Segment 8


The uniform pants Walter Barnes wore were baggy and the jackets hung out. The uniform was made of a canvas type material. They got two pair of socks and two pairs of underwear in basic training. That was supposed to be it. When they were in Italy Barnes carried extra socks in his backpack. He also carried hand kerchiefs and would take a sponge bath every day regardless of the weather. The winter over in Italy was cold. They were wet most of the time even though they did have some sort of a rain coat. Their boots were always wet as well from walking through streams and snow. They carried a backpack and a blanket and Barnes always carried two days worth of C rations and two canteens of water. During the winter everything was wet. During the summer they were able to dry themselves out. Many of the men got fungus on their feet. Some of them shot themselves in their feet so they could go home. The unit Barnes was assigned to was already over in Italy when he joined it. He kept in touch with a number of the men he served with after the war until Katrina [Annotators Note: Hurricane Katrina]. Barnes feels that museums like The National WWII Museum are very important. The thing Barnes wants remembered the most about his service is that his feet hurt all the time. If he was young he would do it all over again. Now a days Barnes thinks that war is ridiculous. A friend of Barnes was the head of the history department at Newman. He kept on Barnes until Barnes agreed to let his friend interview him.


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