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Thanksgiving in Italy, 1944

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Images: Gift in Memory of William F. Caddell Sr., The National WWII Museum, Inc., 2007.048

William Caddell served with the 5th Army Headquarters in North Africa through Italy, eventually becoming General Mark Clark’s Military Police motorcycle driver. His scrapbook of Signal Corps photographs documents the Fifth Army from the Fall of Rome through the end of the war. We are thankful to have this wonderful collection in our archives. In this series from the scrapbook, we see scenes of servicemen enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday meal. Military meals, especially those eaten in wartime, have never been known for their fabulous taste. WWII saw an explosion in variety of rations available for different field situations. However unappetizing the rations were, American servicemen could count on a bite of home on two major holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sometimes field and combat conditions necessitated a later celebration– Thanksgiving Day 1944 was on 23 November; these photographs range from 17 November to 27 November. The meals were, as you can see, enjoyed nonetheless.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Post by The National WWII Museum Curator Kimberly Guise

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