January 21-24, 2022
of Operation Shingle
On January 22, 2022, we commemorated 78 years since the Allied landing at Anzio. A three-person representation of our group traveled to Italy to participate in a ceremony organized by the city and to visit the graves of the women buried at the Sicily–Rome American Cemetery and Memorial. We also had enough time for a quick visit to the Eternal City.
The day of the anniversary was sunny. First thing in the morning we went to the cemetery in Nettuno, where 10 servicewomen are buried: 6 Army nurses and 4 Women's Army Corps members.
Army Nurse Corps:
1st Lt. Glenda S. Spelhaug (33rd Field Hospital)
2nd Lt. Ellen G. Ainsworth (56th Evacuation Hospital)
2nd Lt. Violet E. Bennek (59th Evacuation Hospital)
2nd Lt. Kitty S. Driskell (60th Station Hospital)
2nd Lt. Marjorie G. Morrow (95th Evacuation Hospital)
2nd Lt. Sara B. Vance (33rd General Hospital)
Women's Army Corps:
1st Lt. Anna M. Fisher (HQ 15th Air Force)
1st Lt. Anne G. Hemphill
Tech. Sgt. Josephine Strohecker
Sgt. Millicent M. Yates
In addition, we visited the burial site of T/5 Robert Knecht, a pharmacist with the 95th Evacuation Hospital, and Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Sylvester Antolak, an American with Polish roots. We placed flowers on all the graves.
At 12:00 there was an official ceremony in the port of Anzio. While waiting for it to begin we met many civilians who were children in 1944. Many of them remembered terrible scenes from the history of their town. We were happy that they were willing to share their stories with us and immediately began to regret that our Italian is so limited...
In the afternoon we visited a local museum, tasted seafood at a local restaurant and took a walk on the beach back to Nettuno.
We spent the whole next day in Rome. We admired the same sights that the Americans had seen after liberating the Italian capital in June 1944.
Although the trip was very short, we are glad we had the opportunity to visit Anzio on this important day. Our next trip to Italy is planned for September.