Report by Cpl. Tomasso


We landed near the village of Castigliano, east of the lakes. Owing to the height we were dropped from, the stick was well apart, and in a semi-circle.

Captain Pinckney's orders were that No. 1 would pick up No. 2, and so on until were all together. I landed about 75 yards from an isolated farm on the side of a hill. Captain Pinckney landed about 300 yards from me round the side of the hill, but out of sight. He called me by name, which was usual, as there we two N.C.Os. (Sgts. Stokes, and Robinson) between us, and I answered. I waited for an hour on them coming up. All the time I could hear noises coming from the direction of the containers. After about another ten minutes had passed, Sgt. Robinson found me waiting where I had landed. I asked him about Captain Pinckney and Sgt. Stokes, but he said he never saw them. Both of us then decided to make for the place where the noise as coming from, after waiting another twenty minutes. On arriving there, we found Lieut. Bell, Sgt. Stokes, Sgt. Daniels, and Pct. Curtis getting the containers emptied. Of the pannier there was so sign. We looked around for it, but was unsuccessful.

All of us then waited for Captain Pinckney, but after a further hour had passed, Lt. Bell decided that we should move from the D.Z. We buried the containers, and climbed up the mountains just before daybreak. We lay up all that day in the woods nearby. Lieut. Bell then organised us into two parties :-

1. Lieut. Bell, Sgt. Daniels, Cpl. Tamasso.
2. Sgt. Robinson, Sgt. Stoker, Pct. Curtis.

That night we moved off to our respective areas. On the 6th night we did our first demolition on the railway. We laid our charge in the tunnel near road junction, south of Paretta, ignition by means of the fog signal. We then waited a little way off for results. We had only just stopped when we heard a train coming at a decent speed, roughly about 25 miles per hour. Suddenly there was a loud explosion, and lots of sparks came from the electric wires overhead. We did not see the dammage owing to the tunnel, but the train definitely stopped. All the next day no trains on that line, except for what we think was repair gangs going backwards and forwards.

12th day - We then moved off to another railway further south, where we laid our second charge, south of Vernio. This was unfortunately a couplete failure. We were told that south bound trains were on the right hand line. On this charge we used a pull switch, and pulled the switch as the train approached, but it was on the left hand line.

13th day - The next night we laid our third charge on the same railway, ½ mile further south. This was more successful. It was a goods train which passed over the fog signal, and blew the charge. It ran of the lines, but did not capsize.

From there we moved to about four miles south of Firenze. We stayed there for about 8 days, trying to organise the partisans, but we were not successful, as they were not dependable.

On the 29th Day, Lieut. Bell and Sgt. Daniels, with the aid of 2 guides, went to lay the 4th charge, leaving me behind, as two was enough to do the demolition,

After they returned we started off for the British lines, taking with us a Jugoslav officer, who was very anxious to join the British Army. Near the village of Montepuluano, we were observed by an Italian truck driven by Germans. We had a slight tussel, and destroyed the truck.

From there onwards, we kept to the high mountains.

On the 73rd day we crossed the lines, 1 mile east of Alfedena, crossing the River Sangro at about 2000 hrs, at Pratture, 12 miles North of Alfadena, Sgt Daniels took ill, holding us back for four days.

After crossing the German lines, we reported to the 5th Division.