Segment 6

Annotation

Kassal remembers moving into Rome with ease. The men had more liberty in Rome than they had in the other Italian cities. They stayed in Rome for a short period of time because the Germans were being pushed back rapidly. They made it as far as Civitavecchia, Italy before he was assigned to his third D-Day invasion. He was flown to Naples and assigned to assist in the invasion of southern France. He was the only intelligence officer from the Army Air Force assigned to the invasion. In Naples, they boarded the USS Augusta [Annotator's Note: (CA-31)] a heavy cruiser. This landing occurred two months after the invasion of Normandy. They attacked various German positions along the coast of France.Kassal recalls they had a very easy landing and advanced to Salon in Provence [Annotator's Note: Salon-de-Provence, France]. While he was at headquarters, a French farmer informed him that he had a group of German antiaircraft soldiers at his farm that would only surrender to the Americans. Kassal was interested by this, so he volunteered to accept the surrender. He took six men with him. He had no idea what to tell the German prisoners of war (POWs), so he thought to himself "what would John Wayne do in this situation?" The farmer brought the 16 POWs to Kassal, most of which were under 16 or over 50. The leader of the POWs was Kassal's counterpart; they were the same age, both were lawyers, and the German spoke fluent English. The German officer told Kassal that they would win the war because they had a secret weapon. Kassal thought he was arrogant and he wanted to hit him. To get back at him, Kassal asked the German if he ever thought he would be taken prisoner by a Jew.

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