Vida Colorado

Part VII – A Mission in the Mountains

An artillery piece in position not far from the village of Acquafondata. Here it is the same everyday, up at 400 hours, at readiness all day, bombs, air combat, heat flies and to bed at 10.00 in the evening. It it tremendously wearing and one can’t get used to it. I don’t enjoy the southern […]

Part VI – Acquafondata Preface:  The small municipality of Acquafondata lay high in the mountains at the nexus of the Winter Line and the Gustav Line, the fortified Axis defensive lines where Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring’s Army Group C made their stand against the US 5th Army as it pushed towards Rome. This tiny handful of less than a […]

In Another Country

As has been the case several times during the telling of letters home, the next chapter was one in which I came in thinking I knew what story I wanted to tell, but had it completely reshaped from what I found.  It all started with a simple entry in a US Army Morning Report, the daily […]

Part V – Africa    My Dearest Darling, Just a few lines honey to let you know I am just fine. Hoping you are the same…. Do you ever go to Indiana? I never did like Indiana much myself, but I would like to be there now. These Jerrys are not going to get me… How long do you think the […]

Part IV – Cristobol The metal of the long steel prep table was cold on Stanley’s outstretched hands. He looked down at them and around the galley. The large tins of spices. The gallon cans of beans, boxes of potatoes, giant jugs of olive oil. It was the third day of the quarantine on the USAT Cristobol which still stood […]

Part III – Going to War Letters Home – Part III – Going to War As we stood over Granny’s bed in the hospice room we knew she didn’t have much time. Her body was frail, she had not been eating or drinking for days. The Lord was calling her home. Next to her bed, a shoebox and a second […]

Part II – The CCCs morning fog hung on the fields and the frost still remained on the stalks of corn from last fall. Stan’s boots crunched over them in the Indiana morning. There was a road that led from Stoops farm where the boys were on their way out to do their days work past Grandpa Charlie’s and […]

A New Reckoning

When I set out to write about the story of my grandfather’s tour in World War II and his life leading up to it, in a way I knew the story that I wanted to tell: A man devoted to his country, his family, his men; a man who served honorably from the beginning to […]

Part I – A Fireside Chat

Pendleton County, Kentucky   In the summer of 1934, Stanley Grimes was just past his 13th birthday. An energetic and slim young man with penetrating eyes, he had a sharp nose and thick dark hair that he wore slicked back which gave him the look of one of those Italian boys you heard about in […]


Mostagenem, Algeria. February 1943.    0150 Hours   The recently promoted Sergeant of Dog Battery, Stanley Grimes knew it his duty to stay back and man the 50 calibre while his young recruits enjoyed their first days overseas at the bars in downtown Mostagenem, an area where a soldier with a few whiskeys in him could find his night going […]

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