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USS Philadelphia - Memories of Salerno
Henry (Enrico) J Marino

Henry (Enrico) J. Marino
Medford, NY

It was pitch black, the sea was calm.  The USS Philadelphia, a light cruiser known for its excellent gun crew and nick named the Galloping Ghost of the Sicilian Coast for having been pronounced prematurely sunk three times by the Germans.

Although they could not see their Hands in front of their faces, they could sense that a great armada of other ships lay in waiting.  Where can we be, they asked each other?

My brother sadly knew where they were.  He said to his friends, “Smell the lemons.  I was here with my dad 9 years ago”.

They laughed at this little Brooklyn kid but stopped after they started to detect the wonderful smell of lemon groves.  My brother did not laugh for he knew his duty was to help bomb the hills his grandmother and Aunts and Uncles and cousins lived.  He had grown to love them on his visit as a 9 year old.

As the Sun came up on this one of the most beautiful coasts in the entire world. My brother prayed, with each loud gun blast toward the hills of SALERNO, that the guns would hit the German guns firing on those allies landing on the beaches and miss those wonderful, warm, relatives who were so kind and loving to him as a little boy.  His prayers were answered.

This story was contributed by Lou Enrico Marino Sr and the photo was submitted by Henry's son Larry Marino.