Friends at Anzio: Stories of Bacon and Burns 180th Infantry, 45th Division by James Burns, Jr., 90 pg perfect bound, ISBN: 1-931575-10-X.  $7.50 + $1.50 P&H. This is a collection of the individual stories of Alva Bacon, James Burns, and their sergeant Marvin Palecek.  They fought with the famed Thunderbird Division during World War II. To order send check or money order to: James Burns, Jr. 2345 Sandalwood Dr. El Centro, California 92243 E-mail: rjburns1 at Friends at Anzio

About the Book

This work is not intended as a historical or reference book for the deeds of the 45th Division, nicknamed the Thunderbird Division. The battles, campaigns, and episodes of the 45th Division can be found and studied in other well-documented books. Bacon and Burns were two young men like so many others who faced the times and events in their own small part of the war. This book is just some of stories of two soldiers who were best friends during World War II. They met each other at Anzio, and for the duration of the war they shared food, foxholes, danger, good and sad times. After the war they parted and each went their own way. Over the next few years, they had attempted to contact each other; but they didnít have any success. It wasnít until fifty-five years later that their stories would be written, indeed some of them had never been told. Like many veterans of their generation they didnít talk very much about the war. Perhaps they would make a comment while watching a movie; or contribute a couple of words and nod their heads while listening to the tales of others.  But for the most part they were modest, and a little humble about their experiences, and consequently most of their stories had remained private.

These stories are from different sources. In some instances additional references are included which will provide the reader some additional insight into the magnitude or significance of story. This all came about after I read The Rock of Anzio, by Flint Whitlock. I had not realized what my dad had gone through during the war. My dad passed away when I was nineteen years old, and although he had already been elevated to my hero, I wasnít aware of the details of this time in his life. I got out some pictures and a few papers that my mother had saved and reviewed them (once again) looking for clues of where he had been and what he had done. I learned about a reunion that the 45th Division was having, and I passed along some photos to the reunion organizer hoping to identify, if only for personal history, some of the people and places depicted.

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