
swimming pools, large Red Cross installations, immense audi-
toriums. All of these are ex-Mussolini installations-now used by
our Army. Thirty thousand American troops are quartered here.
From the fair grounds we motored to the Naples docks, from
which we had a clear view of superb Mt. Vesuvius with a thin
trickle of smoke rising from its cone. Turning to the immediate
scene, we noted how efficiently the Americans had repaired the port
The Nazis, when they evacuated Naples, sunk all the remaining
ships alongside the docks. Our guide, Colonel Retz, told us that
because the ships were so sunk, it was simple for our engineers to
build a quay site over them. He said that if the Nazis had cap-
tured the ships and taken them out into the stream and sunk them,
it would have made the use of the basins almost impossible.
After exploring the docks, we motored to Caserta, some 25 miles
from Naples, and there visited the famous old palace, where we
were greeted by Major General White who commands the Naples
area. Along with his associate, Major General Lemnitzer, we
lunched in the officer's mess and heard from them intimate ac-
counts of the invasion of Italy, the difficulties with the Russians in
Italy, the problems of occupation, and other serious matters.
After lunch we motored north toward Rome through the ex-

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