Cerro Gordo County

Pfc. Robert Angell




Miles Finds Out About Deep Mud in North Italy

(By FRANK Miles)
(Iowa Daily Press War Correspondent)

With the Fifth Army in Italy -- (IDPA)-- Pfc. Robert Angell, Mason City, miraculously escaped death or serious injury when a jeep with trailer he was driving plunged off a mountain road down a 100-foot cliff in North Italy.

He held to the steering wheel and suffered only a few minor bruises. The jeep was wrecked.

A few seconds after the crash, Staff Sgt. Kermit Berg, Callender, had raced to Angell's side. Angell then was on his feet, smiling.

Heavy rains make the dirt on trails in the Appenines treacherous. Angell was travelling at moderate speed after delivering rations to 34th division comrades at the front. Rear wheels of the trailer left the road on a curve, causing it to topple over and pull the jeep with it.

Angell, the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Angell, Mason City, had been with the 34th in Ireland, England, Africa and Italy since February, 1942.

I happened to be returning from another division front about the time the wrecking crew arrived. It was amazing how quickly men and machines lifted the damaged jeep and trailer back on the road.

The Mud was Deep

Out in the field that say I saw engineers rebuilding a bridge the enemy had blown up in flight before the advancing yanks. Mud was shoe top deep but groups of six men were lugging 590-pound panels from a pile on the roadside to the structure. Their wisecracks indicated that while they might not have been hugely enjoying themselves they didn't mind the task much. The planking was down so the lieutenant in charge would allow traffic to pass at intervals.

A general's car had to wait its turn but all ambulances coming from and going to the battle line shot through without delay.

In a valley nearby two heavy guns were hurling shells at the nazis. The scream of a projectile and the sound of an explosion are more ominous in murky than in clear atmosphere.

Source: Muscatine Journal News-Tribune, Nov. 2, 1944 (photo included)