Since the deck logs for the LCI (L) 35
for the months of January through May 1944 were not available from
the National Archives, most of the information that follows has been
obtained from the War Diaries of the Flotilla Two and Group 4 Commanders.
The information contained in the War Diaries is supplemented by the
recollections of my father's shipmates and other reference material.
January 1944 - Anzio
On January 1, 1944 Donald A. Lewis (LCI
# 35) was promoted to Lt. Junior Grade assuming command of the LCI
(L) 35 replacing Samuel Strickland.
Based on shipmate recollections, the
LCI 35 was in the Naples area during January with most of the time
spent in Pozzouli, Italy.
Photo of LCI 35 and other LCIs in Pozzouli, Italy
Photo from Flotilla 2 History
Jerry's Out There He Sure Makes It Hot."
Stanley "Gay" Galik -
January 18, 1944
was my father's second major invasion coming a little more than 5
months after Salerno. After the invasion of Salerno, he confided
to his sister Mae that during that invasion his
"knees were knocking".
Operation " Shingle"
Details of the Anzio landing including the troops and naval
forces used in the invasion as well as other events occurring in the
Mediterranean during January - May are available by reviewing the
Italy and the Italian Campaign Summaries of World War II.
January 22, 1944
The map of the landing area is from
Vol. IX; Sicily-Salerno-Anzio, by Samuel Eliot Morison, page 337.
The photographs and description of events
related to LCI (L) 35 and to Flotilla 2 Group 4 during the Anzio invasion
are based on the recollections of the crew since the War Diaries and
Action Reports were somewhat limited in the information noted in these
Donald Lewis, Commanding
Officer of the LCI 35
On the Bridge - Anzio Invasion
During the actual invasion on January
22, 1944, the LCI 35 crew unloaded ammunition under heavy fire coming
from the German railroad guns* that were zeroing in on targets on
the beach. Earl Eichorn, the Quartermaster on the LCI 35, remembered
how quickly the crew unloaded the ammunition before the ship retracted
from the beach.
*These German 28cm K5Ei railroad guns were dubbed "Anzio Annie" and
had a maximum range of 38.64 miles.
From World War II-A
It Is Well That War Is So Terrible, Lest We Grow Too Fond
General Robert E. Lee
**LCI 20 Sunk off Anzio, Italy on 22 January 1944
January 26, 1944
Sinking of LCI 32 - Crew Lost
According to the War Diary of E.W. Wilson, on this date the LCI (L)
32 hit a mine while proceeding to assist the burning British LST 422
and sank in 2 minutes. Sadly, 23 enlisted crew of the LCI 32
were killed in this tragedy.
During the course of the war the LCI 32 and LCI 35 crossed paths
on numerous occasions. Even before sailing for Bermuda and North Africa
in 1943, the LCI 32 and 35 bumped into each other on two occasions within a week while
in Little Creek, MD. Fortunately, they only sustained minor damage
after these minor incidents. In addition to these close encounters,
the LCI 32 was also tied to the LCI 35 on many occasions throughout
**LCI 32 Sunk off Anzio, Italy 26 January 1944
January 27, 1944
Dad's Recollection of the Invasion
Dad summarized his thoughts on the invasion in a letter to
his sister Mae a day after Operation Shingle was completed.
...Well we've done it again and here is why I hadn't written.
Once again in an invasion. This time south of Rome. You probably read
more than I can tell you in the papers. It wasn't a picnic by a long
shot and the Germans had us out of bed a lot. All over but the shouting
for a while, so let's hope that shortened the war by a long time.
Sure caught the Jerries by surprise though. Wasn't till the next morning
that hell broke loose and at that it wasn't too bad. Any way they
turn they have an American waiting. Sure was scared a little I guess,
but when we saw our planes on patrol we sure felt better. In the invasion
of Salerno I don't believe I told you that I did a silly thing. Had
some peanuts and in battle I'm first-aid, so while I'm watching the
fireworks I'm eating nuts. One came close and you should have seen
the peanuts go rather fast. In this one I had some of the Orange tabs
you'd sent. Instead of sucking I guess I sort of swallowed some of
them whole. Leastwise, I had a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach
and so I sort of figure they caused it...but now that another invasion
came off I'm glad I was in on it again...I'm luckier than a lot of
guys. They can't get a chance to see what I'm seeing and now I can
brag where they can't. (Sure conceited eh?)...
January 31, 1944
Transport of Army Nurses to Anzio
Beach to Ocean
On the Fifth Army Beachhead
In Dad's scrapbook
a newspaper article dated January 31, 1944 recounted the transport
of Army Nurses to Anzio aboard an LCI. The Deck Log of the LCI
(L) 35 for November 4, 1943 noted that British Nurses were aboard
the ship for transportation to Taranto along with British F.A.N.Y.
women. The British Nurses disembarked in Taranto on November 9,
1943. Since the deck log for the LCI (L) 35 was not available,
the American Nurses mentioned in the newspaper article may or
may not have been transported by the LCI (L) 35.
|| Other WWII Action and Notable Events
|January 16, 1944
||Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower took command of the Allied Invasion Force in London
|January 27, 1944
||The Soviet Union announced the end of the deadly German siege of Leningrad, which had lasted for more than two years
|January 31, 1944
||US forces began invading Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands