Charles W. Van Scoyoc
by Marco Felici
On the June of last year arrived to the web editorial staff an e-mail came from the United States, the sender Wayne Van Scoyoc, after the reading of the events of Alfonso Felici, asked curious if was possible to cast light upon the fact that caused the death of his GreatUncle, killed in action in Italy during the last Second World War.
Like in the past, immediately,with fervour started the researchs that slowly tessera after tessera later more one year carried to outline the vicissitudes attached to the young 2LT Charles W. Van Scoyoc. For who, today, approaching to his grave in the Militar Cemetery of Nettuno where he lies, could to know that served in the 7th Infantry Regiment at Anzio and died the 4 of March of 1944. This date is decisive to realize one of the crucial moment of the Italian Campain that carried to the Liberation of our land from the Allied Forces.
We are in the benning of the year and after a promising outcome produced by the Anzio Landing in the 22 of January, the progressive advace of the Americans suffered a momentary arrest close the Cisterna Area where the German troops reorganized delivered a bloody counteroffensive.
The persistent resistance was concentrated in the area between Ponte Rotto and Isolabella and culminated with a resolute manoeuvre in the night of 4th of March, the true account of that hours was documentated from the National Archive 7th Inf Regiment Journal Reports, daily S-3 reports, the report reads, "The right flanck sector vicinity Companies L and B received an attack at 2135 (9.35pm) preceded by a heavy artillery preparation. The enemy infiltrated through our lines and occupied the houses in the vicinity of grid 988-307, Strong combat patrols cleared the houses of all resistance and restored our lines by 050600A. One 37mm At gun in the vicinity of 988-307 was overrun and destroyed by enemy Infantry. Engineers had blown a crater to limited the access area."
From direct testimonies taken from the diaries of the veterans of 7th Infantry the rest of this incident makes more clear and careful and maked rich of precious details that confirm the official report so we know that the the AT platoon of Van Scoyoc setup near a group of houses and had at least one 37mm AT gun to watch the bridge at Ponte Rotto and another dirt road to the left of hill83, the second road lead to a crossing point on the railroad, one of the few points the Germans could cross with armor. The young officer was killed on the night of 4th of March by an artillery shell meantime covered his men's retreat in the face of a company of panzer granatiers from the 3th Panzer Grenatier Regiment. After a nights worth of fighting 18 of the germans were captured in that group of houses.
In the night of the 27 of May Villa Santo Stefano suffered an huge bombing, the intense fire activity perfomed by the 337 Field Artillery of the 88th American Division reached an aim to reduce the presence of the Wehrmacht in our village. The morning of the 28 of May 1944 the small centre hidden down Siserno Mount was liberated but not without civil victims,under the debris perished MarioAnticoli, the little nephew and Giuseppe Ruggeri.
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3. 5. 2008
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