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Charles H. Willard

In one hot summer night surfing on the web Raymond Willard from his home in Tucson, Arizona found that from the other side of the planet in Italy somebody loved than or more of him the uncle Charles killed in action at Anzio in the far March 3, 1944.

Undoubtedly thrilled of this sudden discovery at once inform the brother Thomas that immediately put in contact with our webside to make sure if that Willard is really their lost uncle . Followed a frantic round of emails all full of important clues that at the end came to identity Charles H. Willard, serial number 32384597, 30th Infantry Regiment, Third Division came from Newark (NJ) like their uncle! The surprising news persuade at this point the two brothers to inform, without not emotions, Alfonso Felici the writer of the book " Fighting Paisano " from where Raymond knew the last events of the uncle in the battlefield but before like solicitous help from Alfonso to remember. Thomas decided to send in Rome a photo of the uncle, Alfonso thanks him but that pleasant image is not necessary because the face of that young man is present in his mind from ever.

Charles H. Willard, serial number 32384597, 30th Infantry Regiment, Third Division.

Afterwards Tom and Raymond heard from Alfonso like him never forgetten Charles, heard of his continue visits during these years to the grave of Willard in the American Cemetery in Nettuno and of his unsuccessful attempt to move the departed of Charles to the Military Cimitery in Arlington, Virginia. Tom went on writing to Alfonso that answered to him in onest and sincere matter, Tom, a Vietnamís Veteran, know what means lost a buddy and Alfonso who that buddy have lost confide to the nephew the last days of the uncle in Italy.

Letter to General Crittemberg The tomb in Nettuno Charles Willard killed in action at Anzio in the far March 3, 1944

Alfonso later learned from Tom like the Grand mother Rose and the Grandfather Fred knew of the decease of their son from a Chaplain followed from two officers that come to their home in East Newark in the sadest of their days and as his Dad Alfred knew the unhappy notice when he was in the Pacific Area to honor his Land like the brother in Italy. But all the same his missing the spirit of uncle Charlie is always present in the annual reunions of the Willards and in the last one, happily different from the others one, Tom showed to the rest of the family several fresh documents that Alfonso gathered about his buddy in these long years.

Willard brothers

American Cemetery in Nettuno: the map, Alfonso Felici yesterday and today

Tom and Alfonso maked the promise to meet in Italy the next year, Alfonso hopeful waiting that day in the meantime he have a particolar duty to do he have to come to visit his eternal friend once one time again but with a little big news ... give to him the best regards of his nephews.

by Marco Felici

  Italian version

dec. 2007  - feb.2008

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