William DUDLEY (english version)
RANK: Private (number 2083979)
SERVICE/REGIMENT: 46th Battery Royal Tank Regt. (Liverpool – Welsh)
(1). Arrived on the Beachhead late January (25th/26th) a few days after the initial assault, because my group had been given breakfast and then waited the whole day until 10 pm before the transport ship arrived to collect us, and we were taken to, and disembarked at Nettuno.
(2). My duties were that of driver, and in conjunction with a co – driver was mainly engaged in taking food supplies to front line areas where American forces were positioned. I recall air support from American fortresses bombers operating over the opposing German lines. The fortresses were escorted by two outriders spitfires.
(3). Other duties involved the operation of “Scammel” vehicles which were used to lift tanks at each end in turn so that the “tracks” which had been damaged or blown off could be replaced or renewed.
(4). I have clear memories of German propaganda during the four & a half month period of fighting. This took the form of amplified broadcast by “Sally”, a German woman speaking in English ; also of the firing of German shells containing leaflets, the subject being of pictures who were away at war. The wording referred to “Lend – Lease”, and asked “is this the sort of U.S. Lend – Lease you are receiving in the U.K.?”. The object being to stir up jealousy between the English & U.S. forces.
(5). I had a copy of this leaflet and sent it to my brother – in – law (able seaman mission) serving on the battleship “Duke of York”. News of the leaflet got around the ship and reached the captain (admiral Sir Bruce Fraser) who sent for him, and borrowed the leaflet, which was subsequently shown by him to other service chiefs at the highest level at a combined forces conference.
(6). Following the breakout from the Beachhead at the end of may, my group moved on to Rome, and remained there for some time. Subsequently I was transferred to Egypt, and later still was sent to Greece to help keep order between opposing factions.
Written and signed by
Mr B Young on behalf of Mr Wm Dudley, who is too ill. And whose memories the above are.