Black Hawk County

Sgt. F. E. "Gene" Thorne




Gene Thorne Now on M. P. Duty in Sicily

One of the American soldiers who helped take Sicily was Sgt. F. E. (Gene) Thorne, former night editor of the Waterloo Daily Courier and now a member of an engineer combat regiment. Among other tasks, these fighting engineers have the job of detecting and neutralizing land mines. The dispatches from Sicily have told of the extensive use of such mines by the retreating Germans.

‘We are finally squared around after a period of really hustling,” Sergeant Thorne said in a letter just received by a former staff colleague here.

“Now, just for variety and to have a little experience at everything, we are on military police duty in a good-sized city.

“Sicily is a mixture of modern and ancient. I’ll take the modern, only more of it. The people are much the same mixture. They are friendly, but excitable.

“Not knowing the language, we have thus far had to rely on hand waving and grimaces, but are slowly picking up a few phrases.”

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, August 17, 1943 (photo included)