Segment 4

Annotation

Kassal remembers making it to Palermo, Italy after three to four weeks with the 12th Tactical Air Command. He was in charge of coordinating intelligence for aircraft, fighters and bombers. He remained in Palermo for two weeks to plan for the invasion of Salerno, Italy. He recalls General Patton [Annotator's Note: General George S. Patton, Commander of the US Seventh Army at the time] being dismissed at this time for striking a soldier. Palermo was unscathed by the war. He recalls staying in a mansion in the city. While in Palermo, he was assigned to gain intelligence about the German Luftwaffe through prisoner of war (POW) interrogation, radio intercepts, and photo reconnaisance. He became an expert on the German Luftwaffe [Annotator's Note: German Air Force].The 12th Tactical Command's mission was to support the ground forces. The commanding general of the Italy invasion was General Mark Clark [Annotator's Note: General Mark Clark, commander of the US Fifth Army]. Kassal was still a 2nd lieutenant at that point, the 12th Tactical Command was too disorganized to promote him. He boarded an LST [Annotator's Note: Landing Ship, Tank] from Sicily to Salerno. The invasion went smoothly even though there was a large German presence in Italy. He was not as scared as he had been when they landed at Palermo. Within a few days, they moved into Naples. Kassal traveled with the famous war correspondent Vincent Sheehan. He remembers the Italian civilians sincerely cheering for them as they traveled through the cities.

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