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Date: May 20th 1945

No 2

Fano, (near Hucona) Italy - 20 May 45

Dear Jean:

I think my last was posted to you on the 15th from Florence. Will call this one No 2, and will number the future letters, so that you will know if any have gone wandering. This is my second Sunday on the trip - and my first Sunday. ie had to take a holiday today because could not get a plane back to Naples till tomorrow. Expect to fly to Cairo on Wednesday - and there might be a letter from you there either direct, or forwarded from the U.K.

Have been up in the NE part of Italy, N. of Venice and Trieste - Flew over Venice twice, but have not been able to set foot on terra firma there - It was a beautiful sight the other afternoon flying quite low and to seaward from it. Could recognize some of the famous bldgs which I have seen in pictures. There is a general [?] pink color to it, and set in the limpid blue water of the "Laguna Venatia" with little fishing boats with triangular bright colored sails dotted on the [?] - was a sight to remember. Spent 2 nights at H.Q. 8 army in a lovely setting on low hills - with the outflanking Alps making a sky-line silhouette to the North. One night there was a violent electric storm playing fireworks among the peaks there, with clear sky & stars overhead where we were.

Spent another night in Florence en-route here, but got in late & was too tired & dirty to do much but clean up, eat, do some sewing & go to bed. Have done all my moves by air - in almost a different kind of aircraft each time. It is always very hot when you have to climb in and wait for them to get started. Once up it is just pleasant.
Spent most of to-day on the beach - getting sunburnt and taking occasional swims in the Adriatic - The water is clean blue green - coolish - and an offshore wind meant it was free of stuff floating around, but hot on the beach. Got a good burn all over, but not too much. The week or 10 days in Italy is serving as a good conditioner for the heat to come in Egypt. It will be really HOT there. Am careful not to eat too much, or to drink too much - so far have felt perfectly fit. Have spent some time with South African Units - and they are fine fellows - and have given me some useful addresses of people I should see in the Unich[?] - it ought to be a highlight of my trip. - It is interesting flying over the country to see the areas where the fighting was fierce & furious - for miles, Nearly all are without evidence of intense fire - pock-marked with shell craters - mortar, mine - & bombs - grenade etc. Other parts where the ground battle moved quickly are not so bad except for bomb craters - smashed bridges - factories - rail yards etc. The children here & the troops here are known as Indians and mostly ½ naked or more - The Italian youth & young men are lean brown & handsome for the most part but the women are inclined to be fat & tubby.

Am supposed to get an early start tomorrow -



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