Another newsletter from the American L.D.S. Chaplains of Italy, in the summer at the end of World War II.
August 1, 1945
The 4th and 24th of July provided occasions for reunions and celebration for, at least, a portion of our men. On the 4th, a group of thirty L.D.S. men from Pisa, Florence, and Leghorn gathered together at Leghorn for a day of fun and fellowship. Following an afternoon of boating and swimming it was supper together, topped off with ice cream, then a first class magician performance by Wilson K. Anderson and more ice cream. The evening was yet young, and the sun still shone, so refreshments were followed by baseball and baseball by – yes, ice cream.
In Naples the group spent the day in an old fashioned beach party. Several present remarked that they hadn’t realized they could enjoy themselves so thoroughly over here. In fact, it was just like an M.I.A. outing back home.
The 24th was not an Army holiday, but most of our groups observed the occasion in the evening with appropriate talks concerning our pioneer heritage, recreation, and refreshments. Much private talk dealt with reminiscences of past Pioneer days and hopes for future ones.
JAW papers, CR 712/2, box 68, folder 18
During the present period of transition some groups have been disbanded due to movement. The following, however, are still functioning with regular weekly meetings.
Foggia … Meetings held each Sunday at the EM Red Cross. Group secretary: Pfc Robert C. Calder, 97 Bomb Group, 342 Bomb Sqdn. APO 520
Naples … Meetings held at 10 AM and 7 PM Sundays in the EM Red Cross.
Rome … Meetings held Sundays, Contact Chaplain R.G. Gibbons (Telephone Firebox 843191 Ex. 7)
Florence … Meetings held Sundays and Tuesdays. Contact Lt. Anthony Johnson, manager of the Anglo-American Hotel in Florence.
Leghorn … Meetings held in the EM Red Cross Palace Club Sundays at 10 AM and 6:30 PM and Wednesday nights at 7 PM.
Montecatina … Meetings held in the EM Red Cross Sundays at 10 AM
34th Div … Contact Pfc Billy Harmon, Co. G, 133rd Infantry.
Keep Contact with the Church
We who have been away from home for weary months that are mounting into years should realize more fully than anyone else how incomplete is life when lived apart from the companionship and the ideals that the Church provides. Surely we must recognize that we are social beings, dependent upon one another, to a very large extent, for strength, for courage, for personality development, and for spiritual growth. Oddly, the person who is drifting almost invariably tends to separate himself form the association of the very people and groups that can help him most. Then, just as a hearty eater is sometimes found by medical doctors to be suffering from malnutrition for lack of the proper kinds of food, gradually and apparently without knowing it, the drifter becomes starved for the spiritual vitamins that would fill the vague emptiness in his soul. thus the mystery of the acquisition of a testimony of the gospel is matched only by the mystery of the process of its loss.
“Use or lose” is the eternal law of nature. In a world of temptation, active participation in the Lord’s work is our only salvation. Unite with one other person, at least, or a group, if possible, and study the gospel together. Keep contact with the Church.
Very sincerely yours,
Chaplain Eldin Ricks (Leghorn)
232 Ord Base Depot APO #782 USA
Telephone Value 587
Chaplain Robert G. Gibbons (Rome)
HQ 774th Ry. Grand Div.
APO #512 USA
Chaplain Vernon A. Cooley
Chaplain Timothy H. Irons