Excerpt from “Chapter 14 – Manduria”

The Jolly Roger: An Airman’s Tale of Survival in World War II by William C. Atkinson

Excerpt from “Chapter 14 – Manduria”:

Soon after the Regensburg raid, the battered airmen of the 451st who had flown the mission were granted three day’s R&R on the Isle of Capri. The Williams crew, along with the others, was trucked over the muddy roads of southern Italy to Naples on the west coast. The picturesque city of Naples sits on a high bluff overlooking the cobalt blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Just offshore, the beautiful Isle of Capri is visible from the bluffs.

The airmen were billeted in a captured Italian Army barracks in Naples before boarding a ferry to the island. The Williams crew walked along the narrow streets perusing the shops and stopping for beers at a sidewalk café. Sgt. Atkinson watched with fascination as the cameo carvers applied their skills. He bought several of the cameos to bring home to his mother and Nettie as gifts. They were placed in a small manila envelope which he secured in his shirt pocket. After three enjoyable days of rest and sightseeing, the crews were trucked back to the base. Once there, they were met with news that there would be a delay before they would fly another mission.