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September - October 1943

September 11, 1943 - Thoughts on Invasion of Italy

The USS LCI (L) 35's role in the Invasion of Salerno on September 9th marked Dad's first encounter with enemy action. In a V-Mail to his sister Mae dated September 11, 1943, he initially stated that...

"...The censor, I believe permits us to state now, that we'd taken part in the invasion of Italy. As for details, I'm afraid that's all I can say. I'm alright so why worry about anything else I say"...

October 17, 1943 - More Thoughts on Invasion and Sites Seen in Italy
Dad gave some additional thoughts on the Invasion of Salerno in his longer letter of October 17, 1943. Finally, he confided in his sister how he really felt at the time. He wrote:

...Incidentally I found to my surprise that I'm really not a coward under fire, bet I thought about everything during the invasion. Strangely enough on that night about fifteen minutes before going in I was eating peanuts and oddest of all thinking how lucky I was to have them. Truth too is that I shook from head to toe, it was chilly but I don't know if that could cause knees to knock together...

Dad also commented on the sites he saw while the LCI 35 was operating in the Naples, Italy area in October:

...The people are friendly and the churches are very beautiful. Statues of all sorts are everywhere and the castles and ruins of old Roman times are really something to see. Some of the places I've been have been bombed to heck by us and boy am I ever thankful our Air Force is over here...

October 26, 1943 - Commitment to Family

In his letter of October 26th Dad followed up on his commitment to send money to his sister. In fact he included a $500 check that he asked be used in the following way The first $50 was for his mother for her teeth or whatever else she needed; another $50 to buy his brother Eddie and sister Dorothy something, another $50 for you and his favorite niece Lynda . The remaining $350 can be viewed as a loan if you like. Dad said that he "got a kick out of being able to do this".

October 31, 1943 - Having a Good Time in Italy

In his letter of October 31st Dad reaffirmed that he had "a bang up time" in Naples and got to see the Isle of Capri.

Panoramic View of Capri

Post Card

A Panoramic View of Capri

November - December 1943

December 1, 1943 - Thoughts on 21st Birthday  and  the Holidays
Dad did not write any letters to his sister in November but in a rather lengthy letter to his sister Mae on December 1, 1943 Dad reflected on his life in the service up to this time and some of the frustrations that came with being caught up in a war.

...Reporting from the crazy side of the world for a change. Can't guarantee an interesting letter cause what I know of interest, the censor says is a secret, and if I tell you, it won't be. So be content with what I offer and someday I can really tell all I know (after the war). Anyways of late I haven't been able to concentrate much on anything. To begin with of late I'm fine as can be expected perhaps much more nuttier (God forbid!). But getting screwy comes with a war anyway and for free at that...My birthday (November 23rd) I spent as another day of work. (LCI 35 was in a convoy taking troops to Naples - Arriving during heavy action) That day, I was a man...but feel like a jerk. What a war won't do to a guy...Then along came Thanksgiving. What a nice day it was too. Where was I? Out at sea of course and two days later came into port (Naples). Skipper claimed that if Roosevelt (President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) could do it so could he--so we had our Thanksgiving two days late. Me-I cook of course so it didn't seem like a holiday at all.

Then today we came into our home port and there I found your package along with two from Blondie. Oh! Christmas comes early now. See what did I tell you about a war. Appreciate your gifts? That my dear is really putting it mildly. It's a Christmas now instead of make-believe as I'd have done. It just isn't the real one, but they'll come again...the cookies [sent] really went in a hurry. Gone already-what chow-hounds these are (shipmates)...Blondie writes so often that I can hardly keep abreast of her letters...Well sis, I'll write again maybe tonight. Having chicken tonight and writing won't fry them...

Bizerte, Tunisia

December 2, 1943 - Actions in Case Something Goes Wrong

Dad kept his word and wrote to his sister again in a V-Mail dated December 2nd. Dad informed his sister that he made out an allotment for a $50 bond listing her as co-owner in the event that something would happen to him in the war. He indicated that if "something would go wrong" the money should be for Lynda's education. and jokingly added "Boy, I can hardly wait to get married...Kids sure get under a guy's skin". Dad also mentioned to his sister that he was promoted to Ships Cook 2/c on October 1st.

December 3, 1943 - Wanting More Chocolates - Being a Cook

Receiving Chocolates

Dad sent a V-mail asking his sister to send some more packages and mentioning that he went to the movies that evening. This time Dad asked his sister for another favor. He said that:

...After receiving your package and eating everything to a crumb, I still want more. This time please send some honest to goodness soft candy. Chocolates in preference to anything else...Went to see a movie tonight. Full house and had to stand. Stood waiting for it to start a half hour and finally on came "Five Came Back" which I'd seen a few years ago...

Being A Cook
Dad got a little sarcastic about being a cook when he mentioned to his sister what he would be doing for Christmas when he added to his letter "...And since I have nothing better to do for Christmas I believe I'll stay over here and maybe while I'm at it - stay here for New Years. Guess I'll even cook on these days since I'll have nothing else to do...(Dad was correct in what he would be doing on those days but the LCI 35 was not in Bizerte on Christmas or New Years but in Palermo, Sicily.)

December 12, 1943 - Getting Burned And Being Bored
Dad wrote a V-mail to his sister on December 12th and said that "about a month ago I burned my foot pretty badly" when some bacon grease went down his shoe. Dad said that it blistered for awhile but now its practically healed. He also said that he's "...been traveling a lot lately and visiting more and more different ports. Otherwise I'm bored with the routine...Could be worse so I can't kick..."

December 21, 1943 - On the Loss of LCI 1 in Bizerte Harbor in August
On December 21st while Dad was at sea passing through the Straits of Messina heading for Licata, Sicily, he wrote his sister a letter regarding an article in the Stars and Stripes Newspaper that reported on the sinking of LCI 1 in Bizerte Harbor on August 17th the day that Dad reported aboard the LCI 35. Dad mentioned to his sister that:

...Ran across an article which I believe should be of interest since I'm on the same type of ship as the one mentioned. I knew the crew very well and was in the same port when it was sunk. Was sure a wicked air raid too...This happened a long time ago though. Since then the air-strength of Germany has greatly diminished. These things (LCIs) are hard to hit and the One (LCI 1) got an [un]lucky hit. Odd thing was that none were killed. Just another happening in the war I reckon...

Dad closed his letter with this P.S. to his sister.

LCIs - Little but mighty! Keep the article for me please!

Below are post cards of the cathedral and statue that Dad described in his October 17, 1943 letter to his sister Mae.  These postcards were in his scrapbook collection. Other post cards can be viewed by clicking here.

Cathedral in Naples, Italy

Front of Cathedral in Naples

Statute of Cesar Auguste

Statue of Cesar Auguste

Stanley Galik's Sister Dorothy and Brothers Andy and Eddie

Pictured in the photo above are his sister Dorothy and brothers Eddie and Andy (in his Navy uniform)  Picture was taken in the summer of 1943.

Blondie - Dad's Sweetheart


Blondie or Mel as she was really known, became Stan's wife in January 1945.  Stan mentions her throughout this site.    Their letter romance blossomed through their almost daily letters written to each other during the war.  When Dad died in August 1987, this was one of two pictures of Blondie taken in the 1940's that was still in his wallet.

T H E   L I F E   O F   S T A N L E Y   G A L I K  
 W O R L D   W A R   I I   E X P E R I E N C E S POST-WAR
1942 1943 1944 1945
  1943 1944   THE CREW ABOUT THE
T H E   L C I   ( L )   3 5

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