The Red Bull in World War II 34th Infantry Division Resources 1941-1945

Edward Ruple, 34th Div., 133rd Regt., Co. A

Donec id elit non mi porta gravida at eget metus. Fusce dapibus, tellus ac cursus commodo, tortor mauris condimentum nibh, ut fermentum massa justo sit amet risus. Etiam porta sem malesuada magna mollis euismod. Donec sed odio dui.'

Basic Tabs


Biography of Ed Ruple

Mess Sergeant, CCC Man, Company 709, Grand Marias, Minnesota & Crescent City, California
and Company 1730, Bunker, Missouri

A Company, 133rd Infantry, 34th Infantry Division, USA

  October 16, 1916 Born in Graniteville, Missouri

August 1933 Enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps and went to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Train then went to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
September (?) 1933 Company 709 was formed, sent to Grand Marias, Minnesota.
February 10, 1934

Company transferred to Crescent City, California - Camp Gasquet

Constructed roadside parks along Highway 161, buildings for the park service and worked at the Oregon Caves at Selma, Oregon.

1936 Sent back to Jefferson Barracks for discharge
  Re-enlisted, sent to Company 1730 Bunker, Missouri. Group photos taken in 1935 and 1939 and newsletter was called "Company Attention"

  October 1941 Left CCC to play semi-pro baseball
  November 1941 Married my grandmother, Cleo
    Left baseball to join the Army (for 26 years)

October 19, 1943 Joined the US Army at Jefferson Barracks Missouri
Army ser. #37626734
January 1944 Arrived Caserta, Italy
  Carried wounded from the Monte Cassino area
April 10, 1944 Arrived at Anzio, Italy
June 6, 1944 Entered Rome
September 1, 1944 Awarded first bronze star
April 21, 1945 Captured nazi flag in Bologna
  Po Valley
May 6, 1945 War in Italy ends

    Tended store
  August 26, 1950 9 Aug 50, made Sergeant First Class (Grade E-6) at Fort Riley, Kansas with the HQ & HQ Battery of the 25th F.A. Battalion
    Post Korea
  July 13, 2005  


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.



I entered the army in early '43 at Jefferson Barracks, Misouri. We lived in tents. It took us about 2 weeks to get processed. They shoot you every time you turn around and they clothed you, and assigned you to a tent waiting for shipment. It was about 2 weeks, and we was all called out, we was going to Camp Wolters, Texas. We boarded that train, I don't know how many cars, there were 6 or 8 cars. So that train got going, well, it stopped and it backed up twenty miles and picked up about another 6 or 8 loads of men from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and that part of the country. It took us 6 days to get from St. Louis to Ft. Wirth, Texas. We rode trucks and buses from Ft Wirth to Mineral Wells. Never will forget, right out of Ft. Wirth, I seen a big sign "This is Dizzy Dean's Ranch" and it was a big one. We went on, we got to Mineral wells, and we was about 5 miles from Mineral Wells to Camp Wolters. We got into Camp Wolters and they assigned everybody to barracks and what have you, had some sergeants there that were combat hardened. Next day, after we got settled in, the 1st Sgt. called me over and said "Ruple, you're gong to Special Troops. TBY."

"Oh," I said, "Is that right?"

"Yes," he said. "I hope you make the ball club. You got quite a record playing ball."

So I said "Thank you."

I went to this special duty and they assigned me to a barracks with some more of the ball players. We went out to work out one afternoon, the coach was [Al CH? Tartrak] he used to play for the St. Louis Browns. He said "My God Ruple, you throw hard. How come you never went anywhere?"

I said, "Well, nobody accepted me."

He said "I think its too late now being in the military."

I said "Yep, "I'm 23."

We had a good ball club. We played a lot of good ballclubs too.

The Tree

They had a beer hall, it was out in, i guess about a half of mile from camp, well it was on the base. I met this, Poncho Sanchez from El Paso Texas. One of the finest [people] I ever met. He used to say to me, "You chug-a-lug, I pay." He challenged a few guys. We won all the beer, we didn't have to pay for any.

We went on out the door one afternoon, it was on a Sunday. I said "Hold it Sanchez, look up there in that tree."

He said "What's up there?"

I said "There's nothing up there, but we'll draw a crowd." So everybody come out, why they started looking up in that tree and we walked around a little farther and we point our finger up there. We done that for about ten minutes, then we left and the other guys as they stayed they was still looking up there in that tree seeing what we'd seen. But there was nothing up there.

Basic Training?

We used to go to Mineral Wells town, MP's was all over the place. Those Texans down there, they liked to play dominoes. They had a room of their own where they played dominoes. You couldn't even stand there and watch them. The MPS would get after you right now,

they'd say, "Oh no,You can't watch them people."

So we didn't do it.

I did at times go out with the company on "combat missions" as they called it, they had these, I don't know if I told you or not. I used to throw the hand grenade in these false houses.

Shipping out

In October, basic training was all over and I come to find out that I'm on the shipping list. I told the company commander, I said "My God, I haven't, I didn't have no basic training."

He said, "Well, where you're going you won't need any."

I Said "Oh is that right, where am I going?"

He said "I don't know."

I said, "That's a hell of a thing to tell somebody."

Ft. Meade to the boat

Anyway, whenever we left Mineral Wells, I got on a train in Ft, Wirth going to Ft, Meade, MD. We had a stopover is St. Louis. but you couldn't get off. You couldn't get off that train. We arrived in Ft. Meade, MD in baltimore and Lord and behold, I didn't know anybody. I got off the train, got on a bus ands went to Ft, Meade. So the first sergeant, it wasn't the first sergeant, it was the staff duty sergeant, it was on a saturday, he gave me a barracks to go in.

I went in the barracks, there wasn't a soul in there. I was the only one. I said "My God, I can't get over, I can't believe this."

Anyway after I got in, settled down a little bit, I got a word over the gripe box, "Ruple, come over to the orderly room, the old man wants to see you." I went over to the orderly room, staff duty NCO said, "The captain wants to see you."

So I reported to the captain and he said, "Ruple, I don't know how long you're going to be here, would you like to go to Baltimore for the weekend?"

I said, "Yes sir, I'd enjoy that."

He said "Allright." So he layed down the law. You can't talk to nobody and all this kind of stuff.

I said "fine."

I came back sunday night, went in that barracks, and My God, that place was stacked to the ceiling with men. I thought, My Lord. I didn't know a one of them. The next couple of days they told us to get prepared, we was going to Patrick Henry, Va., and from there, overseas. Two days later, in the afternoon, about 5 o'clock, started boarding that train. Boy you never see the like, cryin, and everything like that. It was pitiful These guys had never been away from home before. We got in cars and we went to camp Patrick Henry, we got off the train, into a truck, to a mess hall got a cup of coffee, canteen cup, a sandwich, back on the truck and down to the shipyard. Down where the boats all left. We got on that ship, and one of the biggest convoys. It took us 29 days to go from Newport News to Casblanca.

On the boat

On the ship I was a salt water sergeant, mess sergeant. Fed two meals a day. Every morning you had scrambled eggs and toast. For evening meal you had soup. Only thing you had to cook was these big vats. Anyway, a sergeant from the Navy said "I like for you to come up and have dinner with me tonight."
I said "I'd enjoy that." Well them people ate like kings, man they, heck fire, they was having steaks when our boys, we was having soup.
He said, "Why don't you just stay up here. You don't have to go down in that hole."
Well I said "I'm not in a hole. I'm in a like a cabin like."
He said "You'd be better off staying here, then go down in the mornings and take care of your job and then when you get through, why come on back up here." So I ate all my meals with the Navy, and I slept with the Navy. One night, just about every night when we got out in the atlantic, we was having air attacks. We went up one night he said, "Come on Ed, we'll go up here and watch this." So we went to a little cubby place up on top deck, and you've never seen so much ack ack in all of your life. Man I'm a telling you, that sky was the most beautifulist thing that you ever seen in your life. Not ever did one plane hit us. Hit any of the ships. They caught one, see after you got out there so far they would put these nets, drop these nets down to the bottom of the ships where in case a torpedo came in, it would catch them, they wouldn't explode. Well they got one. Also, they would put these balloons up, they would go up about 200 feet in the air on a steel cable. That's to keep bombers, planes from dive bombing.

Arrival in Casablanc

We got to North Africa, after 29 days on that rough water. Dirty, stunk, didn't have any fresh water to take a shower, you had to use salt water and your hair was like wire. We got to Casablanca, we went to a Repel Depot. That next morning they had scrambled eggs. I called them baked eggs. They was in one of them big old heavy duty aluminum pans. I know those eggs looked like they had been baked for three our four days, because you could cut them with a knife. And that was eat. Eggs and bread, butter, oleo, coffee. We stayed there about a month, then we went on from there. Italy had fallen, the southern part, so we went to Naples, that's where we got off the ship. And then we rode trucks to Caserta, that was a big replacement Depot. I guess there was 100,000 troops there. They was at that time fighting for Cassino. God, they'd take them up in the morning and bring back in the nighttime. Dead or wounded or whatever. One Monday, they called us all out, they took 60 of us to Cassino to litter barer and carry out the wounded or help the GRO with the dead, whatever. Boy I tell you, that was the nastiest mess you ever wanted to see. It can really get under your skin to see kids all blown to pieces and everything like that. I only went up there one time. Hung around the Repel Depot there. Finally on the 4th of April '44, they called a big crew out. We had to get our duffle bags and everything and get moving. We went to, the road wasn't open yet to Anzio so we had to take a boat and go up the waterway to Anzio, and that's where we got off. They was about, late at nighttime. They was calling out "You get on this truck, you get on this truck" calling us by names. After a couple days, they found out they'd made a mistake. Ones went to the 3rd division went to the 34th. There was 11 of us and only three of us was left, so we went to the 34th. Up to highway 7. We got this side of Rome they shell right up to the outskirts of Rome and then they declared it an open city. Everbody got on trucks or tanks, or whatever and rode into Rome. And that was on the 6th day of July 1944.

Fall of Rome, the Arno and good trades

During the fall of Rome the Italian people, they were out there by the thousands. They had buckets of wine, they had bottles of wine, they had bottles of cognac, they had just everything. And the were up hugging us and kissing us, boy it was really something. It didn't last that long, because we had to move on. We caught up with the Germans on the other side of rome and fought them up to the Arno river where we dug in. We dug in there, along a railroad track next to the Arno river. We stayed there three days. Every night we was gonna push, well it didn't happen.
One afternoon, about 1 o'clock, we got word the division was coming off the line and going back replacement and recooperation. 2:00 in the afternoon we started moving ut. Course the planes were heavy overhead we didn't have to worry about being shelled, because them fighter planes were all over.
We walked about a mile, then there was , took us back to an area where we got replacements and people got to rest. Every time we come off the line, they'd give us 6 cans of beer and six coke. and the officers got coke and a bottle of whiskey. You catch these guys that didn't drink beer, you traded your coke to them for their beer. It's a pretty good deal. We didn't have, there wasn't that many capers in WWII, it was too serious, there wasn't no nonsense. There were a few little incidents, but very few.

Ray's Guitar

We had this, Ray (Roman) Hicks who I guess got sick last month down in South Carolina, he's from Georgia, used to play a guitar. well, I tell you, he was good and he used to pick and sing when he got a chance. He always carried that guitar with him on that truck. One night we was moving back to a staging area, It was dark, and the driver, we thought he was gonna run over the embankment. Albano from Springfiled, MA he started hollerin, "we're going over, we're going over. He moved over and he sat on Hicks' guitar and smashed it all to pieces.
"I'll buy you a new one. I'll buy you a new one." He never did, because I saw him over in Norfolk few years back, about 5. I said, "Albano, did you ever get Hicks his guitar that you crushed?"
He said "No."
I said "He's still expecting it."
"Well one of these days I get enough money I'll buy him one."

Left to right: Roman Hicks, Ed Ruple, Ben Mitchel and Bill Triplet in Modena

The Pig

Before this incident happen, we was in an area there was house there that wasn't hurt, very little. There was an old lady and an old man that lived in there. And they had a pig underneath the house. Somebody got a wild idea, we outta get that hog, clean him up and eat him. This one sergeant, he talked to Joe Rockford the mess sergeant, Joe said, "yea, you get some meat, we'll cook it." One night, Ray Hicks with that music, Albana and Johnny Seccurra, went into the house to play them some music. Albana was the interpreter, cause he could speak that lingo. "Oh yes, we'd like to hear, yes." Old Hicks started pickin and signing, you know. There were four guys down in the basement, down underneath the house to get that pig. So they hit it over the head with a crowbar, knocked him out and they started dragging him out. The old man said, "I hear something down below." Albana told Hicks, "Play a little bit louder, Ray." So, e played louder and sang louder see, until them boys got that hog outta there. So they took it down to where the third platoon was, and they had hot water, and they scalded that thing, and they dressed it, and scraped it and buried all that stuff. So we had roast pork the next day. We had it for two or three days. The old man the next morning, he was looking for his hog and his hog was gone, and no one admitted to doing it. So, the company commander, said, "Well," he had this interpreter, Johnny Seccurra was his interpreter, he said, "Johnny, you tell him that in time he'll get well paid for that hog, whoever got it. Tell him none of the boys here in this company got it." So Johnny told him and the old man was happy. I don't know if he ever got anything or not. That was a lot of fun.

But, old Hicks, as long as he had that guitar, he played and sang to you.

Gas powered rabbit

Had another little incident one day. Had a guy by the name of Pete Bucci, he was another Italian. He found this Italian couple, this was when we were back for recooperation and replacements, and he found this old couple and they had rabbits. Old Pete asked them if they would fix a meal for about 8. The old man said," yes, for benzine. We need gasoline." He said how much would you want?" He said, "Well, whatever you can give me." So Pete said "How about 5 gallons?" He said okay. The eight of us, we got together, we got 5 gallons of gasoline cause gasoline, there was plenty of it, lots of it and there wasn't no control of it if you get right down to it. So we took him 5 gallons of gasoline. We told him we had to have the can back. But he killed four rabbits and boy, she, that old lady really fixed us a good dinner. We had potatoes, gravy, fried rabbit, had a salad, and wine. And we all certainly enjoyed it. The old man said, "You boys," to, well Johhny Seccurra or Pete Bucci was our interpreter, he said, "Boys, I want you to know, I appreciate this benzine, If you ever want to come back here, we will be more than glad to feed you." But we never did get to go back.

Gothic Line to War's end

After the rest and recooperation and replacements, we hit what they call the Gothic Line. We pushed through Florence, and on up into the mountains. Them mountains is terrible. But we managed to take hill after hill, mountain at a time. So we ended up in September about 8 miles from Bologna. We sat there, dug in, stayed there for the winter. And it was a cold winter. And the funniest thing, wasn't funny but, in the mornings, whenever it was clear and cold, why you could hear the planes going over, a thousand at a time. And you could see them little fighter planes up there next to them, protecting them. So then about an hour, two hours later, you could hear the bombs. They was, boy, my God, what a racket they made. But the ground underneath you shook.

Anyway, when March came along, that was the last push off. We were pushed into Bologna. A friend of mine, not a friend, Joe Rockford and I, we rode a mule into Bologna. We stayed there oh I guess about _________ thats when we brought down this flag, and we all signed it, we was all drinkin wine. We knew that the days was getting short for the war.

The next morning we pushed off into the Po Valley. The war ended at Lake Como. After that, we pulled back to the city of Rebergomero (Bergamo?) to, in barracks. They was bombed out a little bit, but the was not enough of them hurt that they couldn't put us in there. Anyway, it was, everybody was happy and glad that the damn thing was over. It was a mess.

While we was at Bergomarrero (Bergamo?), they had several Americans imprisoned there, and they was begging us to get them out. But we didn't do nothing. Cause we didn't know what they did. They coloborated with Germans, that was the reason they was in there. And going back to Bologna, that evening, the Italian police they gathered up all these girls that collaborated with the Germans, and they shaved their head and marched them all right down through the street. Boy I tell you, that was something to see.

Bologna - Po Valley, Italy • April 21, 1945

The day after the liberation of Bologna. A swastika banner, one of the trophies of war collected by the boys of 133rd Infantry, Company A. From left to right the boys in the picture are Albano, Duarte, Benny, Ace, Eddie, Hergy and Burman. The kitchen was in the back. Read the full story of the flag here

Swiss border patrol

Every day that we was in Bergomero (Bergamo?), we'd make a trip to the Swiss border, make a check to see if any Germans had surrendered to the Swiss military.
When we got there, why we couldn't go in. The guard at the gate called for an officer to come down. So here come two officers and they were driven a '36 Ford. They spoke good English and after a few conversations, they said,"How would you boys like to go into Switzerland, to a little town about 5 miles away?" "Oh, we'd like that."
"Well," he said, "all you have to do is leave your helmet here, leave your pistol here, leave your rifle belt, and get in and we'll take you."
They had two cars, so they took us into this little town----
They took us into this little town and the streets was lined with little kids. So they gave us, each one gave us a bouquet of flowers. as we got to the gasthaus, the Lt., he said, "Well, I know you guys like beer. I've never seen an American that didn't. I guess you all want beer".
Everybody said "Yes."
Each one had two bottles, just about, a liter I guess is what it was. After we drank them, he says "We'll have to go back to the border now."
and we said okay. So we got back into the vehicles and went down to the border, donned our hat and pistol belts and went on.

Patrolling the Swiss border, possibly in Switzerland. Ed Ruple is the dark haired person on the left in the back of the jeep on the right.


We didn't get down the road i don't guess a mile, until there's about four or five Italian men waving us down, waving us. So we stopped to see what they wanted. We always carried this submarine gunner with us, Joe Zarzichhi. He was one of the best sub machine guns I 've ever seen. We stopped you know, they wanted us to come over and have wine and cheese. Okay. The lt., Lt Fletcher was in charge of us, and says well okay. So we drove over to this building, which was a Cabaret, and went down in the basement, and man, i'm telling you, you never seen as much cheese in all my life. There was a table down there, set, so we set at them tables and drank wine and ate cheese and by gollies it was good.

Cardboard Cigarettes

When we got back to bergamemerro, we got orders that we was gonna move to Turino, Turin. Whenever we got all set and packed, loaded the trucks and away we went. We got to Turino, it was another Italian barracks, and it, they was in good shape. Didn't have no beds or nothin like that, you had your bed roll, that's what you slept on.

We didn't have no money, we didn't get money. Black market was great. $30 for a carton of cigarettes. So this one guy, they appointed him to take care of cigarettes and stuff like that in a little cubby hole. About four of them got there heads together, instead of selling you a carton of cigarettes in the carton, they'd take the cigarettes out, and then they'd take that carton, and they'd cut cardboard and fill that carton up, and then bring that wax paper back over it and press it a little bit, they had an old iron, and they'd stack them in boxes.

Whenever they got one of them cases full, why a couple of them would get into a jeep, they'd black out 34th division, and the red bull, and they would go into Turino, and they'd sell them cigarettes $30 a carton. And then that way, we all got some money out of it. We use to go what they called, Bagoda in Turino. It was a nightclub, just GIs in there, there wasn't no civilians. We had money to spend.

Later on, we didn't see it, but an Italian was telling us, that the big write up in the newspaper about the American soldiers selling cardboard for cigarettes, $30 a carton. And they said that cardboard was scattered all over the city of Turino.


We left Turino for Cividale, Italia. That was right next to the Yugoslav border. And that's where our company patrolled all that area. They had an outpost set right on the Yugoslav border, still on the Italian side.


. . . was comin and going. If there was a wagon coming out of Yugoslavia they would check it, and if there was anything on there we wanted, they'd let it come on through and visa versa. An Italian wagon or old truck going up to Yugoslavia, if they had things the Yugoslavs wanted we'd let that go on through and then they'd take it on that end. That's the way it worked. What they didn't want they'd send over to us we'd take it. What we didn't want we sent it on over to Yugoslavia. It was a lot of fun.

Grappa Lemonade

The British, they put on what they called the midnight serenade. It was artificial moonlight. They really put on a show. But before the show that night, all sergeants stayed with sergeants, corprals with corprals, so I stayed with these sergeants. And they had all kinds of American beer. And also this one he says, "Ol' Chap, I'm gonna give you a case of Grappa."
I said, "A case of Grappa?"
He said "Yes, it's good. Especially in the wintertime.
I said, "Well, okay." I took that Grappa on back with me.
One day at noon I told Johnny Securra, I said, "Johnny, when you make lemonade today, leave about four inches."
He said "That won't be enough for the company."
I said, "What I'm gonna put in will make enough."
I put six bottles of Grappa in that lemonade. In a little while Lt. Fletcher said, "Ruple, what's in that lemonade?"
I said, "Well, lemonade, why?"
He said "See a lot of these guys out there acting funny." And he says "I feel a little bit funny muyself." So he says "Whatever it is, make more of it."
So I got rid of that Grappa.

It was fun, there's no doubt about it. We had a good company of men. Of course we lost a lot of good ones too, many of them.


While we was in Turino, Lt Fletcher he always went to town with us at night time. There was a Pagoda and all they served was wine, you couldn't buy beer, everything was was wine. Some lady approached him and asked him if he would like to have some American whiskey.
She said "I know a place where this guy is and he's got all American whiskey."
Lt. Fletcher said okay so he got four of us together including Joe Zarzicchi with the sub machine gun, just in case it was a trap. We went to this building, it was all, all the windows was boarded up. She gave her signal at the door to open it so the guy come through. You never seen so much American whiskey in all your life. And he wanted $35 a pint. Lt. Fletcher had Johnny Securra say "No way, no way."
He said, "Now let me tell you,' he said "I speak English. He said, "You don't have to have an interpreter."
Well he did, he spoke good English. Could have been an American at one time, never know. Finally he dropped down to $5 a pint.

We had plenty of money from those black market cigarettes. We all got some of it. It was good stuff, there's no doubt about that.

We used to go into Turino just about every night, cause there wasn't nothing else to do, wasn't nothing in the barracks, there wasn't nothing really in Turino for us because, there wasn't such thing as fraternizing then. This Pagoda that we went in there was just us GI's, that was it. The old guy that ran the place, he was a fine old gentleman.

Fried egg sandwiches in Modena

Just before the war ended we was in a town, city of Modena. The old man, company commander, he wanted egg sandwiches if they could get them. He got back to Cobb Hansen, he was our supply, and he asked Cobb if he could do it.
Cobb said, "I think maybe I can."
"Send a couple cooks up."
Carl Sigler and I, we took the eggs and bread and went up to Modena, which wasn't too far, and we took a fire unit and one of the lids off the ration pan, and we fried eggs and made sandwiches. Took salt and pepper with us. We very seldom ever, we never did get fresh meat until after the war was over. We got plenty of eggs, but not meats. Everything dehydrated. But while we was there, we had our picture taken with several Italian kids growin up, then Carl Sigler and I got our picture taken at a cabaret, all women. I say, that was just before the war ended.

Ed Ruple, middle, cooking eggs in Modena.

Softball in Torino (Turin)

While in Civedalli, we organized a softball team, company. There wasn't no, they didn't have no baseball equipment. This softball team was formed and we had, oh, he was a great pitcher, Joe Zarzycki from Detroit, used to play with the Bridge Bodyworks. I caught him, and we had a good team all around. So after we won, I think 38 games all total, then they farmed an all star team and there was 5 of us from A company on the Allstar team. We went to Turino to play in the ATO finals. We ended up second. We got beat 1-0 by the 92nd Inf Div. It was a good game. All games 2-1, 1-0, 2-0, that's the way they were. This one right fielder, Tony Antoni. Last year at the reunion I bought a new roster. I got it home and I was going through it and, Tony Antoni, Erwin Antoni. I said, well that rings a bell. So I got the softball roster out and sure enough, that was him. So I wrote him a letter, and as soon as he got my letter he called me. So we had quite a talk together. And then last weekend at our reunion in Allentown, Pennsylvannia, he came friday, friday night had dinner with us, and then saturday evening he brought his wife. It was very enjoyable, It made my day to see him. When we got back to division, our uniforms had arrived. They didn't arrive before we started playing ball down in Turin. I don't know what they ever did with them. And then they said they was going to give us a diamond for winning the championship. We never seen the diamond either. I questioned a guy from Iowa over the weekend if he ever knew anything about it. He said he didn't know anything about it.

Going home

After we got over ball playing and back to the company, they said start preparing, we're going home. So that's what we did. We rode a train to Naples, which took about two days, and all along the way the train stop, why there was some Italians out there with wine, sandwiches, good brötchen and good salami. Then we got to Naples, this aircraft carrier Randolph, it had brought back all the Italian prisoners.
They said "You guys stay here, we'll go back."
They didn't want to come back to Italy. We boarded that aircraft carrier and stink, oh my god, it stunk something terrible. It took us 51/2 days to get to New York. We unloaded at New York and they put us on trucks, buses, and hauled us down and put us on a boat that went up the Hudsen River to Camp Kilmer. And Camp Kilmer that's where we got steak dinner, all cooked by Italians.
After dinner, next couple of days, they said get ready, you may get called on any time to go home. So finally, one afternoon, got called going to St. Louis, Jefferson Barracks. It took us couple days to get there. Got to Jefferson Barracks they said "all you fellas that's got leave time, why go ahead go, and then come back. We want you to stay in." Had a lot of guys saying "That's what you think." Anyway, we got to go home. And it was quite a blessing to get back home to see your kid, your wife, your mother. That lasted quite awhile.








Sergeant Edward R. Ruple, RA 37 626 734, Infantry


Mediterranean Theater Of Operations, on or about 1, September 1944


THIS 28th DAY OF December 19 49




Something goes here.