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USS Philadelphia
Chaplain's Letters to Shipmates

22 March 1944

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Good Afternoon Shipmates,

Some day your grandchildren may be asking you questions about Mt. Vesuvius and what you saw these past three days.Here is a digest of facts compiled from two encyclopedias and a guide book the famed Baedekers.You may remember some of them for future reference.

Vesuvius varies from 4000 to 4200 feet in height according to the effect of its eruptions.For the past 300 years it has been the only active volcano near Naples.Itís most destructive eruption occurred 79 A.D. burying Pompeii and Herculaneum in oblivion.In the middle ages nine eruptions are recorded, and from 1500 until the present time about fifty more.Its most recent eruption took place in 1929.Its most destructive of recent eruption occurred in 1906, 500 lives were lost then with property damage of 10 million dollars.Forre Annunziata itself was invaded by the flow of lava, but the town escaped major destruction.After passing thru the evil smelling streets of T.A. it might have been for the best if a new building program had to be instituted.

At the risk of their lives two Italian scientists have summarized the following characteristics of volcanic activity.

The filling up of the crater etc. (read from book) Class on volcanoes dismissed.

However some of you connoisseurs of good wines may be interested in the famous by product of eruptions.The fertility of the slopes of Vesuvius is well known and on them is produced the famous wine called Lagrima Christi (tears of Xt.)The guide book warns pre war tourists in this way Ė Quote ďThe wineyards of Vesuvius yield the fiery L.C. wine which the peasants sell at 1 fr. Per bottle (but better ask the price beforehand and only partake of it on the road back) Unquote.

Donít forget Mass 1630 return pocket editions to the First Lieutís office and start buying War Bonds.


D.J. Burke