This Day in History: 1945-03-13
A dispatch from the American Fifth Army in Italy reported on the activities of the 631st Field Artillery Battalion, in which PFC Joseph Warhol was a cannoneer. Warhol, the son of George Warhol of Valley Road, operated a mortar which helped the protect the main batteries of his unit, then operating in the Po Valley. The outfit had been in combat for 440 days during which time they had fired 132,000 shells, or more than 6,000 tons of metal at the enemy. They had first landed in Casablanca in February, 1943, and joined the Sicilian campaign on July 14, 1943. They fought through Sicily and in numerous battles as the Allied forces fought their way up the boot of the mainland. During the Cassino campaign, where they fought for two months they were often under fire form three sides simultaneously and bombarded by Messerschmidts and Foke-Wolfes. On one occasion they had sustained casualties to all three of their main batteries at the same time and had barely succeeded in dousing a fire in their ammunition dump just before it should have blown. On the opening day of the spring offensive from the Garignano River they had fired 3,000 rounds. They were under such intense fire at various times in the campaign they had had their communications wires cut five times during a single day and had to send the cooks and clerks back for supplies.