As time allows I will read and comment on the articles I find in the stash of Yank Magazines that I bought at an antique mall. This is the first. Note that the pictures in the post are not necessarily from Yank.
March 3rd, 1944, No Edition listed, Cover photo A Nurse Digs South of Rome (addressed to NCCS-USO, 170 W. Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI)
–Hot Spot in Italy (Anzio)
—-Lead article about the Anzio-Nettuno bridgehead south of Rome. Historically, the Allies were held up at Monte Cassino and the Anzio landings were designed to outflank that position.
—-The article accurately describes the small perimeter the Allies (British and American) occupied and emphasizes the point by saying the Germans could cover every inch of it with bombs, artillery and machine guns.
Initially, the Germans were slow to respond and the article seems to reflect that by discussing the relative ease the Allies made the bridgehead and the surprise of the Germans. The article cites instances of GIs capturing 40 Nazi soldiers sleeping and another German soldier being captured while rollicking with his Italian girlfriend on the beach!
—-These type of anecdotes make for interesting reading even though some stretch credibility to the max.
—-The Germans are referred to in the article as either “Nazis” or “Jerries”.
—-Five pictures accompany the article. The largest features a large group of German prisoners being guarded by a single GI holding a Thompson sub-machine gun. The prisoners are viewing the wide-open doors of a LST (Landing Ship Tank). The caption reads, “At Anzio, Nazi prisoners watch an LST opening it’s bow doors, amazed that a “decadent nation” could produce it.”
—-The prisoners appear to be Wehrmacht. All are wearing great coats, forage caps and still have their canteens attached to webbing. At least one is carrying a blanket. I speculate they are waiting to board the LST which will pack them off to another ship which in turn will take them to the US, Britain or Canada for imprisonment.
—-The reference to “decadent nation” is a mocking reference to the Goebbels propaganda ministry that characterized the US as a nation of gangsters.
—-Four other pictures grace the article.
—-One is of an US Army Duck (DUKW-amphibious armored truck) being driven by a British soldiers through the streets of Anzio. The “Duck” was used as a supply vehicle, ambulance and troop carrier (12 men) and every other utility function one could think of. Ducks are still running in my home State of Wisconsin where they are used as tour boats in the Wisconsin Dells area. My wife and I took a ride in one once and were amazed at their speed.
—-The other three pictures feature GIs doing various things. One GI is trying on a new type of Army boots. Another GI is sitting on a half-track comparing his helmet to the German variety and another GI is working on a walkie-talkie that has broken down.
The fellow with the new boots is name (Pvt. Don Whitehead of Harlan, KY). It must have pleased the GIs to find themselves named in the publication.
Other articles in the issue:
–Nurses Under Fire in Italy
–Good Neighbor Symphony (Panama Canal orchestra)
–GI Mike (Armed Forces Radio entertainers)
–Mail Call (letter to the editor from GIs)
–Message Center (personal messaging)
–Learning From War (training)
–Sad Sack cartoon
–Ghost Bride (fiction)
–Strictly GI (news tidbits)
–Camp News (Stateside training camps news)
–Pin Up (Betty Bryant)
–Post Exchange (odds and ends)
–Sports (Boxing and Sports Service Records of athletes in the service)
–Back page (cartoons)