I recently received an intriguing e-mail from Boabbie, concerning an image I had previously posted of an AirGraph that I had sent home from Italy.
Bob kindly sent me the attached AirGraph that he had found in his late father-in-law's effects and I found it of much interest.
As you can see, it was sent by a Pte.Caplan to his family back home on the 16th September 1943 and, like other Airgraphs of that period, it had been designed to cater for a particular occasion.
In this case it was the Jewish New Year and the large Hebrew letters read as "Rosh Hashana" and "Yom Kippur" (New Year & Day of Atonement).
I went back to my diaries to see what I was doing when Pte.Caplan sent this AirGraph home and see that on the 20th I was on the aptly named "Ferry Service" across the Messina Straits
The Airgraph reads:
Pte.M.Caplan B Coy, 15th Fd Amb. C.M.F 16.9.43
ROSH HASHANA L'YOM KIPPUR
To my dear wife Nan and son Sydney
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year and well over the fast from your loving husband and daddy
5704-1943 SEP 1943
Extract from Rgt.Diaries of 49th LAA Rgt. RA
On 3 Sep supported the movement over the Straits of the Op BAYTOWN units, the invasion of Italy.
On 6 Sep the regt reverted to under command 78 Div.
On 8 Sep the regt, less 90 Bty, moved to a cone area at Fumari. 90 Bty remained in defence of Milazzo port and airfield.
On 13 Sep 90 Bty joined the regt in the cone area. The regt was now under orders to move to Italy and
On the 20th 84 Bty (Ron's Battery)embarked on the Ferry service to Reggio. RHQ followed
On the 22nd and between 23 and 25 Sep moved via Crotone and Taranto to Bari and was established in a house on the outskirts of Trani.