Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Army 1
1921 1
New York 1

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Personal Details

John B Foster Jr 1
Level of Education: 1 year of college 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
1921 1
New York 1
Place: Essex County, Virginia 1

World War II 1

Army 1
Enlistment Date:
29 Jul 1942 1
Army Branch:
Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA 1
Army Serial Number:
12123763 1
Enlistment Place:
New York City New York 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
Tinsmiths, coppersmiths, and sheet metal workers 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0092 1
Film Reel Number: 1.85 1

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34th Infantry Division. 1st Lt. Rifle Platoon. Salerno. Anzio. [Wounded]. Rome. Livorno [Wounded. Hospital Hepatitis]. Home.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa Italy

The Italian Campaign along the western roads was normally characterized by a controlled withdrawl of German troops from rolling countryside and farming valleys.   Most strategic points in the abandoned landscape were dialed into mortar sights or booby-trapped.   Platoon commanders like my father were constantly instructing their troops to avoid traps - obvious stream fords, bridges, barns, etc, as these were typical targets for artillery.

As Allied troops approached Pisa, a flat farming valley, artillery fire become well directed and intolerable.   Further inspection of the enemy showed that German artillery spotters had taken up residence in the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Command told the 34th division that under no circumstances should the famous tower be shelled.

This was a job for the Italian Resistance.   It took awhile.

Grasping for ways to motivate the locals to remove the Germans from the Leaning Tower, my father told me that his commanders gave the Italians an ultimatum " Look, we can't destroy The Tower.  We both know that.   However, if you don't get the Germans out, we'll do the job.   And afterwards, we'll send in our engineers, fix The Leaning Tower's foundations, and straigten it out."

The Italians removed the Germans the next day.


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