clockwork with their raids

(September 11, 1943, Early Morning)

WITH THE ALLIED NAVY OFF SALERNO, Sept. 11 (Delayed). – This is Saturday, D-day plus three, and – incredibly – we’re still afloat.

We are still unhit, undamaged and firing sheets of flame and destruction at the enemy ashore. I realize this in a sort of daze, for by all laws of chance and human computation we should now be sunk and obliterated.

 

- Ivan H. Peterman, War Correspondent for The Philadelphia Inquirer, USS Savannah, September 11, 1943, pre-dawn

 

0534 – A few bomb bursts observed on port quarter.  During the raid a few bombs fell fairly close to us.  The entire area was continually lighted up by flares.  Last night we patrolled the area to seaward of the transports and moved in again this morning to furnish air coverage and protection from enemy bombers.  A number of the transports pulled out last night.

 

- excerpted from General Quarters Narrative, USS Savannah, September 11, 1943, Salerno, Italy

 

We were sitting there together, half nodding, and wondering when they would come for the Germans are like clockwork with their raids and never fail between 4 and 5 every morning, and they’re a few minutes late.  But no more.  The ship lurches and there’s a murderous answer from our five-inch ack-acks.  The sick engineer rises painfully from his cot and follows our scramble through the scuppers.

 

- Ivan H. Peterman, War Correspondent for The Philadelphia Inquirer, USS Savannah, September 11, 1943, dawn

 

0930 – Received message of 12 Focke Wolfe 190s approaching from the north.

 

- excerpted from General Quarters Narrative, USS Savannah, September 11, 1943, Salerno, Italy

 

 

 

Ivan H. (Cy) Peterman receiving the Medal of the Poor Richard Club of Philadelphia in January 1944, for outstanding work as a reporter and war correspondent. 

(The Philadelphia Inquirer)

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