Report by Sgt. Daniels


Left Kairouan 7 Sep, 43, 1830 hrs, with Capt. Pinckney's party, consisting of 7 mens (Capt. Pinckney, Lieut. Bell, L/Sgt. Stokes, Sgt. Daniels, Cpl. Tomasso, and Pct. Curtis)

Dropped area Castiglione 2315 hrs, 7th Sept, 43. A very high drop, but good D.Z. Lieut. Bell hurt his ribs very badly, and was in great pain. We lost Capt. Pinckney. Owing to the great height from which we dropped, the stick was spread over a great area on the ground. Our orders were to remain in the D.Z. until No. 1 contacted No. 2, and so on back to the containers, but owing to the great area covered by the stick, this was not practicable. Cpl. Tomasso heard Capt. Pinckney talking to him, and waited for him. Sgt. Robinson contacted Cpl. Tomasso, and both waited, but he never turned up. An Air Raid warning sounded when we came down. We stayed in the area for two hours looking for Capt. Pinckney, and the last pannier, which was very light and probably had drifted a long way. Then we moved of onto a large hill, and after hiding containers, stayed under cover for the next day. Lieut Bell was still in great pain. He decided to split into two parties.

Party 1. Lieut. Bell, Sgt. Daniels, Cpl. Tomasso.
Party 2. Sgt. Robinson, Sgt. Stokes, Pct. Curtis.

Party 1 moved westwards to single line railway track south a Poretta. On 6th day we placed a charge in a tunnel which derailed a train, probably a passenger train, at about 2200 hours. We used a fog signal and 4½ lbs. of explosives. Train detonated charge, but although only 400 yards away, we could not see results, except for terrific electric flashes. There was silence after explosion. We noticed no movement on the railway except for what sounded like small trollies for the whole of the next day. Lieut. Bell decided not to operate on that line again, but moved south east to Prato - Bologna line, approx 2 miles south of Vaglia.

We operated in that area using pull switch and 6 lbs. of plastic, but missed train owing to train travellin south, on left hard line. Decided to operate next night half a mile further south. Operated using fog signal and 6 lbs. explosive. Again the train was travelling south on left hand line, it detonated the charge, and I believed it was derailed, but it did not turn over. It was a Goods train. Moved south, past Fiesole, and crossed the River Arno in a stolen boat. The weather was very bad, and it rained for three days. We were very wet and miserable. Here we met Italian Partisans, and stayed with them for approx. 10 days, trying to organise them, but the majority of them were no good. One party did cut some telephone wires however. We operated from the area North of Incisa. The charge was rather makeshift, owing to a shortage of cortex. A Jugo - Slav officer was operating with us. We could not see the result of the explosion, but we heard from Italians that there had been a train accident in that area. We returned to hut, but decided to move back to British lines. We moved of with Jugo - Slav as guide, and decided to walk by day when ever possible. We passed near Piglione, Palazzuolo, Montipulciana, and met a German trunk rear Montipulciana, shot it out with German Sgt. and driver, took them prisoners, and ditched truck after making it useless. Let Germans free after ensuring no phone in area. Montigabbione, Aquasparta, N. of Terni, Barbone west of Aquila. Stayed in the village of Scopeta for four or five days, but were chased out by Germans, who thought we were operating with wireless. We moved west of Sulmone, to village of Fratura. I was sick for four days with dysentery. Met many prisonors who said it was impossible to cross the River Sangro, owing to heavy fortifications, but we decided to try. Got through without interference. Crossed Sangro east of Alfedena, and rejoined 5th Division at Rionero at 2355 hrs. 19th November, 1943.
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